The Lotus-Heart is dedicated to conscious living and healthy eating, striving to create a global cuisine naturally. We use the freshest ingredients, locally grown and organic where possible, pure vegetable oils and vegetarian cheese, and avoid the use of microwaves unless specifically requested due to time constraints. We respect and honour the choices and requirements of our customers and in addition to our pure vegetarian fare, we offer options for vegan, gluten-free and raw food diets and are more than happy to cater for specific allergy needs. Children are most welcome and we have a children’s menu and high chairs available.
Gourmet teas and tisanes, organic fair-trade coffee, authentic Indian Chai, quality herbal coffee alternatives, superfood smoothies, house-made ginger beer, fermented health beverages kefir and kombucha, cold-pressed fresh juices and classic iced chocolate – all these and more can be discovered within The Lotus-Heart’s extensive drinks menu. Our passion for original and high quality beverages offers something for everyone. In support of our vegan friends we are delighted to offer fresh house-made cashew milk at no extra charge.
The Lotus-Heart vegetarian restaurant, health store, gift shop and the Gandharva Loka world music store now co-exist behind the temple-like facade of the Sri Chinmoy Centre.
Gandharva Loka offers a diverse range of musical instruments from all over the world. These include melodic, wind, stringed, percussive, children’s and sound therapy instruments plus a wide variety of singing bowls, wind chimes, bells and gongs. We invite you to explore our variety of world instruments.
The inspiration and wellbeing store offers the music, art and writings of Sri Chinmoy; meditation aids – candles, a huge selection of finest quality incense (Japanese, Indian, Tibetan); conscious gifts for children – organic toys, thoughtful books, fairly traded gifts; and other gifts to foster inspiration, wellbeing and happiness.
The Lotus-Heart Health Food store features consciously selected natural health and beauty products; superfoods; a broad selection of local and imported teas and coffee substitutes; natural skin and hair care; books on health, cooking and inspiration; health supplements and health foods.
The Lotus-Heart was first established on 13th February 1997 as a small café at 595 Colombo Street, Christchurch.
The Lotus-Heart is one of many vegetarian restaurants and cafes around the world independently owned and operated by members of the Sri Chinmoy Centre. These enterprises are inspired by Sri Chinmoy’s vision for a oneness world family founded upon peace and love, and we endeavour to create a microcosm of that vision here at The Lotus-Heart.
Many of the restaurants have names given individually by Sri Chinmoy, who gave us the name “The Lotus-Heart” in April 1997, in fact our logo is actually Sri Chinmoy’s original hand writing. When he visited New Zealand in 2002 Sri Chinmoy wrote a song for The Lotus-Heart, and he even visited our cafe in January 2003.
Over the years we gradually began to outgrow our premises at 595 Colombo Street, and opened a second location in Cathedral Square on 7 January 2008 in the historical original Chief Post Office building (built in 1879). We were blessed with a beautiful space upstairs overlooking the Cathedral.
On February 22nd 2011 both of our locations were busy and we are extremely grateful that no-one at either place was harmed during the earthquake. Sadly our café on Colombo Street was in a block of buildings that have now been demolished. We have many sweet and fond memories of the time we spent there and all the special friends we made over the years. Although the restaurant building in Cathedral Square is largely undamaged, the area remains inaccessible.
We were very fortunate to have some free space in the front of our Centre at 363 St Asaph Street, which has meditation spaces and offices in the back. While some of our staff members spent time overseas, the rest got to work to create a new Lotus-Heart. Our current location opened its doors with deep gratitude on 27th July 2011 as The Lotus-Heart Restaurant at 363 St Asaph Street.
It gives us the greatest joy to see all of dear friends and loyal customers from the café and the restaurant walking in the door of our new location. We feel very optimistic about the future. We are happy here and hope you will be too! Please let us know if there is anything we can do to make your time with us more enjoyable.
There shall come a time when this world of ours will be flooded with peace. Who is going to bring about this radical change? It will be you, you and your brothers and sisters. You and your oneness-heart will spread peace throughout the length and breadth of the world.