|莲花阁茶艺素食馆 -Lotus Room Tea Art and Restaurant|
When going out for dinner, Chinese people rarely follow the "one meat and two veggie" rule -it's more like "heaps and heaps of meat and seafood.. Oh yeah, I suppose we should include one vegetable dish." Sometimes the vegetable dish has meat in it.
Tonight, however, we are going strictly vegetarian.
|We crave fruit so much that we have the after dinner fruit before the meal|
My wonderfully intuitive father figured out that I'd secretly been craving less meaty foods (by the huge amounts of Longan I'd been eating at home) and took us out to the Lotus Room which is situated in the middle of Fuzhou's famous West Lake. We are actually sitting on top of the lake itself giving us a spectacular view from our room on the second floor.
|Our private room|
Each room is beautifully furnished in the traditional way and has a side room for Gongfu tea. Despite being in such a great location, our guests have trouble finding the building (as well as navigating the heavy Fuzhou traffic) and we have some complimentary after dinner fruit while we wait for them. Our waitress also brings out hot cups of jasmine tea while we wait.
|The non-complimentary fruit platter|
|Back: Jasmine Tea. Front: Five Grains Soy Milk|
|Steamed Lily Bulb(百合) with Blueberry Sauce|
This was almost too pretty to eat. Almost. When consumed, lily bulb is supposed to very beneficial to one's heart and lungs -you can find more about its medicinal properties here. The lily bulb was sweet, crunchy and had quite a floury texture and the thick, blueberry sauce was but not too tart.
|Individual "ham" and vegetable hand rolls|
|Fried "Fish" with Dragon Fruit|
|How do they do that?|
|"Duck" with Orange Sauce|
|Kumara Leaves with Goji Berries|
I like spinach and kumara leaves taste a lot like spinach -you could put the two in front of me and I probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference for a good few minutes. I was confused by the weird tasting white liquid it was floating in though. The sauce was flavoured with century egg which usually has quite a pungent flavour which I usually like but, in this case, it was very mild and smelled faintly of Rotorua. I enjoyed the dish a lot more when I found out the strange taste was supposed to be there.
|Stir Fried Mushrooms|
|Deep Fried Cream|
|Lily Porridge with Lychee Pieces|
|View from the balcony|
I have nothing but praise for the Lotus Room. The atmosphere was exquisite and we felt like the busy streets of Fuzhou were miles away. A little part of me wishes I was back in Fuzhou just so I could experience the food all over again. Each dish was refreshing, light and delicate and I would seriously consider going vegetarian if every meal was like this (I can hope, right?).
The Lotus Room can be found at Zhuohai Park, Number 319-3 Guangrong Rd, Fuzhou, Fujian, China.
Note: "Lotus Room" is not the restaurant's actual name. I translated it from its Chinese name to make it easier to write about.