Ji Xiang Cao - Lucky Zen & Veg Restaurant

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 22 reviews )

2F, 428 Madang Rd, Luwan (at He Fei Rd), Shanghai, China, 200031

吉祥草素食, at 中國上海市盧灣區馬當路428號二樓, focuses on Chinese home-style cooking that is healthier and lighter with few mock meats. Try the tofu with green gravy. Also sells books, sweets, and antique reproductions. Non-smoking. Map: http://plus.google.com/114907097556794531296 Open Tue-Sun 10:00am-9:30pm.

Category: Vegan, Chinese, Take-out

Reviews (22)

First Review by flamekat

delicious - Edit

Was brought here by a friend, and we shared a beautiful meal! Everything we got was flavored delicately, and we enjoyed ever bite.

They have an ipad menu, that has some English in the ingredients list, but not for the names of the dishes. But every item has a photo (except a few "camera shy" items at the bottom) so it's nice to have a clear idea of what you're getting

Pros: ipad menu with pictures, a bit of English, DELICIOUS

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

One of our Favorites - Edit

This restaurant is fast becoming one of our favorites! The food is great and not excessively oily. The wait staff are quite nice and you can usually find someone who speaks some English if you need a little help in that department.

The menu is in both English and Chinese. And as the description already notes, the prices are moderate for Shanghai. They've been in business for over 10 years and have a great reputation. So good, in fact that you may have to wait 30 minutes or so for a table on a busy night if you haven't booked a table (you'll need Chinese language skills for that .... or a native speaker to help).

One word of caution: they will be closed from Nov 1-30, 2015 (or so) for remodeling. You'll want to check with them to make sure they are open in early-mid December.

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Wonderful food - Edit

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.

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

So incredible, so delicious. - Edit

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Vegetarian restaurant of choice in the area - Edit

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

My favorite place in Shanghai. - Edit

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Top quality - Edit

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Lucky Zen, Lucky Us =) - Edit

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Our favorite vegetarian place in Shanghai! - Edit

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

OK but not fantastic - Edit

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Best restaurant ever - Edit

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.

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

lucky to have found it - Edit

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Not the best in town, but good anyway - Edit

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Best veggie restaurant in town - Edit

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Best restaurant in town! - Edit

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Nice Atmosphere & Good Food - Edit

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.

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Good Place! - Edit

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

great food - Edit

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Link to this page from your site. .
Return to Shanghai Vegetarian Restaurants & Health Food Store Listings
Business Owners, if you see an unfair review, read this.
Why was my review removed? - details / Review guidelines
Reviews are not endorsed by HappyCow - review terms
Has Ji Xiang Cao - Lucky Zen & Veg Restaurant closed, shut down, moved, or changed? Please use the Update Form.
This page has been viewed 9165 times.

Keep HappyCow Growing Strong!

I would like to support