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Reviews (13)

First Review by Broomer

has dumpling - Edit

two types of dumplings, good going. I think a good tasting dumpling is hard to make so this one was a good effort but not something I would want to go back for but the cumquat tea I would go back for. A pleasant little cafe with a small menu, nice art gallary.

Pros: tea yum, dumplings, pleasant

Cons: sml selection, opening hours


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Nice for lunch - Edit

I come here every couple of weeks. I like the "chicken" nuggets and the menu lists which items are vegan which is helpful. Don't eat the biscuit served with the tea though as it isn't vegan friendly. Or it wasn't the last time I asked. The service is good and quick and it is reasonably priced. I can't use chopsticks and they bring cutlery to me when I ask.
They have 3 daily meals plus the full menu. I personally didn't like the fish imitation products and neither did my friend.
I wouldn't recommend bringing a loud friend here but at the back of the restaurant, they have dining rooms which would be good to use for group bookings. Not great to sit in if you aren't part of the group!

Pros: vegan listed options


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More a tea house that a restaurant - Edit

*updated review: It does have more vegan options and a full food menu again. I recommend it for a relaxing lunch in the CBD with specials for each day of the working week! *

Fo Guang Yuan has changed in the last 6 months. It used to offer a reasonable menu of food for lunch and only open from 12-2 daily ( i think). Now it is open 12-3, and is mainly about desserts which are not vegan. They ALL contain dairy and I am talking dozens of them! They do have some "snacks" such as dumplings and "chicken" nuggets, and about 3 noodle dishes if you are looking for a meal. I find it very limiting. Teas are lovely,I love the cumquat tea for example. I agree with one of the other reviews, about the laksa being good, and it is still on the menu.
Updated from previous review on Wednesday February 17, 2010

Pros: nice ambience, peaceful , Full lunch menu

Cons: not catering enough to vegans, average service


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Recommended - Edit

I work near this place and go weekly for lunch. It is pretty busy most days, but there's still a relaxed atmosphere. Good selection of dishes including some mock meat dishes. Everything I've had there has been quality. Great service - everyone is really friendly. Food comes out quickly. Recommended.

Pros: Good variety of dishes, Relaxed atmosphere, Friendly service

Cons: Decor a bit average


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Good but perhaps a little heavy on the salt - Edit

I would say the menu is very reasonably sized for lunch, not at all small.

The dumplings were great, the rest of my dish was otherwise good but a bit heavy on the salt. Everyone else in my group enjoyed it though at the same time nothing amazing- a few also found it too salty. Quite heavy on the mock meats which I like but probably not great for everyone.

It was pretty packed, I'm told it tends to be most lunch times, so if there once was a calm atmosphere I think being so busy has taken it away. However, it is still an interesting place beyond the restaurant and while the restaurant feels a little make shift it is entirely pleasant.

Meals are all around $10-12 so I think its very good value. It's a cheap price but it doesn't feel like cheap food or a cheap place, it feels and tastes more mid-range.

Staff are friendly and attentive without being too in your face all the time.


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A peaceful pleasant treat - Edit

A place to take time out from the rat race and enjoy a fresh tasty lunch. The service was quick and the staff were very helpful and friendly. I ordered a combination noodle dish and found it well balanced and satisfying. The Bento box meals also looked very appetising and something to try on the next visit.

Personally I would have like more vegetable and natural protein (tofu or tempeh rather than mock meat) but it certainly was one of the better noodle dishes I have eaten.

Prices were reasonable at around $10 - $12.50 for a meal. They also take card which is handy if eating with friends.

Situated inside an art gallery and spiritual centre, the restaurant is not easy to find - probably an advantage as it is a hidden gem.

Highly recommended.

Pros: Friendly staff, Quick service, Lovely atmosphere

Cons: A little heavy on mock meat, Not open for dinner


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Tranquil - Edit

Have been here many times as I used to work around the corner. So tranquil...similar to a museum setting and in fact, sometimes there are exhibitions off to the side such as Chinese Art. A nice little friendly oasis where you can get reasonably priced dumpling set, noodle soup or lhaska type dishes with excellent presentation. A fair bit of mock meat at this restaurant. The cumquat tea was delicious...


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Nice food in a peaceful & pleasant environment - Edit

I will frequent the place at Queen St at least twice a month. Like the food, and the ambience, is so peaceful and pleasant. I usually go upstairs to pay my respects, then enjoy my lunch...I leave, feeling so good...and happy too as I had a 'meatless' meal

Pros: Nice Food, Pleasant & polite staff, Peaceful environment


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Fantastic menu, food, ambience - Edit

I absolutely adore this place and come in for lunch whenever physically possible!

Set in a serene Buddhist temple, it features a daily set Bento Box menu and an a la carte menu for those wanting something different.

The food is divine: fresh, flavoursome, and fragrant. The Bento Boxes (my favourite!) always feature a delicious vegan 'meat' dish (the fish and chicken are particularly excellent!), a side dish (the battered cauliflower is out of his world), some rice, and a super-refreshing salad (often fruit, which strangely works!).

After you eat, it's possible to head upstairs and chill out (for free, although a donation is welcome) in the relaxing meditation room, or meander through the art exhibition (which currently features a beautiful range from an Indigenous Australian artist).

This place is well worth making your way to, even if you're never in the city! Make it a lunch date and treat yourself :-)

Pros: Delicious vegan food, Well priced, Serene ambience


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A simple meal in a peaceful environment - Edit

Went to Fo Guang Yuan in Queen St, it has changed a lot. It is only open for lunch and there used to be a rotating menu with different dishes available each day but now there are only three main courses available. I was told the restaurant had become too popular and noisy and the Fo Guang Shan Buddhists who run it decided they wanted something simpler and more peaceful to suit the religious nature of the operators and the building surrounds. Now it is more like a tea shop with a wide range of cakes and deserts available.

I had the Curry Laksa for $12.00 it was quite nice with a fair quantity of noodles and some vegies and tofu. The other two dishes available were some combinations of vegies and rice or noodles for $9.50. This is an okay place to go for lunch if you are in the city and need somewhere to eat because there are not any other options unless you go to White Lotus up near the market. It is also very peaceful with the sounds of the city replaced with gentle Buddhist music.

I remember the first cafe/restaurant opened by Fo Guang Shan was a small operation in Lonsdale St just up the hill from Swanston St. This seemed a better location being more central to all the action. Now it seems like a special trip needed to get up to the Queen St premises, although they own the current building so it really is their home.

The main purpose of this place is as a religious centre, but it can be a very relaxing place to escape from the city and sit and eat a healthy lunch and/or have a cake with tea, in a peaceful and calm environment, either on your own or chatting with friends.

Pros: peaceful, friendly staff, interesting surroundings

Cons: limited range, limited opening hours


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tasty and value - Edit

have the laksa really good value also any of the curries. overall for the price it is great value and please note the staff seem to be volunteers

Pros: tasty food, great staff, portions just enough

Cons: can be noisy, can be very busy


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nice place - Edit

I've been here twice and I really don't like the food here- I found it oily and bland. However I do like the place - the service is good, the tea, and its nice having an art gallery next door. Nice place to be on your lunch break after a hectic morning at work, but don't come here looking for good food.

Pros: friendly staff, nice tea, nice venue

Cons: food


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