Brought to Carlton by general manager Quentin Fergusin (ex-Vue De Monde) and head chef Roger Lu (ex-the Atlantic), Laurus aims to blend Southern Chinese cuisine and modern Australian flavours in an elevated dining experience.
Chef Lu immigrated from Nanjing at the age of 17 and in seven years has built quite the culinary résumé. Having studied at Le Cordon Bleu, he went on to work at the Sheraton, Sezar and the Atlantic, and he is now combining his Euro-centric culinary training with the flavours and dishes of his heritage. Housemade XO sauce and five spice powder feature widely, the menu combining Nanjing flavours with Australian botanicals and locally sourced produce.
By day, the lunch menu focuses more on casual dining serving drinks, coffee and tasting bites including cucumber and lime bing sha dressed Pacific oysters. By night the menu heroes noodles, starters and larger dishes like Laurus’s slow-cooked soy glazed beef ribs, a nod to traditional Nanjing five-spice braised beef.
The drinks menu homes in on local favourites like Moon Dog Lager, Stomping Ground’s Watermelon Smash Sour Beer and Yarra Valley wines. Take a moment to explore the flavour combinations on the cocktail menu: Australian spirits including Anther Gin, MCG Gin and Grainshaker Wheat Vodka are paired with Chinese botanicals like makrut lime, ginger and lychee.
Laurus can be found at the base of the Swanston Central Building in a space created by architect Alvin Xut that manages to be both cavernous and intimate. Bookings are essential so visit the website for more information.