About one month ago, we published that we will be going to Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant this year for our reunion dinner. Time really passes by very fast. And we will like to share our experience with you.
Lotus is one of the several top-tier vegetarian restaurants in Singapore. Our dining slot for the reunion dinner is from 7.45pm to 10pm. By the time we settled down on our seat, most of the tables are already filled up. Till now, our dining experience with Lotus is either its steamboat or Asian buffet. Hence this is a good opportunity to sample Lotus ala cart menu.
Like Miao Yi, Lotus served its customer with some prickled cabbage before the arrival of the main course meal. Unfortunately, the prickled cabbage really looked pitiful with some yellowish cabbages. Everyone is turned off by the look so it is left untouched during the course of the dinner. Lotus should really learn from Miao Yi as to how to prepare prickled cabbage.
Vegetarian restaurants will usually include Yu Sheng as part of the reunion dinner package. The Yu Sheng from Lotus has the the quintessential ingredients of shredded carrot, cucumber, radish, citrus fruit, cracker, mock salmon and abalone. Lotus also adds crispy glass noodles (commonly found in Yam Ring) and sliced mock meat jerky to enhance the taste of an otherwise common dish on the reunion dinner table.
Vegetarian Shark Fins Soup
The vegetarian shark fins soup is much more starchy than I would prefer. The main ingredients for the soup seem to be chiefly beancurd skin, enokitake and mock prawn. Lotus does not shred its ingredients as finely as Miao Yi but it is still above average in our opinion.
Savoury Rice with Beetroot and Corn
Just when we thought this is going to be a typical reunion dinner at a restaurant, an interesting dish arrived on our table. The waitress explained that the dish is Savoury Rice with Beetroot and Corn. Before we can comprehend what the dish is, the waitress immediately poured a hot bowl of boiled corn over the fried rice. The appearance of the dish really reminds me of Ice Kachang. The rice is lightly fried with bits of beetroot, long beans and mushroom.
We applaud Lotus’ attempt to come up with something new. Unfortunately, the dish just tastes weird as rice, beetroot and corn are all sweet in nature and do not blend well together.
Monkey Mushroom with Seasonal Greens
Next comes monkey mushroom with seasonal greens. This dish usually will not go wrong with customers. However, we find the Kai Lan and monkey mushroom too stiff. It is as if the chef just steams the vegetables, simply defrost the mushroom for frying and finally pour the soy sauce gravy over them. Lotus does not deliver for this dish and can definitely do better than this.
Spicy Mock Fish
The texture of the mock fish is quite well done but way too spicy hot (麻辣 in Chinese). The chilli paste completely overwhelms the mock fish and broccoli.
Superior Assortment and Beancurd Rolls
This dish has 2 components, the beancurd roll and assorted vegetables on deep fried beancurd rolls. The beancurd roll tastes quite good with mock prawn and fried beancurd wrapped in beancurd skin. There is some chilli from the previous dish but mercifully used sparingly. The assorted vegetables cooked in Luo Han Zhai style is a big appointment. Basically Lotus has deep fried the beancurd rolls into a bowl and poured the cooked vegetables onto the beancurd bowl. The cooked vegetables are alright but not stellar. In the end, everyone just leaves the beancurd bowl alone.
Soya Meat with Wraps and Greens
What we have for the dish are beancurd rolls, fresh lettuce and assorted vegetables cooked in Luo Han Zhai style, of which we are recommended by the waitress to eat them together in popiah style. Looks familiar? Well, the main ingredients for this dish is the same as the previous Superior Assortment and Beancurd rolls. The assorted vegetables are totally not suited to eat in popiah style. Even when I have placed the vegetables in the fresh lettuce, they simply spill out after one bite. This is really irritating and ridiculous. It certainly looks like this dish is an afterthought to the whole dinner course.
Pumpkin Paste with Black Glutinous Rice
Our heart literally sinks when we saw the dessert being delivered to our table. It looks weird as it is literally one black patch in a lake of yellow paste. It does not look appetising at all. To our pleasant surprise, the combination is quite alright. Some people (including me) may be turned off by pumpkin. It tastes like mashed sweet potatoes when paired with ice cream and black glutinous rice.
The reunion dinner at Lotus has more misses than hits. The vegetarian Yu Sheng and dessert is great with the rest in the mediocre range. At a total cost of $356 for 6 pax, we seriously expect better value and dining experience from Lotus. Nevertheless I have already created a reminder note in my phone to remind me to call Miao Yi in November for a 2015 reunion dinner slot.
You can find out the operating hours and other details about Lotus here.
Lotus is located several bus stops away from the Novena and Boon Keng MRT station. Hence you will have to take a bus or taxi from both MRT to reach the restaurant.