Pure Lotus is a buddhist monk run vegetarian restaurant in Beijing that I read rave reviews about prior to coming to China. So naturally I put it high on my list of things to do while here.
I set out for the restuarant via metro with plenty of time to get there. I’d read that Pure Lotus was hard to find and budgeted in an additional 2 hours of travel time- of which I used every last minute and then some. Frustrating doesn’t even begin to express how I felt after walking around in circles in the rain, for over an hour. It didn’t help that the seven strangers I asked for help each pointed me in different directions and the taxi I tried to climb into refused to give me ride. I was very close to throwing my hands up and giving up on my dream of eating at Pure Lotus.
Then, miraculously, one of my friends called from the restaurant (where she had been waiting for me all this time) -after borrowing a stranger’s mobile phone- and guided me there like a beacon of light. The timing couldn’t have been better- I’d reached my limit.
Despite being rescued from the rain, my spirits were deflated. I was still cranky that I’d gotten lost, upset that I’d wasted so much time and just plain tired from all the walking in circles. But as soon as I stepped through the restaurant doors, my tension melted into a feeling of calm. Upon entering, adorable english-speaking wait staff, dressed in silver sparlking tunics, sprinkled lotus water on my hands and seated me at a cozy, private table nestled under a tent of fabrics with soft lighting and soothing music in the background. As soon as I was seated, the waiter set up my place setting consisting of pearl colored shells set upon an enormous lotus leaf. After ordering, the servers brought out dish after dish of comforting, delicious vegetarian fare with plum vinegar palate cleansers in between. The service was impeccable and the food beautiful. Everything about Pure Lotus was classy and upscale, but very reasonably priced (the grand total came out to about $20 per person). It was an experience I won’t soon forget.
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