There's almost a spiritual presence in the back of Blossoming Lotus. There's a Buddhist shrine, statues of gods and a frieze at the back wall which possibly represents the story of the Dragon King and the lotus flower. Basically a story of a man down on his luck, daughter gets sacrificed to a dragon, she turns into a lotus, falls in love with the Emperor and meets her blind father once more at the wedding. Usual family stuff.
A Thai flag, boxes of drinks and a random assortment of decorations are tell tale signs that this could be an interesting place to eat. We love a place that has a random assortment of stuff lying around, often the kids homework on a table or mismatched decorations are all that's needed to give us our aesthetic jollies.
The main deal at Blossoming Lotus in Newtown is the assortment of meals ready cooked and waiting in the bain-marie-of-love. This makes it easy and quick to order and eat if you don't have much time. Often the food isn't piping hot, but this doesn't seem to make it less edible or flavourful.
Because it's all vegan and vegetarian the selections are sometimes a little different, but with a familiar flavour. Some of the dishes are simply all vegetables, like the pumpkin in the plate above, mixed with basil and tofu. It's one of our favourites, pumpkin in a red Thai curry is a perfect match.
Other dishes will be made from soy products, tempeh or gluten, used as a mock meat in vegetarian feasts. Two finger thick slices of tempeh are fried until crisp, it takes away some of the funk but gives it a nuttier texture that we like. With this dish is our favourite pick, a mock fish hor mok pla. How they get this to taste like a fishy soufflé we might just have to wonder over, but the texture is soft and well, soufflé-ish, and works beautifully with a spoonful of coconut milk and a little red curry sauce.
The mock meats are here too, these are slices of mock pork (mork?) in lemongrass. The flavours are done well and the fake meat isn't noticeable as such. You still get a good bite to the pieces and the little bit of charring on the edges adds some more flavour.
A plate of two choices with rice is a satisfying $9. There's a more extensive menu to order from, but we like the quick front of house food selections for lunch.
Blossoming Lotus is at 182 King St, Newtown. Phone 9550 5234. On the first day of the month they have a 'pay a note as donation' cheap service. Look out for the fridge of sweet snacks at the front of the store too.