Ji Xiang Cao - Lucky Veg

Overall rating: 4.5 stars 20 Reviews
Comfortable and quiet zen-like atmosphere. Menu focuses on Chinese home-style cooking that is healthier and lighter with few mock meats. Dishes are around 35-50 RMB each. Try the tofu with green gravy. Also sells books, sweets, and antique reproductions. Non-smoking. Price: Moderate more-less
Vegan, Chinese, Take-out
2F, 428 Madang Road, Luwan (He Fei Road)
Shanghai, China 200031
+8621-6373-0288
Now Open

Tue-Sun 10:00am-9:30pm

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  • Accepts credit cards
reviews

Reviews

First Review by flamekat
Jrosworld
Jrosworld
  • vegan
Contributions
+704

Wonderful food

5
Posted on 10 / 04 / 2014

I came here alone, and I'm not sure that this is a restaurant where you're supposed to do that. Everyone else was in groups, and it wasn't furnished to be especially welcoming to solo eaters. Not to worry though, it was still a wonderful dinner.

I ordered three dishes, and be warned that for one person, that is a lot of food. It was very tasty vegan Chinese food with there being nothing Western, and few to no fake meats on the menu. I was proudly able to force it all down though. And for just ¥60, I was leaving stuffed. Great value for money.

The staff were plentiful and very friendly, although I did not encounter one that spoke English. And the English on the menu is... confusing to say the least. All of the items are pictured. Which is lucky because going on just the English in the menu, you wouldn't have a clue what you're getting. All in all though, it was a great experience. I'll be back here again just as soon as I make some friends.


blaim
blaim
  • vegan
Contributions
+120

So incredible, so delicious.

5
Posted on 11 / 25 / 2013

Quite likely this was the most delicious meal I have had in China during our six weeks here. Incredible selection, amazing food. And completely animal free!

Pros: vegan, delicious , affordable
shanghaivegan
shanghaivegan
  • vegan
Contributions
+53

Vegetarian restaurant of choice in the area

3
Posted on 05 / 26 / 2013

If you find yourself in Xintiandi, this is the vegetarian restaurant of choice in the area.

This restaurant is always packed and you should expect to wait at least 15 minutes if you go at dinner time. During your wait you can browse books in their book shop (if you can read chinese that is) and sit down if you're lucky enough to catch one of the few available seats.

The food is very average in my opinion, but not overly expensive if you compare it to the general price level in Xintiandi, which is also the reason for it's popularity.

Pros: Nice atmosphere, Relatively inexpensive for Xintiandi
Cons: Waiting times, Average food

Katharinenstrasse
Katharinenstrasse
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+54

My favorite place in Shanghai.

5
Posted on 04 / 11 / 2013

Food is fantastic, so much choice and creativity. Absolutely tasty. Plus design is very nice - authentic temple-like but at the same time modern. Eating in this restaurant is an experience!

Pros: Food is awesome, Choice, Decoration
Cons: Sometimes long waiting time
anarchistanimal
anarchistanimal
  • vegan
Contributions
+341

Top quality

5
Posted on 03 / 01 / 2013

This is an upmarket, high-quality, and very popular vegan place. The food is really creative and absolutely delicious. I went a few times and had tofu skin with pine nuts, a mushroom and broccoli dish, these scrumptious glacé sweet potato ball things, and bean vermicelli. It was all superb. The price is a bit higher than some other places (eg one time I paid 95 rmb for two dishes plus tea, the other time I paid 83 rmb for two dishes.) But it's absolutely worth it. The restaurant itself has a pleasant and stylish atmosphere.

Pros: Creative and delectable cuisine
Lynnetto
Lynnetto
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+26

Lucky Zen, Lucky Us =)

5
Posted on 02 / 13 / 2013

We found this place via recommendation by our friend Kim.

Pricing is good.

Because pricing is good, you do not have very very high expectations of the food. Which I think the price fits the value perfectly. In other words, very ethical charging, I feel.

One dish left with me a deep impression... for I am a nut lover. Its veggie with roasted walnut. I like the walnut roasted because it brings the flavor out of it.

Been here 3 times. Love it.

There is also a little shop downstairs. Love the milk-tea sachets & the vegetarian cakes (I have been using them as gifts to friends).

Thank you, Lucky Zen! =)

Pros: Affordable price, Interesting "zen-like" environment
Cons: Loooooong Q, Dark toilet, No spot lights over some area
Tofuschnecke
Tofuschnecke
  • vegan
Contributions
+82

Our favorite vegetarian place in Shanghai!

5
Posted on 01 / 15 / 2013

My boyfriend and me (both vegans) spent two months in Shanghai and, fortunately, tried the Lucky Zen very early and came back at least twice a week. The food is different from most other vegetarian places in Shanghai, I really liked it that a lot of dishes are not very oily and that they don't use a lot of mock meat.
The staff was very friendly and one of the waiters spoke a little English, even though my boyfriend speaks some Mandarin - and it's not necessary as the menu is very detailed, explained flavors and all. We also really enjoyed the "zen-like" atmosphere, we always felt very good after our visit (and no stomach problems...you probably now what I mean...).

However, the main reason why I'm writing this menu: You HAVE TO TRY the "Fried Shiitake Mushroom Stems" and the "Shepherd's Purse Dumplings" (there are two kinds, this one is much much better)! Two things I really miss here in Germany as I can't even get proper ingredients to make it at home!
And be a little bit adventurous, some of the rather unusual dishes are very good. I won't recommend certain ones as I've been there with a lot of different people and it of course really depends on personal taste which ones you like.

Pros: excellent food, good value, nice vibe
Cons: sometimes crowded
kaapoq
kaapoq
  • non-vegetarian
Contributions
+6

OK but not fantastic

3
Posted on 10 / 12 / 2012

Arrived at 18:30, waited for 15 minutes or so to get a seat. I was dining alone and had four courses. First some chinese sourkraut balls in very hot soup. This was ok, although the balls were almost tasteless. The soup had some good kick in it. Secondly I had some tomatosoup with gluten "mock meat". This tasted totally terrible and I only had a couple of spoons of this. Then I had some dumlping which were ok but not even in the vicinity of what Din Tai Fung can offer. A bit bland and unimaginative. The greenes which I had as fourth were ok. Friendly and fast service, no-one spoke English but menu was in English.

Pros: Friendly staff, Nice Atmosphere, Large Portions
Cons: Tasted a bit bland, Narrow selection of beverages
arthagal
arthagal
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+15

Best restaurant ever

5
Posted on 04 / 01 / 2012

I went to shanghai this summer and i tried some of the vegeterian restaurants I found on this website. This is really the best I ever had in shanghai but also the best I ever tried (including other countries). They have JiCai dumplings that are just wonderful, but also amazing meals of mushrooms that are unbelievable. You also have the asparagus and bamboo meal, noodles with sesame sauce, taro and potatoes with orange flavored sauce and this amazing salad of liu's new shoots. As I lived just nearby (5 minutes by foot), it was my almost-every-day restaurant.


Kerstin Kaehler
Kerstin Kaehler
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+22

lucky to have found it

4
Posted on 11 / 17 / 2011

Ji Xiang Cao is a beautiful restaurant serving very tasty Chinese vegetarian food and they do not realy too heavily on tofu or mock meat like is customary in other restaurants here, so kudos for that.
The most amazing dish for me is their sichuan style spicy noodle dish, individual portions that are superb and came only just in time as I was looking for noodles without the ubiquitous minced meat in the sauce. :)
also, for someone who does NOT like mushrooms, they have a dish with crisply fried mushrooms that I really enjoy, to my great surprise - leave it to the Chinese to find a way to make anything palatable.

Pros: very nice food, beautiful decor
eatinggreen
eatinggreen
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+294

Not the best in town, but good anyway

4
Posted on 11 / 03 / 2011

We ate here a few times and always enjoyed it. The staff don't speak any English but go out of their way to help navigate through the menu, which is refreshingly different to what most of the others dish up. The ambience is lovely, very cosy, quiet and minimal. They do use MSG however, so make sure you learn how to ask them not to add it (this is actually where we mastered how to say 'No Msg' in Chinese - the friendly waitor tested us on it every time we went.) I don't necessarily agree that the food is not oily either - it does really depend on what you order. We got a dish one time that was about 80% oil... if they had a more extensive tea menu the oil wouldn't be such an issue I guess. The fruit teas are just hot water with random objects floating in them without any taste so probably best avoided, especially considering the high price. And we sometimes find it hard to actually get a lot of vegetables on our plates for all the tofus, noodles, dumplings, etc. Despite all of this, Lucky Zen is still definitely a worthy dining experience in Shanghai.

Pros: lovely ambience, interesting menu
Cons: they do use MSG, more veges would be nice
sglcklch
sglcklch
  • vegan
Contributions
+790

Best veggie restaurant in town

5
Posted on 10 / 30 / 2011

We've been to quite a couple of vegetarian restaurants in Shanghai and this one is by far the best. They have a large menu that offers a wide variety of dishes; it was also the first time that I'd ever seen brown rice on the menu in China. Best thing is that every single item has a picture, plus a description of the main ingredients and how it would taste. They also seemed to be very light on mock meats (actually I don't recall seeing any) and the food was not swimming in grease like in most other places... and on top of that, everything was delicious!

Place was very clean with a Zen decor and easy to find. Staff was polite and friendly, food was great. Contrary to some other reviews, it wasn't busy at all when we went so no wait whatsoever. Highly recommended!

Pros: healthy yummy food, extensive menu with pics, clean quiet setting
meow123
meow123
  • vegan
Contributions
+18

Best restaurant in town!

5
Posted on 10 / 19 / 2011

This is by far my favorite veggie place in Shanghai. Everything that I have ever ordered tastes amazing (even the mashed potatoes with blueberry sauce are delicious!), the food is not soaked in oil, sugar or MSG like most other vegetarian places. The atmosphere is lovely and quiet. The only downside is that you have to wait a long time if you don't make a reservation.

Pros: excellent Chinese food, very friendly staff, great value
Cons: long wait , opening times are limited
dnmp
dnmp
  • vegan
Contributions
+138

Nice Atmosphere & Good Food

4
Posted on 06 / 17 / 2011

I went here on one of my first days in town and I really enjoyed it. The food is nice and the atmosphere is too. The restaurant is upstairs and has a very intimate vibe.

The wait staff was very nice and patient with my limited Chinese and the menu has photos so you can see what you are ordering.

I had the dumplings which were really good.

Finally, if you are going for the first time look hard for the sign to enter the restaurant as it can be hard to see especially at night.


MDR
MDR
  • vegan
Contributions
+66

Good Place!

5
Posted on 06 / 05 / 2011

After going here a couple of more times, I am upgrading my review. Excellent food, has English menu, staff doesn't speak much English. This is also one of the few places where you can get brown rice. 3 entrees, rice, juice for two was 140 RMB. This place gets crowded: we arrived 6:30 Tuesday and had to wait 1/2 hour to be seated. Closed Mondays. Near Xintiandi (Line 10) subway station.
Updated from previous review on Friday May 20, 2011

Pros: Excellent food
Cons: long wait
Ged
Ged
  • vegan
Contributions
+63

great food

5
Posted on 11 / 09 / 2010

A must! but get there before 2pm or you won't get served food. The best you can hope for is a pot of tea until 5pm. zen atmosphere, but the twanging zither can get annoying after a while...

Pros: quality food, nice people, nice surroundings
Cons: opening hours
cornwall
cornwall
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+13

Great Food

5
Posted on 10 / 04 / 2010

We had the best Vegetarian dishes in this restaurant, while visiting China.
Absolute worth visiting!

Pros: Excellent food, Good admosphere, Variety
joe helmick
joe helmick
  • vegan
Contributions
+21

I love this restaurant

5
Posted on 08 / 17 / 2009

Relaxing atmosphere, on metro line 1, get off subway at South Huangpi Road, 1 stop after People's Square. Its a 15-20 minute walk down Madang Ave. from exit 3 of South Huangpi Rd. station, just follow the numbers.

As for the food, try the fennel(often sold out) and cabbage pancake or d'oeuvres, also mock pork for a spicy hot dish, tofu stew with mushroom and osmanthus bulbs. Whatever you can not eat, they will prepare for you to take it home. I highly recommend Lucky Zen, no smoking, and soft piano music background, free tea, and a collection of books to browse. Closed from 3-5pm in afternoons, but they will let you sit and wait and drink tea until serving starts at 5pm. Tell them joe, American nationality, but living in South Korea sent you. Enjoy!

Pros: no smoking, 2 staff speak English, fine setting
Cons: closed from 3-5pm, 1 or 2 dishes have egg
annette
annette
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+108

Chilled atmosphere

4
Posted on 07 / 03 / 2009

Enjoyed our dinner here. Large variety of choices. English menu with pictures. There was also another menu in Chinese with cheaper prices. The food was delicious and quite large portions (especially the dumplings). Would definately recommend to take non-vegetarians here as the chilled atmosphere and delicious food made it a very pleasant experience. A little expensive but not compared with western prices.

Pros: healthy cuisine, large portions, clean, chilled atmosphere
flamekat
flamekat
  • vegan
Contributions
+223

Calm and delicious food

5
Posted on 04 / 29 / 2009

We discovered Lucky Zen & Veg when our usual favorite (Vegetarian Lifestyle) gave us a coupon for a free noodle dish. We've gone back semi-regularly ever since for the delicious, healthy food and serene setting. The restaurant is outfitted in neutral, earthy shades with lots of wood and taupe fabric. The tables are spaced generously apart which keeps things calm and quiet. All very zen, as it's English name suggests. I think that this restaurant might deserve two carrots for the price rating, however. I must have made a mistake when I submitted the info.

We went here again last night and had a large meal for two, which came to 111 yuan. We had the spring rolls (good, but not amazing), the tofu hearts with green sauce which is unexpectedly wonderful (and adorable), the evergreen parcels (a cold dish that is tasty and unique), wontons (good, but the same filling as the evergreen parcels), and a spicy vegetable vermicelli dish. Everything is well-prepared and service is professional, yet unobtrusive. Other dishes to try are the seaweed rolls and "Turkestan food" (mock kebabs). The menu is very large and it always takes us a long time to choose. The English menu is very descriptive and even describes the flavors of various dishes as "salty and bland" or "spicy and sweet".

No alcohol is served but there are many teas and juices to choose from as well as soy milk. The staff speaks some English, but if you don't speak Mandarin, you will be better off just pointing at what you want.

They have an attached tea shop and also sell books, vegan cookies and snacks, and other goods. The location is not the most convenient, but we've never had trouble getting a cab and the distance to the Xintiandi is walkable if you're wearing decent shoes.

Come here when your mom is visiting and you actually want to hear each other talk or when you want a low-key dining experience with fresh, nutritious food. Reservations are accepted, but we've never had a problem getting a table; however, we usually come on week nights. Highly recommended.

Pros: excellent, healthy food, quiet!, great atmosphere
Cons: kind of out of the way
  • wanderer wanderer

    I tried to go to this restaurant tonight (Saturday) but couldn't get in without a reservation. :(

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Last updated: 2013/08/27

 

Added: 2009/04/01

 

Added by: flamekat

 

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