• An old vegetarian favourite in Shanghai: Godly open since 1922

Surviving in Shanghai is tough. There are hoards of people, the pollution, not to mention the political past.  But Godly has managed to withstand the hectic life of China’s big city and remain one of the oldest and most famous vegetarian restaurants in the area.

My colleague’s friend ever so kindly took me to Godly.  He explained that with government support (due to it serving elderly and foreigners needing clean, safe food) Godly does not need to make money to survive.  Luckily, this is hypothetical with Godly drawing tables of customers for lunch and dinner
The area to the right of the restaurant as you enter is for quick snacks (like noodles), the area to the left is for more substantial dishes including banquets.  With so many dishes (written in Chinese and half-sensical English) it was hard to choose.  My host ordered many dishes.

The cabbage rolls were filled with grated carrot and sauced with a tangy vinaigrette and sliced into bite sizes.  I enjoyed these after missing fresh veggies (cooked in oil is the most common way of doing Chinese food it seems) but they were no more than that.


Mock-meat featured heavily but thankfully only looked and did not taste or smell like that it was imitating.  The mock-chicken was soft tofu skins, rolled up and moist.  The flavour was subtle but the texture pleasant and fresh.


I really enjoyed the sweet and sour mock-fish.  This was crispy, fried tofu drenched in a sweet and sour sauce and sprinkled with pine nuts.  I like sweet and sour but had not had it for years as it is usually only used to sauce pork in Australia.


Next we enjoyed mixed vegetables that were mainly different types of mushrooms in a thick salty soya sauce. 

The ‘crab meat’ was actually made from tofu and carrot but served in a crab shaped dish. The texture was mushy and, I guess, like real crab.

For dessert we had a sweet rice and pearl soup.  This was a satisfying way to end the meal.


I loved the meal after days of oily vegetables.  My Chinese host did not seem to eat much and I feared he did not enjoy the food.  My brother and I returned to Godly the next day and although he loves meat, he actually enjoyed the meal and the texture of the tofu dishes mocking the kill.  We ordered cold roasted duck meat (tofu in the shape of a duck with sweet soy). 


And a mushroom dish with lots of pinenuts and chilli.

The setting of Godly is pleasant, and its location is convenient if you are staying in central Shanghai.

Godly (West Nanjing Road Branch)
441 West Nanjing Road
地址:静安区南京西路441号(近成都北路)
电话:021-63270218 63272181


1 comment:

  1. Reminds me of a similar restaurant in Kuala Lumpur which I went to years ago. The mushroom dishes sound good. My next work destination is China so I might have the chance to try some of the restaurants you mention on your blog. Ros

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