(Tuesday, April 12, 2011)
I love Asian food. Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, all of it! That Canadianized, usually too greasy, always yummy deliciousness we are familiar with. I have tried all sorts of variations on this theme, 'real' Chinese food when I lived in Richmond, the cheap and greasy version in the tiny town of Gibbons Alberta. Every chance I get, I go for it.
Funny thing. I have always known that there is this little place in downtown Victoria called 'Lotus Pond'. It's a vegetarian, Buddhist restaurant. For some reason I have never gone there. Maybe because it's downtown and parking is a pain in the butt, maybe because although I know it's there I forget about it...
They have a weigh your plate buffet at lunch, or you can order off the menu at lunch or dinner. I like the weigh your plate thing. It's a good way to try many different items and works well for people that can't eat a lot at a buffet. I usually avoid buffets as they are expensive and I don't eat enough to make it worth going. It's a little different than what most people are used to, but for me, it works.
Well, today I needed to grab dinner on my way home and a co-worker (Thanks Ryan!) had mentioned that he had been there and it was the best Asian meal he had ever had. I figured 'What the heck!' and headed downtown. I managed to find a parking spot right out front and in I went.
It's a cute little place. I grabbed a table and the server brought me over a menu. The menu has over 100 items! How do you decide?! After a few minutes I settled on a combo-for-one that included a Spring Roll, Won Ton Soup, Black Bean Stir Fried Veggies, Brown Rice and Lemon Mock Chicken. I also hung on to the menu to have a good read through, 100 items is a big menu. There are lots of items that look like they deserve a try.
The Spring Roll was really good. Hot, full of veggies and most importantly, not greasy. I could have had another one, or two...
Won Ton Soup was up next. I have missed Won Ton Soup in the 8 1/2 years I have been Vegetarian. The Won Tons always have shrimp or pork so I have been out of luck. This soup had veggies and mushrooms in the Won Tons. The veggies in the soup were fresh and the broth was amazingly flavourful. I enjoyed every single drop. Again, I could have had more.
Just as I was finishing my soup, my meal arrived. It smelled amazing. A-ma-zing. It was the Lemon Mock Chicken, it smelled so fresh and sweet. Guess what I tried first. I have never had anything like the Lemon Mock Chicken before. Ever. I don't even know how to describe it. Yummy. Beyond yummy. Super Duper. Once I devoured that I tried the Black Bean Veggies. I didn't eat the Tofu. That's me though. I have never been a fan of Tofu. It's a texture thing. The veggies were so fresh, so yummy.
I am running out of ways to describe the absolute deliciousness of this meal.
The last thing left on my plate was my Brown Rice. I used it to soak up the left over Lemon Sauce and Black Bean Sauce. I needed to do something, I was tempted to lick the sauces off my plate... Also good. Brown Rice can so easily go wrong. It can be too dry, or old, or too wet... This rice was pretty great, not old, dry, mushy. It was perfect.
I have not had a meal so satisfying in a long time. Now that I know how amazing the food it, I will be back. Soon.
Lotus Pond, where have you been all my life?