Zhu's Pan-Asian Vegan Cuisine

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 19 reviews )

166 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, Massachusetts, USA, 02474

Vegan Pan-Asian restaurant, est. 2015. Uses tofu, soy & seitan based mock-meats, noodles, kim chee and more. Open Mon-Thu 11:30am-10:00pm, Fri 11:30am-11:00pm, Sat 12:00pm-11:00pm, Sun 12:00pm-10:00pm.

Categories: Vegan, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Take-out, Asian

19 Reviews

First Review by jimbojonesbos

Recommend to everyone - not just Vegans - Edit

My family and I order from Zhu regularly. They have an online app for quick ordering/payment and they have always delivered our order in under 30 minutes (We're a family of 5 so that's a lot of food!)

Service in the restaurant is also top notch. The food is always hot and fresh and I repeatedly recommend this restaurant to folks who are not sure they'd like vegan food.

I've tried a dozen or more of their dishes and my favorite still is their Basil Soy Protein. It's just awesome and has a bit of spice to it that makes it so yummy. Their General Tso's and Orange seitan are good, so are their mushroom, noodle, tofu and curry dishes. I mean their whole menu is totally tasty.

The only dish I've had there that I did NOT care for was their Pad Thai :( I mean really, I'm a HUGE fan of Pad Thai and it's always been my go-to dish. This was probably the worst version I've ever had-and I've had some bad Pad Thai. It was too sweet, overly saucy and tasted nothing like the Pad Thai you will be expecting. So that was a bummer for me but like I said, so many other great dishes to order that I'm more than happy to have instead of my [former] go to favorite. If you don't order the Pad Thai you will definitely enjoy your meal! You're welcome! :D

Pros: Excellent food, Large portions - great for family style eating, Friendly service - quick delivery

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excellent food , very nice staff - Edit

Although my first visit left me unimpressed I decided to give it another chance. Since that second chance I have been returning as much as possible. Every dish I have tried since that first visit is excellent. The staff are warm and friendly and the restaurant has a really cozy and pleasant atmosphere. A place where a family with young kids can be comfortable but also somewhere nice for a date night or dinner with friends. A great vegan option for Arlington. Highly recommend.

Pros: completely vegan, friendly staff, large menu selection

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slithers 15 Dec 2015 - When I first read this review, I was dismayed since Zhu was becoming one of my favorite places. But then I paid more attention to the flavors and I think you're right, to some extent. Pretty much everything there (especially any of the dipping sauces) is sweet.

That said, I've tried about half the menu now and I wouldn't say many entrees are like "willy wonka candy". Yes, the orange seitan and dishes like that with glaze are very sweet, but some things like the Veggie Curry Noodle soup are barely sweet (& I wouldn't have thought was sweet at all, before reading your review).

I recommend you give it another try with some different choices. However, if even the hint of sugar will turn you off, you're probably better off skipping it (the Steamed Vegetables is the only thing I can think of that is absolutely not sweetened).  

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grand! - Edit

Clean, nice staff, and great food at good prices with large portions! Also weren’t left feeling gross and greasy like many Asian spots. Am picking up take out as we speak 2 days after our first visit because it was so good.

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so amazing! - Edit

The food is so great here! My favorite vegan restaurant.

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Great for moderately priced Asian vegan food! - Edit

I ate at Zhu's twice during a recent trip to the Boston area and found this to be an enjoyable vegan entry in the Asian category--and strong in the health-consciousness dimension. Each time I ordered a bowl and a salad. The cold Ba Bim Bap was a great vegan rendition of a spicy Korean classic and was chock full of veggies. The macro bowl was similarly good. Of the salads, I would recommend the Spinach Salad, which featured garbanzo beans, almonds, and yuzu dressing over the more standard House Salad, which was made with boring and bland lettuce and cucumber. All dressings were tasty. The place was packed on a Friday night and I think we felt a bit pushed along on that occasion, though the service was generally attentive and good. The menu was large and varied, leading me to want to come back to try more of the dishes. It is great to have another vegan option of such quality in the greater Boston area.

Pros: interesting and varied menu choices, moderately priced, fresh and veggie-filled items

Cons: hurried service, crowds on a busy evening

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Liked But Didn't Love - Edit

I enjoyed the food, but for me the sweet was too sweet and the salty too salty. It's a good place for those who like salty and fried, which I know includes plenty of people.

The mushroom appetizer had a very nice ginger sauce.

Pros: all vegan, large menu

Cons: salty

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Yum - Edit

Ive been to this place numerous times.
Pretty yummy vegan asian food.

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Excellent takeout - Edit

I bought a takeout order of their sweet-citrus soy protein dinner. It was really, really good over brown rice, and it was also accompanied by a nice bowl of miso soup. I was somewhat worried that the dish would be overly sweet or syrupy, but my fears were totally unwarranted - the dish was well-balanced and delicious, and the soy protein had great texture. I'd highly recommend it.

Pros: Soy protein is great, Good sauce, Fast takeout

Cons: Pricey

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Delicious Asian food - Edit

Zhu is my favorite Asian restaurant in the Boston area.

The soy skewers are amazing in taste and texture. Everyone in my family loves it... marinated & grilled soy protein makes for the perfect appetizer. I also like Zhu's curry samosas, which are phyllo triangles. Mint chutney dip goes really well with these samosas.

So far, only one dish has been too sweet for my liking -- the BBQ seitan appetizer. It would be a fantastic appetizer with a less sweet BBQ sauce.

For the main course, I highly recommend the orange-flavored seitan. It's crunchy yet chewy, sweet and savory... simply an outstanding dish. I get it every time!

Zhu's chocolate soy ice cream is a decadent treat and the best non-dairy ice cream I've had in the area.

Pros: Excellent food, Clean restaurant, Quiet setting

Cons: BBQ sauce is very sweet

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Tasty food, good portions, nice atmosphere - Edit

My fiancé and I stopped by here on out way home from the airport. We went for dinner on a Monday night and the place was pretty empty. We were pleasantly surprised by the nice atmosphere in the restaurant. We ordered tea, an appetizer, and our meals and couldn't finish our meals because we were so full. The food all had good presentation and was delicious. I enjoyed this visit very much.

Pros: portion size , taste, decor

Cons: the booth we sat in was wobbly

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i loved it - Edit

Clean place, peaceful, made my soul happy

Pros: Cheap, delicious, wonderful experience

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Dinner - Edit

I was very disappointed in my meal. I ordered the seitan lo mein and the sauce used tasted like it came from a jar. Nothing like what I'm used to when I special order from local restaurants. The same was true for the orange "chik'n" that my omni friend had. The chick'n and broccoli were ok but the sauce was not good. Sorry to have to write a bad review. I was so excited to be visiting Arlington and actually finding a vegan restaurant. So disappointed. :(

Pros: Vegan

Cons: Sauces tasted like they came from jar , Didn't taste home made

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Best vegetarian restaurant in the area - Edit

This is a restaurant I take non-vegetarians to without a second thought. The menu has a good combination of straight vegetarian dishes and fake meat dishes; spicy, savory and sweet. Something for everyone.

The decor is pleasant, the plating is elegant, and the service is excellent.

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So many tasty options! - Edit

EXTENSIVE vegan options, comparable in menu size to Grasshopper. It's by far the biggest vegan menu within near my home in Medford Square, though I am quite grateful to now have 3 other vegan restaurants nearby (True Bistro, Taco Party and Fruition Vegan Kitchen).

I prefer Zhu to Grasshopper (not just for being closer to me): 1. They serve brown rice by default. 2. They have only tofu, seitan and vegetables, no mysterious mock-meats from china/taiwan which may or may not be 100% vegan. 3. They have a good selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks which is key because my partner strongly prefers wine/beer with dinner. Also, my friend with severe peanut allergies seems to trust them more (Grasshopper had cross-contamination problems for her).

Overall, decor is nice and the staff who seem friendly and the right amount of attentive. I've been eating their food almost every week since they opened (in person or delivery).

I really like the food generally, though not everything I've tried was great. My favorite entrees are the Veggie Curry Noodle Soup and the Kung-Pao Eggplant (which unlike some Asian places, comes with a mix of tofu and several vegetables, not just eggplant) and I like the Crispy Soy Nuggets or Vegetable Tempura for an appetizer.

As one other reviewer mentioned, everything here is on the sweet side. The dipping sauces can be extremely sweet and some of the entrees are on the sweet side as well (e.g., orange seitan), though most are only mildly so. They seem to add some amount sugar to pretty much every food (except the steamed vegetables).

Most entrees come with Miso Soup and brown rice, which is nice. But they're also somewhat more pricey than some places (in between the cost of Taco Party [moderate] and True Bistro [pricey]), at about 14$/entree. The rice portion is stingy, though, about 3/4 of what I'd want to go with the dish. The main entree portions are decent, plenty to fill you up, but not the mega-portions of Grasshopper.

I should mention that my omnivore "foodie" partner really likes this place, so it seems like a good option to bring non-vegans to.

Dessert-wise, it's so-so. I like the rice pudding (with fruit and nuts), but that seems to be the best option. The Fried Ice Cream was interesting, but nothing special & I heard the cake was mediocre. Other places have better.

The excessive sugar in some non-desserts and the lackluster desserts keeps this from being a 5 star rating. But I still highly recommend.

Pros: extensive vegan menu, nice decor, friendly staff

Cons: some dishes overly sweet, mediocre desserts

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Food great, service can improve - Edit

we went 4 adults, only me being a vegan...
everyone found things to eat and liked the food.
The service is very slow and unresponsive to obvious queues and hurt the experience a little bit. but again, the food was very good.

Pros: lots of vegan options

Cons: service not great

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Amazing food, I am now an addict - Edit

This is rapidly becoming one of my favorite restaurants. Not only do they have amazing food and desserts but they also deliver and are VERY close to where I live.

I highly recommend the summer rolls, General Tso's, sesame tofu, and pad thai. Also the chocolate cake is unbelievable, and give the fried ice cream a go. If you can't decide which type of roll to try, go for the sampler platter. You won't be disappointed.

I have yet to have a bad meal here. Everything I've eaten is amazing.

Pros: Good quality, Great appetizers and desserts, Good portion sizes

Cons: Boston prices but get what you pay for

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Good food - Edit

Checked it out for the first time and I found the food very nice. I had a 3 course meal. I especially liked the appetizer "Vegetable dumplings". The main course "Tofu Teriyaki Sizzling Platter " was also pretty good. The Chocolate cake was okay-ish. The service was nice and the ambiance was relaxing. I will go there again and recommend it to friends.

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Wonderful vegan food - Edit

Yesterday evening I tried this beautiful vegan restaurant. On arrival I ate the steam assorted vegetables. It was A mixture of perfectly cooked vegetables with delicious brown sauce on side. Very tasty! I will come back again for sure!

Pros: Very fresh and not overlooked vegetables, All vegan, Wonderful staff

Cons: Waiting time a little bit long

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Everything is excellent!!! - Edit

Excellent experience!! We have a big party here today and ordered a lot appetizers and main course to share, everything was delicious! We love the roll samplers and kimchee, and also the singorpor style rice noodles, pad-thai, Malaysian curry stew and tofu-delight! All the dishes not only tasted good, fresh, but also looked very pretty!:) Anyway, we will definitely be back! Too excited to have a good vegan restaurant around this neighborhood!

Pros: Excellent , Friendly staff, Fresh vegatable

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