Barangaroo is the new spot to be in for Sydney. Newly opened, it boasts of a whole new stretch of fancy restaurants including the flagship by Matt Moran. I had guests from US so we wanted to try some Chinese food. We settled on this newly opened Chinese innovative restaurant called Lotus located just by the water.
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.
Steamed eggplant salad with ferment chilli, garlic and coriander
Simple dish with strips of eggplant and tofu. I like this, simple and elegant.
Grilled oyster mushrooms
Miss – I cannot make out what the chef was trying to do here. Soggy, salty the texture of the mushrooms was destroyed.
Spanner crab and prawn hargow, Crispy wanton
Admittedly they’re very expensive for what are essentially hargow with added crab in them but they are delicious. The crispy wantons are horrible. If that’s what the Masterchef Australia judge meant by crispy, then I rather skip all fried wantons in Australia.
Wok fried pipis with chilli and black beans
Miss – A 500g serving of wok fried pipis with XO sauce. The pipis were pre-boiled and therefore did not incorporate any of the sauce taste. A little too dry for my liking.
Kinkawooka Bay Mussels steamed with Tsing Tao, Chinese ham and lemon myrtle
Neutral – I was surprised how small the mussels were. The flavour was good, steaming the mussels with Tsing Tao beer, but I suspected the mussels shrank too much due to over cooking. I guess when it comes to seafood, Westerners rather be safe than sorry.
Hot and spicy king prawns with fried chilli and Sichuan green peppercorn
Hit!!! There were only six pieces of prawns, beautifully cooked with a hot and spicy fermented black bean paste.
Beef & Lamb
Seared wagyu sirloin with heirloom tomatoes, crispy leeks and truffle oil
Hit!!! Beautifully done wagyu with a wonderful drizzle of truffle oil to add that decadence. The beef melted in the mouth with all fatty goodness and as the beef is sourced in Australia, the price for once was reasonable for a huge sharing portion. If only their grilled the heirloom tomatoes – serving raw cut tomatoes seems to be out of place for this well executed dish.
Fried lamb riblets with cumin and chilli
A big miss – the lamb ribs are dry and overcooked.
Vegetarian & Rice / Noodles
Wok fried hokkien noodles with chilli sauce
Not quite what I imagined as Hokkien noodles, but again this is Australia and not Singapore or Fujian. Tasted like udon noodles mixed with soy sauce. Not recommended. Should have ordered the signature fried rice.
Not quite fours, only two types were ordered – yes you have to order this where most other restaurants give them free. Take a page from Mr Wong’s, you can do better than gold grabbing over desserts too.
Coconut and black sesame bar
It’s a small square of coconut sprinkled with black sesame and a chocolate thin on top with the logo.
Valrohna Manjari Tea and Whiskey Caramel truffle
Shanghai noon tea infused gooey caramel finished off with a hint of whiskey. Lovely but not worth A$3.50 for what you usually will get for free elsewhere.
Ma Fleur de Lotus
Baked yuzu custard on coconut cake, coconut ice cream and Yuzu paper
Ma Fleur de Lotus is a dome of coconut cheesecake with a centre of cranberry and hibiscus gel on a gingerbread base with gingerbread crumbs, coconut snow and coconut sorbet. Favourite among the guests.
Valrhona Chocolate and violet mousse, poached plum, spiced plum gel, blackcurrant sorbet
This is a Valrhona chocolate mousse, gooey rum caramel, a tart blackcurrant sorbet that neutralise the super sweetness of the chocolate and cocoa nib crisp and sugary blue snow. Delightful!
Chinese dinners in a predominantly Western country are usually hit-and-miss affairs. Once in a while you get gems like Spice Temple that catered to the Western tastebuds but kept to authentic flavours of Asia. And when you add the word “innovative” to the descriptive, you are definitely guaranteed a miss.
Lotus for me has some hits but mainly misses, especially around the fringes. They need to focus on the side dishes which are equally important in lifting the meal while we waited for the mains.
Service needs to be improved but this visit was when they were newly opened and I expected teething problems, like unfamiliarity with the menu and not having a proper sommelier to recommend the drinks. But online comments have since been hits and misses too. The location is perfect though.
Shop 8/9 Wulugul Walk, Barangaroo, Sydney, NSW 2000
Tel : 02 8318 3688
Date Visited : Jul 2017
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