If the idea of pan Asian fills you with fear, you’re not alone. I dined here with a little trepidation, but I can now happily assure you that the South East Asian dishes of Chef Danh Cao (ex-Blue Ginger) are, for the most part, bang on the money. From a punchy bowl of succulent Braised Prawns with Chilli, Pumpkin, Lemongrass and Coconut Milk ($18.50), to creamy, coconut-rich Malay Chicken Rendang ($14.50), there’s a lot to like. The Thai Braised Pork Belly with Green Papaya Salad ($12.00) is gentle, winning me over with sticky, pork chunks balanced by fresh mint and coriander. A French-Vietnamese Bo Luc Lac ($16.50) is notable for tender, good quality beef. I did wish that the diversity of cuisines had resulted in a more exciting list of starters; but there was nothing actively wrong with the Steamed Pork, Shiitake Mushroom and Water Chestnut Dumplings ($9.50) I tried. So now I’m a convert; and a little perplexed as to why the good folk of Marrickville haven’t flocked to this brightly coloured restaurant on Illawarra Road in the nine months since Kim Nguyen and her husband opened it. The prices are low, the room’s nicely decorated, it’s BYO ($3/person) and you can park close by. Reservations not required – yet.
Lotus Asian Restaurant
393 Illawarra Road, Marrickville
Ph: (02) 9559 8895 www.lotusrestaurant.com.au
Pan Asian $-$$