Ruyi Vegetarian House: Best vegan Chinese fusion food in Manchester!
Fusion food is becoming an ever popular movement in the restaurant industry. Especially over the last few years amongst millennials searching for bold, unique and trendy takes on cultural classics.
I absolutely love East Asian cuisine, with Chinese, Japanese and Korean food being amongst my favourites.
So when I moved to Chorlton in Manchester and found out there was an vegetarian (but mostly vegan!) oriental food fusion restaurant right on my doorstep, my little vegan heart fluttered and I HAD to check it out.
And friends, it didn’t disappoint.
Let me introduce you to THE best vegan Chinese fusion food in Manchester at Ruyi Vegetarian House.
Introduction to Ruyi Vegetarian House
Ruyi Vegetarian House is a family-owned traditional Chinese restaurant based in the heart of Manchester – but with a twist.
Through years of refinement, their awesome chefs have recreated the great taste of Chinese and Oriental food without the cooking of meat.
As the world shifts to a more plant-based diet, Ruyi Vegetarian House has innovated Chinese cuisine through their great soy-based substitutes and lots of vegetables.
Never compromising on flavour or the authenticity of oriental cuisine that they have so wonderfully fused – which very much shows in the love they put into their dishes!
The restaurant is ideally located on Manchester Road, a 5 minute walk from the main high street in Chorlton where you’ll find a string of trendy bars and cosy pubs to grab some drinks after your meal.
The restaurant is super accessible for those that live out of the area and/or need to connect via Manchester city centre.
From Chorlton high street there are frequent buses, trams that run every 15 minutes until midnight most nights and Ubers almost always 5 mins away.
So here we go friends, here’s what you came to this review for – the FOOD!
Ruyi Vegetarian House has a vast selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes. I find that unless you go to a restaurant that specifically caters for different dietary needs, vegans are often left with just one of two choices. So the amount of choice Ruyi Vegetarian House offers rendered us incapable of making a decision!
The staff had to return to the table three times before we had decided on what we wanted, and it was pretty much the entire appetisers section of the menu!
The menu includes 15 variations of dim sum, both steamed and fried, 19 appetisers, 5 soups, 16 mains and curries, 8 hotpots and 9 rice and noodle dishes. So the choice will overwhelm you!
If you struggle with making a decision, they have a banquet option with a choice of three starters, three mains and a dessert of the day for £24.95. This is a complete bargain for the amount of food you get.
Otherwise I would suggest diving in and just ordering lots of appetisers and dum sim that you can share with your group.
Filled with Chinese leaves, mushroom, carrot, ginger and water chestnut, these little baos have a real burst of flavour when you sink your teeth into the dough. The touch of ginger gives the baos a really nice zing.
They’re very moreish but will still leave you with plenty of room to indulge in the other appetisers.
Assorted Taste Dim Sum
My friend Ant and I shared the assorted dim sum so we could try different flavour combinations, these included:
Black: “Prawns”, Chinese mushroom and carrot
Orange: Curried potato
Green: Vermicelli, Chinese leaves and carrot
Purple: “Chicken” Chinese mushroom, sweet corn, pickle cabbage and carrot
I tried the black and the orange dim sum and really enjoyed the differing flavours with the natural colour variations turning our shared experience into a fun lucky dip.
Ant concurred that the rest of the dim sum was excellent!
Sui Mai Pork Dumplings
I have to say, the pork dumplings tasted so much like the real thing, I actually didn’t like them. But I didn’t like pork before I went vegan so this isn’t totally unusual (I think!).
However I must preface this by saying this is entirely down to my personal palette. Everyone else at the table loved them and if you enjoyed pork before going vegan, you’ll love these too.
Big thanks to our lovely waitress Hanh who patiently waited to put the bamboo steamer full of food down so I could take this picture. She was a great sport!
I was very excited to try the vegan prawn crackers as I’d not yet found them in any other Chinese restaurant.
They tasted more like deep-fried samosa shells with a hint of prawn flavouring than traditional prawn crackers. But despite the texture not being the same I enjoyed them and when dipped in the chilli sauce they made a great starter before our dim sum arrived.
I shared the Crispy Combo with my mate Ant and aside from the dim sum, this was my favourite dish! The combo includes, skewered “chicken”, “prawn” on toast, “pork” dumplings, mooli cake and curried samosas. They also included some crispy seaweed which I couldn’t get enough of!
The “prawn” toast had a really nice crunch to it and tasted (as much as I remember!) just like regular prawn toast.
The “chicken” tasted just like fried chicken on a stick and came with a marvellously creamy peanut satay sauce for dipping.
The curried samosas were piping hot when they arrived on the table and were deliciously crispy and full of flavour.
Beware of having more than one though because they are extremely filling and you’ve got a whole table of things to try yet!
We ended up getting a separate plate of “prawn” toast and curried samosas because they were that good.
Spicy Caramelised Tofu
Another favourite of the night (which I could have had three plates of!) was the caramelised tofu. It was absolutely delicious!!
As most vegans will know, tofu is difficult to get right but Ruyi Vegetarian House got it spot on.
The tofu was super crispy and the spicy, caramelised sauce that it is cooked in gives the tofu this amazing sweet but savoury taste to it.
Cauliflower is one of my favourite veggies and anything deep-fried just makes it more delicious, right?
The cauliflower was a nice addition to our dim sum and other appetisers but I would save your stomach space for the dim sum for sure.
Szechuan crispy “beef”
Due to ordering so many appetisers, the only main that we ordered was the Szechuan crispy “beef”.
My friend Nick kindly shared this dish with the rest of us to try but it’s not usually something I would order as I didn’t like beef much before I went vegan.
But I have to say the beef was fantastically crispy and came with a very complementary chilli sauce and vegetables on top.
This is a great beef substitute for those vegans that miss the taste, it tasted just like real beef to me!
Stir-fried Thin Noodles with Soy Sauce
Ruyi Vegetarian House had a number of sides to choose from including plain pancakes, salt and pepper chips, rice, stir-fried vegetables and noodles.
But the only side we order was the stir-fried thin noodles in soy sauce. Chinese thin noodles are one of my all-time guilty pleasures, especially when they’re drowned in soy sauce.
I naively ordered the noodles just incase the millions of appetisers we got didn’t quite feel me up. They were very tasted but not needed in the end – I was stuffed!
Being a vegetarian restaurant I automatically assumed that the desserts would be solely vegetarian because vegan desserts are just frankly more awkward for restaurants to supply. But we actually discovered that all the desserts were vegan and even our dairy-loving party members couldn’t tell the difference from the real thing!
I had the vegan cheesecake with whipped cream which was super creamy and had a lovely crumbly biscuit base.
Vegan Chocolate Fudge Cake
My friend Ant had the vegan chocolate fudge cake with whipped cream and vanilla ice cream and as you can see from the picture below – he was well impressed!
He very kindly let me have a few bites just to try it and it was fab. The cake was fresh, chocolatey (but not too rich), and very moist – everything you want in a chocolate fudge cake.
As other vegans will know, sponge based cakes can be hit or miss if restaurants aren’t used to baking without eggs and can often come out dry.
But this wasn’t the case at Ruyi Vegetarian House. Which goes to show you how much care has been taken to provide the best vegan and vegetarian food experience – even down to desserts.
The vegan coconut cream was lovely and light and paired well with both desserts.
The restaurant itself is quite small which is great if you are looking for a more intimate dining experience.
I went on a Friday night and they were fully booked. The atmosphere was bustling yet it wasn’t too noisy or distracting.
Chorlton is renowned for being an alternative, laid back community and the clientele at Riki Vegetarian House totally reflects this.
The simple set up and decor lends itself well to those who are focussing on having a real “foodie” experience as opposed to a fine dining one.
With so many different and delicious appetisers to choose from, Ruyi Vegetarian House is a great place for couples, groups and families to share.
Our final bill came to £45 each which sounds steep, however we went overboard ordering about four dishes each, plus dessert and alcohol!
The food is fairly priced with appetisers costing around £7 each and mains around £12 each. Two to three appetisers would be more than enough to replace a main meal based off of their generous portion sizes.
However, if it’s your first visit to Ruyi Vegetarian House and you’re in a group, I would recommend choosing a selection of appetisers and sharing with the table. It’s so much more fun to share in the “foodie” experience together!
If you want a more cost effective dinner or are struggling to make a decision, you can go with the banquet option (as mentioned above) for the bargain price of £24.95.
The quality of the food was ON POINT. Unfortunately when you’re vegan, you sometimes have to compromise on taste just so you can be part of the experience with your non-vegan friends but this is NOT the case at Ruyi Vegetarian House!
Chefs lovingly prepare dishes with fresh ingredients from scratch and are hot off the hob when they arrive at your table.
The service at Ruyi Vegetarian House was fantastic. The staff couldn’t do enough for us (and they had no idea that I was doing this review – so this experience is 100% authentic!).
Despite the restaurant experiencing a full house on a busy Friday night, the staff checked in on us regularly between dishes to see if we needed any more drinks and to take away empty plates to give us more room.
When we started ordering and they realised how much space our dishes were going to take up, they didn’t hesitate to move us to a bigger table despite only booking for a table of four.
The staff know the menu back to front and were able to assist when we were having difficulty deciding or needed recommendations.
Ruyi Vegetarian House in Manchester is hands down the best Chinese fusion food I’ve ever had.
This family-owned business has so much heart at the centre of it. From the care they’ve taken in crafting their unique fusion menu to the wonderfully friendly and attentive staff – it’s a food experience you won’t forget!
Other vegan posts you might like…
- Ultimate list of 50 quotes about veganism
- Best Northern UK city breaks for vegan travellers
- 10 Awesome vegan travellers that you need to check out!
Do you have any favourite fusion restaurants? Put your recommendations in the comments below! 😊