Lotus Dumpling Bar
Chinese characters are scrawled across raw brick and hanging copper lights loom over the dimly lit bar with mint-green stools on cobblestone floors. Lotus, a symbol in Buddhism that signifies purity and spiritual awakening, is where handmade dumplings and the modern wine bar meet.
Owner Michael Jiang has enlisted Led Emmett (formerly of Firefly Walsh Bay and Neutral Bay) to helm the venture as well as Chinese-born Lucy Luo, who has been hand-making dumplings for 30 years, to head up the kitchen.
For a Chinese menu, it’s not extensive but features classics like duck pancakes, green beans with minced pork and steamed fish with ginger and shallots. But dumplings – steamed, blanched or pan-fried – are the standout. Served in sets of four, fillings include scallop and pork shumai, mixed mushroom dumplings and pan-fried pork buns. A colourful twist on the Shanghai classic Xiao Long Bao is also on the menu, where wrappings are made with fruit and vegetable juices.
Lotus is also a bar, with an extensive wine list featuring drops from across the globe. Suited for a sweeter palate, the wine list is more fruit driven with new varieties from Austria and Spain.