Red Lotus – Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

Are you open? – we’re asking before coming inside during lunch time on Saturday

Yes, yes, please come in. If we weren’t there just a few days before I probably wouldn’t even try. Usually empty restaurant means poor service or bad food. Red Lotus had just a quiet day.

Any chance for table for two? – we had to ask on other Saturday evening. – Sorry, we’re fully booked tonight. Looks like they actually are popular. And it’s not a surprise for me. I keep coming back every few days. It’s not only the pho addiction, but the vibe this place has, the nice service, the smells and of course the flavours.


As a graphic designer, first thing I liked about Red Lotus was their menu. It looks like a nicely designed catalogue with photos, descriptions and small graphic elements that make it more pleasant to look at. The menu is also very extensive. You need to give yourself a time to get through it. On our first visit we started with pho, then kept trying other dishes, but we still have much to discover.

The interior is much nicer than in other Asian restaurants in the neighbourhood.  Most walls are red, but it’s not as agressive colour as many people would think it may be. I actually feel like there is a good balance between red walls – art – green plants and dark wood.




I have to confess, 90% of food we eat there is just Pho. Beef ($18) or Extra Beef ($20) are the usual choice of my husband. I like to have just a small bowl – Baby Pho ($10) plus something different each time to eat my way through the menu (I really like rice paper rolls and vegetarian spring rolls).

When pho is coming to your table, you can smell the great, a bit sweet, aroma. It already makes you warm and fuzzy. Set of sprouts, basil, lemon and chilli adds crunch, texture, tang and spicy kick to the dish. Beef, very thinly sliced, is always tender and lean. Noodles – tasty and not overcooked. For me at the moment, it’s the best pho in Brisbane.




The Vermicelli Noodle Salad is amazing: minty and refreshing. I tried A Bit Of Everything ($25) option to pick my favourite meat and the winner is definitely the Chargrilled Pork Strips ($20). It has that smoky charcoal aroma through it and is not overpowering the salad like beef wrapped in bettel leaf was. The salad is the best choice for I-want-to-eat-something-light kind of days.



I also enjoy the Vietnamese Ice Coffee ($5). It comes in 2 tall glasses: one filled with ice, the other one with condensed milk and dripping filter on top. When the coffee stops dripping from the filter, you have to mix it with the milk and pour over ice. It was surprising for me at first, but the coffee is actually quite strong.



When someone asks me where are you going for dinner tonight? There is a high chance the answer will be Red Lotus.


– If you’re going for a dinner book a table, just in case it’s a busy night.

– If you feel full and you’re just half way through your dish ask for a take away container. It comes at no charge and you can enjoy a delicious lunch next day.

Red Lotus on Urbanspoon

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