Sugared & Spiced

pâtissière in paris, now shanghai

[ShanghaiI] Kush

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Add: 98 Yanping Lu, near Xinzha Lu 延平路98号, 近新闸路
Tel: 5175 9822
Hours: 11am-10pm
Price: [starters & salads] 36~59 RMB [mains] 47~69 RMB [drinks] 30~60 RMB
Visited: Nov 2011

Please note that this is an arranged tasting.

After a most gratifying but artery-clogging meal at Kota’s Kitchen, I sought respite at Kush (“happiness” in Sanskrit), a vegetarian cafe serving light-hearted dishes. Lentil burgers, vegetarian pastas, hummus wraps, green smoothies…the dishes here can be hit or miss, but we all need a clean meal like this once in a while.

The place is small, with only 4 tables available. The decor is simple and light: blonde wood, white tabletops, and a scroll of The Heart Sutra hanging on the wall.

Numb from the freezing weather, I skipped the cold appetizers and went right into the hot dishes. I really enjoyed the Lentil Burger (59 RMB), complete with greens, sun-dried tomatoes, chives, walnuts, corn, avocado slices, fresh tomatoes, and pesto on toasted buns. It’s a wonder how meatless burgers can taste this good.

Equally satisfying was the Matchstick Pasta (69 RMB), linguini with toasted pistachio, kale, broccoli, and asparagus. What made this dish sing was its vibrant golden pistachio sauce – so fragrant, so flavorful, a solid proof that gorgeous flavors can be achieved even when no meat is involved.

But when I went back to the appetizers, I was disappointed by the Fresh Spring Rolls (36 RMB) and the Kush Green Goddess Soup (18/39 RMB), both bland and unexciting.

The meal picked up again with Raw Power Salad (21/42 RMB), a toss of cos lettuce, parsley, bell peppers, basil, cucumber, avocado, and tomatoes in coconut oil, sea salt and lemon dressing. A little bit of sea salt goes a long way, and the fragrant coconut oil really made this salad sparkle.

I ended the meal with the Arabian Wrap (29/59 RMB), a lovely combination of falafel, hummus, feta, and tomatoes.

Kush also has an impressive selection of fresh juices and smoothies. I tried the Green Goddess (60 RMB), a mix of spinach, banana, pearl, avocado, celery, parsley, cilantro, spirulina with soymilk, nutmilk, or coconut water. I didn’t quite like the seaweed flavor, presumably from the spirulina, but this blue-green algae is supposed to be amazing for your body.

What else is in store: organic beer, organic wine, soups and salads for take-outs, and yes, they deliver.

FYI, these little trees are for the Million Tree Project. For 25 RMB, you can plant a tree in Inner Mongolia.

Kush is worth visiting. Not everything on the menu worked for me, but here are the dishes I will  order again: lentil burger, matchstick pasta, and Arabian wrap. Other items to try: tofu spicy burger, roasted veggies red pepper hummus wrap, carrot cake, and ecstasy balls…?! I might have to come back just to find out what these are.

P.S. I went back again and tried the laska, and unfortunately that dish turned out to be quite disappointing. Lentil burger and Arabian wrap were delicious as always.

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Written by sugarednspiced

December 8th, 2011 at 7:09 pm