Lagoon Dining is by Keat Lee and Chris Lerch, who met while working as a kitchen apprentice and front-of-house manager respectively at Ezard, and have also spent time at David Moyle’s Longsong. Lee heads up the kitchen while Lerch takes charge of service. The menu takes influence largely from Chinese cuisine, but also draws on Thai and Malaysian dishes and techniques.
Starters might include hot and sour shredded potato with black vinegar and pickled enoki mushrooms; salted cucumbers with shiitake mushroom, toasted sesame and sansho pepper vinaigrette; and sticky lamb ribs served with marmite glaze and garlic butter toast.
Next, move onto larger plates that might be feature whole steamed barramundi with a doubanjiang (spicy bean paste) bisque and sorrel leaves; O’Connor beef short rib with a black pepper sauce and sweet and sour daikon; or rolled rice noodles that almost resemble rice cakes tossed in the wok with XO, mixed vegetables, lap yuk (Chinese cured pork belly) and toasted sesame seeds.
The safety strips on the back stairs had to be yellow, so the design team at Olaver Architecture rolled with it – the stairwell walls, linen curtains, outdoor seating and banquettes are all a similar shade. The rest of the space is a mix of black granite, Tasmanian oak, white tiles and brass fittings. You can sit at the tall white communal table that takes pride of place near the entrance, or grab a seat at the black granite bar to see the two chefs at work. Upstairs there’s a smaller dining room with a dedicated bar.
For cocktails there’s a bitter lemon curd and sake highball; a light spritz with umeshu (plum wine) and yuzu soda; and a gingery, peppery Old Fashioned. The wine list combines classic and niche varieties from small and medium-sized producers, leaning more towards light flavours with a little extra sweetness.
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