Tuesday, October 26, 2010

JuJuBe Tree (Vegetarian Lifestyle)

Our favorite vegan restaurant in Shanghai, and probably the best vegan food we have ever had, was at JuJuBe Tree (or the English name - Vegetarian Lifestyle). This place has gourmet Chinese vegan dishes that will bl0w your mind! There is no milk, eggs or meat here and everything is super clean. The person who hands you your food even has a mask! We ate here 3 times in about a weekend, so we were obsessed at the end. Our first meal included: spicy, rice puffed covered fake chicken balls, dumplings, fake crab, potato balls, and some fresh dragon fruit and pear juice to top it off. Our absolute favorites were the spicy chicken balls that had a very crispy exterior with puffed rice and a powered spice on it. They were small enough to pop in your mouth and had a great flavor. The dumplings were only a 3 star (Loving Hut, Shanghai has the 5 star dumplings), but the fake crab was the gourmet vegan food of the whole trip. They severed it in a tiny bowl with a cover and the crab sat in a yellow soup with tofu and glass noodles, they topped it with some steamed broccoli and we went to town. The flavor and texture was spot on, the presentation was top notch and the whole experience made us want to bring home the chef for a wedding/full time chef at our house. This place is a must go.

The second time we went, we went for Lucas' birthday dinner so we invited a couple friends who are all omnivores. They all enjoyed it very much too because of the flavor and mock meats. On top of our first favorite dishes we ordered some sort ribs, spicy potatoes, magic mushrooms, stacked eggplant, stuffed cucumbers and spinach soup. The crab and chicken still were our top contenders, but this time the eggplant stole the night. The plate was filled with thinly sliced eggplant covered in a sweet barbecue type sauce and chunks of tofu. This had a great flavor and was something I have never tried before. The third and final trip here (at the other location near NanJing Lu) we ordered some friend lotus root stuffed with faux meat and a side of bruchetta, fried seaweed rolls, sushi, faux chicken skewers, and a cold faux meat with a brown sauce. The lotus roots were unique and interesting with the stuffing and the sides of tomatoes in the bruchetta, but the meal got a little greasy for us by the end. Many Chinese dishes are not raw and this place is no different.

On top of all this they have a side shop that sells organic and healthy foods including brown rice (hard to find in China), organic beans, tasty pumpkin nut clusters, books and bags and gifts made by underprivileged people in China.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="384" caption="Vegan Crab"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="384" caption="Chicken Balls with Puffed Rice"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="256" caption="Eggplant Stacks"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="384" caption="Chicken Skewers"][/caption]




[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="384" caption="Vegan Sushi"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="384" caption="Veggie Dumplings"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="384" caption="Stuffed Lotus Root"][/caption]