Lotus The Galeries has opened in the Sydney CBD following from the success of Lotus Dumpling Bar in Walsh Bay.
Lotus The Galeries
When you enter the venue, you soon forget you’re dining in a shopping centre. The 270 seat restaurant is a photogenic labyrinth of open space dining with a bar, distressed walls with designer light fittings, separate rooms encased in glass, and very private rooms each with its own theme and unique artwork.
It’s easy to get absorbed in the intricate detail of the decor and fitout and depending on where you’re sitting, you may catch rare glimpses of the top of the QVB.
The menu by Head Chef Chris Yan (ex Billy Kwong and China Doll) brings food inspired by his grandmother’s home cooking. The dishes take the traditional but marry them with modern flavours, borrowing from native Australian ingredients.
Steamed Jade Prawn Dumplings
Much like Lotus at Walsh Bay, Dumplings (4 pieces per serve, from $9) are a key feature and are given their own menu. The Steamed Jade Prawn Dumplings, available in the mixed platter, are light, delicate and full of flavour.
Steamed Mud Crab and Pork Xiao Long Bao
The Steamed Mud Crab and Pork Xiao Long Bao ($21) are a delight to bite into as well as being a delight to the eye, with a burst of warm soup that prepares the palate for the tasty filling.
Steamed Fresh Scallop Sui Mai
You can also order a Plate of Mixed Dumplings (2 of each of 4 types of dumpling for $25) which includes the Steamed Fresh Scallop Sui Mai. These morsels are brimming with texture and flavoursome filling.
Pan-fried Pork Bun
You’ll also find little parcels of Pan-fried Pork Buns in a surprisingly light bun casing. The delight of the dumplings and buns are that they deliver so much flavour in a delicate way, with beautiful presentation and are filling but light.
Crystal Ice Plant Salad with Cucumber, Enoki and Black Vinegar Dressing
From the Starters comes a most unusual dish. The Crystal Ice Plant Salad with Cucumber, Enoki and Black Vinegar Dressing ($16) brings together Chinese and Australian native flavours in a salad that is fresh both in flavour and something not usually seen in the Crystal Ice Plant and resets the palate for what is to come.
Crispy Skin Duck Pancakes
Crispy Skin Duck Pancakes (Half duck $35) bypass the traditional hoisin sauce for sweet miso sauce which is lighter and allows the flavour of the duck to be at the fore. The duck is succulent, tender with a lightly crisp skin.
Calamari with Native Spice Salt
Tender Calamari ($21) is given a sprinkling of native spice salt, with coriander and a lemon dressing. The light batter is just a gateway to the calamari that is perfectly cooked.
Crispy Eggplant with Honey and Sesame
One of the highlights of the menu is the Crispy Eggplant with Honey and Sesame ($16). The batter is ever so light and the sweet eggplant filling melts in the mouth in this moreish dish.
Steamed Fish Fillet
Bursting with fresh flavour, the Steamed Fish Fillet ($32) is a succulent barramundi in a ginger and shallot sauce that beautifully seasons the accompanying steamed rice ($3 per person). The dish allows for the fish to be the hero with the sauce accentuating but not overpowering the flavour.
Steamed Seasonal Vegetables
The Steamed Seasonal Vegetables with Sesame Oil and Soy ($16) bring balance for the meat and seafood dishes.
Wok-fried Wallaby Rump
It is well worth ordering the Wok-fried Wallaby Rump ($29) which comes in a sweet bean paste and salt bush. The meat is clean in texture and flavour, delicate with a hint of gaminess and is tender to the bite.
Sago and Red Bean Pudding
For a light dessert option that is not too sweet, the Sago and Red Bean Pudding ($9) is a balance of texture and flavour. The sago is clean and refreshing textural with the red bean giving a subtle sweetness.
Deep Fried Sticky Rice Balls
The Deep Fried Sticky Rice Balls ($12) need a careful bite as they are filled a with smooth melted chocolate filling that will please the most discerning chocoholic.
Jasmine Tea Creme Caramel
Saving the best till last, don’t leave without ordering the Jasmine Tea Creme Caramel ($12) with poached pears in cinnamon. This is no ordinary creme caramel. It’s silky smooth with a sensual mouth feel till the last spoonful.
You’ll also find Lotus’ own tea blends and the venue will soon be offering a low tea service.
There’s an element of lightness in all the dishes that doesn’t weigh you down after the meal and leaves you well satiated. Top picks are the Steamed Fresh Scallop Sui Mai, the Crystal Ice Plant Salad, the Crispy Eggplant with Honey and Sesame, the Wok-fried Wallaby Rump and that unforgettable Jasmine Tea Creme Caramel.
Lotus at the Galeries brings a distinctive dining experience to the heart of the CBD. The shopping centre location is easily forgotten in favour of an elegant and stylish fitout that brings intimacy into a large venue. The food delights in all aspects, whether it is the silky dumplings, the more unusual combinations with Australian native influence or the simple dishes that are well executed.
Lotus the Galeries
Level 1, 500 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000
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