Not Bad, but Slipping Standards
Posted on 11 / 30 / 2008
I've been a regular customer at this low frills, vegan-friendly place for about 10 years and, until recently, it was hands down a 5-happy-cow establishment. On buffet nights, I was regularly treated to the delights of 'Beef' Rendang, Curry Kapitan, and Nonya Eggplant. Things seem to have changed for the worse in the last year or two, however, and the last time I went, the buffet was a major disappointment. Gone were the richly flavoured faux meat stir fries and curries, replaced by *very* basic stir fries, pastas, and what appeared to be cold McCain / Birdseye potato wedges! Not quite what you'd expect from Nonya cuisine.
The place is still owned and operated by the same people that served me up delicious veggie fare week after week for nearly a decade, so I can only imagine there's been a bit of cost-cutting experimentation going on with the buffet lately. A real shame, as this will definitely turn off first time customers. The buffet includes water, juices, soft drinks and dessert though, so there's still some value to be had.
The very friendly owners don't spend quite as much time at the restaurant as in previous years, and the service has suffered a little as a result. The current staff is still fine, but not as warm or attentive as a few years back.
As far as I know, the a la carte menu hasn't changed much, so I'd recommend sticking to that, and trying out some of the dishes I mentioned above - at least until the buffet returns to its previous standard. At the moment, I'd give White Lotus about 3.5 happy cows, but I'll round it up to 4 because I know what they're capable of.
It's also worth mentioning that the adjoining Vegetarian Market is outstanding, especially for lovers of faux meat / seafood.
Some excellent dishes, OK prices, Great veggie store next door
Poor buffet (at the moment), Average service