Monday, July 24, 2006

Cooler Yourself Through Eating in China

Fruit SaladThere are many ways to counter the summer heat. One of these ways, surprisingly, is eating! A vegetarian meal not only helps diners escape the worries of gaining weight, but helps to regain a peaceful heart previously strained by summer heat.

A vegan diet is beneficial to health in many aspects. Studies have shown that vegetarians (following a well-balanced low-fat high-fiber vegetarian diet) often have lower incidence of coronary artery disease, hypertension, obesity and some forms of cancer.

Besides, fruit consumption always has protective effect. Adequate intake of vitamins prevents wrinkled skin and promotes overall health.

Here we have a list of vegetarian eateries in Beijing and Shanghai, hoping to help you achieve a cooler summer by eating.

Jingsi Sushifang

Jingsi Sushifang improvises on traditional Buddhist dishes. Famous dishes include Puduzhongsheng (save all living creatures on earth) made from various mushrooms, Fokousanxiang (fragrance radiating Buddha mouth) pine nut braised together with fragrant mushrooms, Zaisujinshen (reincarnated golden body), fried bean curd rolls with vegetarian hams, fragrant mushrooms and bamboo shoot slices as stuffing.

Jingsi Sushifang is also famous for its various tea drinks.

Hetang Yuese (lotus pond moon view)

Fruit Salad DessertHetang Yuese features an eclectic variety of vegetarian dishes, based on temple dishes improved by integrating a folk vegetarian diet, a royal vegetarian diet and a foreign vegetarian diet.

As its name indicates, Hetang Yuese is a poetic dining place. Tableware is not of regular shape or color. Signature dishes include "Huangying Cuiliu" (yellow birds green willows) made out of baby cabbages and yellow pumpkin interspersed with mushrooms and "Picasso Sunshine" made with mushrooms and cauliflower.

New Age Veggie

Rising against the current vegetarian trend, New Age Veggie advocates creative vegetarian dishes. Recommended dishes include Heijiao Niuliu (black pepper beef slices), a tender dish arguably better than real steaks, and Yanjianrou (salt fried meat) made out of soybeans yet looking exactly like steak meat.

New Age Veggie also offers hot dishes as well as various desserts and ices. The lemon lotus root slices are recommended, although they may not appear too pleasing.

However, dishes are served in small quantities and the price is a little bit on the higher end.

Jujube Tree

Ice Cream Fruit SaladZaozishu is famous for its affordable vegetarian dishes catering to ordinary citizens. Simple decoration radiates an easygoing ambiance.

Fruits are served as appetizers. Recommended dishes are "Changxiangsi" (forever missing you) tasting something like sausage and "Wucaiboliqiu" (colorfull glass balls, RMB 32) featuring a beautiful appearance and a pleasing flavor.

Many foreign vegetarian recipes have come into China. Zaozishu also offers rather worthwhile business lunch at RMB 18. All dishes are served in large quantities.

Tianran Jiankang Shushi (natural healthy vegetarian dishes)

Recommended dishes include "Shengcai Shula" (RMB 32), green vegetable rolls with fake pork grains, beef grains, carrots and peanuts as stuffing and "Supin Nanguazhong" (crispy husk pumpkin cup, RMB 10), thick corn soup.

Freshly pressed fruit juices are served with labels indicating their health benefits in simple words, such as tomato juice labelled as "detoxifying and improving the digestive system".

Menus are presented in three languages: Chinese, English and Japanese.

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