It may be named for the opium den in the fifth volume of the famed The Adventures of Tin Tin series but what the Blue Lotus Chinese Eating House @ Quayside Isle Sentosa (“Blue Lotus”) really wants is for diners to be hooked on its Chines fare so that they’ll come back for more. And more.
|Ricky Ng, co-founder of The Blue Lotus|
A collaboration between the Emmanuel Stroobant group and Ricky Ng, the former Chief Operating Officer of the Tung Lok Restaurants Group (“Tung Lok”), Blue Lotus is the Stroobants’ 4th restaurant concept on Sentosa island after Picotin Express, Brussel Sprouts and Saint Pierre, and Ng’s maiden foray as an entrepreneur after 15 years with Tung Lok. Ng, a seasoned hospitality professional with various hotel groups before diving into the F&B sector, runs Blue Lotus full time now.
The only Chinese eatery on the Quayside Isle stretch, Blue Lotus is perched by the water’s edge like its stable mates. Occupying a double-tiered space, just steps away from Kith Café, the 30-seat ground level access is fashioned as a Chinese eating-house (albeit with a modern take) boasting a long turquoise tiles-clad communal wooden table and walls lined with banquette seats. Instead of red Chinese lanterns, the ceiling is overhung with a kaleidoscope of Vietnamese lanterns in various hues. If you prefer the great outdoors, another 30 seats spill out to the airy – if sunny – alfresco area that’s hugely popular with the weekend crowd. But if you rather have traditional round tables for special events or family dinners, book a table on the 110-seat upper deck (open nights only).
What to expect
You may make a meal out of the lunch-only menu of local delights like beef brisket with flat rice noodles (S$18) or Hainanese chicken rice (S$15), or splash on a full-course Chinese meal comprising a mix of kids-friendly snacks, classics (some finished with a twist) and homey dishes and these are all printed on an A3-size tick box-menu for your convenience.
|Deep-fried prawn wonton with sweet and soup dip|
To start, prawn wonton is deep fried and served as crisp giant squares alongside a sweet and sour dip flecked with cubed onions and capsicum (5 pcs, S$16).
Alternatively, try the King prawn truffle wonton soup (S$16). Not only are the wontons embedded with earthy chopped truffles, the Yunnam ham broth packs a savoury punch with an umami flavour redolent of “Buddha jump over the wall” (sans the edible treasures, of course).
|Crispy squid tentacles|
Families with kids will not want to miss the crispy fried squid tentacles with salt and pepper served in a heap alongside chopped spring onions, garlic and a dull hint of chillies (S$26).
New on Blue Lotus’ menu, which is being refreshed every quarter, is the Vietnamese inspired lemongrass prawn. The prawns are first minced and tossed with chopped mint, then wrapped on a stalk of lemongrass and deep-fried.
|Signature chilli pomelo crab with fried man tou|
But you haven’t had the best of Blue Lotus until you veer off the kids-friendly dishes to taste the signature of chilli pomelo crab (S$7.80 per 100g, minimum order 1.2kg). The Sri Lankan crabs are cooked completely by simmering in a refreshing brew of tomato jus and orange jus spiked with assam, ginger flower and tongue-searing chillies. Served with a crowning glory of fresh pomelo pulp, the succulent flesh enrobed in the invigorating, subtly sweet and spicy sauce is incredibly addictive to say the least. Even if the 20 min-or-so wait is a tad long, the kitchen’s mastery of the dish makes it well worth the wait.
|Wok-fried Kagoshima wagyu beef tenderloin|
Lacking a meat dish? Options are plentiful: sweet and sour pork with lychee (S$26), claypot beef brisket with white radish (S$35) or better still, wok-fried Kagoshima wagyu beef tenderloin (S$45). The latter is first marinated in ground white pepper, then wok-fried with just enough black pepper and served – to your choice of doneness – sizzling in a hot stone bowl with heaps of onions and leeks. Speed is of essence when tackling this delicate meat as the wagyu cubes continue to cook on the sizzling stone.
Blue Lotus is primed as a no-frills Chinese alternative for the uppity Sentosa Cove residents. It may not yet be a destination for Singapore mainlanders given its infancy but if the dynamic duo can put their minds to creating more epic dishes like the signature crab dish, we reckon it’ll give us mainlanders more excuses to make the trek to Sentosa.
Blue Lotus Chinese Eating House | 31 Ocean Qay, #01-13 Quayside Isle, Sentosa | 65-6339 0880 | www.bluelotus.com.sg
© Evelyn Chen 2013
Please note that the reviews published in this blog are sometimes hosted. I am under no obligation to review every restaurant I’ve visited. If I do, the reviews are 100% my own.