Tuesday, June 12, 2007
There are some American interns working with us for over two months and one of them is a vegetarian. She's been having a hard time eating out as many restaurants either add meat to the dishes she orders or her Chinese friends are exasperated and say, "Can't you just eat meat this time?"
So I took her and two others to Pure Lotus, a vegetarian restaurant in Lido Place, attached to the Holiday Inn Lido. I'd been there twice before and was impressed with the food, along with the over-the-top presentation and decor.
And so were the girls. They oohed and awed as soon as we stepped into the dimly lit place that projected pictures of lotus flowers on the wall, and the restaurant is sectioned off by beaded curtains. We sat in a giant booth for six and sat back against the cushions to take in the serene atmosphere.
We were first handed the beverage menu which was a giant book with beautiful pictures. The drinks ranged from beetroot juice to Tisane herbal teas and very expensive Chinese ones. As the girls were on a tight budget we just had water with lemon.
The food menu was another tome that took a while to read through and figure out what to order. A waitress came by with a giant feather pen to write down our dishes and then brought yellow napkins to place on the bottom of our plates down to our laps as well as small cocktail napkins and packaged wet ones.
We first had vegetable rolls that were like California cones minus the crabmeat and mayonnaise. Wrapped in seaweed were cucumbers, carrots and watercress. Then we had pumpkin casserole, which was actually slices of pumpkin braised in a small clay pot. We also had fake chicken stir-fried with green peppers. But the favourite was the vegetarian patties served on a sizzling platter complete with mini French fries.
The vegetarian girl was so thrilled by all the food and the atmosphere that she didn't want to leave.
As a finishing touch we were also given a small bowl of lychees, presented in a bowl with dry ice flowing out of it. Pretty dramatic finish.
The last time I was there, I had lily bulb congee. I thought it would be rice congee with bits of lily bulbs in it. In fact the entire bowl was filled with petals of lily bulbs that had been braised for a while. Amazing.
It's a great place to detox once in a while. If you come more often, your wallet will be cleaned out faster than your digestive system.