Lao Wai – Vegan Chinese Restaurant in Stockholm

If you ever visit Stockholm you NEED to pay a visit to this high quality vegan Chinese restaurant, one of the absolute best restaurants vegan or non vegan restaurants all categories that I’ve ever been to. The food was out of this world and tasted absolutely AMAZING, hands down one of the best dinners I’v ever had in my entire life. Not even kidding. The staff there was also sooooo friendly and very accommodating.

I found the Lao Wai (the restaurant) by accident after searching on vegan restaurants the same night and it got very good reviews on Google so me and my mom decided to try it out. Which we didn’t regret!

I love that it’s a fully vegan Chinese restaurant and that they only work with only the best ingredients.

They use for example only GMO free soy products, fresh organic tofu and they use no canned food only fresh vegetables and fruits.

Here is some more information about the restaurant taken from their website.

A little philosophy
Our food contains no eggs or dairy products. We use those ingredients which should be used in Chinese cooking and refrain from all inferior substitutes. For example we use spring onions instead of leeks, dried chili peppers for “gong bao” in place of chili sauce, fresh garlic and ginger rather than powders, rice wine instead of sherry, and so on. We grind our own spices and roast our own nuts and seeds. All sauces are prepared on the spot. Powder or prepackaged sauces are never used.
We do not use MSG.

Our basic ingredients
Only fresh vegetables are brought into our kitchen. Fresh spring onions, baby corn, coriander, morning-glory, sweet basil, asparagus, longbean, water chestnuts, Chinese broccoli, taro, lotus root, and Chinese celery for example, are flown in regularly from the Far East.
We use no canned goods.

Tofu (dou fu)
We use fresh organic tofu in all our tofu dishes. Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a very nutritious product made by curdling soybean milk. We feature soft, firm, pressed, and smoked tofu in our dishes.

Soy protein
For our soy protein dishes we use only GMO-free soy products from Japan and Taiwan. These products come in various shapes and flavors, but are used mainly for their texture to complement the vegetables and mushrooms.

Both fresh and dried mushrooms are used frequently in our dishes: shiitake, forest mushrooms, champignons, oyster mushrooms, chanterelles (in season), cloud ears, and golden needle mushrooms.

All our dishes are served with jasmine rice of the very best quality. We make our rice often and in smaller quantities to ensure that it is always fresh. Everyone is happy to avoid “tired” rice.

We flavor our dishes with light, dark, and sweet soy sauce, fresh and dried chilies, chili bean paste, rice wine, Sichuan pepper, 5-spice, sesame oil, homemade chili-, herb-, and spice oils, black fermented beans, and plenty of ginger, garlic, and spring onions.

Food preparation
All our food is prepared with respect and with attentive care, in a wok. Nothing is made ahead of time and then reheated. Each dish is made to order. To attain maximum freshness certain ingredients are even cut, shredded, and chopped only after the order has been taken. We stir-fry in pure vegetable oil.
We do not use microwave ovens.

A final word
Why not try one of our quality wines priced to give you excellent value? We also have interesting homemade desserts. Excellent aromatic teas. Flavorful cappuccino made from freshly ground espresso beans and specially prepared soybean milk, and there is more…
We are only too happy to answer any of your questions. Please have a look at the introduction to our menu, with its suggestions for the best way to order when you are a party of two or more. And remember, you are not only welcome to dine at our tables, but also to look around our kitchen.

Lets talk about the food that I got! 

Let’s begin with the two starters we got to share. We ordered nr 1 on the menu ”Hai Dai Dou Bao” (Kombu seaweed and soy milk sheets are braised in seasoned soy sauce, and garnished with sesame seeds and spring onions) and nr 4, ”Liang Ban Ju Ruo Si” (Shirataki noodles, minced soy “chicken”, garlic, and coriander, are marinated in a spicy chili-lime dressing).

Both were soooooo good, but I think the last one was my favorite because it was so spicy and yummy. The first one was also amazing but it was more mild and delicate, which made these two a really great combo! I can highly recommend to combine these two starters.

Nr 12 ”Gong Bao Su Ji” 

Nr 25  ”Qing Hui Bai Ye” 

For main course we shared two different main dishes and of course a big bowl of rice on the side.

We ordered nr 12 ”Gong Bao Su Ji” (Popular Sichuan dish with soy “chicken”, dried chilies, sweet peppers, champignons, baby corn, and roasted peanuts in a spicy sweet-salty sauce. (The dried chilies are lightly fried in oil to give a “bite” to the sauce, and are not to be eaten). IT WAS THE BEST THING I’VE EVER EATEN in my entire life. It was just heaven. You need to try this one.

The other main dish we got was nr 25 ”Qing Hui Bai Ye” (A delicate dish prepared with bai ye (a high protein tofu), fresh shiitake, enoki mushrooms, ginkgo nuts, pak soi, and goji berries). This one was a bit more milder and delicate in taste but still very very good, but next time I’ll order a more spice dish.

Last but not least we ordered there homemade vegan ice cream for dessert which was jaw dropping, absolutely AMAZING!!

We got two different flavors, one soy based ice cream with pistachio, cardamom and bergamot. – SO GOOD! You need this one in your life.

The other one that we got was a coconut milk based ice cream with coffee and coconut nectar. Also extremly delicious, even if I prefer the other one. I normally have a problem with the strong coconut taste that coconut ice cream normally comes with, but this one was super good and the best coconut ice cream I’ve tasted yet.

So if I’m going to sum it up I give Lao Was 5 stars out of 5.

You can find Lao Wai on Luntmakargatan 74 (close to Odenplan). It can be a bit difficult to find it at first since there’s no fancy door or anything. It’s just a black door and a sign on the door saying ”Lao Wai” and the restaurant is a staircase down. It’s very private, not too many tables and the decoration is very low key in a typical Chinese way without being boring. I love that they focus their money and energy on the food and not on the decoration, which I rather prefer than the other way around.

I highly recommend to make a dinner reservation in advance since there aren’t so many tables and we were just extremely lucky to get a table for two since there was a guest who didn’t arrive. Let me also say that this was on a casual Wednesday, so make sure you call them and make a reservation a week or so in advance if you plan on going there on a weekend.

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