Urban Harvest on the 5th floor of Hangzhou Tower D is the latest Shanghai restaurant chain to open in Hangzhou. It’s unique feature is that it serves hydroponically grown mushrooms and sprouts. Around the dining area, you’ll see shelves of glorious plump mushrooms of all colours and shapes. There’s also an aquaponics system on display, with a fish tank linked to the sprouts. The fishes secrete a waste which would normally accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity level. Here the fish waste water is circulated to the sprouts which are able to break down the fish waste into nutrients it can use. The water is cleaned by the sprouts and fed back to the fish tank.
Before they prepare your mushrooms or sprouts, the waiter will come to your table with the plants and cut, or “harvest”, them for you to see. When the mushrooms are cut, you can smell the lovely aroma of woodsy mushrooms. When you come to this restaurant, you definitely should order a dish that contains mushrooms or sprouts. Sprouts are also very good for your health; their benefits include increasing metabolism, boosting the immune system, cancer prevention and lowering cholesterol.
The Grilled Fresh Harvested Oyster Mushrooms with Deep Fried Calamari (128RMB) were perfectly grilled and the thick mushrooms were meaty, juicy and flavoured with balsamic vinegar. Fresh Harvested Sprouts with Crab Meat (68RMB) was very green, fresh and healthy. Cream of Mushroom with Oyster Soup (48RMB) was certainly creamy, but the oysters were scarce. Mushroom Portobello with Ricotta Cheese, Goat Cheese (88RMB) had a good amount of cheese and a sweet taste overall.
Aside from mushrooms and sprouts, Urban Harvest has a large menu with delicacies from around the world, such as Canadian lobster and scallops, Icelandic fish, Australian Wagyu beef and Spanish Iberico pork. Prices are on the high side, with pastas and risottos from 78-268RMB and main courses from 78-468RMB.
Parking is available in Hangzhou Tower’s underground parking lot but space is very difficult to get during lunch and dinner time. It is advised to take other forms of transportation if you come at peak hours.