Lotus is the latest restaurant addition to the flourishing dining destination of the harbourside Wulugul Walk at Barangaroo, a third Sydney restaurant for the brand following their original dumpling bar in Walsh Bay and their massive restaurant at The Galeries. Head chef Chris Yan (Lotus Galeries, ex-Billy Kwong and China Doll) takes on native Australian ingredients in a modern Chinese menu, a dining experience illustrated by those fantastic harbour views and a light, bright fit-out.
We start out with one of the highlights of our meal: the chicken and dried scallop siu mai ($12). They’re hot, juicy dumplings that are a delicious spin on the typical pork and prawn-filled siu mai. The pair of BBQ pork buns ($9) is decent, but I’d recommend the siu mai over the buns.
A plate of salt and pepper tofu ($16) with dukkah and sesame ticks all the right boxes in terms of flavour profile and texture.
If you’re feeling adventurous, the crispy garfish ($39) with sticky soy sauce and five spice may be the ideal choice. You can eat the entire deep-fried garfish, bones and all. It’s fantastically crispy and savoury, balanced by dark dots of sticky sweet soy sauce. A nostalgic wave rushes over me as I eat this – it’s reminiscent of an Indonesian fish dish, especially with that kecap manis-like sauce.
I’m not as taken by the grilled John Dory ($36) served on the bone with chilli and fermented beans, mostly because I wasn’t expecting bitter beans (also known as stink beans because of their pungent flavour and aroma). Bitter beans are an acquired and particular taste – having said that, I know numerous friends who love them.
The generous serving of wok-fried green beans with pork mince and chilli ($18) is full of flavour and the perfect vegetable accompaniment to our meal.
To finish we dig into The Lotus Garden ($16), a glass filled with Shanghai Noon tea bavarois, compressed pineapple, vanilla rice, lychee jelly and burnt vanilla pineapple crisp. The tea bavarois is the star with a milky flavour that most people would associate with bubble tea.
While the passionfruit ($17) picked from the vine dessert is cleverly shaped like a passionfruit with greenery resembling a vine, the chocolate sphere is a tad difficult to crack open. Though once cracked, the sphere reveals a delicious passionfruit ice cream and salted vanilla marshmallow centre.
Address: Shop 8/9 Wulugul Walk, Barangaroo, Sydney, NSW 2000
Phone: 8318 3688
Hours: Open seven days for lunch and dinner