Lotus – Auburn Maine

It’s been a while since I’ve done a review of a restaurant or food. I hope to do a few more this year.  Anyways…. My daughter had been to Lotus with her friends from school. I had never been so I figured why not, I’ll give it a go.

Lotus is a Chinese/Japanese restaurant. As with many places it has a buffet with a wide range of dishes, deserts, and salad. which included a sushi bar with edamame & seaweed salad.  We’ll start there.  The edamame  in the pod was fine. The seaweed salad, (It looks like plastic, but it’s yummy.) however I could only eat a small quantity of as it had an odd after taste, unsure of what was in the dressing. (Tasted a little horseradishy.) I had a couple of pieces of a California roll which was typically good. It’s really hard to mess that up.  I also had an other item, not sure what it was, that was dipped in tempura and fried with rice & seaweed in it along with something else I cannot describe.  It had eel sauce & spicy mayo on it as well. It tasted good but was an interesting texture.

Another interesting textured item off the buffet bar was sesame balls (Jin deui). It’s a rice pastry ball with sesame seeds coating the outside with a sweet paste. If you have an issue with texture (mushrooms & tofu) you may want to avoid these. They’re tasty but kind of odd. Moving on to appetizer type things, I tried some crab rangoons, unless you LOVE this type of food it’s not worth it. I tried one, but I rather have saved space for something else, it was my least favorite item tonight. The only other item that was a slight disappointment was the miso soup. It was very salty and the seaweed in it looked to be reconstituted freeze-dried. I passed on the hot and sour soup as the “soupy” part looked too brown for my liking. I wish I had tried the wonton soup, however I think it would also be a disappointment because it only had broth & wontons you add yourself. No extra veggies, which I like.

As for the items I thought were equally good to any other restaurant, they’d be; the mushrooms, chicken teriyaki, any veggie in a sauce (with or without the meat), and the cold shrimp with cocktail sauce.  You can basically get the same quality at any other restaurant serving the same style of food.  Sensitive people to MSG and additives should use caution with their food. I didn’t see any labels noting with or without MSG.

My favorite items were the green beans and the coconut chicken. I wasn’t surprised about the beans, as I usually go for them first almost any place.  However I was surprised I like the coconut chicken. It’s basically the same breaded chicken that general tso’s chicken is made out of, with a different sauce.

As for the atmosphere, it was way better than any of the other buffets I’ve been to. Warm and inviting. George came around to chat with us, very nice. Our waiter was nice as was the two others that came by and took our plates. I would go back again, opting for it over another buffet in town.

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