Nestled behind the iconic Hyde Park, at the border of Darlinghurst sits Sydney’s latest dining experience. Elegant in its execution, Lotus Dining’s latest offering brings fourth Madame Shanghai, a restaurant drawing inspiration from a pre-war Shanghai combined with an Australian setting. Providing a unique backdrop for ICON’s latest editorial ‘Pig Out‘, it has made us hungry for more than a great look.

On first arrival, guests are welcomed into the warm space with a modern interpretation of East Asia. Said to be inspired by the 1960’s set of Hong Kong film In the Mood for Love, traditional-inspired details in the form of ornate emblems, bamboo furniture and florals are met with plush carpets, velvet, and bursts of emerald, adding a luxury feel to the space. In fact, everything down to the menu is styled to fit the vision of creative chef Chris Yan, and like its setting, the food and drinks are expertly paired to complement its exotic perception.

Some may say its vast array of dishes and unusual combination of themes would make for a confusing meal, however the work of Chris Yan in this case is unparalleled. Whilst including the likes of squash, brioche and chickpeas into a handful of its main dishes, the menu draws recipe inspiration from all corners of Asia such as Northern China, the food hub and its namesake Shanghai as well as references from Japan. And at lunch, it offers up Yum Cha. Dessert is not forgotten either, with cultural ingredients infused into well-known dishes.  And while its food is a cohesive collection, small enough to as avoid getting overwhelmed, its strong offering of drinks makes Madame Shanghai far more than a humble eatery.

Upfront is its Asian-inspired cocktails. Elderflower meets wasabi, rosewater with macadamia and chilli pairs with pink lady apple for a keen beverage like you may not have experienced before. If a wild cocktail is not your scene, amongst a specially curated range of spirits drawing from Europe and America, wine from all corners of the globe and even non-alcoholic concoctions, shochu, baijui and sake are on-hand to pair with food.

If we’ve convinced you already to spend an evening experiencing the very best from food this side of the Sydney CBD, gather a group of friends, and book a table here.