Cafe China

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 18 reviews )

Yangshuo Xian, Yangshuo, China

Serves meat, vegan options available. Restaurant is joined with the Magnolia Hotel, which caters foreigners, so waitstaff speak some English. Menu is in both Chinese and English. Specialties include braised tofu and mushrooms and steamed bamboo fungus, and many others. Try the home style tofu dish. Quiet comfortable setting, decorated in a traditional style. At this address since mid-2017. Previously named Lotus. Open Mon-Sun 11:30am-9:00pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Chinese, Non-veg

18 Reviews

First Review by craigmc

Had a awful experience - Edit

Would rate this a 1 but happy cow won't let me because it's a vegetarian restaurant (didn't realise that was a thing, seems a bit odd). Waited for about 1h30 for my food, not sure why I stayed I should have just left before that. When the food arrived it was extremely oily and pretty bland. Decidedly the worst experience I have had with food in China and that includes not eating one day because I couldn't find anything vegan.

Clearly other people have had better time at this restaurant so maybe this was a one off but seems unlikely given my experience.

Pros: Easy to find (at the end of West Street)

Cons: Everything else

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Lotus is back! - Edit

I was so happy to discover on my last trip to Yangshuo that Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant has reopened at a new location. The restaurant is right on the corner of West Street (next to the Lava Azza Coffee Stand). The food was well priced, well flavored and not too oily, which can be a real problem when eating in China. Especially delicious - the wok fried broccoli, the green beans and the gong bei vegetables. Pros - great new location with outside, downstairs and upstairs seating, fresh, quality food, reasonable prices and many vegan options. Cons - it can be hard to spot as it has a West Street address, but it's just around the corner from the West Street proper.

Updated from previous review on 2017-04-11

Pros: Great new location with indoor and outdoor seating, Many vegan options, Comparatively priced to other Yangshuo options

Cons: Just off of West street - look around the corner

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A real find - Edit

Being vegetarian can be awkward in china as meat is often included in small amounts with most dishes. We were delighted to find Pure Lotus, which is wholly vegetarian and it made it a pleasure to eat out.The choice is wide and interesting. We had a delicious meal, and returned the following day with some meat eating fellow travelers, one of whom reported eating his beat meal in China. The environment is very nice and spacious, with many rooms, some secluded as well as a veranda by the river. The staff were helpful and friendly. It has been said that it is expensive, but we had a beer each and several courses for the equivalent of £6 a head, which is cheap compared to many places.

Pros: Wholly Vegetarian, Nice premises, Pleasant atmosphere

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great food, nice place - Edit

While in Yangshuo we had two evening meals in Pure Lotus. Each time we spent less than we did when eating in Mood Food.
The food was really nice, we had the veg curry, a similar spicy tofu type dish, fried noodles and the "fried parcels"
The parcels were generic deep fried veg spring rolls like you'd get back home so not too exciting. No complaints at all about the rest of the food and the large number of waiters there meant we got served fast. The place is really nicely decorated inside, menu has plenty of choice.

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Rip Off! - Edit

This was our worst dining experience in China and we are Vegans!

As my husband and I both tea lovers, we ordered Jasmine Tea from the menu while waiting for the order.

50 RMB for a pot of tea in the area is a lot of money but as they promised high quality tea we did not mind to pay.
To our surprise the “tea” was tasteless and looked just like ordinary hot water.

When we opened a tea pot, all we saw was 2 tiny leaves floating on the surface. Yes you got it right – 2 tiny tea leaves for 50 RMB!

After we complained they took tea pot away and brought back a new tea pot with adequate amount of tea leaves inside. They also apologized for inconvenience.

We are regularly travelling to China for tea shopping so it was not like we did not understand Chinese tea culture or it was a special tea where 2 tiny leaves would make it work.

Obviously the staff saw Western Faces and decided to play the Rip Off game.

But Rip Off game did not stop there...

When noodles arrived we just were speechless for a moment - the stir fry veggie noodles we ordered weren’t just shop bought (never mind home made!)…they were instant noodles!

Noodles were still stuck together like just been quickly taken from the pack and microwaved in water.

The rest of dishes were cold and bland.

Overall it was the most expensive and the most disappointing dinning experience we had in China so far.

Cons: Expensive, Staff is trying to rip you off, Food is bland

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Lovely dining experience - Edit

This restaurant is a standout. It is a full dining experience in a beautiful setting, decorated with local antiques and artworks dispersed among separate rooms, patios and alcoves. The wait staff was lovely and helpful. The food was delicious, emphasizing local specialties. We thoroughly enjoyed this restaurant!

Pros: Superb atmosphere, Excellent, healthful food, Friendly wait staff

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A Fancy Vegetarian Restaurant! - Edit

The restaurant is beautiful, I'm sure they could squeeze in a few more tables there, seems rather spacious!
The menu is interesting and the food is good. Lots of choice and not too expensive. Ate here a couple of times with a group and everyone enjoyed it. The fried rice side dish was the best I had in China. It was all very tasty.
Very clean, and pleasant atmosphere, beautiful menu. Staff were a little vague and distant.

Pros: Choice, Atmosphere, Delicious

Cons: Staff A Bit Vague, A Little Pricier

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Delicious veg food in China - Edit

We were ecstatic to find pure veg food in China, and quite delicious food at that. We ate here 3 times during our 2 day stay. The staff were friendly and spoke some English. Menus were in English with pictures. We especially loved the Eggplant and Tofu in Hunan sauce and the Wheat Gluten and Veg balls. It was great to have some fake meat. The food we had was mostly fried and a bit oily, so I wouldn't call it health food, but I would certainly call it delicious. Very much recommended!

Pros: fake meat, completely veg, English

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loved it - Edit

This restaurant has a good location as it is close to West Street so it is convenient.

It plays relaxing music and has an amazing setting with dark wooden furniture and pretty orange lights.

They serve complementary edamame beans and watermelon.

Their menu is really extensive and while we were there we tried many dishes as we went back to this restaurant 4 times!

Our favourite dish was the fern noodles with spicy tofu and pak choi. I thought the vegetable rolls were average. The dumpling soup was gorgeous as was the Buddha's delight - a dish of fried vegetables and glass noodles.

The waiters were really friendly and english speaking. They were really helpful as I wanted to know the chinese for fern noodles and where I could get hold of them as well as some other things and they were happy to help us.

The only con is that it is pricey compared to other restaurants in Yangshuo, but we liked the food so much that we didn't mind.

August 2010

Pros: excellent food, friendly staff, beautiful decor

Cons: expensive

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Great presentation, ok food - Edit

The atmosphere of the restaurant is very nice. We went for lunch and ordered two entrees. Normally, we'd try more food, but the prices were pretty high, so we decided to economize. The taro cups with veggies came with some amazing garnishes! It's almost worth ordering just for that.

We were disappointed by how many of the items weren't vegan (there were some we were sure would be, but we asked and found out they contained egg - there's no clear indication on the menu). We also tried to order a few other things, and were told that they weren't available. Not sure if they weren't available for lunch or just not that day we were there.

All in all, it was ok. A little overpriced, but a solid restaurant, especially considering it's the only vegetarian restaurant in town. We ended up eating all the rest of our meals at our guest house (Fun Sam's), as the chef was happy to make us vegan food (at a much lower price).

Pros: Nice atmosphere, Beautifully presented food

Cons: Many nonvegan items, Expensive

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Worth the trip - Edit

Michelin used to explain that those restaurants awarded 3 stars were worth the trip to eat there. Yangshuo is not on the beaten path, but if you are near there and want a vegetarian meal, Pure Lotus is worth the trip. We ate there on two successive evening and both meals were outstanding, among the best vegetarian meals we have ever eaten. The staff is friendly, several of the waitresses speak reasonable English, the atmosphere is pleasant and the food is excellent. We did not find the prices high. 3 main dishes, with 2 small rices and a large bottle of beer cost 114 yuan.
Al Baumgarten

Pros: excellent food, friendly staff, english speaking

Cons: in Yangshuo, far from home

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Fantastic Hotel and good veggie restaurant - Edit

Great to visit a vegetarian hotel in China! A big variety of choices on the menu. Nice and tasty food.

Pros: Nice admosphere, A lot of choices on the menu, friendly staff

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Non-Veg owner, but pretty okay food - Edit

As others have mentioned, the decor of this restaurant is very serene and pleasant, and the menu is extensive with many veg options (though NOT VEGAN- be sure to ask about eggs in many dishes). However, we heard from a local business owner that the owner of Pure Lotus is Not Vegetarian and thinks that vegetarians are foolish-- he is only doing this for business. We travel a lot and make sure to always go to the vegetarian restaurant (even if there are veg options at other restaurants) so as to encourage and support vegetarian businesses, but this story about the owner left a bad taste in my mouth. If you're in Yangshuo, take a cab to the Outside Inn (about 5KM out of town) where the managers ARE vegetarian (and raising vegetarian kids) and the food delicious.

Pros: ALL veg menu, soothing atmosphere, tasty eats

Cons: pricey, not vegan, owner makes fun of vegetarians

2 Responses
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mango 06 Aug 2009 - I live in this area, have been vegetarian 15 years now and eat at Pure Lotus quite a lot, I also know the owner and I think your comments are firstly, completely false, second you based it on hearsay ... and thus pretty unfair really. You should be more careful about personal character assassinations of people you have never met! I love the food and the atmosphere ... and I will will keep on eating there .. especially for the Vegetarian Balls served with Broccoli - my fave dish!  

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tigerstu 06 Aug 2009 - I agree with Mango, I think this is a very unfair review. I live in the area and have eaten here many times and had nothing but great food, service and the owner is a genuine person who would not call anyone foolish. I respect your morals of supporting vegetarian eating, but making harsh comments about someone you have not met is extremely unfair.  

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Good but room for improvement - Edit

The restaurant itself looks lovely and the food on the menu looks delightful. There is a good selection of food available so that you could come back several times to sample a bunch of delights on offer.

We ordered the Buddhist's Delight and the Gluten Steak (can't remember exactly what it was called!) along with the fried broccoli with garlic.

The Buddhist's Delight was really nice, though a little oily.

The Gluten Steak tasted great, but the texture wasn't so great - it was too rubbery. Took a lot of effort to chew threw it. But the flavour was really lovely.

The Broccoli was just a little bit too greasy but otherwise was pretty good.

It's a little pricey compared with other veggie options in Yangshuo. We didn't visit any other veggie restaurants in Yangshuo but found that we were able to find plenty of options in general Chinese and other restaurants around town.

I'd go back again, but would try some different dishes.

Pros: Atmosphere, Good Flavours, Friendly Staff

Cons: Too greasy, Pricey

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Not worth it - Edit

Pure Lotus was a disappointment for me and my two Chinese friends, one of whom paid the exorbitant bill. The service was slow and indifferent, the food was only okay, and it's very overpriced. Wouldn't go again.

There are great restaurants and street merchants all over Yangshuo, with delicious veg food and friendly people who want to serve you!

Pros: completely vegan AFAICT, ncie decor

Cons: lousy service, overpriced, food was meh

1 Response
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procrastinasian 16 May 2012 - It's definitely not all vegan - many dishes contain egg, but you have to ask which ones, as they're not clearly labeled.  

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Good, not great - Edit

This restaurant is actually in Yangshuo, which is about an hour away from Guilin. We ate here several times during our stay as there are not many veggie options.

The food was pretty good. Some of it was even excellent. Unfortunately, sometimes the tofu was definitely less than fresh. The first day we ordered the braised tofu with mushrooms. My first bite was okay, but my husband's was awful. He was almost sick and was afraid to eat anymore. I convinced him to try a bite of my piece and he said mine was okay. It all definitely had a distinctive taste that may or may not have been intended. We had another tofu dish the next day and noticed that the tofu was much fresher, but a few days after that had some funky tofu again, so it seems hit or miss. I felt better sticking to the mock meats and vegetables which were all great. Another minus is that the dumplings all come covered in corn milk which we did not enjoy. A plus is the nice wine list and atmosphere.

All in all, this place is okay, but nothing to write home about. There are some other veggie options as restaurants around town, especially if you eat eggs, so don't feel you're stuck here.

Pros: nice atmosphere, serves wine, quiet

Cons: icky tofu, milky dumplings

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Delicious - Edit

We went three times and everytime had a great meal. The decor is lovely, a huge menu, mainly veg items but a few mock 'meats'. Considering the quality it is reasonably priced with steamed rice for 1yen (about 10p). The waitresses are sweet and the braised aubergine is delicious. The only problem is deciding what to eat from the big menu, and then tring to eat it all once you have overordered.

Pros: Great food, Nice decor, Large menu

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great restaurant - Edit

i am in yangshou for four nights. have been to this place four times already, and can't wait to go back tonight.

a few mock meat dishes, but mainly tofu and veg. the food has been outstanding with the best mapo tofu i have ever had. the veg dishes have also been great especially the wild mushroom stir fry.

the decor is very nice and the place is spotless. the staff speak some english, and they have a picture book menu. a reasonable amount of vegan dishes are on offer, although you have to ask the staff.

i asked the waitress about guilin, and although i didn't find any, she insisted there were three of four veggie places there. so if in guilin, keep searching.

maind dishes start at about cny14.(about one pound sterling).

Pros: great food, great atmosphere

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