The Lotus-Heart Restaurant and Tea House

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  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 45 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

45 Reviews

First Review by katinjap

What you'd imagine - Edit

Stopped by for lunch and ordered a curry (mostly Indian inspired food), a smoothie and chocolate cake. All vegan. I thought it all that the staff were all white men, but pleasant, well timed wait, and good food. I didn't find the food to be "wow! Delicious!" Not horrible, but all in all pretty average. Still recommend trying it out. Oh and it contains 2 small shops, a childish sort of toys and house things and then a bit of a Eco products stop.

Pros: Good service time.

Cons: I was seated next to a post, a bit crowded at time, Loud, metal plates, small space.

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Amazing food - Edit

Incredible place to have lunch, they have a small shop inside the restaurant, the food was really good, we had Mexican Frijoles Soup and Portobello Mushroom Bowl and a side of polenta fries.

I really recommend you to stop here and have a fantastic meal.

Pros: Lots os vegan options.

Cons: A bit expensive.

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Perfect, delicious, and amazing atmosphere - Edit

This is a must do in Christchurch! The chai was incredible, food was scrumptious and the desert! The building itself has so much character and the service was phenomenal!

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Delicious, huge breakfast, served with kindness - Edit

We were very pleased to find this amazing cafe, restaurant and shop a little outside the centre of Christchurch. One of us had the vegan big breakfast, while the other had the vegetarian version. The portions were huge and everything was delicious, including some unexpected Turmeric-style potato mash, TVP-based sausages and freshly squeezed orange juice. There is also a great range of vegan cakes and snacks and speciality decaf drinks. Highly recommended if you are visiting Christchurch.

Pros: Beautiful decor, delicious food, reasonably priced

Cons: Outside is very discreet - no signage could be see

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Delicious food! - Edit

We came here for lunch & desert and the food was just delicious! We loved all meals, especially the two cakes and latte/chai latte we had for desert. The waiters were exceptionally friendly and the place had a very welcoming design.
We definitely will be back!

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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

1 Response
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the_lotus_heart 07 Mar 2018 - We have discussed your comments with all our staff and can see that you do have genuine reason for dissatisfaction with your service that evening. Usually we like to resolve all issues with customers at the time, but it seems that in your case your server did not fully understand the problem with your situation and we regret that that it was not resolved for your properly at the time.

The special thali plate that you ordered was a chef’s special that evening. For these meals, the chef puts in a lot of effort as well as many exotic ingredients. The pricing is not based on size, but rather time and ingredients. This is why our special dishes are priced higher than our standard menu items. However we have looked at how this meal was described on the specials sheet and feel it was not adequately represented for what you were actually served. As for our mousse, mousse is typically made from eggs and cream. Creating a vegan version will not result in the same texture as the standard version, and the same goes for our housemade vegan icecreams. Again, the fault seems to lie with the descriptions, and this has made us much more aware of our need to be more precise in describing dishes.

We sincerely apologise for the unsatisfactory experience you had with us and wish you the best for the future. Kind regards.  


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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

1 Response
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the_lotus_heart 08 Mar 2018 - The Maca ‘smoothie,’ is listed in the Superfood Smoothie section on our drinks menu, and is created from superfoods and spices blended with housemade cashew milk. It is not like a thickshake, and it has it’s own chorus of people who like and consistently order it. Usually the expectation of a superfood smoothie is a healthy drink as opposed to a regular smoothie. For ease of ordering, we list our drinks in categories on the menu, and ‘smoothie,’ is the best fit for our maca superfood beverage. However, now taking in to account that new customers are going to expect something quite specific from that heading, we have adapted that drink to thicken it up a little. But to state that all of our smoothies are blended water is completely false as none of them are.

As for our aioli, it has been a very popular vegan sauce. Though it does not contain eggs to thicken it, it has so far has been an excellent alternative to mayonnaise for our many vegan customers. We acknowledge our aioli cannot rival mayonnaise in it’s texture however we do have two versions of housemade aioli, both vegan - one with cashews, and a thicker (though not as thick as mayo) version that is nut free.  


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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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