Lotus 8 Asian Cuisine
Singapore Vermicelli - Photo by Dante Fontana, © Style Media Group.
Gallery: Lotus 8 [5 Images] Click any image to expand.
by Jennifer Resnicke
Photography by Dante Fontana
From the moment my dining companion and I stepped into the Cantonese-style Lotus 8, it was clear: This is not your typical Chinese food joint.
Gone are the tacky red-and-white paper placemats with the Chinese zodiac; instead, solid yellow tablecloths, dark wood chairs and rich red walls (adorned with a large canvas sporting the namesake lotus) create a distinctly modern feel. And for once, the use of the word “authentic” isn’t just a marketing ploy, as evidenced by menu options like stir-fried beef with bitter melon, or sautéed shrimp with sliced kiwi. For the less adventurous (like me) they also have a diverse lineup of popular options.
We started with an appetizer of fried calamari, which came out in big chunks as opposed to the more familiar little rings. The remarkably tender fish paired with the salty, crispy batter was an awesome combination and, while it was tempting just to eat it plain, the horseradish-redolent hot mustard dipping sauce kept us coming back for more.
The Mongolian beef combination plate, served with a generous portion of chicken chow mein, was chock-full of tender meat and managed to avoid the common problem where the “star” of the dish becomes veggies rather than beef. Lotus 8’s Singapore vermicelli was a surprisingly succulent combination of thin but toothsome vermicelli noodles, shrimp, barbecued pork, onion, ginger and curry. Unlike so many of its gummy and heavy sauced counterparts, this nimble dish was both hearty and light.
Saving room for the piping hot, extremely fresh and chewy house-made Chinese buns is an absolute must. Whether you order them filled with lotus seed or the slightly sweet red bean paste, you won’t go wrong.
After our meal, the waiter even chatted with us about some of the dim sum places he likes in town and mentioned a few dishes we should try next time we’re at our favorite joint. How’s that for hospitality?
Lotus 8 - Folsom, CA