CHI By Lotus
Fresh from the legends at Lotus Dining Group is CHI by Lotus. It's one of the newest additions to the streets of Barangaroo and comes with a bustling Chinese night market vibe, festive eats with local flavours, and a fun cocktail menu to match.
Here, you can expect the same modern Chinese fare we know and love from Lotus hotspots like Madame Shanghai and Lotus Dumpling Bar, but with a “fresh new flow of energy,” that’ll teleport you straight into the heart of Beijing’s buzzing Ghost Street.
Lotus General Manager Hamish Ingham says CHI is “something a little bit more casual”. Think street food style dishes to share over a few Chinese-inspired Negronis or long-neck Tsingtao beers. “It’s about catching up with friends in a bustling location and washing down some great food with an ice-cold beer,” Ingham says.
The space has been designed by Luchetti Krelle (Bathers’ Pavilion, Bopp & Tone), and inside, traditional red and white lanterns and lucky red knots set the mood, while rows and rows of Maneki Neko cats wave from above the bar, and a luxurious red velvet lounge wraps around the perimetre of the room.
Head chef Chris Cheng isn’t following any rules when it comes to street food, peppering his menu with of-the-moment Australian native flavours and a few tasty, albeit slightly offbeat, twists and turns. Highlights include deep-fried native saltbush with spicy mayo, and steamed half shell scallops with garlic, chilli, and seablite—both perfect little flavour bombs to accompany cheeky after-work drinks.
The lamb shoulder with Chinese tabouli will suit hungrier souls, while the fluffy CHI focaccia with Asian spiced olive oil is the perfect cocktail snack. And, if you're here to feast, the $99 banquet menu will take you through freshly shucked oysters, sichuan-style spicy pork and prawn wontons, wok-fried king prawns, and an MBS5+ wagyu beef striploin steak (and then some).
As for what's to drink, the aforementioned Chinese-inspired Negroni is called the "Sunset Ferry" and it's made with Husk Distillers Pure Cane, Aperol, Seedlip Grove 42, and pomegranate. There's also a Davidson's Plum Negroni made with Davidson Plum Dolin Rosso, and a "Kangaroo Martini", that is a mix of 42 Below, smoked vermouth, and lemon. Order full size pours, or keep it neat with mini cocktails at a cruisy $11 a pop. There's also a selection of sake and a neat list of mostly Aussie wines too.
Image credit: Alana Dimou