Hello from Shanghai, China! As we’ve already mentioned on twitter, we’re here on holiday visiting a friend, wilting in the heat yet seeing the sights and eating very, very well. Let’s start with a vegetarian restaurant adjacent to the Jing’an Temple – it’s a location that will pop up during many visiting veg*ns’ research.
The first floor of the restaurant includes a vegan-friendly bakery and a miniature food court, the second floor has a la carte service, and the third floor offers a lavish buffet setting with a flat rate of 178 yuan (AU$35.30) per person for lunch. We stopped in for the last hour of the buffet and could barely believe the volume and variety of food on offer.
The savoury dishes were well labelled in Chinese and in English with the food name and indicators of whether the foods contained eggs and/or milk (no hints about gluten). I enjoyed picking through the snacky section, trying sesame buns, a date-centered mantou bun, turnip cake and pumpkin cake. There’s a little Japanese section with fancy-looking sushi and other morsels. Meanwhile, Michael went hard on the stir-fries, braises and fried rice. There was a small amount of mock meat, plenty of mushrooms and tofu that almost mocked meat, and lots of straight-up vegetables too.
The fruit selection was a very refreshing interlude before I set upon the desserts. Unfortunately the desserts were less well labelled, and I suspect that most of the little cups and cakes contained dairy. The teeny portions allowed me the temptation of trying a few (all were very nice, though nothing different from what we can access in Oz).
This buffet has the price and ambience of a slightly special occasion (we've been paying closer to AU$10 for other meals), but any hot and hungry traveller should feel welcome to stop in. It’s an easy way to access lots of veg*n food, and it’s convenient to the handsome Jing’an Temple, which is well worth a visit.
Jing’an Temple/Jen Dow Vegetarian Restaurant
151 Yu Yuan Lu, Jing An Qu, Shanghai, China