Like the famed The Adventures of Tin Tin comic book it was named after, Blue Lotus is quintessentially Chinese, with lots of twists. Only instead of opium, this idyllic restaurant along the gorgeous Quayside Isle stretch smokes its food with the unique Josper oven.
With stunning views of the Sentosa marina and brightly coloured Vietnamese lanterns to accentuate the oriental vibe, Blue Lotus sounds like a lovely space to indulge in Chinese comfort food. And it really is. A collaboration between Ricky Ng (the former COO of Tung Lok Restaurants Group) and the Emmanuel Stroobant group, the restaurant is fashioned as a modern yet casual Chinese eating house.
Occupying two levels, walk pass the 30-seat ground level and go up the wooden steps (first, admire the framed print of its namesake Tin Tin poster on the wall) to find a massive 110-seat upper deck, which is great for events and family dinners.
The Blue Lotus uses the aforementioned Josper oven, which we’ve previously raved about for its ability to retain the essence of taste and flavour like no other. Western techniques of charcoal fire, as well as much innovation, are used to enhance the traditional Asian flavours of signature dishes here.
For starters, the Crispy Fried Salmon Skin with Salted Egg Yolk and Lime Zest ($14) is plain addictive, the zest’s acidity balancing out the saltiness of the egg yolk to make a flavourful crackling. Next, the overwhelmingly spicy Szechuan Style “La Zi” Spicy Egg Plant ($10). For someone who can’t handle a lot of piquancy, the tastiness of the creamy and slightly salty egg plants manages to squelch my pain receptors, for a little while at least.
Thankfully, the Smoked Truffle Wonton Lobster Bisque ($18) came soon after to dilute the lingering spice. A quick sniff of the soup promises a heavenly indulgence, (and also a faint hint of truffle), fulfilled by the meaty sui jiao with water chestnuts.
A new item on the menu, Roast Australian Baby Lamb short Ribs with Five Spices & Fennel Seeds ($34) proves to be a bit too gamey for my liking, and the five spices and fennel seeds too overpoweringly ‘spicy’ to appreciate the flavour of the meat. The Josper Grilled Barramundi Fillet with Pickled Chilli Sauce ($34) however, is excellent. Fried Fujian style for a crispy skin and finished in the oven, each bite is impressively tasty and tender.
Wok Fried “Prata” Kway Teow ($22). The immediate question when the dish was presented: Is this prata or kway teow? Turns out, this is sliced up prata that feels and tastes like a thicker, tougher kway teow, accompanied by mussels, clams, prawns and Chinese sausage. It’s a fair interpretation on the Singaporean dish, though we feel it’d be more interesting if the prata was crispier like the original.
The crowd favourite of the night was the Signature Pomelo Chilli Crab Claw ($7.80/100gm), just because we’re Singaporean. Blue Lotus’ sauce contains no ketchup; assam chilli, gingerflower, a bit of fresh tomato, and of course, sweet and juicy pomelo are used instead. The best aspect of this dish is the stuffed crab meat claw – steamed, peeled and stuffed to make it extremely easy to eat. Mop up the extra spicy sauce with a choice of fried or steamed man tou (though we found the steamed one gets moist after awhile).
Chilled Durian Shaved Ice with D24 Durian Puree ($10) – Taiwan-style layered shaved ice (as opposed to the trendy Korean bing su) that is milky and creamy without being overpowering nor pungent. Durian puree, ’nuff said.
Purists may not want to travel all the way out to Sentosa for this, but if you want a gorgeous place for enjoying innovative and creative takes on classic Chinese dishes, it doesn’t get much better than Blue Lotus.
Blue Lotus is located at 31 Ocean Way #01-13 Quayside Isle, Singapore 098375. Open Mon-Fri 6pm – 10pm, Sat-Sun 11.30 – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm.