Lotus Vegetarian

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 20 reviews )

Unit 1, 220 James St, Northbridge, Perth, Western Australia, 6003

Veggie food buffet and a la carte menu. Offers numerous choices such as satay, curries, sizzling beancurd, Nyonya eggplant, and mock meats (made from soy and wheat gluten). An attached food store sells a range of vegetarian cooking products and meat-analogues. Formerly Sri Melaka Vegetarian Nyonya. Open Tue-Sun 11:30am-2:30pm, Tue-Sun 5:30pm-9:00pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Chinese, Buffet, Asian, Catering, Nyonya Malaysian, Kosher

Reviews (20)

First Review by KelseyApple

Disappointing - Edit

Lots of mock meat served with sauces only slightly different - and fresh vegetables which don't seem to vary from one dish to another. Disappointing! And we asked for one rice and were charged for two - with the manager pretending to misunderstand. It's not a big amount on the bill, but annoying. The place isn't inviting, either, looking like a badly kept canteen.

Pros: Fresh vegetables, Mock meat

Cons: Poor management, Doesn't look clean and well kept, Big menu but dishes not distinctive

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nice food but dishonest lady owner - Edit

I've been a regular customer for years. I repeat, Regular Customer. The reasons are because the food is yum and I want to support veggie restaurant in Perth. The boss, who is the head chef (rarely shpws up at the front) is a very friendly and generous guy. But the lady boss, just as what the other bad comments say about her. So though I've been there many times, I always know she always marks up the total bill. I think I have run out of my tolerance with that lady boss' attitude. Very unhappy! But I feel very sorry for the waiters and waitresses, they are actually very nice.

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Great food - Edit

I have been to Lotus quite a few times and have not been disappointed. I particularly love the satay chicken (of course mock-chicken). The best part is everything that you eat in the restuarant can be purchased next door to the Lotus restaurant to cook at home!! Vegan Tom Yum mmmm.

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excellent vegetarian Malaysian food - Edit

Try the fish. It's delicious. Nice location and plenty of space.

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We went to this restaurant recently and have been good customers since 2002. But since the last 2 years and recently the service and food have degenerated to become very bad.
The owner an elderly Malaysian women is very pushy and gets you to order certain dishes which are dearer in price than others.
[edit by staff] We thought we would give this place the benefit of the doubt and try one last time and were horrified with the place again.
On walking in, we were sat on a table, and then asked to move to another one by the owner who told us the table was reserved. We were there for 3 hours, and no one turned up to accommodate the table. Then they took 15 mins to bring out the menu and green tea to drink before the meal. Then the owner, came and tried to help us with the menu, whilst being certain what we wanted to eat (as we have favourites), she told us this wasn’t available, (not the first time) and that we should try what she was suggesting, which we did. When the food arrived at the table, it was the worst food I had eaten for the money I have paid.
In my opinion you could do a lot better for the price my fellow customers pay, so I thought I would take the time to help all of you guys thinking of visiting this place. [edit by staff - see tos]

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Be warned - 1 v unhappy cow! - Edit

I ate dinner with a friend at Sri Melaka in April 2013 while visiting Perth. Approx. 10 hours later I suffered the only food poisoning I've experienced in the last 15yrs since turning vegetarian and then vegan. Although I ate nothing more before 48hrs of indescribable hell - another 24 before I could keep gastrolyte down or begin to rehydrate - I cannot be absolutely certain it was caused by Sri Melaka. If I were not overdue to leave Perth , I'd have obtained pathology & asked the health authority to investigate. Unfortunately, I'd already had to extend my stay by 2 (expensive) days thanks to the poisoning. Not nearly so bad as my illness was the extremely disappointing service and food. My friend ordered a vegetable stirfry with which she was happy - it looked fine.. I ordered honey (mock) prawns via the smiling manager who elected to remember our orders rather than write them down. I was brought honey (mock) chicken by a young waitress. When I tasted it, I asked if it was prawn or chicken (knowing it was chicken). She said 'chicken' as if that was what she believed I had ordered. I decided the mistake was not serious and I'd overlook it rather than cause inconvenience. The food tasted ordinary but I blamed my choice. I was keen to improve the experience with a nice redbean dessert I'd seen on the menu. Again, the smiling manager took my order. She strongly encouraged me to choose the tapioca dessert instead. I insisted I preferred the redbean one (I make my own tapioca desserts). I was very careful to communicate and confirm my order, given what had happened with my last order. The waitress brought me a dish of tapioca. I immediately told her I had ordered the redbean dessert. She went to the kitchen then returned to tell me the redbean dessert was not available. She looked embarrassed and seemed to avoid the manager's stare. Knowing this was no coincidence, but pitying the waitress, I decided to eat the tapioca. It contained hard lumps of starch that tasted like candle wax. I was anxious to leave. So when I paid the Manager in cash I did not count the change until I got outside. I was $1 short - surprise, surprise. There was another table of diners seated near the manager so rather than argue in front of them with so evidently dishonest and disrespectful a manager, I just walked away. This sounds like a prank review but sadly it is not. It took over a week for me to fully recover and it ruined my Perth holiday.

Pros: Vegetable (only) stirfry good

Cons: Possible source of food poisoning, Dishonest manager - substitutes your order, Staff cower under manager - need protection

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Disappointing - Edit

The owner lied to our faces about the food being vegan, the first thing we asked is if it was all vegan and she told us yes. Later on she used dairy ice cream on our dessert, and even after we had seen the tub and our vegetarian friend had confirmed what we already knew, the owner still tried to convince us it was vegan and waved us off when we told her it wasn't. She's also over charged friends in the past and is really just in it to make money, she'll tell you anything to get you to buy it. This place is very dodgey. Don't go here if you want honesty with your food or you're vegan.

Pros: Location

Cons: Dishonest, Not Vegan Friendly

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Delicious! - Edit

Visited "Lotus" in April 2013 after being away from the city for about 4 years. I don't think it's changed at all! It is Asian fusion style & yes, I would agree that most dishes are mock-meat centred. Which they do very well, full of flavour & sometimes a bit too close for comfort! So it really comes down to if you're into mock-meats. We did order one yummy mushroom dish with no mock meats & the sizzling "prawn" hotpot which had heaps of veggies included. So there are choices which are veg-plenty & I didn't find it overly oily..again, that comes down to individual taste. I've never tried the buffet. Some other notes, the desserts mostly contain palm sugar & dairy although you can ask for dairy free. You get complimentary Jasmine tea. The decor is simple, a bit plain for me, plastic on the tables etc. The atmosphere is ok, quiet music but usually well patronised. The old owner lady, which other reviewers refer to, isn't scary or loud. She just knows the menu back to front & will be decisive for you if you are unsure, hahaha. I find her quite endearing. She is a sweet lady & gave me a persimmon once.

Pros: Flavour! Always a bonus when dining., Stacks of vegan options, Lovely staff

Cons: Bit of a Yin atmosphere for my liking.

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Regular favourite - Edit

My friends and I are regulars at Sri Melaka (or Lotus as most people call it). Definitely not the sort of place you'd eat at too often as the food isn't generally on the healthy side. The young waiter/waitresses that work there generally seem timid and with the owner of the restaurant I can clearly see why. It's either her way or the highway and that doesn't count only for the staff.
That being said, we're regulars there for a reason. The food is tasty, it's in a great location for heading out afterwards (though better for lunch the next day as a hangover cure) and the service is usually really quick.
Price is a little higher than it should be judging from other vegan restaurants around.

Pros: Flavour, Vegan shop next door, Location

Cons: Owner, inconsistency, Price

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Plenty yummy - Edit

Had three excellent dishes for dinner on a Friday night: Assam Garam Fish, an eggplant dish, and the chicken satay starter. The fish was a standout, and also the satay, and both were pretty large portions. Good service. The price for those three dishes and including rice and tea was $49. I like mock meat occasionally and thought they did a pretty good job of it, but when we wandered over to the store afterward I realized that all the stuff we ate came from the freezer case. It's probably too much to expect a restaurant making these items from scratch, and I'm sure most Asian restaurants use the frozen stuff. Anyway, a great meal and I'd go back.

Pros: delicious, generous portions, Malaysian

Cons: frozen food

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Nyona + Vegan = Awesome - Edit

Well made Nyona cuisine. And it's veg, so go! Don't you remember how good beef rendang used to taste? Oh yeah, one of the few dishes I missed after becoming vegan... so good.

Pros: Tasty, Location, Store

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Not healthy but tasty - Edit

I agree with every review - it can be all these things on all days! We've been ripped off by the owner too but complained and received a lovely email back offering free items next time we went in. The only disconcerting thing is the names of the dishes! I don;t WANT to eat beef, fish, lamb, chicken etc and it took me ages to eat there. The names are off-putting and I tend to point at the menu. They probably think I'm an ignorant Australian who thinks they can't speak English, but I never want to say I'm ordering Sweet and Sour Chicken (the rest of the dishes have got so spicy over the years). It puts me off - that, and the amount of fat which must be in these fake meat products.

Pros: Price, vegan, attached market

Cons: Attidtude of owner, Names of dishes, Casual billing practices

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I don't know what everyone is complaining about! - Edit

I went there for the first time last week and the food was excellent. I can't comment on the buffet, but the menu is huge and the sauces are delicious and spicy. The staff were great, the food was cheap, and sure, it isn't the worlds best decorated restaurant, but it is nice and cozy. And me and my carnivorous friend bought up big in the fantastic little market next door! I'm actually heading back this weekend for some more of that great rendang curry :)

Pros: Great food, Friendly staff, Cheap!

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my friend loves it...my man loves it...then i love - Edit

what is every1 complaing about...the mama-san seems to take care of me the way a mommy would!! she just knew...

my man converted vegetarian because of the 2 visits!
he loves it!

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Mediocre - Edit

I had the lunch buffet here, the food didn't seem very fresh, healthy, or tasty. I found the atmosphere and decor uninspiring, but the service seemed fine. It wasn't a bad experience, but I left here not terribly impressed.

Cons: Not very fresh, Decor, Atmosphere

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  Contributions +19

Former Favourite... - Edit

Food is great with choices aplenty. Has a market next door which sells an abundance of veg friendly food items including mock meat.
The only downside is the apparent lady owner, who has an annoying knack for persistent upselling - which can really unsettle the experience.
But sill a good place to eat.

Pros: Many food choices, Market is good place to shop

Cons: Upselling owner

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Not Bad, but Slipping Standards - Edit

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.

Pros: Some excellent dishes, OK prices, Great veggie store next door

Cons: Poor buffet (at the moment), Average service

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Not cheap, not good, not again - Edit

I ordered frm menu as buffet looked tired & and past use-by date. Soup OK. Sizzling beef didn't, consisted of limp beef sausage & chopped bell peppers. Gado gado a mix of cabbage, lettuce,beanshoots and peanut sauce. No egg! Very bland. Service ordinary. Expensive for what I got (A$40) michael tait

Pros: BYO

Cons: Food, Service

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