Yi Hua Yi Ye （一花一叶 , literally meaning one flower, one leaf), is another vegetarian restaurant chain in Chonqging with several venues in town. We chose the Dongyuan 1891 venue as we went to the South Mountain in the morning, and this restaurant is also located in the southern bank. It is said the place used to be one of the earliest ports that allowed foreign trading in Chongqing.
The restaurant is located in a mall attached to a residential compound, also newly built. You won’t miss it as it’s quite close to that golden building resembling Kuala Lumpur twin tower, which is Sheraton Hotel. The restaurant is heavily Buhhist themed. What I like most is that they have open dining area, overlooking the center of the city. No matter in the day or in the night, you get very nice view. The balcony part was also heavily decorated with lovely green plants, which made this restaurant our favorite in Chongqing.
The menu was on the ipad so ordering was more self-helped. I appreciate that way as we could take time to choose what we wanted, without having someone waiting there. Our food were served quickly after we ordered, together with some nice buckwheat tea.
We had deep fried wonton made into a nice rose, with sweet plum sauce, accompanied by two seasoned and roasted mushrooms as appetizer. It was crispy and we liked it. Then we tried the cauliflower and black fugus in iron pot. This one was ok, but nothing special.
Honey was hungry for tea-tree mushroom as that was one of our favorites in Shanghai, but we were quite surprised to find the same dish here looked very different. The tea-tree mushrooms here were much smaller in size, when cooked they almost became threads. At least they were still tasty, although not as good as the ones we tried before. We ordered some fried rice with jujube and pine nuts and that was also ok. What we really liked was the tofu in golden sauce. I was surprised that it tasted so much like egg yolk, and inquired the waiter on that. He told me it was made of chestnut paste and pumpkin. It was really good and I highly recommend that you give it a try. We ended our meal with a Chinese style desert, which is a layered yellow and white stripped jelly featuring mango and coconut flavors. We also had two small bowls of silver wood soup to go with it.
Overall, we loved our experience in this restaurant. The outdoor dining area is definitely a plus. The atmosphere is quite relaxing, and service very quick and friendly. If you ever plan to visit the South Mountain (where you get to see the center from above), this restaurant is definitely a nice place to go to after that (or before that if you aim for the night view!).