I still remember vividly the first meal I ever ate at White Lotus back in 2001. I had only been eating vegetarian for a year and would not ditch all animal products until a few years later. It was in the summer between finishing high school and starting uni and I was taking an intensive subject at in the faculty where I would begin my degree in the new year. I hadn't yet moved from the country to the city, so I was staying in the YHA hostel on Queensberry St and White Lotus was right nearby.
Being a fledgling veggie, I was pretty taken by the idea of an all veg restaurant, and totally overwhelmed by all the fake meat on the menu which, at the time, kinda grossed me out. I ordered a wonton soup and some eggplant fritters. I remember I was also a bit taken aback at the price of their dishes as a poor young student from the country. Now I'd say they're at the higher end of reasonable. I thoroughly enjoyed by first white lotus experience, however. The eggplant fitters were silky thin slices in a delicate crispy batter. I even dug the fake pork mince filling in the wontons.
Since coming around to the idea of fake meat, I've eaten there a number of times. On a visit with a big group for a friend's birthday, we did wait almost an hour for all our food to arrive, the first dish on the table after 40 minutes which made a few in our party pretty cranky. The food was also of a lesser quality on that occasion, not as hot and fresh as usual.
Usually I find it pretty reliable though. Last time I ate there they had a fake salt and pepper calamari as a special which I would definitely recommend, making sure you pair it with some light, fresh, crispy veg to balance out the deep fried goodness.
Previous reviews have mentioned it's proximity to the Queen Vic Market like its a point of convenience but, since White Lotus is only open for dinner Thurs - Sat, it's a moot point because the market isn't open then anyway.
The family that run the restaurant seem lovely and you have to give them props for staying power, I reckon. While I don't go out of my way to eat here often, I'll always be back now and then and really hope they stick around.
Cons: limited opening hours, long wait times especially for big bookings