Lotus at The Galeries

Rebecca Varidel
1st Aug 2015

As it turns out, I should have worn blue lipstick for my latest visit to the city. You might know Lotus Dumplings from Hickson Road, well now Lotus are even bigger and better and also located in the CBD at The Galeries.

As for the blue lipstick, I should have colour co-ordinated with the pictured blue lady who adorns the walls of one of the Lotus private dining areas. Because everything down to the dumplings at Lotus is about contemporary elegance, innovation and design. DS17 as the restaurant's designers not only selected the signature blue but selected everything down to the chopsticks. In the blue room, the Lazy Susan is an inset marble turntable, that co-ordinates with the custom-made furniture in other rooms. The lighting is considered; it's complimentary to eating with dimmed outer edges around the table, and brighter central focus points to highlight plates for sharing. And it is as social media efficient as lighting comes as those spotlights are food blogger and instagrammer friendly. No more need for food blogging friends to hold phone flashlights.

The DS17 design is impressive, as are the Lotus first floor views to the iconic Queen Victoria Building across the road. Lighting. Walls. Tables. Views. Lotus is anything other than shopping mall.

When you head up The Galeries escalators to the first floor, the first of twenty Lotus dining areas greets you. It's the most casual, for a quick snack of the made-on-the-premises dumplings and looks into the open plan kitchen where Kylie Kwong alumni, Head Chef Chris Han resides. Go straight for baskets of Steamed jade prawn dumplings and Steamed fresh scallop sui mai which are plump and luscious and extremely satisfying. Pick of the dim sum are the most incredible Steamed mud crab and pork xiao long bao. The bun is somehow contradictory, and both fluffy and light yet hearty and fulfilling, all at once. Don't try and solve the puzzle, just enjoy!

Moving on tradition meets innovation at Lotus with larger updates such as the joyous Calamari with native spice salt and lemon dressing. Crispy skin duck pancakes were served with sweet miso and cucumber rather than the traditional hoi sin which gave this dish a new slant, a lighter aspect.

And tradition meets seasonality too. A salad not only of the moment, but fresh with wow factor, balanced in textures, harmonious in flavours, Crystal ice plant salad with cucumber, enoki and black vinegar dressing was devoured to the last morsel.

Steamed fish fillet with ginger and shallots lightens the menu in a simple yet tasty style, again elegant.

But from the whole menu the two must haves, you have to try them, do not leave without eating them, do not pass go dishes are signatures that are already overflowing the instagram feeds and comments, the extraordinary Wok-fried wallaby rump with sweet bean paste and salt bush and the sensational Crispy eggplant with honey and sesame, both nominees I reckon for the top wonders of the modern world. These, by the way, also sit well together.

And when my belief thermometer didn't have any more room at the top of the gauge, Lotus blew the mercury out the top with more wow factor. Desserts - often the downfall of even the best Chinese and Asian restaurants - were divine. Sago and red bean pudding looked the most humble of the trio but was a happily soupy and sweet and creamy pudding, and although the other amazing desserts showed more flare, I would be happy to finish here. The Lotus Jasmine tea creme caramel was a best in show example with fine creamy custard cooked en pointe and a caramel that said enough but didn't say too much and sat just as it should. The surprise of the night was the Sticky rice balls with sesame, filled in lieu of the traditional red bean and much to the ohs and ahs and delight of the crowd, with Nutella chocolate.

PS The service was 5 star too.

Both Lotus Restaurants at Walsh Bay and The Galeries accept bookings.