Water Drop Vege Cafe at Fo Guang Shan Temple

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 13 reviews )

16 Stancombe Road, Flat Bush, Auckland, New Zealand

Cafe at the temple serves tea, coffee,, and Buddhist vegetarian food including Asian soups and some western type faux meat. Decorated with Buddhist art. Also sells gifts. Open Tue-Sun 10:00am-4:30pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Chinese, International, Western

13 Reviews

First Review by yvonnz


This temple makes absolutely delicious vegan meals!!

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Great food at the Buddhist temple - Edit

This is an awesome eatery that is part of the Buddhist temple in Auckland. The food is fresh, healthful, an delicious. Their daily set menu is also a really good value—you get rice plus three or four accompaniments, usually with a mix a mock meats and veggies. The environs are also beautiful, calm, and inviting. I highly recommend this place.

Pros: Lovely space, Good value, Great food

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Serenity - Edit

Serenity is the main reason when I go here for lunch. The temple grounds are beautiful and well-maintained. Personally, I find that most of their foods are just OK, not mind-blowing, and some of them are named incorrectly. For example, the laksa is not laksa but is actually curry mee. I've been eating authentic (assam) laksa since I was a child, so I know the difference between laksa and curry mee. I've tried a few other dishes including the BBQ wonton noodles (which was OK) and the siu mai (authentic, highly recommended). All in all, a great experience and everyone should definitely check out this place if they haven't already.

Pros: Reasonably priced food, Ample, easy parking, Beautiful temple grounds

Cons: Average food

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Great vegan food! - Edit

I come to Auckland every couple of years and I always make sure to make time for this cafe. Everyone loves it!

Pros: Location - beautiful temple. , Reasonably priced., Great flavours

Cons: They run out of food quick!, Service can be a little bit slow.

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Beautifully cooked and a mostly vegan menu - Edit

Went yesterday for lunch and was overwhelmed by the choice of vegan options on the menu. I ordered the BBQ Soy Wonton Soup which was amazing, the BBQ pieces had great texture and flavour, I'm not usually a fan of BBQ because of the powerful smokey flavour it often has, but I took a gamble ordering this and I'm glad I did, it was more of a sticky sweet BBQ.
I also had the coriander pancake with potatos and cauliflower in a curry gravy as a side, which was equally as yummy. The curry gravy was rather spicy but just right when eaten with the pancake.

Good fast service, the staff knew which dishes were vegan and which weren't which meant ordering was hassle free.

Similarly, I went with a family member who cannot eat garlic and luckily they use no garlic or onion in any of their cooking, so this made the trip there even more simpler.

The only non-vegan items found in the food (from what I could tell) was egg/egg noodles and cheese in some items.

Pros: Well Priced , Fast Service, Lots of Vegan Options

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Superb vegan (mostly) food and cheap too - Edit

Visited the Water Drop Cafe yesterday for lunch. The choice of food on the menu is enormous and the majority of it is vegan. The staff also know what vegan means so you won't have any trouble changing items that aren't vegan (like egg noodles for vegan noodles).

I had a dish called Lohan - which was mushrooms and other fungus with beancurd and vegetables in a pot. Very flavoursome and lots of different types of fungus that I'd not eaten before.

Also shared a curry roti with one of my companions, which came as the roti with a little bowl of curry containing potatoes and cauliflower, very tasty.

Another companion had BBQ Soy with noodles and wantons. Lots of good flavours and textures.

Others had the vege patty meal, which is basically steak and chips - a seitan patty with chips and vegetables.

After lunch we had a wander around the gardens and the temple, very interesting and amazing to find this in a suburb of Auckland.

Overall cost was very good - two mains, a shared starter and drinks came to $38, for the quality of the food this is a very good price.

Updated from previous review on 2016-12-15

Pros: Excellent tasty vegan food, Cheap, Nice staff

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Have a nice lunch and visit the temple! - Edit

My husband is crazy for the laksa. I like to try something new every time. Great selection, some western as well as eastern style dishes. Nice atmosphere and the temple is an extra treat before or after your meal.

Pros: good selection, nice atmosphere, reasonably priced

Cons: some staff members have limited English, can be quite busy at times

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Botany favourite - Edit

I've visited twice here and both times I have enjoyed all of the dishes!!
A vegetarian / vegan cafe is a rare occurrence in Auckland and this temple cafe delivers! Gorgeous soy coffees, tea, rice and noodle dishes!

Pros: Big selection of dishes, Great prices , Yummy faux meats

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Is this real? - Edit

It’s amazing that this is on the outskirts of Auckland.

Fo Guang Shan is a gorgeous and genuine Buddhist temple in East Auckland. This is a rare find in New Zealand - traditional Chinese architecture, elegant gardens tended by monks in saffron robes, heavy bells and solid statues. It is supremely peaceful, delightfully interactive, and leaves you with a light serenity as much as it excites your imagination.

The temple features worship rooms, a large open space for gentle strolling, incense for burning, a gift shop and the Waterdrop Vegetarian Cafe.

There’s no question: of the Asian-variety fake-meat restaurants in Auckland, Fo Guang Shan’s is the most beautiful. The atmosphere, plant life, hardwood furniture and outdoor seating option are a welcome and relaxing contrast to the inner city’s tucked-away secret tofu-fryers. The food is different too - still a focus on fake meat but with more attention to variety than others. Unlike most fake-meat places, the focus is on what it is, rather than what it’s not. The menu takes pride in its pickled vegetables and chewy moist mushrooms. Not everything is vegan - but the staff are able to fill you in on what’s good. I’m a fiend for a good laksa, and its smooth herbaceous broth is a good match for the setting. The extensive menu also includes rotis, hot-pots, and a wide selection of fragrant teas. If this temple was much, much nearer my house I would know every one of the staff.

The prices are reasonable, and you get the feeling that any profit is going to a pretty good place. Visiting the water-drop is a great day-out on a bicycle (although on some heavy trafficed roads this might compete with your inner-peace), or alternatively a half-day out by public transport or driving. Its southerly location means it’s accessible by detour while driving out of Auckland. And if you’re heading on a road trip, dropping in might be a good move.

Pros: Stunning location, Fun menu

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Definitely need to go there - Edit

I frequently go here for lunch, wonderful menu and great range of authentic Asian meals. The atmosphere is so beautiful and well priced. Must try the Laksa or the Vermicelli clay pot. However, can be very busy during lunch at weekends so pays to go a little earlier or a little later then peak lunch time. Volunteers that work there are very friendly and helpful. Varieties of teas available, do try the kumquat tea especially if you have a cold. Have taken friends and co-workers and they loved it. Plenty of parking.
Their Wednesday special lunch is also a great dish...with plenty of veges and tofu. Steamed dumplings are also very delicious.

Pros: delicious food, value for money, very friendly and courtoes staff

Cons: can be very busy in weekends, some dishes do contain eggs

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Beautiful experience and Laksa to die for! - Edit

This place is the complete package.

Vibrant little cafe full of vegan and vegetarian mock meat / traditional Chinese style food, cute gift shop and stunning temple grounds complete with two art exhibitions.

I had the Laksa as recommended to me by a number of other Auckland vegans. It was amazing (to be honest I've never had a laksa before but if there's one in existence that's better than that I'll keel over and die of amazement). Gorgeous flavours and just enough of a kick for me. Warning: Lotus tea is very mild - probably go for another flavour.

Service was a little brusque and there was a bit of a wait for the food and then between the food and the arrival of the tea, but the busyness of the cafe and the language barrier are things I take into consideration so I didn't mind. You need to order at the counter, just grab a menu and then find yourself a table once you've ordered. The girl at the counter knew exactly what I meant when I asked about vegan options which I appreciated. I went straight for the Laksa so couldn't say what percentage of the menu is vegan / what other options there are but I'd say there'd be a variety of choices.

Once you've had your meal go for a stroll in the temple and view the art. You completely forget you're a three-minute drive away from a bustling mall and retail district.

Loved it and will be back.

Pros: Setting - divine

Cons: Somewhat average service

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Feast for the eyes and stomach - Edit

That's a delightful Chinese Buddhist temple - huge, immaculately built with a huge golden Buddha statue inside and other beautifully made statues, a large courtyard with fancy trimmed grass squares and a "wishing bell" that you can ring to make a wish (with a few chants and bows that are written beside it - to do it properly). Entrance is free and you can wonder around (taking you shoes off inside the main temple & please taking pictures from the outside only) - there is a second floor with Buddhist art. There is a gift shop with lots of big and small statues (some quite intricately carved), pendants etc. And there is a cafe, which IMO is more like a restaurant - there is a huge menu folder with pictures of dishes, most to me appeared to be fairly vegan. I had fried soy pieces on wooden sticks, a spring roll, a veggie meat dumplings soup - all as entrees (there are multiple other soups as main portions), not bad tasting, and rather yummy vegetarian mince on rice with tofu slices, a lotus tea (though the flavor was a bit too subtle for me - next time I'll try a rose one), then I had a kind of a citrus/plum-tasting fruit tea in a tall wine-like glass (with real fruit inside) with a shortbread, which inside had something a bit like Turkish delight, sweet, but not too sweet, which was nice. All in all - the huge temple, the shop, the cafe are a window into 2000+ year old Chinese culture (some of those guys are from Taiwan) - not to be missed. Check the temple website, there is a service schedule and if you can get into one that might be quite an interesting experience too (I was given a sheet with chants in Chinese characters spelled out in English and some translation - though generally could not keep up as the language was so quick and pronunciation subtle).

Pros: Temple, Gift shop, Food

Cons: None really

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Fo gang Shan Temple - Edit

It is a fair while since my husband and I ate here but at the time we loved the surroundings and the fact we could eat vegetarian food without worrying about whether or not it contained animal products. I was not quite sure if the biscuits and all the noodles had eggs so we avoided those items. Overall it was nice to go there to eat in quite exotic surroundings that were quiet and peaceful. We knew we were in a special place where people respected the food they were serving and the feeling of being in an ancient Chinese temple in the middle of Auckland added to the experience.

Pros: lovely environment, good food, good value

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