Chipping through the brickwork to reveal the Asian heart of Walsh Bay, this new dumpling hot spot is already attracting quite a crowd!
The aesthetic is post-industrial Shanghai steampunk, with vintage Edison light globes hanging over a gleaming copper bar...
...and copper utility pipes echoed in footrests, handrails and shelving.
Overhead, boulders in bondage (faux-concrete planters) dangle, whilst on each table pretty ceramics house the requisite chilli, vinegar and soy.
Yes, you’re here for dumplings, and those emerging from the kitchen of Dan Hong graduate Neo Ni, pack quite a punch!
Scallop and Vegetable Shumai ($13.80/4) were an easy favourite; and while some – like Prawn Dumplings ($13.80/4) – might...
...lack the gossamer skins you find elsewhere, they win hands down on flavour.
Accompany them with a kick-ass Burning Mandarin ($18) from their small but exciting cocktail list.
Despite being sorely tempted to explore it further, my Pan Fried Pork and Baby Bok Choy Potstickers ($10.80/4) had me craving Chinese TsingTao Beer ($10).
It arrived in time to accompany Steamed Fish ($28) and a gleaming collection of Wok Fried Green Beans ($18).
Chef Ni dresses them in the usual minced pork, with a leftfield mustard and olive twist, and they’re utterly compelling!
You know, fast pre-theatre food is rarely this exciting…
Lotus Dumpling Bar
3/16 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay
Ph: (02) 9251 8328