Excellent Chinese fine dining experience
Posted on 08 / 04 / 2008
I went on consecutive nights, both times the food was exquisite. Portions not large, but the set menus have five courses and by the end of it you'll be full. You start with an incredibly healthy-tasting juice mix, and finish with dessert and Chinese tea, and in between some stuff you'll never have tasted before - and I've eaten in a LOT of vegetarian Chinese restaurants!
First night, I had their new top-priced fixed menu. Main course is as in the attached photo - I had to take a picture of it, it was so impressive-looking. Second night, I had a build-your-own table d'hote, the "poulet kung po au soya" was similar to the fake-chicken sweet-and-sour-with-broccoli-and-rice I've had in dozens of vegetarian Chinese restaurants, but this was the best ever, by far.
Don't expect every dish to wow you - but as an overall experience, it's sublime. At $25 including tax for a multi-course meal, it's great value - you could spend almost that on Commensal's buffet.
I haven't even got to the service. First night the restaurant was busy yet I waited ten minutes for any staff member to appear and seat me! Each course did take ages to appear, though not to the point that I was irritated, since the surroundings are so sublime. The second night, service speed was impeccable.
My waitress, Phyllis, was so friendly and so sweet. Second night she greeted me by remembering my name and we discussed our respective travels and recommendations for vegetarian restaurants in Beijing and Shanghai. Her warmth and heartfelt friendliness and well-wishing will remain with me a long time.
Restaurant is slightly out of the way, but you can get a number 800 bus or a $10 cab from the old town.
unique and upscale Chinese food, sublime setting, amazing service
no English menu, two miles from downtown