$20-$40

Lotus Kitchen, Chinatown Point: Meat, You’re Doomed, at This Fantastic Vegetarian Restaurant 

The new Lotus Kitchen at Chinatown Point is an outpost of Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant (Quality Hotel) and is under the same management as Greendot, the vegetarian chain restaurants. The difference between the three is that Lotus Kitchen fills in the gap between buffet dining (Lotus Vegetarian) and fast dining (Greendot); Lotus Kitchen is a casual dining restaurant, as signalled by the open and contemporary decor.

Their experience in vegetarian cuisine puts them in good stead. They know what vegetarians want and do not want. Here, they use less flour and more mushroom, herbs, and oats to create mock meat. Many sauces are homemade and some ingredients are imported from Taiwan. Dim-sum is made upon ordering and noodles are handmade. Most dishes are newly created, differing from the Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant.

From their dim sum menu, the taro mee sua cake (6 pcs, $6.80) is a golden, deep-fried bar of delicious. Inside the bar, little bits of almost-smashed yam are interlaced with short strands of mee sua, giving a good texture, not at all starchy, and a natural sweetness.

Also dim sum: the lion’s mane mushroom pan-fried dumpling (8 pcs, $8.80) uses handmade skin. It’s difficult to beat the umami naturally occurring in mushrooms.

The double-boiled herbal tian ma soup ($8.80), steamed and brewed with more than 10 herbs and pearl mushroom, has the health benefit of “liver-calming.” It’s nice but has a twang of sourness.

The most expensive dish we had, crispy summer wrap ($35.80), mimics the flavour and texture of Peking duck. You wrap the soya slices with turnip soaked in passionfruit and homemade sweet bean paste sauce. It is nice and tastes like Peking duck, and I especially like passionfruit, but I wonder if it is expensive for a vegetarian dish.

The “fish” comes sizzling on a hotplate; it is spicy grilled oat slices ($18.80) that look like tofu. This is very spicy, but also very shiok and does taste like fish because there is seaweed.

The braised mushroom in stone hot pot ($18.80) is our favorite. They stir-fry bamboo shoots, chilli, ginger, together with lion’s mane and shiitake mushrooms, before putting them into the stone pot with basil. Other mock meats have its original ingredients processed beyond recognition, but this one is clear and sweet and delicious with the natural umami of mushrooms.

Lotus Kitchen also serves some local food. Made from soy slices, the homemade satay ($15.80) is marinated with 10 spices and comes with homemade sauce.  Comparing this dish to others, this is just ok. It doesn’t taste like satay and it doesn’t taste anything. The stir-fried laksa ($9.80) uses in-house laksa and spices. It’s very spicy and delicious.

We like this restaurant quite a bit. Everything is delicious and we didn’t miss meat at all. However, there are three areas that require some improvement:

-Some dishes, like the two dim sum dishes and the soup, are oily, although they are good to moisturize lips.

-I am not a vegetarian and seldom go to vegetarian restaurants, but I wonder if the prices are set too high? Can any vegetarian weigh in?

-Some dishes have a herbal sourness to them. It’s not a bad sour, but it’s perceptible and that can be strange for some carnivores.

All in all, this meal is delightful. One of the better casual dining restaurants to open lately and I think it is a place I’d return. I’d rather go to Lotus Kitchen than the Michelin Bib Gourmand Whole Earth any time.

Here, I’ll leave you with the thought of the day: if a vegetarian doesn’t eat Peking duck, how do they create a dish that tastes like Peking duck? And how do other vegetarians know the mock Peking duck taste like real Peking duck? Can a vegetarian please answer this?


Lotus Kitchen
133 New Bridge Road, Chinatown Point #01-01/02, Singapore 059413
tel: +65 6538 1068
11.30am-3pm, 5.30pm-10pm
Facebook

food: 7.25/10
decor: 6.5/10
price: 5.5/10


You may be interested in…
Whole Earth, Tanjong Pagar: VERY SMELLY, Expensive But Excellent Food at the Only Vegetarian Restaurant to Be Awarded by the Michelin Guide
The Living Cafe, Bukit Timah: Hangry at Inept Service of Vegan-Friendly Cafe
Joie by Dozo, Orchard Central: Joie de Vivre From Meatless, Not Mock-Meat, Meal
Zen Fut Sai Kai Vegetarian Restaurant 真佛世界, Kitchener Road: Oldest Surviving Vegetarian Restaurant in Singapore since 1953


Written by A. Nathanael Ho.

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12 replies »

  1. Not all vegetarians are by birth. Hence it is not difficult to guide the chef to recreate vegetarian versions. Most sauces and condiments used in meat dishes are from plants anyway. Hence it is not diffucult to recreate the taste.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve never been to Whole Earth before but can I know why you prefer this over Whole Earth? I love the buffet at Lotus Vegetarian though.

    Like

    • Whole Earth is more expensive and I think way overpriced. It’s also smelly, bad ventilation, which left a bad impression of the restaurant. All I can remember is how smelly it was.

      Compared to Whole Earth, the eating environment at Lotus Kitchen is better and more pleasant. I thought the food is expensive too, but at least not as expensive as Whole Earth, so Lotus Kitchen is more value for money. And the food here is good. I was just telling my friends that I was craving for the food at Lotus Kitchen, but I have no inclination to return to Whole Earth.

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  3. I get very frustrated when people expect cheaper prices when eating vegetarian. It is not easy to cook tasty vegetarian food and it should not be cheap.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Referring to the thought of the day: if a vegetarian doesn’t eat Peking duck, how do they create a dish that tastes like Peking duck? And how do other vegetarians know the mock Peking duck taste like real Peking duck?
    I was 95% vegetarian for a few years, so maybe I can give some insight. I think the mock meat dishes are created to also encourage non-vegetarians to enjoy vegetarian food (much like yourself, Rubbish Eat Rubbish Grow!). No meat-eater would like to have vegetarian food if it only consists of uninteresting vegetables and mushrooms!

    Like

    • My guess is you are new to my site. I say both positive and negative points no matter whether it’s invited or I pay myself. That’s why people are scared to invite me. Go ask around or just read a few entries. In fact, in this entry, I very clearly stated 3 negative things about the food. 😘😘😘

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        • LKY never answered yes or no too, because both he and I understand that binaries are too simple. The world is more complex than that; the world has grey areas. You implied that this particular review is glowing because it’s invited; you implied that glowing reviews = invited, bad reviews = not invited. But this is not true for me. As I have pointed out, this review is mostly positive with some suggestions for improvement. So I can’t answer you with yes or no.

          These are recent almost-100% positive reviews. Maybe you’d like to guess if it’s invited or I paid:
          https://rubbisheatrubbishgrow.com/2017/07/17/chef-kang-singapore/
          -https://rubbisheatrubbishgrow.com/2017/07/24/braci-singapore/

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