Modern Asian cuisine and hand-crafted dumplings. Is there anything better?
For Lotus owner Michael Jiang, the idea of marrying authentic dumplings and classic Chinese food with a beautifully modern Australian dining experience was a no-brainer, and an opportunity to nudge Chinese street-food into the modern era.
Lotus Barangaroo is the latest of Michael’s ventures, and the first to offer a dual menu that showcases contemporary Chinese cuisine with the dumpling bar that has made Lotus famous. Jiang has assembled some serious culinary firepower within the Lotus family, including head chef Chris Yan (of Billy Kwong and China Doll fame) and Tiffany Jones who heads all things sweet.
The menu is thoroughly modern, yet reassuringly familiar - after all, respect for tradition is a foundation of Chinese cooking. Even the shopfront itself pays homage to the elegance of old-world Chinese eating houses, but in a very 21st century Australian way.
Inside, the live seafood tank is a romantic nod to old-school Chinese eateries - however, that’s where the similarity ends. At Lotus, this is no side-show aquarium - the tank’s sole purpose is to ensure the absolute freshness of its prized quarry.
“While my food is based on traditional Chinese recipes, I like to add a little bit of Australia where I can,” says Chris 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.” Yan has even enlisted the help of a local horticulturist to plant an array of herbs and native ingredients around the restaurant. It makes for classic Chinese food with a distinctly Australian soul.
Lotus is now open on Wulugul Walk, 7 days a week.