Address: Haidian District, Qinghua East Gate, Qinghua Science Park, Chuangye Towers, 1st Floor
Phone: 62797078, 62780859
Haidian District, Qinghua East Gate, Qinghua Science Park, Chuangye Towers, 1st Floor
清华正门外, 清华科技园, 创业大厦一层西侧
Hidden behind the Google office building, this small vegetarian restaurant offers fresh, inventive takes on classic Chinese dishes in a tranquil setting. Even the staunchest of carnivores will love the sprouts sautéed in jasmine tea and the “fish” smothered in chili oil.
Tianchu Miaoxiang Vegetarian (means Heaven's Kitchen) has been operating since 2003 SARS, and has high reputation in Beijing vegetarian restaurants for its healthy quality food at very fair price and hospitality atmosphere. (If you read Chinese, you may refer to http://www.dianping.com/shop/509331 for over 550 reviews on TianChu's Tsinghua branch). Tianchu opened a new branch at Chaowai SOHO in Sept 2009. Since the key mission of the restaurant is to promote healthy vegetarian food to more population, despite the high real-estate price in CBD, their food price in the Chaowai SOHO branch are still defenitely affordable to most people, including students. ( 40-60 CNY per person) TianChu Style Services: Open Kitchen - customer is encouraged to visit our kitchen & inventory; FREE vegetarian cooking training salon every 2 weeks; Private veggie cooking training (On demand) ; FREE: prepare customized table greeting card ; FREE borrow or complimentary books on vegetarian, animal protection, Chinese culture, children education
Published by inapa on 09/11/2008
Don’t Go Knocking
Like the Ministry of Peace in George Orwell’s 1984, Heaven’s Kitchen is a bit of a misnomer. This vegetarian restaurant lulls with pleasing decor: a tablecloth patterned with green and white leaves, a tasteful exposed ceiling, grasses plastered artfully on the walls. Health seems in the air. The restaurant only asks 32 RMB for the Mock Duck Wing with Orange Peel, while Lion’s Head Meatball only requires an addition eight RMB. But the wing lack any appealing flavors and the sauce accompanying it reminds one of that dribbled on orange chicken in suburban American Chinese joints. The meatball, surrounded by anemic mushrooms, tastes like simmis, a Jewish food that is boiled for hours but refuses to die.
The Vegetarian Smoked Fish (18 RMB) stands out for being edible: The sauce, which has a strong honey flavor, does not drown out the crispy tofu and mushroom mix. And the Organic Sprouts (9 RMB) were at least fresh, though the extra oil dulled some of their flavor.
Other dishes also suffer from oil excess. The Sautéed Asparagus with Mushroom (28 RMB) comes with a thick layer of corn oil, though after drying off the mushrooms and tasting them solo, that may not have been a bad thing. The boiled noodles with mushroom and bean curd (12 RMB) offer a taste of normalcy, though it is difficult to destroy the taste of something as simple as a noodle. The restaurant also offers Brown Rice (2 RMB), which, other than the sprouts, is the only healthy food we encountered.
Try their rose tea (15 RMB). Smooth and with a whole flavor that hits immediately, it mixes nicely with the salty black beans the restaurant provides as a snack while waiting for the food, which comes quickly and with pleasant service. And Wudaokou lacks vegetarian restaurants, so for those students or Sohu employees who need to be away from all meat to feel comfortable eating, Heaven’s Kitchen beats starving.
Isaac Stone Fish
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For lovers of the ubiquitous Sichuan specialty of fish smothered in chili oil, we found a vegetarian version that packs all of the flavor but none of the fuss of the original dish. Their rendition, called tianxiayouyu (¥48/small, ¥68/large), features melt-in-your-mouth slices of tofu served in a pot of chili peppers, Sichuan peppercorns and glistening chili oil that will send even the most die-hard spice fans running for water. Staunch carnivores won’t even be able to tell the difference between Tian Chu Miao Xiang’s dish and the original, and may even prefer the vegetarian version’s lack of tiny bones and fish scales. Just when we thought the dish couldn’t get any better, we discovered a wealth of succulent cabbage and bean sprouts at the bottom of the pot. All soaked up the fiery flavor of the chili oil, the spicy savory veggies go perfect with a bowl of brown rice. With a veggie alternate showing up the seemingly untouchable Sichuan dish, this place is sure to impress even the most skeptical of diners. Who knew a substitute could do so well?