Dan Hong's Lotus 2.0 to replace Merivale's The Fish Shop

Dan Hong at Merivale's soon-to-be-closed The Fish Shop.
Dan Hong at Merivale's soon-to-be-closed The Fish Shop. Photo: Nikki To

Merivale will swing the axe on The Fish Shop, closing the doors on the Potts Point venue on June 16 after a seven-year run.

In a back to the future move for the space, Justin Hemmes is sending chef Dan Hong in to reboot it as "Lotus 2.0", a reimagining of the Hong-steered Lotus restaurant that used to rock the site. 

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, so the Lotus return will be for a good time not a long time, opening September for up to a year.

Hong remembers auditioning for the Lotus gig, knocking out 12 dishes in 45 minutes for Hemmes and Merivale executives.

The hot fudge sundae he served that day will return, as will Lotus classics such as the tuna with sweet wasabi dressing.

Hong is keen to resurrect a little of the old Lotus spirit when the interior gets a quick overhaul: "The bar at the back is still there, it's [currently] covered in wood."

The chef is particularly proud of the talent that worked at Lotus, citing Jowett Yu (Ho Lee Fook, Hong Kong) and Dan Pepperell (Alberto)  as just a few examples.

"Anton Forte (Hubert, Swillhouse Group) was the barman," he says.