The Food Spy: Loving Hut

2-15-23: Loving Hut

Half a mile and a ten minute walk away from Worcester State University is Loving Hut. This vegan restaurant rests near a busy intersection, and I would say that the food is worth the dash between deadly cars and their impatient drivers. If you’re willing to pay a pretty penny, that is.

It was a nice day to try something new. I am not a vegan, nor do I often eat Chinese food, so Loving Hut was two fresh experiences in one. I was in the mood for lo mein that afternoon.

My Veggie Lo Mein was delicious. The noodles and vegetables mixed perfectly, and I enjoyed the garlic sauce despite my general distaste for garlic. My meal stayed hot for a long time, which was a plus. It cost $10.95, which I thought would have been a bit pricey if not for the generous helping. I received a meal that was more akin to a dinner portion than a lunch portion, but I happily packed it away all the same. Overall, I was satisfied with Loving Hut, and I would definitely recommend the restaurant, especially for dinner.

Initially, I was intrigued by the history behind this restaurant chain and its message of peace and veganism. I am not a vegan; in fact, I grew up with a fervent hate of all green foods. However, this restaurant attempts to cater to all types of diets, particularly those considering going green. Going with a classic, I ordered the Pho, which is listed as a favorite on the website. It took less than fifteen minutes for my order to be ready, and with it came two sauces: savory and spicy. I liked controlling the taste of each bite, and it worked well with the mild sauce. The noodles were very good, albeit on the softer side. As a vegetable hater, one thing that caught me off guard was the tofu, which had corn and greens mixed in. Between the unappetizing sight and the fact that it kept escaping my utensils, I skipped over it. This was a very filling meal, given the limited ingredients, and I would order it again.

Loving Hut is a vegan restaurant so close to Worcester State that it’s probably faster to walk there than to bother with traffic. It’s about a ten-minute walk, or a five-minute bike ride. I ordered the ‘Tasty Dumplings’; pan-fried.

The flavor was well-rounded, with a rich, toasty exterior and a fresh, savory filling with a hint of herbiness. The dipping sauce had the perfect balance of sweetness, saltiness, sourness, and richness from the sesame oil — a pleasant surprise, as I often find one of these elements to be out of balance with the others when it comes to Asian fare.

The texture of the dumplings was good, with the wrappers having been browned to the point of crispness, but not crunchiness. The soy protein in the filling had a slight chew — more than might be expected by a vegan such as myself, but not too much as to make it unpleasant. It strikes the perfect balance between pleasing the vegans and the meat-lovers.

My only complaint as far as the texture is that, while the dumplings were browned to perfection on one side, the other sides were still soft and slippery, to the point where they were hard to pick up (finger-food lovers, take note: use a fork). Had they been even just lightly fried on the other sides, this problem might have been abated.

My dining experience was also very pleasant beyond the food. Loving Hut provides a quiet, relaxed atmosphere, and the service is of precisely the excellent quality you can expect from small, family-owned restaurants. Mid to late afternoon is potentially the best time to go if you like having the place to yourself, as there were very few customers aside from our table.

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I was impressed enough with my appetizer at Loving Hut that I ordered a meal from them via Uber Eats the following week, to be delivered to campus. Since they’re so close, there was no delivery fee (penny-pinchers, take note). The meal, which included the Scallion Pancakes, Veggie Maki (sushi rolls), and Rice Pudding was split with a friend, and both of us immensely enjoyed it.

The scallion pancakes were crisp, but not overly flaky or greasy like those you might expect from a Chinese take-out meal. The flavor was good; toasty and rich. The veggie maki were outstanding — definitely our favorite of the day. They contained all the fresh veggies you might expect from vegan sushi rolls, as well as a rich and complex flavor added by some secret ingredient; likely a formulation of soy protein or the like. It wasn’t in any way fishy or meaty, but its robust flavor definitely completed the dish.

The meal was rounded out by our dessert, the rice pudding, which had surprising qualities but didn’t disappoint. Compared with typical rice pudding, Loving Hut’s take is more solid, with a texture more like oatmeal with milk than the Indian kheer, a soupier style of rice pudding. Its flavor was more delicate, with only a mild sweetness and background notes of vanilla and warm spice. I typically like my rice pudding with an abundance of cinnamon, cardamom, and fennel, but Loving Hut’s delicate take was a welcome change. After all, variety is the best spice.


Getting to Loving Hut is a simple matter if you live on campus; it’s a quick 10 minute walk to the restaurant. If you’re driving, then parking on the street next to the restaurant is advisable as nearby lots are reserved for their individual storefronts. There were around six to eight spots for cars space-wise, so it should be easy enough to get into the building.

I ordered the Spring Rolls, which were listed as an appetizer. I received two spring rolls and a dish of sauce. These spring rolls were light and airy, compared to a heavier deep fried spring roll. They conveyed more texture than flavor. The sauce was there for the flavor. It was a vibrant sauce with a tangy taste that added to the overall appetizer. That being said, because the spring roll was less focused on flavor the sauce is overpowering unless applied lightly. They were not filling, but that’s to be expected for an appetizer. 

Upon entering Loving Hut, there was an aura of quietness similar to a library. Perhaps it was the timing of my arrival, but there wasn’t a soul in the restaurant. The environment was friendly and the table I sat at was prepared nicely. After a good ten minutes of discussion with our party, the hostess came out and asked us what we wanted to order. Food came quickly, and we enjoyed self-serve water while we waited. As far as appetizers go, if you’re looking for something light to start your meal at Loving Hut, the spring rolls are a great option.

The walk to Loving Hut was only 10 minutes, even with a slow pace, and there were a few different routes that could be taken. I opted to walk with some friends and found that the time passed by very quickly. Upon arriving at Loving Hut, it was very quiet and calm. Despite the busy intersection right outside the door, you couldn’t hear anything going on outside. It seemed to have a quiet cafe ambience as the tables are formatted to be near the wall unless there is a large party. 

I ordered the Kui Chai Dumplings. There were three soft crispy dumplings which utilized a potato dough that was crispy on the outside and soft in the center. The filling was reminiscent of a cheesy sauce and broccoli with some hints of spinach. There was a sauce accompanying the dumplings, which seemed like a soy sauce mixture. The texture was crispy and it took me everything not to drop my fork and just dig in. I had not eaten anything prior and the meal still filled me up. The dumplings cost $10 in total.

One thing I will point out as some advice is to sit facing away from the television screen. I myself am not vegan and understand the cruelties of slaughterhouses; however I would like to not witness those atrocities while I am eating.

A group of us gathered in the Sullivan Building at Worcester State University and walked to Loving Hut. It’s a small vegan restaurant settled on Chandler Street that is only a 10 minute walk from Worcester State University campus. We were seated very quickly. The establishment was quaint; there were about 10 small tables that seat 4 lined up along the walls, equally divided. The restaurant had gathered about 4 tables in the middle of the room for our group to sit. Our tables had 4 glass bottles of water, glass cups, and utensils for each seat. Above us hung on the ceiling was the restaurant sign “Loving Hut”, that if you didn’t look up, you wouldn’t notice it. The dining area was clean, and the music played very light. We were served within 5-10 minutes of waiting as we made sure the entire party had arrived.

 I decided to try the Kui Chai Dumplings which, according to the menu, is “pan-fried chive dumplings in thick dough with a side of ginger sauce”. The display looked delicious, with three round, golden-brown dumplings nestled on a small gathering of thinly sliced carrots and cabbage, settled on a white square plate, with a small cup of brown liquid. The savory display had a great aroma. I have never been to a Vegan restaurant or tried vegan cuisine, so this was a new taste adventure for me.

I eagerly cut the dumplings into smaller bites. Inside were green, leafy vegetables that looked like cooked kale or something of the sort. I took a bite to taste, and it was pleasant. For me, it took a bit to see if I liked the taste. I dipped my next bite into the brown liquid, and the taste slightly improved. I can’t say that I hated it, but I didn’t love it and it was hard to describe the taste. I can only describe it as a blend of cooked spinach or kale or any green leafy vegetable, which is not my thing. That’s not to say that the food was awful, it just didn’t sit well with my palate. I continued to eat my dumplings slowly, hoping the taste would improve, but it didn’t. I’ve concluded that I don’t have a palate for Vegan food, or at least that specific dish. I still had an aftertaste after a few hours.

We held our meeting and enjoyed each other’s company. My dish totaled $9.95, which was a great price for the amount and quality of the food. If I had enjoyed my dish, it would have been filling. Would I come again to Loving Hut? Yes. They have a variety of choices on their menu. Just because I didn’t like one dish, doesn’t mean I won’t like the rest of what they serve.

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