Time Out says
A Potts Point legend returns for a pop-up run, with the chef that made it great back in the kitchen
Before Merivale became the pioneering powerhouse it is today, there was Lotus. The intimate Potts Point bistro and cocktail bar marked the Hemmes family’s first serious foray into the hospitality game back in 2002, and quickly established itself as an Eastern Suburbs institution for more than a decade before the space became the Fish Shop.
For those who may not have experienced it in its heyday, Lotus is where Dan Hong (of Ms G’s and Mr Wong) made a name for himself in the kitchen. It’s the place that propelled the humble cheeseburger to citywide fame before there was Mary’s, and made a hot fudge sundae one of the most talked-about desserts in town. It’s also the birthplace of the almighty Lotus Martini – the drink of choice for the who’s who of Kings Cross way back when – starring Zubrowka bison
grass vodka, apple juice, passionfruit and peach schnapps.
And now, following the closure of the Fish Shop and the sale of the Challis Avenue property that’s been home to both eateries, Merivale is bringing Lotus back for an extended pop-up run. Hong is heading up the kitchen, he’s rebooted the sundae and the burger (now with brisket, chuck steak and dry-aged beef fat), and he’s introducing an eclectic new menu featuring the likes of scallion bread with smoked anchovies and cultured cream, black truffle toasties, hand-cut noodles with scarlet prawns and XO sauce, and a whole roast chook.
You can get your noughties kicks in the cosy lounge out back behind the beaded curtains, too, where the original onyx bar glows brightly once again. Park yourself on a velvet chair or the vintage floral sofa, and raise a glass to the good old days.