Lagoon Dining is by Ned Trumble, Keat Lee and Chris Lerch, who met while working as kitchen apprentices and front-of-house manager respectively at Ezard, and have also spent time at David Moyle’s Longsong. Trumble and Lee head up the kitchen together while Lerch takes charge of service. Former Ezard regular Susan Wyles is the fourth owner; she looks after business operations. The menu takes influence largely from Chinese cuisine, but also draws on Trumble’s Thai cooking background and Lee’s Malaysian one.
Starters include hot and sour shredded potato with black vinegar and pickled enoki mushrooms; half a head of cos lettuce cooked on the hibachi grill and served with a sweet sesame-soy dressing; and pork, cabbage and Chinese celery dumplings served with black vinegar, soy and Vietnamese sambal (dried prawn, dried chilli and shallots).
Next, move onto larger plates such as whole steamed barramundi with fish sauce, salted chilli, spring onion and pork scratchings; O’Connor beef short rib with a black pepper sauce and sweet and sour daikon; and 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.