With a name that sounds as if it’s a quasi-buddhism joint, no one can fault you if you walk in expecting to be served a vegetarian menu that boasts some mock grilled beef.One thing’s for sure though, there ain’t no lotuses around in this Balinese inspired restaurant that’s right smack at the newly renovated Clarke Quay. Lotus Grill is no new kid on the block. Having been around since March 2000, the restaurant closed for six months last year due to Clarke Quay’s major revamp. Those who missed having their fair dosage of Balinese grub by the waterside can finally look forward to more scrumptious good times at the reopened Lotus Grill that looks just as fine. Stepping into Lotus Grill is like entering a different time zone. The entire place is filled with Balinese wood furniture that stands out and manages to induce that cosy ambience together with the warm lights. I dare say it makes your food more enjoyable.
If you’re a sucker for fresh air and some good ol’ breeze, then sit in the al fresco area that overlooks the beautiful waters. There’re also two stationary boats that sit on the waters, giving you that soothing ‘dining on the Caribbean feel. But you can only have your meals on any of the boats at night.
Lotus Grill truly doesn’t disappoint and it doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a place to relax or satisfy your appetite because honey, you’ll get that and so much more.
Wide-eyed carnivores can tuck into the tantalising Stanford’s Tower ($33.90). Made out of succulent beef tenderloin piled on top of each other, with a myriad of grilled vegetables like capsicums and zucchini, it’s a must try. Just looking at it makes you salivate. It is flavoured with some black pepper and ginger sauce too. Now that’s what I call a real deal.
If you prefer something much lighter, say for appetisers, you might fall in love with the Lotus Samosas ($7.90). Now, don’t let that name fool you. It’s not filled with your traditional curry potato stuffing. Instead, Lotus Grill has fused both East and West and stuffed the quaint looking pretty pastries with cheese, chilli and parsley. Served with a sweet mango chutney sauce, it’s a match made in heaven.
While you’re at it, try the Cumi-cumi ($19.90). Yes, it might sound rather kiddish, but trust me, you won’t want to give it a miss. Cumi-cumi is actually a Balinese name for squids. The Balinese styled dish of marinated and broiled squids delighted me so especially with its elastic texture. It was rather fresh and tasty and it comes with vegetables by the side.
Need a little rice to fill your tummy? Check out the Merlion ($7.90), fried rice containing seafood like prawns and squids. Seasoned with garlic, and done the Oriental way, this aromatic fare scores high in my opinion. Another offering which had me smiling was the Sate Lilit Ikan ($19.90). Sounds rather foreign but it’s actually a simple Balinese styled dish consisting of minced fish and coconut satays on lemon grass skewers and served with a crunchy bean sprouts and long beans salad. I’d say it’s a rather creative way to serve satay. The fragrance from the lemongrass infusing with the meat made for a delicious bite.
Feeling fishy? I suggest you titillate your taste buds with the Jimbaran Style Tilapia ($4 X 100g) or the Seabass with Sambal Chilli Sauce ($5 X 100g); either way, you’re definitely not going to regret it. The Jimbaran Style Tilapia is slightly spicy and marinated with Balinese spices. The meat is tender and the entire package seems to blend so well.
The Seabass with Sambal Chilli sauce is definitely one of my favourites. The sambal chilli complemented the fish well and had that right spicy kick to it. Again, the freshness of the fish helped do justice to the dish. And if you’re getting thirsty, do have a sip of their fresh coconut juice served in its original source. Yep, they serve the whole coconut with flesh still intact and boy oh boy does it make for a perfect end to a satisfying meal.
Lotus Grill 3D River Valley Road #01-04, Clarke Quay, Shophouse Row, Tel: +65 6336 7993 www.lotus-restaurants.com