Food Award British Columbia – Winner – Best Vegetarian Establishment.
Thank you everyone for your votes! We are humbled by the support.
The awards seeks to recognise the hard work and efforts of those committed to always providing the local communities with the freshest of products and tastes. They will also showcase the best restaurants, takeaways, pubs, hotel restaurants, cafes and bistros, as well as those who help us explore new flavours and cuisines from different cultures.
Snippet from the Food Awards judges
Lotus Seed Biography:
A labor of love and conscious awareness
Van opened The Lotus Seed in 2014, with the mission of “sprouting awareness”. Awareness of oneself, and of the environment.
His passion for creating food goes all the way back to his childhood when, as a picky eater, was encouraged by his mother to cook for the family and so he did at the age of 12. He opened his first restaurant in 1995 but complications had him decide to stop pursuing his carreer as a restaurant owner in 2005…
Until he stumbled upon Vipassana, an ancient meditation technique discovered by the Buddha taught in meditations centers around the world and that operating solely by donations. This technique aims at eliminating suffering for oneself and for all, through awareness, love and compassion. He decided to immerse himself for 4 months, where he started cooking again while being of service at the center, between periods of meditation. He also served at the Salt Spring Island center for about 8 months at the time.
“Sprouting Awareness”, awareness of oneself, and of the environment
It is after coming out of these profound experiences that provided him with incredible clarity that the idea of Lotus Seed was born. Lotus Seed started vegetarian and became fully vegan a year later. This restaurant has been nothing but a labor of true love, compassion and out of wanting to be of service to our communities. With the help of Amy, his wife and partner in crime with whom nothing would have been possible, Van has been able to provide extremely high-quality food with innovative recipes prepared with organic ingredients and cooked in Kangen water, all the while keeping it affordable for all. Through their enterprise, they continue to bring more love and attention to the food they share, and the people they serve, their communities as well their team. They are donating every year to Animal Sanctuary “Hearts on Nose”, to the Vipassana meditation center close to Merrit, and offer to pay their employees if and when they want to go do the 10 days Vipassana retreat.
..where spicy, complex Asian-influenced dishes meet South- American inspired creations, traditional North-American fare or European specialties.
They have been receiving as much from the community in return, through social media coverage, all the wonderful reviews and the friends they have made over the years. One of them being a food writer who featured Van’s delicious Thai curry dish in “Plant Based Foodie” cookbook that describes the restaurant as follows:
It is a place where the nourishing and replenishing power if plant-based eating is celebrated, but without sacrificing intensity of flavor or cultural nuance. At Lotus Seed, spicy, complex Asian-influenced dishes meet South- American inspired creations, traditional North-American fare or European specialties. IT is not uncommon for patrons to be shocked to learn that the food is entirely plant based with no dish ever served at the expense of its natural environment or its non-human inhabitants.
In addition, nothing at Lotus Seed is deep fried: it is difficult for anyone to reach their potential if their mind and body are clouded, bogged down with unhealthy and difficult to process ingredients anathema to their well-being. Just as the business came to fruition as a result of a heightened, albeit extremely personal, awareness, so too is the food served committed to heightening awareness in others, revealing to all guests the simple but elusive truth that truly great food can still be made without the use of the animal proteins that have somehow cone to represent the benchmark in taste and accomplishment in the Western culinary landscape.
a place where the nourishing and replenishing power if plant-based eating is celebrated
As for lotus seed, it is a revered product of nature, furnished to us as both food and medicine. It counts among tits properties both enjoyment and restoration, at once supporting taste and health. It is therefore, the perfect symbol for an environment in which meals are cooked both to satisfy hunger and responsible indulgence, as well as to encourage people to perhaps embark on a journey of discovery of their own, one in which a regard for all living things will weigh in equal measure alongside the satisfaction of a craving.
Another great to illustrate what Van, Amy, and the Lotus Seed is about, is through the “Pay It Forward story” in 2016, when Brice Royer teamed up with Lotus Seed to provide free meals to people who are spending Christmas Eve alone. When Brice Royer was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2012, he found comfort in the spiritually-conscious vegetarian restaurant. After learning about his health problems, Van and Amy cooked him wholesome vegan meals on a nearly daily basis – and never charged him a cent. And that is what had inspired the partnership. Fun fact, Brice has completely healed from his cancer!
Lotus seed is not just a delicious restaurant with delicious food, it is a little haven that is on a mission to change the world, one meal at a time.
Pay it Forward story:
Top Rated Restaurant in Vancouver : 4.5/5 Stars
Food for the soul and for the body. The owners are very friendly and always up for a chat, asking how was my day or week and talking about everything. The food is amazing, especially for vegans. Very friendly atmosphere. The burritos are my favorites. Highly recommended.
So DELICIOUS!!! Amazing dishes! Wonderful staff. Nice, clean, bright restaurant, yes, but the vegan food here is the STAR!! A must-try!! I’ll be making this place one of my regular spots from now on, even if it is a bit out of my way. SO WORTH IT. YUM.
Unbelievable. UNBELIEVABLE! These guys are the real deal. No cutting corners, from the cornstarch Togo packaging to the non processed whole food ingredients they use to make everthring from scratch. It tastes amazing and is fairly priced!!?! I’d gladly pay more for this quality of food. And the husband and wife who own it are SO lovely! I know I’m really pumping their tires right now but I really just cant rave enough. I’m so happy I found this little gem.
Stopped in at Lotus Seed for a quick bite before getting on the train and heading to the airport. I ordered the Pesto Pasta, a daily special and was VERY impressed. The plating of the dish was beautiful. The pesto was a kale, spinach pesto with walnuts. I’ve had vegan pesto in the past which was a disappointment but this ranks right up there with the best pesto I’ve ever had. Relatively light and refreshing with the perfect taste. The noodles were cooked great and there was a perfect ratio of noodles to pesto. Wish I would have tried this restaurant sooner!
Wow. If I could give this place 10 stars I would. If you’re looking for AMAZING vegan food with great FLAVOUR, give this lovely restaurant a try. I was blown away by the broth flavour of the Hanoi Noodle Soup. It’s hooked me and now I must return to try other dishes. Among the top of my vegan restaurants list.
Very satisfying dinner at this friendly, chill vegan restaurant. Everything we tried was tasty and the portion sizes were quite generous (except maybe for the Nanaimo bar, which was a bit on the small side). I had the Almond Alfredo Pasta. Excellent, rich, creamy texture, although don’t be fooled by the “Alfredo” title. It doesn’t taste anything like Fettuccine or Alfredo. It’s closer in taste to a spaghetti with tomato sauce (with the sun-dried tomatoes added in there for good measure). Still great taste, though! My wife had the “Ragu”, which was bursting with wonderful flavors. The Vietnamese Iced Coffee (with cashew milk, I believe) tasted just like the real thing. The Nanaimo bar was also pretty good, although I was really craving for a cheese cake which was not available when I went.
Recommended by Pamela Ferguson: Registered Dietitian with a PhD in nutrition,
and over 15 years of experience with changing lives through better nutrition.