How much luck can you get? Well legends have it that the Maneki-Neko the ‘beckoning cat’ brings luck. Originating in Japan this little kitty has been adopted all over the world and even it’s waiving paw is automated. If the right paw is raised it brings money, but if its the left, it brings customers. Clearly Chi by Lotus has improved its chances with over 300 golden lucky cats welcoming you through its new doors. Having tasted their food they need not have worried!
The hypnotic wall of golden cats wrapping around the kitchen station is part of the interior design from award-winning firm Luchetti Krelle. The moody black ceiling is adorned with hundreds of red tassels, lanterns and two shimmering skylights. Whether you chose to sit up at the bar, along the back wall banquets or hire a private dining space this is somewhere you can drop in for a quick sake, mini cocktail, snack or settle in for longer.
Head chef, Chris Cheng has created a menu centred around the shaokao-style (Chinese barbeque), inspired by the vibrant night markets found on Beijing’s Ghost Street food. The ‘snack’ menu kicks off with an old friend of ours, ‘deep fried native saltbush with spicy mayo’. We first became smitten with this dish at Grain Bar. Perhaps it’s no surprise that the GM for Lotus is Hamish Ingham (who first created this bar snack). Pull the leaves off, or hold the branch and gnaw down like a happy giraffe, it’s delicious.
Two golden scallops are served in their half shells with with garlic,
chilli & seablite. Just add crispy and melt in the mouth salt & pepper calamari.
Move onto ‘skewers from the grill’. Slices of king brown mushroom arrive on thin metal rods, seasoned, nicely charred with a house made chili sauce. Smooth as silk wontons are spiced up with a spicy pork and prawn filling in a Sichuan style sauce. However its the dashingly handsome duck breast with Davidson’s plum and caramel sauce which is so perfectly glossy you’ll want to stare at it a bit longer. King prawns are stir fired with asparagus and shimeji mushrooms and are all the better for a lick of char from the wok.
Asian restaurants don’t often exemplify themselves with dessert, but again Chi surprises with a cheesecake which has been deconstructed into squares of yuzu, segments of pomelo and sheets of meringue contrasting with a zesty blood orange sorbet. With an elegant wine list and plenty of sake to keep us happy, the streets of Barangaroo have been lucky indeed (only this time no cats needed).
Chi by Lotus
Shop 2, 100 Barangaroo Avenue,, Barangaroo NSW 2000
Lunch:: Tues – Sun 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Drinks & Snacks: Wed – Sat 3:00pm – 5:30pm
Dinner: Wed – Sat 5:00pm – 11:00pm