After a successful expansion to The Galeries last year Lotus have now opened up their third Sydney venue, as Barangaroo’s obligatory dumpling and modern Chinese restaurant, a massive 160-seater designed by the ever-reliable DS17. Bringing over their excellent menu and adding a few new additions (expect more seafood) to help settle into the new waterfront precinct, Lotus Barangaroo has slotted in as another piece of the rapidly evolving Wulugul Walk. It’s a big step for the brand, but seems like the right move after The Galeries – still the largest of their three venues – furthered their imprint on Sydney’s incredibly busy dumpling scene.
Shanghai-born Head Chef Chris Yan (ex-Billy Kwong) is using the new kitchen to continue experimenting with adding modern Australian flourishes to classic Chinese. Native ingredients like lemon aspen, cassia bark, butterfly pea flower, and crystal ice plant feature on the menu, some of which are sourced from a garden that has been planted around the mostly outdoor restaurant, Yan working closely with a local horticulturalist to ensure its all done right.
“While my food is based on traditional Chinese recipes, many inspired by my grandma, I like to add a little bit of Australia where I can,” said Yan. “We use native ingredients such as finger limes to make lime caviar, tea tree mushrooms, we pickle bamboo shoots and make noodles from mung beans. Our oysters are served with butterfly pea flower to create a vivid blue colour for something a little different.”
Dumplings will obviously be the go-to here – fans of which will be happy to know that there’s limited seating at the inside dumpling kitchen – but seafood takes prime position on the menu being that the sparkling waterfront location calls for it. Southern rock lobsters, green lobsters, Queensland mud crab, and Western Australian snow crab will all be fished out from the live tanks that decorate the restaurant, all ready to go per order.
Elsewhere on the menu one will find exclusives that aren’t available at Lotus’ other two venues. One is the very tasty sounding Crispy Garfish served with sticky soy sauce, and another is the Tsing Tao beer-braised Spring Bay Mussels. There’s also a new range of dumplings that have been made to celebrate the new location, think fillings like spanner crabmeat and prawn dumpling; chicken siu mai dumplings; and steamed pork wontons with sesame paste and black mushrooms.
Dessert is handled by Pastry Chef Tiffany Jones from The Pastry Project, mirroring Yan’s fusion approach in that she’ll be infusing traditional desserts with Asian inspired flavours, like the Ma Fleur de Lotus, which is a yuzu and chrysanthemum cheesecake with coconut ice cream and coconut meringue crisps. Other options include a passionfruit ice cream with a salted vanilla marshmallow centre and passionfruit skin glaze, reinterpreting a much-loved Lotus signature.
Mixologist Kate McGraw has helped put together a summer-ready cocktail list with mixes like the Boardwalk Spritz (Cocchi Rosa, plum, jasmine infused honey, and grapefruit soda), while wine will come flowing steadily from a list curated by Head Sommelier Annette Lacey (ex-Marque), who has focused on aromatics from local and overseas producers, all picked to complement Chinese flavours.
Address: Shop 8/9 Wulugul Walk, Barangaroo
Hours: Mon-Sun lunch and dinner
Images supplied and credited to Alana Dimou