Walking into Wujie, one gets the impression that this certainly is how the other half of Nanjing lives. Vegetarian fine dining; when I heard that there was such a place in Nanjing, I almost didn’t believe it.
But here I find myself seated amongst Nanjing’s poshest, listening to birds tweet, while I sip away at my elaborately healthy jujube date and goji berry black tea. With a warming smile, we were served by head of house Yan Chengsheng, who politely and passionately explained the makings of all 15 dishes as they came. First up was a cold plate of delicious golden oyster and king mushrooms with a peanut chili sauce.
Next, came fried tofu with a bowl of freshly toasted sesame seeds that were ceremoniously crushed in a mortar and pestle at the table; utterly delicious. To accompany this, stir-fried seasonal wax beans with golden fungus and lily bulb.
That which was presented to us next somewhat tested the palate; we had no idea what we were eating. Lentillifera seaweed wrapped around a fork and dipped in a wasabi vinaigrette dressing; surprisingly poppy with a crisp fresh feel taste.
It was now time for soup. Soft egg tofu, asparagus and dehydrated tomato in spicy and sour pumpkin and green papaya broth; a slow cooked, Fujian-style soup with 18 exotic ingredients. Earthy.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom and Chinese mountain yam with bamboo shoot and Thai basil soy sauce was the winner though. Deliciously sticky and salty, this satisfying number was filling and flavoursome.
It was not over yet. Testing our waistlines was the truffle and taro soup, which one might reserve for the most acquired of tastes. And the Lion’s Mane Mushroom lasagna, which was… just like lasagna.
And yet we found room for dessert! We were blown away with the cashew, walnut, tofu and plum tart, with pine nut pastry and the chocolate cheese mousse cake with perilla leaf ice cream. We washed it all down with a red jujube date, hawthorn, licorice and barley smoothie as well as a sea buckthorn, pear and yoghurt smoothie.
For the floundering vegetarians out there in Nanjing, get yourself down to Wujie Vegetarian and treat yourself to a culinary adventure. Dishes average ¥88; while that is certainly pricy, they are certainly up to such standards.
Alcohol consumption is only permitted when consumed in private rooms. As someone who loves a wine or two with my meal and a lively atmosphere, I could not help but notice I felt a little too healthy as I rolled myself out of the upper echelons of Nanjing. Wijie is expansive and that, combined with the prices, means that reservations for during off peak seasons are not required.
Wujie Vegetarian is located on 6F, Deji Plaza Phase 2, 18 Zhongshan Lu 新街口中山路18号德基广场6喽F617. Tel: 86777661 / 86777662