Recently on a visit to Melbourne Wayne and I decided to stay at the Docklands rather than in the city. We had arrived in Melbourne from Hobart late Australia Day morning and after a casual stroll to get acquainted with the area we decided as the Australia Day celebrations were centred around the Docklands area we would stay in the area for dinner. With so many restaurants and cafes to choose from we decided to go to Docklands Lotus for some Chinese.
Docklands Lotus is situated just around the corner from our accommodation, along the waterfront, and is quite a large restaurant. We didn’t have a reservation but had no problem getting a table. We were seated near the front door and close to the window so we could see the hustle bustle of the Docklands while we ate.
Once seated (staff members were not that interested or happy to be there) we ordered drinks and were presented with a bowl of Prawn Crackers. I myself don’t like these but Wayne said they were tasty and crunchy and went well with his beer. So sipping our drinks while watching the world go by we decided on a few dishes to share, trying to keep some variety in what we chose. As you would expect from a Chinese restaurant there was way too much to choose from. I would prefer a menu where the dishes are fewer and made to a higher standard.
To start we had the Prawn and Sesame Toasts. They arrived, two on a plate with a little carrot and some dipping sauce. They were hot and crunchy with small chunks of prawn meat but unfortunately the bread was greasy and the flavours were a bit bland. The dipping sauce was your normal, typical, sweet, salty and sour combo but nothing spectacular.
We then ordered two mains and some plain rice to be served all together, for sharing. But alas, they all came out at different times. First we were served the Seafood and Vegetable Combo which included squid, prawns, celery, baby corn, broccoli and zucchini. This was very bland and pale with no real seasoning but the seafood was cooked well and was very tender.
The rice finally arrived then the Pepper Beef Fillet which was a seared piece of beef fillet brought to the table on a sizzling plate surrounded by yet more broccoli. When the wait staff placed the plate on the table she then poured over the pepper gravy which provided a hint of theatre to the evening.
The beef was hot and tender, the pepper gravy spicy and chunky with diced onion and red and green capsicum. We even dipped some of our seafood into the sauce which added some heat and flavour to an otherwise boring dish.
Overall the meal was average and the prices much the same. It is not somewhere I would go again or recommend to family or friends. The location is great but again the service lacked friendliness and helpfulness which should go hand in hand with good food.
We did have a good laugh though as we were seated near the fish tanks which were full to the brim with crabs and lobster. We kept checking to see if they were all alive. They were stacked one on top of the other and there wasn’t much movement from within. Hmmm! Not sure I would buy crab or lobster there!
Docklands Lotus 12-16 New Quay Promenade Docklands Vic 3008 03 9939 5952