CLOSED: White Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 10 reviews )



185 Victoria St, West Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, VIC 3003

Melbourne vegan restaurant serving Chinese food. Menu includes an extensive selection of mockmeat dishes. No onion, garlic, shallots, leeks, or chives used. Confirmed open Nov. 2013. FEB 2016 REPORTED SHUT.

Categories: Vegan, Chinese, Buddhist

10 Reviews

First Review by ampallang

special place in my heart - Edit

I still remember vividly the first meal I ever ate at White Lotus back in 2001. I had only been eating vegetarian for a year and would not ditch all animal products until a few years later. It was in the summer between finishing high school and starting uni and I was taking an intensive subject at in the faculty where I would begin my degree in the new year. I hadn't yet moved from the country to the city, so I was staying in the YHA hostel on Queensberry St and White Lotus was right nearby.

Being a fledgling veggie, I was pretty taken by the idea of an all veg restaurant, and totally overwhelmed by all the fake meat on the menu which, at the time, kinda grossed me out. I ordered a wonton soup and some eggplant fritters. I remember I was also a bit taken aback at the price of their dishes as a poor young student from the country. Now I'd say they're at the higher end of reasonable. I thoroughly enjoyed by first white lotus experience, however. The eggplant fitters were silky thin slices in a delicate crispy batter. I even dug the fake pork mince filling in the wontons.

Since coming around to the idea of fake meat, I've eaten there a number of times. On a visit with a big group for a friend's birthday, we did wait almost an hour for all our food to arrive, the first dish on the table after 40 minutes which made a few in our party pretty cranky. The food was also of a lesser quality on that occasion, not as hot and fresh as usual.

Usually I find it pretty reliable though. Last time I ate there they had a fake salt and pepper calamari as a special which I would definitely recommend, making sure you pair it with some light, fresh, crispy veg to balance out the deep fried goodness.

Previous reviews have mentioned it's proximity to the Queen Vic Market like its a point of convenience but, since White Lotus is only open for dinner Thurs - Sat, it's a moot point because the market isn't open then anyway.

The family that run the restaurant seem lovely and you have to give them props for staying power, I reckon. While I don't go out of my way to eat here often, I'll always be back now and then and really hope they stick around.

Pros: great variety, friendly staff, veg*n institution

Cons: limited opening hours, long wait times especially for big bookings

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Wonderful vegan food - Edit

I was surprised to find some of the reviews on this site that claim the food was bland! My partner and myself really enjoyed the food. I had a spicy tofu dish (tofu cooked to perfection) and my partner had a chicken and tofu broth. Both meals very tasty. Be sure to bring cash because there is no ATM service. Service was quick and friendly. Next time I visit Melbourne I will definitely visit White Lotus again.

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ok for inner city feed - Edit

It has been awhile since i have eaten here but i found it a bit bland. Their chicken fingers were bubble and squeak and not mock chicken as i expected and there isn't very much room to sit. when i went there it was cash only. BUT it is all veg and i like supporting all the shops with the right ethos. It is megga close to the Vic Markets and a great place to visit if your checking out the markets.

Pros: veggo!

Cons: not good opening hours, small venue

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When you are looking for a "meat" fix. - Edit

This place has been around forever! The food is consistent & OK, I agree with the other reviewers in that it is a little bland. The staff are really friendly. It is a small space with white paper tablecloths. The mixed entree is a favorite, however it is all deep fried. I suggest ordering one of the spicier dishes, as they are nicer. Good prices too.

Pros: Friendly staff, consistent, huge selection of mock meat dishes

Cons: some dishes are bland

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This is a Melbourne institution - Edit

I've being here before. It's not far from the Vic market and a vegetarian supermarket near by. Food is nice and prices reasonable.

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Only open Thurs-Sat now - Edit

While on vacation in Nov 2009, we went to White Lotus on a Wednesday to find a note that said they are only open 3 days a week (Thurs-Sat) starting Nov 12th. We decided to come back on Saturday, our last night there. A lot of the tables were reserved, but we showed up early enough to get a table. We ordered the fried wontons, ma po tofu, sweet & sour taro cutlets and the white lotus special. The service seemed a bit on the slow side compared to other Chinese restaurants I've been to. The food was good, but nothing amazing. I think we miss the garlic and onion! Dirk did like the white lotus dish that had mushrooms, tofu, lotus root and other veggies. It was convenient to our hotel, but I don't think I'd go out of my way though.

Pros: good variety of types of dishes, white lotus special

Cons: a little bland, open only 3 nights a week

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somewhat disappointing, but would try again - Edit

We were disappointed by this one, but maybe we ordered the wrong things. Too oily and a bit bland. But based on others' reviews below, I might try it again. The staff were certainly trying hard and very friendly.

Pros: A sincere effort

Cons: Food a bit average

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Queen Victoria Market - Edit

Located at the opposite corner to Queen victoria Market, this restaurant offer traditional chinese style cooking.. Serving time can be long, so be prepared for an unhurried meal.

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Disappointing - Edit

Having read the other reviews, I was really excited for White Lotus. Maybe we just ordered poorly, but our dishes were very uninspiring. Bland, with little in the way of flavour or excitement. The service was also appalling. Again, possibly just a bad night, but our dishes were served 25 minutes apart, and the whole meal took over 90 minutes to be served. They were busy, but not that busy...

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comfort food - Edit

All food is vegan, great selection. Soups are great and tasty. Large variety of mock meat dishes. Lack of vegies... but this is some great food aslong as it's not all the time. Great people who run the resturant and next door there son does traditional chinese medicine. I go there quite often :)

Pros: lovely food, vegan desert, good value

Cons: slightly expensive, unhealthy food

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