Stroll down the shiny new strip on Barangaroo and discover Lotus Dining.
The newly developed streets of Barangaroo is a foodie oasis. Take a leisurely stroll down Wulugul Walk and you’ll soon be enveloped by the mouthwatering aromas of Bells Hot Chicken. Keep your ears pricked for the the sizzle of patties being cooked at Ume burger. On any day of the week you’ll spot clusters of attractive suits sinking beers at Bell and Brio. Equally attractive women can be found sipping glasses of rosé across the bar. Nestled between these popular restaurants is Lotus.
This marks the third Sydney restaurant for the Lotus Dining group, with locations in The Galleries and Walsh Bay. The Barangaroo restaurant offers a breezy interior with a clean palette and nautically inspired furnishings. Take a seat waterside and soak up the sunshine as you review the menu. Shanghai-born Head Chef, Chris Yan (Lotus Galeries, ex-Billy Kwong and China Doll) is passionate about adding modern Australian flare to his traditional Chinese favourites. You’ll notice there is a strong seafood focus with spring bay mussels, spanner crab, king prawns and whole barramundi all on offer.
Worth sampling for starters is the handmade mung bean noodles with spicy soy and peanuts ($16). Served cold, the slippy texture of the noodles, offset by a salty sauce and peanuts makes for an intriguing, yet delicious palliative experience. To reinvigorate the mouth order a bowl of hot and spicy king prawns, served with dried chilli and Sichuan green peppercorn ($36). The Sichuan peppers trigger a tingling sensation in the mouth dissimilar to regular chilli. We can’t help but go back for more, as the prawns are succulent and generously sized. For the adventurous foodie, it is worth ordering the crispy fish with sticky soy sauce and five spices ($39). The flesh is lightly scored before being deep fried. The effect is a sculptural display on the plate. Although we were a little hesitant at first, don’t be afraid to take a big bite, skin, bones and all.
If you’re looking to offset the heat embedded in much of this menu we recommend the crystal ice plant salad served with cucumber, enoki mushroom and black vinegar ($16). The lettuce is crisp frozen, making for a crunchy, cooling mouthful.
Dumplings are another thing Lotus does well. The vegetarian dumplings come loaded with Asian greens in a little pastry pouch ($12). Unlike many dumplings, which are boiled until the filling is almost unidentifiable, these one’s are lightly steamed. The top is also left unsealed. It feels like Yan is internally saying ‘here you go little guys, have some room to breath’.
For dessert we rate the passionfruit ice cream ($17). Upon first impressions it looks like a whole passionfruit sitting atop a biscuit crumb. Wield your spoon and forcibly crack into the exterior to find its a multilayered, Heston Blumenthal-esque creation. Passionfruit ice cream works as the outer layer with a salted vanilla marshmallow centre. A passionfruit skin glaze makes you think you’re eating a passionfruit, a the title of the dish suggests, picked from the vine.
Lotus Barangaroo is on the pricier side and portions can be modest so we suggest ordering multiple dishes to share. The high price tag doesn’t come without value in the form of nice views and the buzz of dining at a shiny new food precinct.
Skirting the parameter of the restaurant are a series of herb gardens. Fresh rosemary, coriander amongst other things are picked daily and added to many of Mixologist Kate McGraw’s drinks list. In keeping with the summer vibes are variations on the favourite spritz cocktail. We couldn’t resist the Broadway Spritz, made with Cocci Rosa, plum, jasmine infused honey and grapefruit soda. On a sunny afternoon, it is almost too easy to spend several hours sipping on these.
Shop 8/9 Wulugul Walk, Barangaroo
Open Mon-Sun lunch and dinner