About 6 months ago Greg and I made the decision to significantly reduce the amount of meat we eat. This will probably come as a surprise to those who know us, we have never hidden our love of a good steak, roast dinner or weekend fry ups. I think we even surprised ourselves. We do still eat fish and very occasionally chicken but this is usually when we eat out, I don’t buy any meat to cook with at home. Our experience of vegetarian food has been mixed. It’s very easy at home to make delicious food but eating out (and ordering in) has been more challenging. Items on the menu listed as vegetable dishes with no meat on the ingredients list will often arrive with a meat based sauce or the vegetable noodles / rice will have small pieces of chicken or pork. We just try to do the best we can! One positive outcome for us has been a quest to find mostly vegetarian or vegan places up eat and this weekend it led us to ‘I See Vegan Life’ in Nanshan.
I have read a few reviews of this restaurant and many of them mentioned that it can be quite difficult to find. Undeterred we took a Didi to Fulizhen Mansion in Nanshan, the restaurant is on the 3rd floor of this building (you can also put ‘I See Shushi Life’ into Apple Maps). When you get dropped off outside enter the building in the photo below and take the lift to the 3rd floor. When you get out the lift there are signs directing you through the office space to the restaurant.
When we arrived at lunch time on Saturday the restaurant was empty. I imagine on a weekday with the office workers it’s probably busier, there were a few delivery guys collecting orders though. There’s no denying the location does feel a bit strange as it is literally in the middle of offices and we could see people at work. It has been decorated with plants, nicknacks and books but I think it would have benefited from some music to give a little more atmosphere, particularly on a weekend when the building is quiet. The menu offers a purely plant based menu – appetizers, mains, sides and dessert plus a selection of hot and cold drinks. We ordered via the app which was in Chinese and English.
I ordered the sesame vegetable wrap and a ‘chick n cheesy’ power slider. Greg ordered the same burger but full size and seaweed fries. For drinks I went with beetroot and soda and Greg had the apple and kale. Our food arrived quickly and it was obviously freshly prepared. We could hear the blender making our drinks and the veggies being chopped. The drinks, wrap and fries came out first. The sandwich was a powerful punch of crispy vegetables with a kick of hot sauce. There was a good balance of cabbage, peppers and kale (I hate it when wraps are just stuffed with tasteless lettuce). The crinkle cut fries were not too greasy and the saltiness from the seaweed powder was delicious. My drink had earthy tones from the beetroot cut through with sweetness from sliced lemon, it wasn’t too heavy because of the soda. Greg didn’t like it as much, he preferred his apple and kale which once again was well balanced and not too sweet.
Both of the burgers were served on homemade buns and were so tasty. The bread was light and once again there was a great balance of flavors with no one ingredient overpowering the other. The burger patty made with peanut protein was different to the protein based burgers I buy to cook at home, they were less heavy and had a nicer texture. All the food was really nicely presented, I liked the simplicity.
If you are following a plant based diet or you simply want a change, I absolutely recommend ‘I See Vegan Life’. The food was fresh and tasty, the menu had a good selection of dishes and it was reasonably priced (we paid 194RMB for everything). The lady serving us was really friendly and the service was quick. We’ll definitely be back in the near future, maybe we’ll see you there!