Fu He Hui (福和慧)
Fu He Hui is a vegetarian restaurant owned by the 'Fu' group, which also owns Fu 1015, Fu 1039 and Fu 1088. All these four restaurants locate on Yuyuan Road (愚园路), and Fu He Hui is actually 'Fu 1037' as it is housed in No.1037 Yuyuan Road. A vegetarian restaurant may not sounds appealing to most of the people, but Fu He Hui is not a common Chinese vegetarian restaurant you have been to. It is ranked No.19 on Asia's 50 Best Restaurant 2015, the only vegetarian restaurant being listed, among another 5 restaurants in Shanghai.
We felt like stepped into a hidden paradise in the crowded city once the entering the restaurant. The restaurant only featured private room, even for small party size like us. The decor of Fu He Hui is a very traditional 'zen' style, all in fine woods. It was very quite and peaceful in the restaurant, with a fragrance of sandalwoods.
Fu He Hui opens for both lunch and dinner daily, and only sets menu is served. Only 4 different sets are served, priced at CNY 380, 680 and 880 (2 kinds) . Each menu includes 8 dishes, but the premium of ingredients are quite different. Mushroom are widely used in most the the menu, as well as bean curd. We picked the CNY 680 and 880 (feature as * in this review).
We started with a complimentary snack, watermelon with yogurt cream and honeyed walnut.
Start with the wild herb wrapper, which was minced wild vegetables wrapped in a beancurd sheet. The spice on the bottom made the simple 'bag' very delicious. I enjoyed the orginal flavor as well. Tofu skin, which was braised tofu skin with soy sauce, made into a cute curcurbit shape.The plum lotus root was similar to the sweet and sour pork rib (糖醋排骨), the 'meat' part was made of bean curd while the 'bone' part was lotus root. The combination was interesting but tastes like real sweet and sour pork rib.
The first dish from the CNY880 set was a seasonal vegetable, which featured the season of Spring. It was made of some fine greens that is not commonly seem, with in-house made pea chips, potato chips, yogurt. It was a very healthy started as well, we enjoyed the combination of greens with yogurt and crispy chips.
Followed a vegetarian clear soup with bamboo pith. Very simple and real tastes.
The ingredients of the soup in 880 menu was much better than the 680 one.
Consists of lotus mushroom, baby corn, black medlar and a lotus mushroom clear soup. The lotus mushroom becomes much more crunchy after add in the hot clear soup. The soup has a very lovely mushroom flavor.
We enjoyed the way the spring pancake served. It was made of white king oyster mushroom, cucumber, crisp tofu skin and soy bean paste.The king oyster mushroom was chewy by itself, with a crispy skin after deep-fried.
A vegetarian version of 'Gu Lao Rou' (咕咾肉), which is another version of sweet-sour meat dish. The veteraian version at Fu He Hui was prepared with fried hericium erinaceus with, cashew nut, strawberry in a pastry. The mushroom was chewy and flavor, a quite enjoyable dish.
Tomato fried with eggs (番茄炒蛋) is a very traditional home-cooking dish at most of Chinese families, and i swear this is the most special version i have had so far.
The eggs was fried with horsebean, and coverd with half of a steamed tomato, and finish with papaya juice. Usually in homecooking, people will add in sugar to make the dish sweeter, while the papaya juice made its natually sweet. It wasn't serve with rice, but i can imagine it goes pretty well with rice. (下饭!)
The next dish in the 880 set was also an egg dish - steamed bean curd with eggs, topped with gingko, peach gum and white truffle oil. Unlike the common steamed eggs i have had, this one was quite firm, like firm tofu. But there was nothing special on the taste side.
Followed by a shot of homemade apple cider vinegar to cleanse our palate.
The fired morel mushroom with bean curd, green soybean and bamboo shoot was cooked in vegetarian oyster sauce and soy, which tastes very flavorful. The morel mushroom was chewy.
cauliflower was fried with brussel sprout and chili was probably the most average dish of the night, as i can even prepare it at home. Tastes not too bad while not really impressive.
The porcini arrived in a jar, it was firstly grilled with sea salt, and then remove to the jar with a burning charcoal. The dish came with a plate of mushroom paste with shallot.
The char-grilled porcini was chewy and has a lovely fragrance, it tastes good even without any sauce. But the mushroom paste on the side was another highlight of the dish, it was creamy and has a deep mushroom flavor, the two works perfectly good.
The lily bulb was fried with gingko, asparagus and elm-ear mushroom, while the highlight of the dish must be the elm-ear mushroom. It very hard to buy elm-ear mushroom, and we were so glad we had it here. It was pretty crunchy and delicious.
Move on to the grain dishes. The CNY 680 menu served the sermolina pasta, green pea and 'ganba' fungus. The pasta was al dante, the crunchy and fragrant ganba fungus made the simple dish special.
The 'truffle' was one of my favorite dish of the meal, consists of a poached egg, morel mushroom, black truffle and fried stick. The egg was perfectly poached, the runny yolk was rich and creamy, indeed one of the best runny yolk i have had in China. The crunchy mushrooms and crisp fried stick lift the texture and flavor to another level.
A cute twisted sesame bun (芝麻花卷) was served with the 'tuffle' egg dish. Dipped the fluffy bun into the creamy and flavorful egg yolk, the best combination!
Next came the dessert part. My partner had the 'Flower pot', which was a roselle and green apple sorbet with dehydrated enoki mushroom. On the side was a pan-fried sticky rice cake. The later one was a bit over-fried, too hard for our liking. While the 'Flower Pot' itself was quite delicious and refreshing.
The Shanghainese breakfast was a quite lovely dessert. The osmanthus congee was a bowl of nicely cooked sticky rice congee topped with red bean paste and osmanthus, it was sweet but not overly. Side with a cube of in-house made fermented tofu and crisp dough stick. I am not a big fan of fermented tofu, but this one was a 'BUT'. The jelly outlayer has a lovely rose flavor, it was quite smooth. The crispy dough stick was not a traditional flaky style, the texture and taste was more like doughnuts.
We enjoyed the food at Fu He Hui, lovely creations and tastes. It was quite pricy in terms of vegetarian restaurant, but we considered it is worthy as the ingredients were pretty nice, and we can really feel how much efforts the chefs put into the dishes. Somewhere i always love to go.
Address: 1037 Yuyuan Road, Changning, Shanghai 上海市长宁区愚园路1037号
Price: Set Only, CNY 380/680/880
Our Favorite Dishes: CNY 680 menu: Canape, Tomatoes; CNY 880 menu: Porcini, Truffle