Fu He Hui is one of the Tony Lu restaurants and they have the “Fu” designation in front of it. Fu He Hui is a strictly vegetarian Shanghainese restaurant and the Fu stable has become an institution in Shanghai gaining internationally acclaimed. Here are Fu He Hui’s awards:
- #76 on the 2015 World’s Best Restaurant
- #18 on the 2016 Asia’s Best Restaurant
- #19 on the 2015 Asia’s Best Restaurant
Fu He Hui is adjacent to Fu1015. The area houses all of Chef Tony Lu’s restaurant, which is four within a block or two of each other. The Fu He Hui is a more modern restaurant compared to its Fu1015 counterpart. The decor is contemporary and minimalist with large wooden dining tables; the dining room had about 8-9 tables in total. In addition, room carried sound very well as you could hear conversations from the other side of the room. I heard a middle aged Chinese couple mock Facebook as I looked up at with a smirk.
The service was great but not at the level of Fu1015. There was a main waitress who attended to all the clients as she was the only one who spoke perfect English. The other wait staff had trouble giving explanations of the courses and stumbled over their words. I think it had to a lot with the language barrier and attending to non-Mandarin speaking clientele. However, it’s not a knock on them as this is a Chinese restaurant in China. I definitely believe Fu He Hui will employ more English speaking wait staff as they gain more international acclaimed.
Now, the food. I ate at Alain Passard’s vegetable focus L’Arpege in Paris and it was one of the best dining experiences I’ve ever had. Therefore, I decided to give Fu He Hui a try. The tasting menu consisted of 8 different courses and the presentation on them were definitely better than Fu He Hui. The aesthetically pleasing dishes was another element in the creative nature of Chef Tony Lu’s venture into a vegetarian only menu. The overall tasting menu was good to very good. I’m only going to touch on my favorite courses.
- Lotus Fungus – The Lotus Fungus dish was beautifully presented in a bowl and resembled a Japanese garden with a pond. It was topped with a blue edible flower and the colors of the dish were bright. The Lotus Fungus was accompanied with baby corn and black medlar. The fresh ingredients with a light refreshing broth perfectly matched the season as I dined here in May.
- Tomato Ravioli – The Tomato Ravioli was definitely the highlight of the entire tasting menu. The ravioli embodied smoked mashed potato, egg yolk, pea and onion powder. The mushy interior easily subdued to your mouth as you chew and the deep rich tomato flavor provided a strong contrast to the texture of the ravioli. The dish was overall very piquant.
- Truffle – The black truffles was laid on top of glutinous rice cake, garden greens, and bamboo shoots. Each ingredient providing a different texture and flavor to the dish. The pungent aroma of the truffles was very distinct. The bamboo shoots were solid and crunchy providing a differentiation from the soft texture of the rice cake. The garden greens bringing together the dish with an earthy flavor to it.
Overall, I was chasing a pipe dream in regards to L’Arpege and I should have known better to have done that. As in past experiences, I should have came in with no expectations and set no bar. Unfortunately, I didn’t do that here. Fu He Hui was a fairly good restaurant in its class, but when compared to L’Arpege it’s not quite in its league when it came to the vegetarian courses in creativity and flavors. However, Fu He Hui’s presentation was wonderful.
Check out our other Shanghai articles here.
- Service - 8/108/10
- Presentation - 8/108/10
- Flavors - 7/107/10
- Decor - 7/107/10
- Ambiance - 6.5/106.5/10
Fu He Hui is another arsenal in Chef Tony Lu’s many restaurants in Shanghai. The contemporary restaurant provides a vegetarian only tasting menu with aesthetically pleasing dishes and a great wait staff team. However, I don’t think Fu He Hui is ready to surpass its older brother Fu1015 just yet.