Connect with us

Thai Life

Phuket’s vegetarian nirvana at Lotus restaurant

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET: The Vegetarian Festival is a yearly religious event held in honor of the nine Taoist Gods (Kiu Ong Iah), who are revered for their power to protect Phuket island and its inhabitants.

For ten days during the ninth lunar month, the Chinese community observes a strict code of conduct to purify the body and mind: celibacy, cleanliness of the body, abstinence from alcohol and meat products.

During this time, vegetarian restaurants spring up all over the island to cater to vegetarian practices. Usually, vendors will cook up a multitude of various dishes in advance to save time for this very busy period. So what you get is mostly unappealing, overcooked vegetables and soggy fries. Not so with the Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant in Samkong, for every dish is cooked fresh on the spot.

Khun Pennapa ‘Poom’ Somnam, who has been a vegetarian for more than ten years, opened Lotus 12 years ago on Hongyok Utit Road behind Bangkok Hospital Phuket. Only a month ago, the restaurant moved to larger premises on the same road. The new Lotus is bright and clean and fully air-conditioned. There’s also a small outdoor area, which has proved popular with diners.

“Lotus, or Dok Bua in Thai, is a Buddhist symbol of enlightenment. Admittedly, you don’t reach nirvana easily, but I believe that we should all try to at least practice the Buddhist precept of non-violence, and vegetarianism is part and parcel of this,” says Khun Poom.

At Lotus, many types of mushrooms which are acquired daily from a nearby farm are used in place of meat. There is also mock meat to please the die-hard carnivores, which is made by combining mushrooms, soybean derivatives and herbs. It comes in many shapes and forms, such as roast duck, stewed pork and even prawns. It tastes and smells uncannily like real meat, although Khun Poom assures me that the seasonings they use are derived solely from natural products, notably the pungent shitake mushrooms and fermented soy paste.

Following the strict code of Phuket vegetarianism, where most strong-smelling herbs are forbidden, Khun Poom will not use garlic, onion, or chives in her cooking. However, pepper and chillies are allowed, so you will find a few spicy dishes here.

The meatless menu is varied, and all the usual Thai fares can be found: yam, or Thai salads; curries; stir-fries and noodles. Pla Pad Pong Curry (90 baht) is a cross between stir-fry and curry and has an unmistakably Indian flavor about it.

Pad Thai (60 baht) is every bit as good as the version with prawns. Try also the Kha Moo Rom Kwuan (90 baht), a kind of flavored smoked ham, or the Gaeng Ped Ped Yang (90 baht), roast duck red curry.

For the purists who have an aversion to mock meat, sample instead the refreshing Nam Tok Hed (80 baht), Isaan-style mixed mushrooms salad, or the aromatic Makuer Yao Pad Prik Horapa (60 baht), eggplant cooked with sweet basil and fermented soybean.

Perfect as snacks or side dishes are Goong Tempura (70 baht), battered and bread-crumbed fried mushrooms wrapped in seaweed, and Yam Pla Dook Foo (90 baht), crispy fish (tofu) salad with herbs.

There are various kinds of refreshing homemade herbal drinks. When it was suggested that these drinks tend to be on the sweet side, Khun Poom said she would consider reducing the amount of sugar used.

The restaurant is open daily from 10:30am to 8:30pm. Please note its unusual closing days: every first Sunday, and second and fourth Saturdays, of the month. T: 076-211985.

The Phuket Vegetarian Festival ends tomorrow. Click here for a schedule of the street processions.

— Nanthapa Pengkasem

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand7 hours ago

Covid UPDATE Sunday: 18,027 infections, expat vaccine registration

Transport13 hours ago

August flight plans: Bangkok Airways, Nok Air, Thai Lion

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

New site for foreigner vaccine; Mor Prom deletes appointments

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Politics16 hours ago

Facebook fake news post suggesting a coup faces prosecution

Koh Samui20 hours ago

UPDATED: Samui Covid-19: 14 new Black Club infections, 2nd small cluster

Thailand21 hours ago

40,000 cases a day could happen by September, says projection

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Phuket21 hours ago

Phuket Sandbox Covid-19 infections: 35 today, 209 this week

Thailand22 hours ago

Prayut says he will not resign, warns politicians to behave

Thailand23 hours ago

Bangkok Train market to possibly close for good

Coronavirus (Covid-19)24 hours ago

Border between Kanchanaburi and Myanmar closed until…

Thailand1 day ago

Covid UPDATE: 18,912 infections, provincial totals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

PCD says don’t throw away used masks in water bottles after infections linked to bottles

Thailand1 day ago

Government says it’s okay to criticise them, if it’s fact based

Thailand1 day ago

Bangkok volunteer group “Sai Mai Will Survive” overwhelmed with calls

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Phuket reservations slow down for August

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending