The Lotus-Heart Restaurant and Tea House

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  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 40 reviews )
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03-3772727
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363 St Asaph St, Christchurch, New Zealand, 8011

A popular vegetarian restaurant and tea lounge in Christchurch whose menu features a varied range, from veggie burgers and pizza to Indian masala dosa and hearty soups, to coffee and chai. Raw, vegan, and gluten-free options. Reservations preferred. Moved here in 2011 from Cathedral Square. Open Tue-Sun 7:30am-3:00pm, Fri-Sat 5:00pm-9:00pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Pizza, Indian, International, Western, Take-out

40 Reviews

First Review by katinjap

Fabulous fine dining - Edit

An oasis of calm, excellent ingredients, healthy, well presented, tasty, and plenty of vegan options.
Very friendly staff, highly recommended!

Pros: Restaurant atmosphere

Cons: None

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Food uneven and service airy-fairy - Edit

We came here with the expectation of paying a little more for a nice dinner. When I arrived the person on reception just let me stand there in front of them for some time (and no apparent reason) without acknowledging me. Once seated, I started with a nice cardamom-spiced smoothie. I ordered samosas and a Thali, and concerns this would be too much were quickly calmed. While the samosas were fine, the Thali arrived with three small portions of different curries, rather than the four described in the menu. Despite being $6 more than my companions’ dosa, it was significantly smaller, even after I’d requested my fourth curry. Then the curries themselves were fairly mediocre and not what I expected for $26. While some staff were pleasant, others seemed to almost ignore (or be oblivious to) us, and there was a general vagueness in their responses. For dessert I got to share a chocolate mousse, a couple flavours of ice cream and a tart. The mousse tasted good but was too dense, like a melted block of chocolate rather than mousse. The ice cream was nice, but ironically textured more like a mousse than ice cream. On our way out, although we were second in the queue at the counter, it took a long time for us to get there to pay, and we later realised it was because they had given the previous party our bill and then effectively had to work out both bills again from scratch. I’m not demanding when it comes to service but there were just too many things not working for this experience to be worth the nearly $50 per person we paid for it.

Cons: Mistake with order, Some dishes substandard, Service vague and sometimes incompetent

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Pleasant enough - Edit

Honestly I thought the food was kind of bland. Perhaps we chose poorly? Lots of raw desserts which looked good, although we didn't try. They sent my dosa out without the curry and corrected it when I had finished the dosa, so I had nothing to eat it with (it had a little pot of dahl that I mistook for the curry). The place has a bit of a strange ambience. The service was very friendly. There is a shop for organics etc.

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Pretty average - Edit

We went here for brekky with 3 other friends, we had high expectations as we had heard the food is pretty good here but left a little disappointed.

I ordered a smoothie, the maca one, and there I was disappointed because when you order a smoothie, you expect a smoothie... instead I got VERY a watery milkshake. I kindly asked the waitress about it, and she said “they call it smoothie” but it isn’t. So, don’t expec a nice, cold thick smoothie from here as it will be blended water.

The polenta fries were nice, but they are from Bidvest and the aioli was very runny. Aioli should be thick.

Everything else, pretty average.




We ordered polenta fried, hummingbird burger, Bengali bowl and bread less burger.

Pros: lovely place

Cons: Not good smoothies

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good but overpriced - Edit

Food was decent, but didn’t blow me away. Felt overpriced, especially the smoothie. Good atmosphere if you’re into the hippie/spiritual kinda veg kinda vibe, not so much if the inner city/hipster/cool thing is for you. Polenta fries the pick of the food.

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Lovely food and vibe - Edit

This place was packed the day we visited, which is always a good sign! Staff were busy but not rushed/stressed, very friendly and calming. Food took a while to arrive but was beautiful, as were the smoothies. They also have a health shop which is great as you can pick up some bits whilst you're there which is convenient!
Sad we didn't get to go again!

Pros: lovely staff

Cons: very busy but that's great for them!

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Incredible - Edit

I've been here more times than I can remember over the years. I have never had a bad experience with any aspect and the food is always astounding. Staff always attentive, lovely, and calming. I love the vibes in here. It always makes me feel better. The vegan chocolate cake is to die for and they always have interesting specials each day. I can't fault this place.

Pros: Chilled out, lovely staff, unique

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great value awesome atmosphere - Edit

Great experience for all. Kids will love it here for the selection and adults will enjoy the good expansion a d education aspects oh and the food. They do awesome breakfast and booking for dinner is essential.

Pros: great options. kid friendly and very relaxing

Cons: not open every evening.

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Great place - Edit

This place is awesome. They have an amazing vegan chocolate cake and the sun burger with fries is to die for. They have a cute little shop that sells food, supplements, gifts, etc as well. The prices are good and the service is always friendly. I go there often.

Updated from previous review on 2016-05-25

Pros: Great vegan options, Good service

Cons: Location and parking difficult

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awesome :) - Edit

Had the vegan Curry Dosa and a Kim Chi and absolutely enjoyed it! Price was really ok for what I got.

Nice atmosphere and nice music! Restaurant seems to be very popular! :)

I found it really cool that they offer home made cashew nur milk and it doesn't cost extra 50 cents!

Pros: nice ambience, cashew milk, coconut milk, etc.!

Cons: vegan options are more expensive

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Great food and cozy atmosphere - Edit

We ate main courses and desserts, and drank chai coffee. Food was really tasty and fresh. The restaurant is beautifully decorated and furnished, and atmosphere is peaceful. Service was friendly. I strongly recommend this place for everyone. :)

Pros: Tasty and fresh food, Beautiful interior and calm atmosphere, Friendly service

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My absolute favourite restaurant - Edit

I absolutely love Lotus Heart, they have a huge range of vegan breakfasts, lunches, dinners and deserts. They also have a cute wee shop area aswell which always makes me so excited to look around.

Pros: Staff are lovely , Food is delicious

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Lovely Little Tea Shop... - Edit

This is a cute little cafe with a very friendly staff. It's a nice place for a bit of breakfast before exploring Christchurch.

We had a bit of a mix-up involving ingredients, as it turns out a lot of their breakfast foods involve cashew milk (a no-no for me, according to my doc). We didn't realize that until after we'd ordered, but they quickly and happily sorted everything out.

They are in the process of updating their menu to specify ingredients (or, at the very least: GF, NF, SF, vegan, etc.), so until that is done, be sure to ask if you have allergies or restrictions.

We'd highly recommend the Green Power Smoothie and the Dosa (filled with caramelized bananas and vegan honey). And, basically, any tea you can imagine...

Pros: Tasty breakfast, Friendly owners and staff, SO MUCH TEA

Cons: Slightly strange location (near auto repair shops), Allergens not marked on menu (yet)

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Absolutley Fabulous!! - Edit

such a beautiful place! the food was to die for, and the tea selection is just out of this world! I would absolutely reccomend it! definitely going to go back! :D

Pros: excellent food, great tea selection, bonus health store!!

Cons: none

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Great atmosphere, tasty food - Edit

An amazing vegetarian cafe with vegan alternatives! The cafe has an amazing atmosphere, decorated beautifully and friendly, attentive staff. We had a cashew milk chai, masala dosa and nachos made vegan with vegan cheese and aioli. Wverything was delicious, not too oily either!!

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Everyones Fav - Edit

If you live anywhere in the south island and have an interest in any vegetarian lifestyle, then this is the place you have to try at least ten times. I have tried just about every vegan option on the main menu and they all taste delicious.

Pros: A range of options, The daily changing menu

Cons: Portions

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Vegetarian

  Contributions +16

Amazing - a must visist - Edit

I have been there a few times and have loved it every single time, the burgers are amazing, with vegan cheese and mayo options available. If you are in Christchurch this is a must visit (I recommend the burger wrap).

Pros: Amazing food, vegan options

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Holy cow - Edit

Best goddamn vegan food there is. If I go to bed hungry, it's the Lotus Heart burgers and fries I'm thinking of. Vegan cheese and Mayo option. Goddamn. So good.

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Awesome veg food - Edit

Lotus Heart was such a great visit after traveling in NZ for a couple weeks, without many vegan options. All vegetarian restaurant, with lots of vegan options. Very friendly staff. I ordered lunch and a dinner for take-away since they closed early (3 pm) on Sunday. (They are closed Monday's.) They also have a few delicious vegan desserts. They also have various free classes / lectures / demonstrations if you're lucky enough to join one. I happened to visit the day they were offering a free Tea Tasting and Discussion class which was really great.

Pros: Great food, Good vegan dessert options, Friendly staff and atmosphere

Cons: Close early on Sunday and closed Mondays

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Tasty and atmospheric - Edit

Incredibly tasty food in a beautiful restaurant. Try their ice cream, or one of the many interesting drinks!

Pros: Excellent food, Interesting non-alcoholic drinks, Nice atmosphere

Cons: Rather expensive

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Worth the walk, worth the drive, worth the flight - Edit

In two months of traveling NZ and Australia, and often seeking out "fine dining," this restaurant stands out as one of the top 3 during the whole trip! A sanctuary inside, beautifully decorated, super clean, you walk in and immediately feel good. Vegetarians will be in absolute heaven, and meat eaters "should" really like the food as well. Everything I tried was delicious, so you probably cannot go wrong. Particularly, I remember liking the soups, the veggie burger was really good, and a couple of their baked goods were super delicious. Don't miss this restaurant, especially if you are open to veggie food.

Pros: peaceful and quiet inside, friendly service, super clean and nicely decorated

Cons: about a mile out of town, limited hours, if I remember right

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Beautiful Vegetarian - Edit

Last week was my first visit to the new Lotus-Heart and I was so pleased to see that they have recovered and rebuilt a new restaurant - it is clear to see that they have worked very hard after losing both their former cafe and former restaurant too in the earthquakes and there is a lot of attention to detail and love shining through those efforts. Although there is nothing much around them in the new location, the new restaurant shines alone almost like a temple, and is unique and beautiful. The food is just as good if not better than before. This restaurant is definitely unconventional but that is what I love about it. If you prefer a mainstream, conventional environment and food, then The Lotus-Heart may not be for you ;)

Previous review on Monday July 20, 2009
The Lotus-Heart is a real sanctuary in the heart of Christchurch City. Beautiful atmosphere, beautiful food, beautiful people. The staff are sincere and friendly. I have sampled the breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. Breakfast offers some unique and healthy options. Lunch is more simple and reasonably priced. The dinner menu is lovely. They have an amazing selection of drinks including superfood smoothies, a great selection of quality white, green and black tea, mate, herbal coffee...the list goes on. Clearly a lot of thought and energy has gone into offering a lot of healthy, yet delicious options. Keep up the good work!

Pros: Healthy cuisine, Beautiful environment and atmosphere, Large range of beverages

Cons: I wish they were in Melbourne

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lotus heart. - Edit

the food at the lotus heart is excellent. their dosas are delicious and super huge. as far as their food goes, i have not been disappointed yet. unlike other reviews, i find the atmosphere a bit creepy. it's super clean though and very well presented. their vegan chocolate cake is highly recommended.

Pros: great food, large portions

Cons: a bit cult-like

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Always lovely - Edit

This is a great restaurant. The food is always of a high standard. It's very good for creative and tasty vegan options. They do a wicked chai and a yummy vegan cheesecake. The service is always beautiful and the atmosphere is always serene and peaceful.

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Great experience! - Edit

I went here with my dad for a lunch out and I really enjoyed it. Not only is it difficult to find vegetarian food, let alone vegan food, in a city that has been ravaged by earthquakes, but also good tasting food!I found it here. We ordered ourselves garden salads and they had a lovley tahini sauce, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, celery, carot, cucumber, lettuce, and shredded cabbage. For quite a decent sized dish they only charged $6, and it tasted amazing! I also ordered a green lemonade,which really alerted the senses with a stingy ginger after taste-so good.
A group next to us were celebrating a birthday and a large vegan chocolate cake with candles and sliced almonds ontop arrived, then the Sri Chimonoy cafe staff sang happy birthday and it was very nice.
They also have an adorable wee shop, which sells books, sweets, drinks, packaged foods, clothing and small and pretty knick-knacks.
For my birthday I would like to go there with my friends and book one of the little side rooms and eat some delicious food. I reccommend trying this place out, it's gorgeous, the inside and outside decor is palace-like. Make sure you book in advance, because it can get pretty full on weekends!

Pros: good price, nice vibe, good food

Cons: can get very full

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A perfect night - Edit

Had a wonderful dinner with my wife, and we loved it they were happy that we only wanted to share our dessert and starter, which meant that we could have a full meal without being to full:-) Nice selection of food for all from Raw to vegetarian and its not just from one culture, the place has a really nice feel to it. We considered having coffee after our meal but when we saw the tea menu had tea. Its a real treat the whole thing we had no complaints. If you visit Christchurch and you are looking for something good to eat you will not be disappointed, if you are vegetarian/Vegan this is a great place to eat with non veg friends the food and service stand out. We thought it was very good value we had two mains a starter, starter and 4 drinks and it came in at NZ$70. You need to book for dinner our you may well be disappointed, they must have turned away as many as they served while we were there, with most agreeing to come back at a later time of settling for take away!

Pros: excellent food, Repect all types of Numan eaters

Cons: I live 150 km away:-(

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Oasis - Edit

This is my favourite NZ restaurant but I live in Wellington and only occasionally get to go there. I make a point of going there every time I visit Christchurch. Its not just the food, which is great by the way - true soul food, but the ambiance is just so restful. Truly a haven, oasis call it what you wish.

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