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“Good if you're looking for an alternative spot” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Lotus Pond

Lotus Pond
Ranked #204 of 1,177 Restaurants in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Asian, Chinese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Dining on a budget, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations, Seating, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Neighborhood: Downtown
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
76 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Good if you're looking for an alternative spot”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 19, 2013

We found this restaurant solely based on TripAdvisor reviews, and it's no wonder - it's really a bit of a hole in the wall, and not on the typical tourist route. A few blocks from the heart of (the small) Chinatown, Lotus Pond seems to cater more to people looking for alternative foods than those looking for typical Chinese food. There were no Asians eating at the restaurant while we were there, and it seemed we may have been the only tourists as well. It actually looked like a favored spot for locals looking for vegan food.

We had the special combo meals, which you need to look for on the last page of the menu. It's funny - it seemed to cost the same to get some of the standard dishes as it did to get those same dishes with soup and spring rolls. Go figure. The fancier specialty items weren't available in this excellent combo deal, which is the only drawback.

We ordered the sweet and sour soup, which was good, if a bit strongly-flavored (i.e., not finely spiced), and the spring rolls were excellent. The main dishes we had were the Buddha stirfry (a standard Chinese vegetarian dish) and the soyapork (we thought this would be one of the things to try at a vegan Chinese restaurant). The Buddha dish was good, with lots of vegetables, although it had only a few pieces of gluten, which would be the one thing that made it unique from other restaurants (and the only protein in the dish). We noticed that actually finding options on the menu with a good portion of gluten was hard, and overheard other patrons saying the same thing. The soyapork was, well, amusing. It's basically little balls of fake pork cooked into a sweet doughnut hole. We ate a bit of it and then took it home. I'd almost suggest ordering it as a dessert for a table. Anyone who eats a whole plate of these fried fake pork balls is definitely going to feel a bit uncomfortable!

I'll also mention the service - all of the servers (several waited on us) seemed to be of Chinese descent and knew the food very well, although their English was not perfect. But they were extremely courteous and answered all of our questions as best they could.

One tip: they don't take your payment at the table. We waited about 10 minutes with our credit card out until we waved down the server, who told us to go to the cash register. I don't think they were being rude - just the way they do things.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank termie_g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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64 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    35
    18
    7
    3
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“It was ok”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2013

I went there after reading reviews for their lunch buffet. First things, the buffet is not really a buffet, it is like a salad bar, you pay by weight. Looking at what was on there, things were going to add up pretty quickly. I looked at the buffet and everything looked kind of tired but I was excited to try something hot straight from the kitchen. I got the pineapple "chicken" combo meal. Pretty good price for what you got (just under $11). Came with soup and a spring roll. These were both pretty good. The meal itself was lots of veggies and rice and 6 meatball sized "chicken" balls. Unfortunately, these were mostly fried dough with little "meat" inside. The meal tasted ok though. Like I said, good amount of food for what you paid.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank FindMENow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
182 reviews
123 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“A "sure thing" in Victoria”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 14, 2013

There are few really consistent restaurants around, but this is one of them. Every time, every dish is wonderful. Look past judgment, and see good people making great food. Ive fooled a few meat heads here (try the ginger B)! And every veg head I know loves Lotus Pond... (beware GF folks coz almost everything on the menu has gluten). Thanks Lotus Pond, for all the wonderful gastro memories!

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Scarlett S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nanaimo
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“All vegetarian”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2013

Delicious food and an all vegetarian menu with lots of variety and options. They use 'fake meat' for some dishes like their lemon chicken but there are lots of other choices if you avoid those products in your diet. No MSG. We really enjoyed having a full range of menu options and everything we ordered was great.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank DianaChristine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“So much choice, and all vegan!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2013

I love going here whenever I'm in Victoria. If only such variety and quality were available in more places (and in more cities).

I've always found the service very friendly and prompt while the food is always prepared perfectly. With so many options, I'll never get through the whole menu (but maybe only because I go back to my regular favorites so often - try the mock lemon chicken and the taro rolls). The prices are really reasonable, too.

It can sometimes be busy, but it's worth the wait!

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Zoe R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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