Lotus Lounge


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I don’t know a single person that doesn’t love a good Chinese, or a good bargain for that matter and the Lotus Lounge appears to satisfy my hunger for both.

Lotus Lounge, Lower Parkstone, Poole

I enter, pleasantly surprised by a modern, simple but chic interior, adorned with golden Chinese trinkets and splashes of colour. I receive a warm welcome from a humbling waitress, (whose name I later learn is Heidi). She gives me a step-by step guide to the Lotus Lounge’s extensive menu and clever approach to dining.

“Only established Chinese restaurants can stick to a la carte menus, so most places are caving in to public demand and turning into buffets. What we’ve done seems to be a happy medium” Manager Tak tells me, explaining the origins of Lotus Lounge’s universally pleasing concept – you pay a set price, and choose as many dishes from the menu as you want, which are then cooked to order.

But with a menu consisting of no fewer than 20 starters, 9 soups, a belt-popping 49 mains and 4 desserts, I’m not entirely sure whether to be intimidated, ask for recommendations or to order them all and gorge myself in an effort to test my culinary stamina. Regardless, I am incredibly impressed, especially in the knowledge I shall only be paying £13.90 for the pleasure.

Lotus Lounge, Lower Parkstone, Poole

My guest and I order a selection of starters including crispy seaweed, crispy smoked chilli chicken, and deep fried king prawns. Biting into my first mouthful of prawn, I am immediately enamoured by the juicy, sweet meatiness against the crisp batter a combination I welcome with gusto when more accustomed to a soggy lacklustre coating. The seaweed maintains a perfect balance of sweet and salty, with a moreish crunch.

The Tom Kha Chicken Soup I opt for next acts as a perfect palate cleanser with notes of fragrant lemongrass lifting its rich coconut infused base, my taste buds feel positively refreshed and ready for round three.

Next is a warm-up for the main event, the classic ‘aromatic crispy duck with pancakes’ course. Considering duck is normally an expensive ingredient, the generous amount and quality of the meat fleshy pink chunks amidst golden roasted glimmers of crispy skin leaves me wondering how on earth this can all be included at such a modest price.

Lotus Lounge, Lower Parkstone, Poole

We ambitiously order nine main dishes between the two of us justifying our sheer greediness with the feeble excuse of getting ‘good value for money’. Highlights include: Thai green chicken curry, beef in black bean sauce, Szechuan pork, mussels and sweet chilli, sweet and sour prawns, squid with spring onions and ginger, with sides of bamboo shoots and water chestnuts, special fried rice, and Pad Thai noodles. Thankfully, individual dishes are only tapas sized, giving us the opportunity to try a little of everything.

Each dish is different, with authentic flavours in particular the pork, with its tangy balance of spices, and the deceptively hot curry which left my delicate mouth longing for the water jug. On top of this, the freshness of ingredients shines through, as does the talent of the chefs to produce such food so quickly.

Despite my now bulging tum being the most obvious impression left, in fact it is the gracious service which I have received consistently throughout this evening that makes the most profound impact. From the moment I curiously step through the door until the moment I waddle back out, service is speedy, efficient and polite.

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Currently there are "4 comments" on this:

  1. Pippa May says:

    Lotus lounge is fantastic, brilliant frshly cooked food delivered to your table as you order, brilliant open plan seating, creates amazing buzz in the restaurant. DV8 has recently done a spot on review.

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  2. Paul says:

    I visited Lotus Lounge last week with a bhbeat voucher and found it very good. The waitress was very attentive and service was fast. All the food was delicious too.

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  3. Wendy Pardy says:

    Since we discovered the Lotus Lounge in February we have returned about 16 times with various friends and relatives everyone, without exception, thought the food was fabulous! My grandson Teddy pronounced it the BEST restaurant at which he had eaten. As well as that the service is superb and the staff are so friendly and helpful. Cant wait to eat there again.

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  4. Terry Pardy says:

    This restaurant is now named Lotus Lounge and has been refurbished. New owners as well I believe. The menus are still Orchid Cuisine as they seem to have kept the same style of fare and presentation.

    You can choose from Al a Carte or Buffet (served at the table and eat as much as you like). We chose from the extensive eat as much as you like menu and the food was served very quickly, hot and freshly cooked. There is a starter choice of soups, satay, ribs, mushrooms, prawns, crab sticks, wantons etc and then to follow Crispy Duck with Pancakes. The main course choice is extensive and has all the usual dishes such as Sweet and Sour Chicken Hong Kong Style, Chilli Beef etc in abundance. To finish the meal there is a selection of sweets such as Banana Fritter, Lychees and all can be served with Ice Cream.

    The food was absolutely delicious and what superb value at £13 a head! Why the place wasnt heaving with customers I dont know, it should have been! Definitely on the list for a return visit, even if only to get a take-away!

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99 Commercial Road, Poole
01202 731511


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