I ate here last night with a recently vegetarian friend. She had initially wanted to go to Vina Vegan but as they’re closed on a Tuesday, and following a thorough review of other online food blogs we chose Golden Lotus instead. Vietnamese vegan food. What could go wrong?
No review of an inner West restaurant is complete without a complaint about the parking situation. I spent around 25 minutes on a weekday evening trying to find a park for my small car, through narrow alleys and one way streets, to end up in a 2-hour park 10 minutes away from the restaurant. My friend had a similar problem. In retrospect we might have had better luck trying to aim for a 7PM start, as that is when most of the clearways on the main strip stop being clearways.
Golden Lotus doesn’t do bookings, and we were allowed in after a short wait outside. It was jam packed, and we found ourselves sitting shoulder to shoulder with other diners. It really didn’t look like they had made any effort to support social distancing within the restaurant. Maybe they had missed the memo?
We had the Vegan Duck Pancakes ($8.80), the Stir Fried Mushroom With Combination Veggies ($18.80), and the Golden Lotus Combination Hot Pot ($17.80).
Around 30 minutes after ordering one of the staff came to tell us that the combination hot pot and stir fried mushrooms were quite similar, and that we should choose another dish instead. We had another dish that we had had in mind and asked to change to that, but she returned a minute later and told us that the meal was already cooked and it wasn’t possible. Thanks.
The food itself was a disappointment. The vegan duck pancakes had crispy protein and the right flavours, and I guess I grew to like it considering what came next. It turns out that the waitress was absolutely right about the combination hot pot and the stir fried mushrooms with combination veggies. They tasted extremely similar and I think could have been mixed together with no one the wiser. The dishes weren’t to my taste, and my vegetarian food colleague did not like them either.
There’s not much more for me to add. I didn’t enjoy Golden Lotus, and neither did my vegetarian friend. I wouldn’t recommend Golden Lotus Vegan for your next business lunch.