Is it bad, when judging a vegan restaurant, to start the review with saying how impressed I was that their beef rendang really did taste like meaty deliciousness? But really, it was awesome. My dinner at Golden Lotus Vegan, as suggested by my vegetarian pal, David, also supplied the biggest laugh of the day for me, as when we were waiting to be seated, a woman had gotten up from the back of the restaurant, where she was sitting (and it was so busy she would have had to have waited or made a reservation) and asked the waitress (before leaving): DON’T YOU HAVE ANYTHING WITH MEAT IN IT?
So, as I said, this place is bustling! They seem to have taken over two old Thai restaurants and have enough clients to be busy on both sides. It’s great to see. I think we should all eat a little less meat these days, for the planet’s sake. And it didn’t mean sacrificing any taste. We had a crispy skin duck pancake (vegan of course), and the mock duck really did taste like a charred or crispy piece of duck. What I always want to know is which poor Buddhist monk did they force to eat meat in order to come up with the vegan alternative?
No matter. It was delicious. The rendang was my favourite, I suspect made of jackfruit: the flavours were rich and complex and salty. It went perfectly well with the rice pot, which had rice vermicelli noodles and strips of fungus and vegetables. It could have been a very plain dish, but it wasn’t. A great combo of textures and flavour.
We washed it all down with homemade non-alcoholic drinks ($6 a piece, I think they were). I did think the prices were a little high for casual Asian food, but I shouldn’t mind for food this good.