Delicious and satisfying Chinese food – all vegan!
In Tokyo, if I had to rank major cuisines in terms of vegetarian options, I would say, French, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Italian, Mexican, American and Indian in the order of difficult to find to easy to find. It is extremely hard to find Chinese food that is vegetarian in Tokyo. Even simple sauteed vegetable dish would contain chicken-based stock, and yeah there is no salad in Chinese cuisine.
So, I was very excited when I found this Chinese restaurant that is completely vegan in center Tokyo (Roppongi). To be precise here, it is a Taiwanese restaurant but it serves all the classic (or well-known) Chinese dishes so I’m calling it “Chinese.”
The restaurant is vegan Chinese (素食) with the Buddhist philosophy so it is not only vegan but also excludes pungent vegetables such as garlic, Chinese chives and leeks, which are believed to excite senses. In Japan also, Buddhist monks used to eat vegan food called Shojin Ryori (精進料理) but it is known to be quite bland and plain. Vegan Chinese is quite the opposite as it is very satisfying and rich.
The menu here is extensive and covers vegetable and tofu dishes as well as everyone’s favorite Chinese dishes using fake meat/fish. We decided to go for a course since we wanted to sample different dishes.
Some dishes, like this assortment of fried fake meat tasted very authentic (as in like meat…).
Sweet and sour “pork” – one of the most popular Chinese dishes in Japan.
Mapo tofu – another classic Chinese dish that is everyone’s favorite in Japan.
I thought everything was very, very delicious. While I really don’t mind eating just vegetables and tofu, I think this restaurant would be a great choice if you want to have a nice Chinese dinner with non-vegan or non-vegetarian friends. Maybe they won’t notice it’s all vegan if you don’t tell them? 😉
2nd Floor, Sai Building, 3-1-22 Nishiazabu Minato-ku Tokyo
Main Branch (Kunitachi)
Nakaichi Building, 1-19-8 Naka Kunitachi-shi Tokyo
The other nice thing about visiting Chien Fu is, you can buy some vegan food items at the restaurant. I bought vegan oyster sauce and okara konjac. You can even order things online at their Website if you live in Japan! (Sorry, it appears to be in all Japanese…)