CLOSED: Pure Pavilion

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 2 reviews )



56 Maoming Rd (at 1st Floor, Valley Rd near Changle), Shanghai, China

A fine dining vegetarian Chinese specialty restaurant with a Zen inspired environment. Menu features a lot of rare, wild harvested ingredients. Vegan options. Name in Chinese: 净心轩. Address in Chinese: 茂名南路56号食尚谷内1楼近长乐路. NOV 2015 REPORTED BOTH PHONE DISCONNECTED.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Chinese

2 Reviews

First Review by eatinggreen

Not recommended - Edit

I hadn't known this before I came - this restaurant is actually the Shanghai location of the highly popular restaurant Pure Lotus in Beijing (confirmed by the staff), but it's nothing like its counterpart. That one is fancy, although a little over the top at times; this one is downright ostentatious. It's located in a shabby mall that you would not have expected to find a place like this in. The decor was tacky with a weird blue/green hue from the lights. The service, while pretty good, was not on a par with that in the Beijing location either.

Now onto the food, as the menu was really confusing and not even sectioned, I asked the staff for recommendations. Food was pretty healthy and tasted alright, just not all that special as claimed and portion sizes were small. My partner and I ordered three appetizers, three mains, a fried rice, no drinks, and the total bill came to a whopping 393 RMB for two. What a rip-off! Granted, we did try two of the apparently exotic ingredients as appetizers - one featured some wild flower and the other a kind of moss. Even these were too underwhelming and came in such measly amount to be worth the price tags. The rest, contrary to what the staff suggested, was nothing out of the ordinary. Same as in Beijing, everything was served in these extravagantly unique vessels; for some reason what was a wow factor there felt nothing more than a gimmick here.

Pros: good service

Cons: overpriced, not that special, busy menu

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A real experience - best in Shanghai by far - Edit

Wow, we loved this place. It was truly the culinary highlight of our visit to Shanghai. The ambience inside is other-worldly, like an under-water mermaid's den decorated by a Chinese Buddhist sage from 2000yrs ago.. but with a scent of modernity as well. Service is only in Chinese but thankfully the menu is translated into English. The dishes are graced with the most cryptic and often hilarious names - things like 'The Past, Present and Future', 'I Love You. No discussion.', and 'No Birth No Death Konyaku and Kelp Slices' among others kept smiles on our faces throughout the ordering process.

Dishes are prepared with no MSG, minimum oil (although definitely not zero oil), minimum salt and no onions, garlic, etc. But that certainly doesn't mean they are not tasty - kudos to the chef for bringing out the flavours of the ingredients just so. Speaking of the ingredients, many of them are wild harvested from exotic far-off mountains of natural or spiritual significance. This was what did it for us, we are suckers for real food. Fancy a plate full of lightly cooked wild flowers? Or perhaps wild fern, moss, or fungi? This place has it all and more. The teas are similarly intriguing - it took us 10mins to decide which to go with and some were soooo good. And we absolutely loved the wild rice. My husband's comment when trying it was "I feel like I just ate real rice for the first time". And he's Japanese, so has a lot of the stuff under his belt!

Don't expect to buy these things cheap - think Western prices and you won't have a heart attack when you see the bill. That said, we always ate everything we wanted and between the two of us we never paid more than about 600 yuan, which is reasonable considering what it is. Some things are expensive, other things are dirt cheap, so they balance each other out to an extent. Try not to think prices too much - go there for a night out and enjoy it :)

And if you order too much (as we inevitably did), they do take aways equally as exuberantly - the boxes come out all dressed up in red tulle fabric looking like a Chinese tutu of sorts. We ordered a dish involving 5 types of Chinese medical herbs with handmade fake pig intestines that felt a little too real for me but which my husband really enjoyed.. he took the leftovers home and was eating them for days afterwards - he swore they gave him so much energy he felt fabulous. He even threatened to go back and buy some more to take back to Japan with him. Go figure :)

Pros: healthy cooking techniques, wild exotic foods, fabulous flavours

Cons: more pricey than other places, can still get oily - order some tea!

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