Wan Li @ Renaissance Johor Bahru

Wan Li is the Cantonese restaurant found on the ground floor of the Renaissance Johor Bahru whose philosophy is to put an emphasis on “preserving the natural flavour of food”.

They offer fine dining, authentic Cantonese cuisine and for our visit, they produced a full menu of vegan dishes to help us on our Vegan Food Quest to find, eat and write about the best vegan food in the world.

Wan Li restaurant at Renaissance Johor Bahru.

Wan Li restaurant at Renaissance Johor Bahru.

The Vegan Food:

Our meal contained all the wonderful things that we love about vegan Cantonese food; a variety of textures, fresh and healthy ingredients, interesting cooking techniques and of course, amazing flavours.

Starting with the Wan Li ‘Double Delights Combination Platter’ (very aptly named) the mix of fruity mango salsa filled hand rolls and light and crunchy yam roll was a good start.

'Crispy Vietnamese Yam Roll' and 'Vegetable Hand-roll Served With Mango Salsa'

‘Crispy Vietnamese Yam Roll’ and ‘Vegetable Hand-roll Served With Mango Salsa’

Next we ate a ‘Double Boiled Burdock Root With Vegetables Soup’ which, although impossible to capture in a photograph had a flavour packed broth resulting from this traditional cooking method.

Double boiling produces a intense vegetable broth for this delicious soup.

Double boiling produces a intense vegetable broth for this delicious soup.

These ‘Bamboo Shoot Rolls With Golden Pumpkin Sauce’ were wrapped in a bamboo pith outer skin (bamboo pith is actually a very delicate fungi) which soaked up the smooth creamy pumpkin sauce.

A match made in vegan heaven indeed.

A fabulous fungi: bamboo piths stuffed with bamboo shoots.

A fabulous fungi: bamboo piths stuffed with bamboo shoots.

We even got to try our very first ‘Crispy Yam Ring’ which for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure (and it is a pleasure) was made from mashed yam on the inside and was fried until it was crispy and light on the outside.

So very tasty and firmly among the best vegan food in the world!

Crispy yam ring filled up with wok fried lotus root and celery, then seasoned with Taiwanese basil.

Crispy yam ring filled up with wok fried lotus root and celery, then seasoned with Taiwanese basil.

Imagine the texture - crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. Yum.

Imagine the texture – crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. Yum.

Our other favourite dish was a baked lotus leaf parcel that was full of peppery glutinous rice, yam and chestnut.

Baking the rice in a lotus leaf gave it a subtle yet distinct flavour (a little bit like a vine leaf) and the gooey texture inside was so comforting to eat. Just makes you want to say “mmmmm”…

This had a gooey, sticky texture with a flavour that was very reminiscent of an autumn sausage casserole (vegan of course!).

This had a gooey, sticky texture with a flavour that was very reminiscent of an autumn sausage casserole (vegan of course!).

Dessert was a duo of a sweet sesame coated fired glutinous rice donut (filled with a sweet paste inside) and a cooling red bean soup.

The donut was our favourite bit of the duo.

The donut was our favourite bit of the duo.

The Vegan Food Quest Verdict:

Make a reservation at Wan Li for a great vegan Cantonese meal, enjoying the different flavours you’ll get to try.

Be sure to try the decadent little ‘Yam Ring’ as well as the ‘Bamboo Pith in Pumpkin Sauce’ and ‘Baked Lotus Leaf Parcel’ – all wonderful examples of just how good vegan food can be.

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We were guests of Wan Li @ Renaissance Johor Bahru but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views.

Renaissance Johor Bahru

No 2, Jalan Permas 11,
Johor Bahru 81750,
Malaysia.

Telephone: +60 7 3813333

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