This is the first time I've been to Marrickville since primary school but I was happy to venture off and dine at Lotus Asian Restaurant. The restaurant could be found with a large red sign and inside, it is decorated with a warm orange palate.
2008 Freycinet Louis Chardonnay
The restaurant is BYO so the lovely Simon brought over some Chardonnay.
2006 Foxes Island Marlborough Pinot Noir
And Becca brought some Pinot Noir :D
We were a group of 10 and I think the biggest advantage of dining in a large group is that we get to order many different dishes to try. If u have a couple of boys, they can also polish off whatever it is you can't finish (although that is a different case when it comes to desserts).
Char Grilled Lemongrass Prawn on Skewers (3) $8.50
The lemongrass prawn was char grilled to perfection and you can detect a faint smokey flavour which I like. I would suggest to use the sauce dipping cups as tea cups though :P
Malaysian Style Grilled Satay Chicken (3) $7.50
The chicken was tender and moist but I found that the sauce lacked a bit of 'Oompft' and a bit mild.
Braised Pork Belly with Green Papaya Salad $12
Now this is what I'm talking about! Super duper crunchy pork belly amongst crisp and refreshing green papaya salad, basil, coriander and red onion then drizzled with zesty dressing. This salad have flavour and texture. One of the must haves at Lotus.
Roast Duck and Lychee Salad $15
Another great salad to order. Yummy roast duck with basil, lychee, coriander and red onion. The salad was flavoursome but I failed in spotting more than 3 lychees in the dish...and I didn't get to have one! :(
Salt and Pepper Squid $17
The golden yellow batter looks very appetising but sadly, the squid was a let down with its chewiness.
Salt and Pepper Soft Shell Crab with Nam Jin $18.50
One of the best soft shell crabs I've eaten! The outside is covered in a light, crunchy batter and on the inside, the crab is filled with juicy meat. At most places, they offer crabs that are, well, anorexic but this one is fatty and screams EAT ME!
Malaysian Rendang Chicken $14.50
I forgot who ordered this but I have to thank you for doing so. Loved this curry so much with the creamy, coconuty curry and pull apart chicken.
M. B. S. (Mushroom, Bean Curd and Snow Peas) $12
It had awesomely big, fat mushrooms in this dish. Period. OK, there's also silken tofu and crispy snowpeas but I'm overlooking all of that because it have mushrooms. I like mushrooms.
Malaysian Style Chili Sambal Prawns $18.50
I quite liked the prawn with the chili sambal sauce. It is a little sweet and sour with a chili flavour that kicks in a couple of seconds after. You know, the deadly ones that leaves you vulnerable to attack when you think you're safe. It is also coupled with cooked yet still crispy beans and baby corn.
Braised Prawns with Chili, Pumpkin, Lemongrass and Coconut Milk $18.50
Really liked this dish due to the mix of my favourite flavours in one. The sweetness from the pumpkin, zesty sourness from the lemongrass, creaminess and fragrant from the coconut milk with a touch of chili.
Lotus Dessert Plate for Two $15
The platter consists of: mango sorbet, lychee sorbet, dark chocolate truffle with raspberry sauce and black sticky rice pudding with coconut sauce.
The lovely Kim Nguyen has informed us that the dessert platter is fairly large and it is usually shared amongst 2-4 people. Large platter indeed but she has no idea how much stomach capacity food bloggers has stored for dessert!
I totally loved the refreshing mango and lychee sorbet. They were also full of fruity flavour and this totally made up for the lack of lychee in the duck salad.
Black Sticky Rice Pudding with Coconut Sauce
The black sticky rice was still warm when served and was topped with a dollop of coconut sauce :D I wish I could hog the whole bowl to myself.
The dark chocolate truffle with raspberry sauce was also nice however, it was a very dense piece of truffle that overpowered the mild sweetness from the black sticky rice pudding. I also found that it didn't 'belong' in the Asian styled desserts on either ends of the platter.
Fried Coconut Ice Cream with Passionfruit Sauce $6.50
I am always very sceptical of getting fried icecream. Usually, I find a rock hard piece of icecream in an overly oily batter but this one has changed my perception of fried icecreams. It was a glorious ball of gold with a hidden smooth, creamy icecream inside. I had no trouble eating the whole thing and also ended up scooping out from Simon's glass when he walked to the kitchen to fetch the chef. Shhhhh!
Chef/Owner Danh Cao
You can tell that the lovely Danh Cao is a very shy person and would rather stayed inside but he made the effort to come out from the kitchen to greet us. He was also pretty nervous when 10 massive cameras all pointed his way and started to do paparazzi shots!
Lotus, I would say is a nice and cosy restaurant that is pretty value for money and great for a casual night out if you are living in the area. One important flaw is there is only one chef working in the kitchen and the service does tend to get a little slow. Maybe in the future, this will improve.
In the end, I have to thank Charlotte Foot PR, owners Danh Cao and Kim Nguyen for inviting me to dine as a guest of Lotus Asian Restaurant and Simon Leong for being a wonderful host.
Sugarpuffi dined as a guest of Lotus Asian Restaurant courtesy of Charlotte Foot PR, Danh Cao and Kim Nguyen.
Lotus Asian Restaurant
Location: 393 Illawarra Road, Marrickville NSW 2204
Opening Hours: Dinner Monday - Sunday, Lunch Sunday
Phone: 02 9559 8895