Lotus Restaurant The Galeries, Sydney

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country right now: Lotus Restaurant The Galeries, Sydney.

Cold. Wet. Dark. The answer, of course, is dumplings. And if you're south of Market Street and north of Bathurst, that means you ought to be making a beeline to Lotus, the supersized Galeries version of the Walsh Bay eatery Lotus Dumpling Bar. You may quibble (and what dumpling fan doesn't love a good bit of quibbling?) with an apparent lack of delicacy in some of the wrappers, certainly, but the Lotus offer neatly sidesteps gumminess, lack of flavour, lack of structural integrity and many other a dumpling deal-breaker. Steamed jade prawn dumplings, prettily stained with spinach in the dough, tick the box; round clear-pastry dumplings with white fish and radish pop with clean flavour, and there's juicy heft to the mud crab and pork xiao long bao. We're yet to investigate the non-dumpling side of the menu in much depth, but with mud crab or lobster with a choice of native-spice salt and pepper, garlic butter and black pepper, XO and roast tomato, ginger and spring onion and yellow curry treatments on offer, plus a bit more indigenous inspiration in the likes of stir-fried wallaby rump with sweet bean paste and saltbush, there seems to be more than enough reason here to venture back after dark for a second look.

Lotus Restaurant The Galeries, level 1, 500 George St, Sydney, NSW, (02) 9267 3699

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