Reinvention is the flavour of the month in Sydney. Bathers' Pavilion has been revamped and rejigged, Da Orazio has been born again as CicciaBella, and on Saturday Lotus will reopen in Potts Point seven years after it closed.
Original Lotus chef Dan Hong is back in the saddle at Lotus. Given it's an extended pop-up with a run expected to be up to a year, they've been savvy with the fitout.
Hong says they've raided the warehouse where Merivale store a mix of treasures and unwanted inventory. "We're using some old wooden bistro chairs," he says.
The menu will rebirth Hong's cheeseburger and hot fudge sundae signatures – as well as some newbies. The chef has been working on new dishes that reflect the new Hong: "a little more mature, but with the same approachability, fun and flavour".
Dishes include black truffle grilled cheese toasties, hand-cut noodles with prawn and XO and smoked anchovies with cultured cream and scallion bread.
"It's pretty similar [in look and feel] to the original Lotus. We pulled back some wooden planks and the original bar was still there," he says.
The mirrored ceilings, rich chocolate carpets, vintage floral sofa and low chairs upholstered in velvet tip their hat at 1970s glamour.
The move follows the sale of the building, with reports it sold for more than $13 million to local property investor Tony Benjamin, who owns the Holiday Lodge Hotel on Macleay Street.
The sale is on a long settlement, hence why the Lotus return will there be for a good time not a long time.
Open Tue-Sat 4pm-midnight, Sun 1-9pm.
22 Challis Avenue, Potts Point, merivale.com/venues/lotus/