Jiang Jun Huan
Lotus seed, honey pea, black fungus
1037 Yuyuan Road, Changning District, Shanghai
Located on the same road as chef-patron Tony Lu’s family of Fu restaurants, Fu He Hui looks like another similar addition to the clan that already comprises Fu1015, Fu1039 and Fu1088. The smart new establishment has the same townhouse feel as its older siblings, albeit without the trademark colonial trappings, and seating is in beautiful and restrained private rooms in line with the other Fus. Yet there is one – significant – factor that makes this addition different: it’s a strictly vegetarian restaurant.
With Fu He Hui, Lu has fully embraced the idea of a meat-free menu with an offer that celebrates indigenous Asian ingredients such as taro, lotus seeds, longan fruit and Hokkaido red beans. Dinner comprises eight courses of delicately created dishes, including avocado with mango, tomato and a crisp cone; mashed taro dumpling with spinach and pumpkin sauce; and an eggplant roll with kai-lan, white sesame and teriyaki sauce.
Lu’s cooking is intense and emphatic, with diners unlikely to be concerned about the absence of meat after their first bite. Indeed, considering its relative youth, Fu He Hui’s impressive debut on this list fully merits its award for Highest New Entry.