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September 7, 2014 | by  | in Food Opinion |
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In Review: The Lotus

Location: 12 Majoribanks St, Mt Victoria.
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Price: Cheap–Moderate
Rating: 3.5/5

I’m a big fan of the large numbers of Vietnamese restaurants popping up over Wellington at the moment. Although my favourite is Little Hanoi, I’m always keen to try a new one. As soon as The Lotus opened, I had it on my list of places to go.

The Lotus is a relatively new establishment, next to the Embassy’s back entrance on Majoribanks St. The décor is modern and elegant: minimalist with white walls, black tables down one side, and pretty menus. The Lotus’s aesthetic is particularly impressive given its low prices. It makes a welcome contrast to the dinginess of many of Wellington’s cheap restaurants. On the night I was there, I was offered a free drink, which made a nice welcome. The mango nectar is absolutely beautiful; I’d highly recommend it.

As a vegetarian, I was sad to see that The Lotus’s menu contained very few options. Although there were a few meat-free entrées and salads, there was only one vegetarian main. Given the high numbers of vegetarians in Wellington these day, offering no choice of dishes is a pretty poor decision. Some of the noodle dishes looked truly delicious, and I was sad that I couldn’t try them. Vegetable Curry with Tofu ($13) it was.

I had mixed feelings on the curry. The flavour was lovely; wonderfully aromatic with plenty of coconut, lemongrass, and all other manner of Southeast Asian yumminess. At the same time, the curry broth was extremely rich, too much so for me to really enjoy it on its own. Over rice, it was very good. My other problem with the curry was the lack of tofu. Although the menu described the curry as ‘fried tofu with vegetables’, it contained only two small slices of tofu. I optimistically assume that this was a mistake rather than normal practice.

The Lotus wouldn’t be my first choice of restaurant, mainly because of the lack of vegetarian options. However, the dish I tried was nice, and I’d happily eat it again. For its price, The Lotus gives a very pleasant dining experience and well-presented food.

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