Merivale’s award-winning bistro and cocktail bar returns to Potts Point, serving up another round of good times and great food
The noughties icon is being rebooted as an extended pop-up concept, featuring much-loved classics and new flavours by Executive Chef Dan Hong.
A jewel of Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs for over a decade, Lotus was intimate, fun and decadent, representing a vibrant time in Kings Cross history. Merivale have ensured the focus on late-night fun remains, with Hong back on board to run the kitchen where he made his mark 11 years ago. He joined Lotus in 2008, fresh from New York, giving the Mediterranean-style menu an Asian accent with the playful twists and turns he is now renowned for.
“Lotus is where my journey with Merivale began. They were some of the best years of my career and it means so much to go back and cook in the kitchen once again. I’m ready and raring to have a lot of fun and it is great to be part of a small brigade, too”.
Lotus sees the return of cult classics like the Lotus cheeseburger, now with brisket, chuck steak and dry-aged beef fat, and the famous hot fudge sundae. There are also new dishes that reflect the chef he is today – “a little more mature, but with the same approachability, fun and flavour,” says Hong. Think black truffle grilled cheese toasties, hand-cut noodles with Scarlet prawn and XO, smoked anchovies with cultured cream and scallion bread and a step-back-in-time Frosty Fruit granita with coconut sorbet.
Lotus was also renowned for its bar, celebrated for its influence on the Australian bar industry and consistently producing outstanding drinks talent. This time around, the bar is led by Colin Tam and Sam Egerton, with a punchy drinks list that once again plays heavily to cocktails. Expect rebooted classics like the Lotus Martini with Zubrowka, Peach Schnapps, apple juice and passionfruit, alongside a selection of new delights to match the updated menu.
The pop-up space dials up the fun, with a nod to the intimate ‘70s glamour of the original concept and Merivale’s fashion heritage. Mirrored ceilings reflect the chocolate carpets, vintage floral sofa and low chairs upholstered in velvet. The design team, led by Justin Hemmes, Bettina Hemmes and Amanda Talbot, have unearthed the iconic onyx bar that glowed proudly at the back of the space, now revealed behind timber beaded curtains.
“People often talk about the magic of Lotus; it was an institution for ten years and created amazing memories for so many of our guests and staff,” says Hemmes. “It was also a huge gamechanger for us as a hospitality business. We’re excited to bring it back for one last hurrah and give the property a fun, and very nostalgic, farewell”.
Merivale decided to bring back the institution for an extended pop-up and farewell to Challis Avenue, following the sale of the iconic property last month. The Hemmes family acquired the three-storey building in 1988 when they began their first serious foray into hospitality – originally with a coffee shop, before Lotus in 2002.
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Hours: Tuesday–Saturday: 4pm–12am; Sunday: 1pm–9pm