Monica Liau (more chengdu)|
Feeding a strict vegetarian in Chengdu can be a difficult task, but the Wenshu Temple Vegetarian Restaurant offers loads of delicious, 100% vegetarian cuisine that both meat eaters and Vegans can drool over. The restaurant is a one room, rather common eatery filled with tables meant for large groups. Upon arriving one busy Saturday, we were strategically ignored until one of us stepped up and officially proclaimed our presence. The three of us were then whisked to a back table that we were to share with another small party. No matter, the food was excellent and the menu offers English, even though descriptions are not always completely accurate.
When the cold roasted “duck” appeared on our table, I was shocked and had to chew carefully to indeed ascertain that the duck was made of cured, smoky tofu and not flesh. Usually not a huge fan of vegetarian food masquerading as meat, I helped myself to a generous portion. We then ordered “baby cuttlefish” cooked with pickled cherry peppers. The bright dish was huge and flavorful, and the imitation squid were complete with tentacles and black eye dots. It was so life-like my friend actually had a difficult time eating this dish. The fresh broccoli cooked in oyster sauce as well as cold dried tofu with peanut shoots and chili oil were less innovative, but just as excellent, and were quickly devoured. Skip the steamed shumai as they are stuffed with rice and rather boring. The sweet deep-fried pumpkin cakes were bite-sized and so good we all burned the roofs of our mouths, unwilling to wait until they had cooled. An hour later we waddled out via the back door and continued our tour of the beautiful temple grounds.