Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant
Location: 201 Balestier Road, #02-00 Quality Hotel
Opening Hours: Daily 11:30am to 3:00pm & 5:45pm to 10pm
Starting with the Dim Sum. I have to confess, dim sum has never really been my favourite thing to eat, and perhaps the reason for that is that there has not been a good meat-free dim sum invented yet. The dim sum from Lotus certainly met my expectations of what a typical vegetarian dim sum is always like. Yet, nothing exceed my expectations. There were three pieces siew mai dim sum in total. A good way to open a meal, but a little too doughy in texture, and lacking in any real flavour.
Price: $2.00. 5/10
The Minced Meat Eggplant was certainly the standout dish that I sampled that evening. What was unique was the purple skin of the eggplant was, in fact, removed during the preparation. This does make a significant difference in the texture, as the eggplants seem much more creamy and soft, without the hindrance of the skin - I am surprised more restaurants are not testing out this skinless eggplant style of cooking. A quick mention on the sauce, with was flavourful, but a tad heavy on the salt. Very satisfying dish overall though.
Price: $8.00. 8/10
One of the specialty dishes, which Lotus Vegetarian boasts of, is the Herbal Chicken Soup. This dish certainly did surprise me, but largely for all the wrong reasons. The biggest error in this dish was a lack of any herbal taste at all, therefore the title of the dish is very deceiving. The broth was just a normal typical conventional style, with quite trite ingredients inside. Comparing this to traditional herbal chicken, there is a vast difference in quality. Hopefully this dish can be improved upon in the future.
Price: $12.00. 4/10
From the disappointing, to the delicious - Here we have the Steamed Fish. Starting with the mock fish, due to it being steamed, it has a much more healthy feel to it, unlike the fried type. Additionally, this had an extremely strong fish taste, which I loved. The layout of the dish was perfectly done, with soft silken tofu laying on the bottom, followed by the fish, shredded vegetables, and finally wearing a crown of fresh coriander on top. The coriander in particular suited well with the mock fish. The presence of the preserved sour plum really added to the authenticity of this traditional teo chew dish.
Price: $10.00. 8/10
Conclusion - As you have probably gathered from this review, my experience at Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant was a mixture of highs and lows. The steamed fish and eggplant were outstanding dishes, which I savored. However, it is impossible to ignore the disappointments, which especially came in the form of the herbal chicken - A dish which requires the chef to seek serious self-evaluation. Price wise, of course, this is an expensive restaurant, perhaps the buffet would represent better value...
Food - 6/10
Service - 7/10
Value - 5/10