Original review written 29 March 2009 on Trusted Places
Lotus Floating Chinese Restaurant
For full menu and details see:
We live walking distance from Lotus and are so glad we have finally found a place for authentic cheap dim sum without needing to travel all the way to Chinatown! From its mundane unlit appearance in the afternoon and tinted windows which prevented us from seeing inside, we always assumed it was a novelty joint either failing miserably or completely abandoned, until we walked in last week at lunchtime and realised it was buzzing especially with the office crowd from Canary Wharf!
All the steamed dim sum classics are well executed- fluffy white char siew bao (BBQ pork buns), har gau (prawn dumplings), siew mai (pork dumplings), beef tripe with ginger etc, and we were surprised to find good Ma Lai Koh (Malay steamed sponge cake) on the menu too which is the first time I've encountered it in London! We ordered two varieties of cheong fun (steamed rice sheet rolls)- char siew and fried dough- and loved both, highly appreciating the fact that the sauce for the fried dough version was served in a separate saucer for dipping instead of drizzled over, to ensure the filling remained crispy.
The fried/baked dishes also got the thumbs up all round- gorgeous little egg custard tarts with a flaky pastry, light and not-too-greasy wu kok (yam puffs with meat filling) and crunchy salad har (fried prawn dumplings with salad cream).
The only thing we regretted ordering was the plate of dry-fried beef hor fun, which was rather bland and oily and not worth the £6.50 price tag. Although I haven't tried any of their other noodle dishes, I would say it's a safer bet to stick to the dim sum classics.
Service was typical of a Chinese restaurant (none too friendly, civil but indifferent), but with most of the dishes priced at £2 (the most expensive ones being £3.50) and a lovely waterfront view to boot, I will definitely be back at Lotus over and over to satisfy my dim sum cravings! :)