Lotus Dining group reveals latest Sydney opening [gallery]

28 April, 2017 by
Madeline Woolway

The Lotus Dining group has launched Madame Shanghai, a new Darlinghurst eatery and bar serving Shanghai street food and yum cha.

The site’s cocktail area overlooks Hyde Park and the 90-seater bar and restaurant is open six days for dinner, and yum cha for lunch from Thursday to Sunday.

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Much of Shanghai-born head chef Chris Yan’s menu is made to share and cooked shaokao-style (Chinese barbeque) in an open kitchen. While there are dumplings on offer, Yan said Madame Shanghai is more ‘street’ and focused on the grill, while the yum cha menu is different to the norm Sydneysiders are used to.

“The yum cha offering in Sydney can be limited, so if I’m doing yum cha it’s got to be different and fun,” said Yan. “The food is still very Shanghai-inspired but with some interesting additions such as grilled chicken thigh meatballs with pineapple sambal and crumbed chicken katsu gua bao with sriracha mayo.”

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The cocktail bar overlooks Hyde Park and College Street and is led by Kate McGraw. The selection comprises concoctions inspired by Chinese mythology and Asian flavours, while sommelier Annette Lacey has assembled more than 200 wines with 15 available by the glass.

McGraw said she’s experiments with forgotten 1950s cocktail recipes and aged spirits and has spent months sourcing vintage bottles. The ‘76 Negroni, for example, features a 1976 Beefeater gin, 1970s Campari and 1976 Cinzano Antica.

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“I scoured auction houses to get my hands on rare and aged spirits to really take the cocktails and drinks up a notch at Madame Shanghai. For bartenders, I feel 2016 was about experimenting with outlandish techniques and flavours, whereas 2017 is the year we are finessing and honing those skills and prioritising sensory engagement,” she said.

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Images: Alana Dimou