Secret Foodies Tales Of The Orient experience was held in the heart of the Sydney CBD at Lotus Dining in The Galeries.

As guests stepped off the escalator and entered the dimly lit Lotus Dining they were shown through to a beautiful private dining room set for 45 lucky foodies. Those quick enough to secure a ticket to our Tales Of The Orient dinner we in for an eight-course banquet prepared by head chef Chris Yan.
After working at Bill’s in Surry Hills almost two decades ago he went on to work at Billy Kwong for 18 years. He was then sous chef at China Doll, Woolloomooloo before returning to Billy Kwong in 2009.

Chris came on board as the head chef at Lotus Dining when it opened last year combining his years of experience with the inspiration of his Chinese heritage. He’s adapted authentic Chinese recipes and introduced a number of native Australian ingredients.

We started with a cocktail on arrival called the Leaning Lotus before diving into entrees including:
Fresh oysters with lemon aspen sorbet and finger lime
Native Crystal ice plant salad with cucumber, enoki and black vinegar
Shanghai style drunken pipis
Pan-fried king prawn in plum sauce

These dishes were paired with the 2013 Cave de Turckheim Pinot Blanc, Alsace, FR.
For mains we had a glass of 2012 Perrin Cotes du Rhone, Rhone Valley, FR to match the following dishes.

Steamed fish fillet with ginger and shallots
Mouth-watering white cooked chicken
Wagyu beef with heirloom tomato, barilla chips and truffle oil
Wok-fried mixed mushrooms with munyeroo

To cleanse our palates we were served yuzu Jelly with Chrysanthemum flower before our dessert “Mandarin picked from the tree” arrived. It was the most incredible looking dessert that looked exactly like a fresh mandarin. It was made with layers of a crisp caramel shell, mandarin sponge, mandarin custard, crunchy pearls, burnt caramel ice cream and mandarin gel centre. It was glazed with mandarin glaze served with its leaves.

A glass of 2013 Pegasus Bay ‘Aria’ Late Picked Riesling, Waipara, NZ was served with the dessert.

As we do at the end of every Secret Foodies dinner we invited the head chef to come and do a Q&A with our guests. After various questions about the produce he’d used and his background we asked Chris our standard three questions: his favourite thing to EAT, what he likes to DRINK and what he does for PLAY when he’s not in the kitchen.

I never thought I’d meet anyone whose favourite food was tripe before but Chris was full of surprises. Gin and tonic is a respectable favourite drink as is his love for playing Chinese violin and singing opera in his spare time. After much coercing and cheering we even managed to convince Chris to sing us some opera! And boy can this chef sing, he was fantastic. Someone has an Instagram video of this somewhere; we need to track it down.

Continuing on with talented chefs, newly appointed pastry chef, Tiffany Jones came out to speak about her incredible mandarin dessert. She’s just started doing a dessert degustation at Lotus. Be sure to check that out.

Lotus Dining is a must-try in the Sydney CBD. It’s great for a post-work dinner or for making the most of one of their private dining rooms with a special group booking.

To see more pictures from the evening visit our Facebook Page.

Lotus Dining
The Galeries
Level 1, 500 George St, Sydney
02 9267 3699