Thursday, 22 July 2010

Creatures of The Deep Lunch @ Lotus Bistro & Bar , Potts Point

As part of this year's Merivale Feast for The Senses festival, Lotus Bistro & Bar is open lunch on that day only for a special 5 course degustation lunch.
Chef Dan Hong especially created this degustation with his creativity and using what the sea has to offer.
I was so looking forward to this that I booked it as soon as it was advertised :P
Almost have to cancel on it as my original dining companions had to cancel out , but thankfully I found a friend to drag along *pheww*

Special lunch degustation crowds ; Lotus Bistro & Bar's wallpaper

There were 3 seating times for this special lunch so that the kitchen is not overwhelmed with trying to send out all the food all in one go. 
It must be hard for the kitchen that day as people arrived at different time and at different stage of the courses as well. Despite how hectic the kitchen may be, it was not reflected in the service on the day. Everything runs smoothly and the service is as usual, courteous and prompt. 

Degustation menu ; Freshly baked bread 

There was an optional wine watching for the degustation at an additional cost. The bread was fresh out of the oven and it was warm and soft. Add a thick spread of cold butter , a sprinkle of sea salt and that's all it needs.

Ceviche of Crystal Bay Prawns & Jellyfish, Fennel, Thai Basil "Tiger's Milk"

The ceviche wass really nice, as this dish only depends on the lime juice to partially cook the prawns, it is quite raw still but has a nice crunch and sweetness. The jellyfish adds a nice texture to the dish, crunchy and gelatinous. I'm going to assume what the chef meant by "Tiger's Milk" is the emulsion of basil paste and the extra virgin olive oil. The emulsion is very creamy and I'm glad there is some acidity in the dish to cut it back.

Raw Trevally Rubber Lip Morwong, Preserved Lemon, Wakame, Lime, Dashi Vinaigrette, Roast Jalapeno Puree.

We were advised that since the chef was not able to find fresh Trevally in the market that morning, we are having the Rubber Lip Morwong instead. 
It was dressed with a tangy dashi vinaigrette, mixed in with wakame and some crunchy bits (rice crackers ?). The fish was very fresh and sweet. The puree might look harmless but oh boy....looks can be deceiving, it is one deadly puree ! It was burning hot that I get dizzy eating it ...*whoaaa*
It however compliments the fish very well so I polished the puree off as well - with painful consequences afterwards - my face was burning and I had to gulp down 2 glasses of cold water  lol
My friend asked what was I thinking eating all of the jalapeno puree ? Good question 99...I don't know...
no pain no gain ?

Pouring consomme over the scampi

The waitress brought over the plates along with a small carafe containing the scampi consomme. 
It is then poured into the plates on the table. The wafting aroma of the consomme as she was pouring is mouth watering.

New Zealand Scampi, Scampi Consomme, Lemongrass, Konbu & Scampi Oil

The scampi is tender and sweet, cooked perfectly. The consomme tasted as good as it smells, even better perhaps ! Scampi in flesh, consomme and essence in the form of scampi oil - scampi heaven....
It is the one dish that we just can't get enough off , we wished there was more of it :)

Roasted Sambal Skate Wing, Pickled Cucumber and Crispy Rice Ball

This dish reminds me of dishes back in Indonesia, the sambal's flavour is authentic and the heat is authentic too lol
Yep...this is another one that burns our tongue and mouth, my friend even find this sambal hotter than the jalapeno puree. The fish is perfectly cooked, despite it being a thinner slice of fillet, the flesh was still soft and melts in your mouth while the outer layer is crispy.

Chewy delicious Crispy Rice Ball

The fish is served with pickled cucumber, just like atjar - pickled vegetables commonly served as sides / condiments in Indonesian / Malaysian dish.
I love the crispy rice ball, glistening rice grains that are not mush and the skin is chewy like mochi. 

While we were waiting for the dessert to come, the lady next to us said that out of the 4 courses we have had so far, this dish is her least favourite. She found that compared to the others delicate and clean flavours, this fish course has quite strong and bold flavours. 
I agree that it is more bold in flavours, but I don't mind it at all. If anything, it makes me happy because they are the flavours that I am familiar with and reminds me of home :)

A peek at Chef Dan Hong busy in the kitchen

Please excuse the blurry picture as it is actually a reflection on the mirror hehehehehe...

Squid Ink Lemon Curd Ice Cream, Squid Ink Sable, Wakame & Elderflower Jelly

Very much looking forward to this course as it sounded weird and intriguing at the same time, squid ink and wakame as desserts ?!?
It is funny how the lady who chatted to me before and her partner actually watched me taking the first spoonful before tucking into theirs...*drumroll*..... 
I turned and nod my head - it's okay to eat :D
I couldn't help but feeling like the guinea pig for a second there LOL
As weird as the flavour combinations may sound, they actually works well together, it was very good indeed. 

You can barely taste the squid ink in the ice cream except for the black colour it gives, instead the flavour is that of the tangy lemon curd. 
The squid ink sable comes in a crushed form like black sand where the ice cream is resting on. 
Just like Oreo, not chocolate but squid ink :D Love the buttery flavour and the crispy texture.
The elderflower jelly is tangy and refreshing and compliments the richnesss of the ice cream and sable.

Now... what I think is the most interesting component of this dessert is...


My thought was it can be a disaster since wakame is a slimy seaweed with very strong flavour of the sea, almost fishy at times. 
To my amazement, the seaweed taste is barely noticable ! I wonder how did they do it ? Marinade it in syrup for a period of time maybe, as it is quite sweet and syrupy almost :)
This is one of the most interesting dish that I've had lately, loved it !

The Creatures of The Deep degustation lunch is a lovely experience. Interesting East meets West flavour combinations that works so well together.

Lotus Bistro & Bar
22 Challis Avenue
Potts Point   NSW 2011
(02) 9236 9000

Lotus on Urbanspoon


  1. Hey that's pretty interesting stuff they have there! That dessert looks crazy, I'd love to try it!

  2. let's hope that they will put it as part of their dessert menu :)