An interesting and unique concept of a restaurant floating on Thames.
Although the boat normally does not leave the shore embarking on the boat itself creates a different feeling than just popping into a usual dining place.
I visited The Floating Lotus Twice.
On first occasion it was a company dinner and I liked the idea of a round table as everyone was able to have a conversation with each other. The food was tasty and reasonably priced.
On the second occasion it was the Chinese New Year. The decor was much more lively and the restaurant was busier than normal for obvious reasons. The aromatic crispy duck was indeed aromatic and crispy and the squid starter with red chilly and spring onions did the trick as the combination of tastes created more appetite.
Despite not so enthusiastic waiting staff and an included 10% service charge the meal was more than satisfying to the palate.
All in all I'd visit again.
Been coming here for a decade or so. A friend of mine from HK and his family first took me here for yum cha one sunday and it's been a regular of mine ever since.
In terms of authenticity, taste and notably value for money it's easily top 5 in London (along with Yi Ban docklands and JKL Chinatown).
Standard yum cha fare - har gau, siu mai, lo mai gai, hot pots, char siu bau and alike all for around 2-3 quid.
There can be a bit of a queue sunday afternoons, and the waitering staff arent the most attentive (though again from my experience of restaurants in HK, that's pretty authentic also!).
When the dim sum is fresh everything is really good. My biggest complaint is lack of consistency because sometimes all of the food looks really tired. At a midweek lunch I had a minced pork and aubergines dish that was really tasty. On the weekends, this place gets crowded which can make it difficult to get a table but improves the quality of the food. I couldn't feel any rocking of the boat but I've heard some people complain about it. Try it out. There are much much worse places you can visit in the area.
I've grown more fond of this dim sum place... Get their early and eat your heart out and don't cringe with the bill, yay! Service isn't amazing but the dim sum is tasty and plentiful so you get what you came for (food narcosis)
Who sets up a restaurant here, near the Millwall Inner Dock ? If you are not from Canary Wharf, there is very little chance of you ever being able to locate the place (but to be fair to them, there is no reason for an outsider to travel here to have chinese food).
The food here is pretty good, especially the dumplings, but nothing outstanding, and overly expensive for the quality and the location. Also they do not accept credit cards for bills less than £15. That is not cool.
But i will forever remain grateful to them for the hot chicken soup they fed me (for cash, no card) the day London was snowed in. Helped me to get through that day ... brrrrr ...
Not going to travel out of my way to come here again.
Nothing special with the food, and the service was practically non existent!.
I had to repeatedly ask for my green tea, they didn't bring me the sweet and sour sauce for my prawn toast (again had to ask multiple times), and by the time I got my sauce and drink, my food was cold.
It wasn't a busy night, and I would just see the waiters huddled at the front of the restaurant talking. Best to go China town, or anywhere else than here!
"So where are the shops?"
"Just go down past the floating Chinese restaurant and turn left"
"Sorry, go past the what?"
Yes folks, I ate at a floating Chinese restaurant. I work nearby and considered this place to be almost a biohazard, an oddity that couldn't possibly exist in a reasonable world and why would anyone eat here? Where, outside of Vegas, would you find a floating dim sum place?
When we were first moved from Canary Wharf to Millwall, it was bereft of any shops and cafes, but of course, there was the floating monstrosity. The Lotus sits on a barge, surrounded by river debris and on the outside are big plastic bins that the trash goes in. It smells. You see workers dumping the trash. It's gross. It should not be.
But I'd heard that some co-workers had eaten here. And more importantly, survived. I always refused. On principal. But one day we all decided to go for dim sum. And it wasn't bad.
We ordered up a round of the usual steamed and fried dishes. All very tasty and not suspect in the least. A co-worker and I even tried the curried whelks (well, once you've looked the devil in the eyes, it seems pointless not to go the whole hog, or whelk). These weren't so great.
The dim sum here is good, but don't get me wrong, it's a strange and disturbing place.
Sadly, I hadn't been to Lotus in a couple of years - not because it's bad, mind you. It just got superseded a little by Peninsula in Greenwich in terms of atmosphere, speed of service and ease to get there. Unfortunately, when we turned up to Peninsula for our Sunday dim sum, it had been shut by the health inspector! (My friend maintains that the dim sum was yummy, despite all the alleged offences...).
Anyhoo, I vetoed everyone and decided we were going to Lotus as it was always one of my favourite local dim sum places. I'm glad we did. I'd forgotten how much I like the bean curd prawn rolls here - it's my favourite dim sum dish, and Lotus does it the best in my opinion (within London) - yes, it is driving my fourth star. There are a lot of nice dishes on the menu - the scallop dumpling stood out as well. The cheung fun was not so good (the skin is a bit too thick), but the char siu boa and the char siu so are good.
On arrival, it was sadly quiet (it picked up by about 1pm, which seems unusual to me for a dim sum restaurant). It's a lovely setting - yes, cheesy because it's a floating restaurant, but quite a nice view of the water front. I'm surprised that it wasn't busier with the other main dim sum place shut down, looks like the regulars all dissipated somewhere else, but I haven't quite figured out where!
The only real problem with Lotus is the transport - you really only have an option of a car, the DLR or a bus. But if you can overlook that teeny-tiny fact, then it's worth popping in at least once for dim sum.
My friend who lives in Canary Wharf brought me here (not surprisingly, as per previous reviews).
The restaurant is nestled among some condos, and walking up to this restaurant is a rather strange experience - normally you would expect some sort of serenity in a floating pagoda type setting (in a wharf no less). Instead, there are seagulls everywhere, and really gross looking barrels of grease as you walk up to the entrance. However, the food was not too bad. For dim sum in London, it's not too expensive. On the other hand, the quality of food here is a bit lamentable - I think you could probably find better quality stuff elsewhere in London, and even in Toronto, you would've found stuff like this there in the 1980s when no one had yet experimented with dim sum ingredients.
The decor inside the ship is slightly kitschy and looks like it has not be touched since the late 1980s (again... 1980s?). A nice renovation of the inside, plus moving the barrels of grease to a less conspicuous, covered area, would do wonders.
Bottom line: I have always been suspicious of waterside restaurants who have bad food because they rest on the laurels of their location, and this one doesn't appear to contradict that belief.
I'm not sure I would make the trek especially out here for their yum cha, but saying that my expectations were exceeded. We totally stuffed ourselves and the bill came to slightly more than £12pp including service which is less than you'd pay at a Royal China or similar.
I found the food slightly too oily for my liking, but they definitely made up for it with variety. There was a good range of steamed and fried dim sums as well as quite a few cheung funs (noodles wrapped around a filling, I recommend bbq pork or fried dough). I was definitely impressed with their variety and reckon they have more options than most.
They also had congee and a few other items on a little card with only chinese (which the girl was kind enough to read out to me since I can't read chinese!) - so worth asking if you feel like something in particular and you can't find it on the standard yum cha menu.
They also have the no seating until your whole party is there policy, which I find an annoying practice, as I'm used to eating and waiting when it comes to yum cha! (Saying that they are not the only chinese restaurant to implement this policy).
All in all, if you're in the area and don't mind the cheesy setup that is a floating chinese restaurant, it is definitely worth a visit for a spot of yum cha.
Absolutely terrible food! Can't understand how this place is still in business. The chicken is rubbery and microwaved. Taste is bland, service is poor, and it's outrageously overpriced for the tremendously low quality of food.
this is probably the only restaurant where I can count myself as a regular.
So what do I eat here? Two words: DIM SUM. (if you don't know what this is, it's like the Chinese version of tapas but we only have this for brunch)
Brought my sis here who has been living a couple of months in Shanghai and she felt that the dimsum in Lotus is way better than what she had over there. (granted, dimsum is from HK, but if Shanghai can't compare to Lotus ... well, that proves how awesome Lotus is, doesn't it?)
Plus, the price is reasonable here. For a good dimsum brunch, the total bill comes up to approx. £10 per person. Compared to Hakkasan, it's definitely a hit!
However, the dinner options here are not up to par, I feel that only the dimsum is what makes lotus so popular in the afternoons. Love the fried custard buns especially. (would recommend more but I only know their Cantonese names)
Every time someone from central London (or elsewhere) comes to visit me, I always, always bring them here for dim sum. Always. Then, when word spreads, more friends start asking and that hole in my purse starts getting bigger. Anyway, like a friend said, "in life you lose some, you dim sum."
A wonderful little restaurant, probably the best Chinese around Canary Wharf (with the exception of Royal China down at Westferry Quay).
The cool thing is that the restaurant is on a boat, although it is moored to the pier and it doesn't rock, so it shouldn't be a problem with those who get seasick.
Service is very prompt, although a bit cold, and the decor inside is nice. Tables are spaciously laid out, not like many other Chinese restaurants where they try to cram as many tables in as possible.
They serve dimsum and also have a proper menu. I've only ever had the dimsum, and it was good, comparable to what you can get in restaurants in Chinatown. I've also tried the seafood ho fun noodles, which was massive (enough for 2 people).
Bill wise expect to pay around £8-£13 per person (excluding drinks) for a filling dimsum
This chinese restuarant is located on a chinese themed floating boat, close to Canary Wharf and South Quay DLR stations. I have only ever been here on a weekend for lunch and as i normally find of Canary Wharf and surroundings to be completly dead, this place always seems to be heaving. The restaurant is split over 2 floors, i think the upper floor is slightly more 'plain' compared to downstairs. The boat is pretty stationary for those without sea legs!
I have only tried the Dim Sum menu (with a couple of dishes of the main menu) and must admit i am pleasantly pleased with what we have had. The usual dim sum are on offer, and are all very tasty, especially my favourite Char sui buns.
The staff can be over attentive - we were asked for drinks by 3 different staff members in the first 5 minutes, although when the food arrived we still had no bowls, and of course there were no staff around, however they are friendly and quick on the mark.
I have been with groups each time, and never had to spend more than a tenner each, which is fantastic value for money. Worth the trip to Canary Wharf.
The food tastes like heaven. You must go there! From duck wraps to noodles there delicious. As soon as you walk over the bridge you smell lovely food . You must go there !
This restaurant is located in a floating boat-like 'pavilion' on the waters of the Docklands, in close proximity of Crossharbour DLR station. It is quite an extraordinary feature for a Chinese restaurant.
This place serves great value and delicious dim sum. The price is about 15% cheaper than most Chinese restaurant. I am a keen supporter of this restaurant and I usually have dim sum here on Saturday afternoon. There are 2 storeys of huge dining spaces; hence getting a table is not a problem. Booking in advance is not necessary. My favourite dim sum here is the black sesame dumplings and the Char Siu pastry, they are the best that I have tried in London.
Dinner in this restaurant is not as good as the dim sum. So my recommendation for first timer is to try the dim sum.
The 'Lotus' is as other people have said here a static floating boat in one of the docks near Canary Wharf. It is easy to reach via DLR or a short walk from Canary Wharf Jubilee line and there is also some parking around the boat which is pretty cheap, (If you can't park nearby there is an ASDA carpark 4mins walk away where if you spend on your weekly shopping you can park here).
On first impression the restaurant is quite imposing with two floors for dining and good views (from one side of the boat) over the dock. It's usually pretty busy but as previous reviewers have said there isn't usually a wait and thus pre-booking is not essential.
Lotus serves as expected both Dim-Sum and also evening meals. I have been there for both and will comment on both.
Dim sum: The Dim Sum menu is a reasonable length with the standard dishes on it. On this front the dishes are reasonable, quite tasty and usually quick to arrive. There is also a special menu which is in Chinese only (at least it is when they give it to me!). From the special menu there are lots of goodies such as Chive 'cakes'.
Service tends to be quite fast, although for some reason they often 'lose' a dish somewhere along the line meaning you either get one after you've finished everything else, or cancel it.
The Dim Sum gets 4/5 stars, it's not as good as Peninsula which is nearby, (see other review). I've been to both many times an enjoy both.
Evening food: The evening menu is large and I like the food from it. It's a bit greasy however and some dishes are over-priced. However they do great Tofu, (beancurd) dishes including some really spicy numbers that rival Bar Shu. Portion sizes are pretty large for some dishes so you won't feel hungry at the end.
Also, and this makes it heaven for some of my Chinese friends Free rice refills and free Red Bean dessert at the end of the meal :) 3.5/4 stars due to comparisons with other Chinese restaurants around.
Overall then, it's a good place. Not totally authentic but decent.
The Lotus is in a perfect location. It floats within the docks and has a great view across the water when you're eating, which really creates a nice atmosphere.
The food is delicious and is definitely one of the BEST Chinese restaurants in London.
The waiting staff are so friendly, polite and make you feel really welcome.
The Lotus is a great experience and would be a lovely treat for somebodies birthday, or even for just a meal out. It gets busy, so be sure to book a table to guarantee a place!
The floating lotus is an ok chinese restaurant. It's in the mid price range and a good place to meet friends. We went on a Saturday night and it was fairly busy.
I always order the crispy chili beef as it's really crispy and not too spicey. I really love the dumplings I had for a starter. They were really hot and fresh. Once it gets dark it is a nice view with all the lights in the area.
I was running late for a meeting and i came across this nice restaurant on water i love dim-sum so it being midday i new.
Staff was cold but i guess they did try in the end but it was the food i was after. Really liked it i will in again went im in the area.
Been a couple of times here - service isn't always great, but the food is good. Interesting idea having the restaurant on a boat - not sure it really fits in with its surroundings - but then it's the food that counts more than anything else. They have a chinese only menu which contains a few more authentic dishes than the european menu - so good to try and go with someone that speaks the language :)
I'll certainly go again. (Just a shame the service couldn't be improved just a touch)
My neighborhood Chinese eatery when I lived in Canary Wharf. Solid homey food, the place where I went when I wanted hor fun, dim sum, a quick weekend lunch, a quick dinner, that sort of thing. This place is also not bad at all for dinner, but you have to know what to order. Lamb hotpot with bean curd sheets was excellent, as was the steamed fish. I can also wholeheartedly recommend the scrambled egg seafood hor fun. A great lunch or dinner one-dish meal, or as one of several dishes.
This place seems to be full all the time and the main reason for that is the food.
Although the location is really great. I mean who wouldn't like to have their lunch on a floating boat? The scenery is just breathtaking there and there are a lot of windows, so you can admire it from each and every table. Additionally the decoration is very well-picked, it is not overdone and doesn't outshine the simple beauty of the nature outside.
I haven't tried a lot of the dishes on the menu, mainly the dim sum menu and a couple of the main dishes, but all of them tasted delicious and seasoned right, not too bland, but not too spicy either. I would recommend trying the vegetable spring rolls and the scallop dumpling for your first visit there, as they both taste delicious and you won't make a mistake ordering them.
As for the service- all the staff are very friendly and efficient, even a little too attentive sometimes. They tend to not keep track of who is serving a certain table, but never the less that's not a problem, you might just have to remind them that you have already placed your order. Otherwise they are always there when you need them, so you won't really have to wait for your food or get a cold one, and the same goes for the bill.
Amazing restaurant! View is breathtaking and place is perfect for some private celebrations. It's also a good choice for romantic dinner. But whatever occasion brought you there you'd search for another one to go soon again.
It's a weird little cheesy-looking Chinese restaurant that's on a quasi-boat thing fake-floating on the water. Very odd. The food is salty and in some cases overcooked. The whole thing is really weird, but there aren't a lot of other options nearby.
I've been here about 5or6 times now the food is really nice and its different the fact that it's a boat , I did find it a bit cramped when I've been and the staff don't smile a lot , also take plenty of money it's not cheap but I would recommend it for the food.
I love the way they prepare duck. Will kill to know the recipe. The atmosphere is very romantic and relaxed.
Dim Sum on Sundays. My partner and I do this every 2 weeks!
We have been a regular at Imperial China, Leicester Square ( China Town) for ages. We were quite disappointed the last time we were there. Yesterday, we thought let's try something new. My partner found this place and he assumed I would love it. I was quite a travel from my place. It was in Canary Wharf. I was anxious and grumpy as I was starving! It was 1pm when we arrived. I loved it! Lotus it was called. Lotus the Floating Chinese Restaurant. It was packed. There was a handful people waiting to be seated. We were greeted by beautiful lady dressed in Chinese Costume presenting pamplets for Shen Yun . 'Table for 2' I requested to the attending staff. 'No No, No please come after 2' he replied abruptly. How rude I thought. I asked if they take reservations. 'NO reservation, Come after 2' I was actually quite annoyed with is abruptness. But I wanted to have lunch there, it was crowded and filled Chinese originates. This could only mean one thing. GOOD FOOD! I am happy to overlook the rudeness, just to taste the food and judge for myself.
We went to the nearest pub for drink while we waited. We got back to the restaurant quarter to. It was still packed and at least half a dozen on customers were still waiting to be seated. He recognised us and said 'Ahhh you came back.Wait i find you table'. Couple of minutes later he come back and offered a table for two facing the river. Lovely view. I loved it. And all his rudeness before just seemed to have disappeared.
The menu, they server both Dim Sum and ala carte dishes. The wine menu look pretty good for a midrange Chinese restaurant. Couple of dishes caught my eye. Fried Ying Yong! I have not had that for ages. Rice with salted fish and sliced pork. I love this dish. We ordered a few classic dumplings , siew mai, char siu bau, crispy yam courgrates, cheong fun deep fried battered squids, rice with salted fish and sliced pork, stir fried pack choi garlic style and egg tarts; accompanied by jasmine tea. Everything was scrumptious. This has been one of the best dim sum I ever had. Bear in mind I am from Malaysia and we do have very good Dim Sums. We are definitely coming back here, and the next time we are going for the full blown meal. Meat, vege and rice!
I highly recommend this place. Try it at least once. You will not regret it. Perfect for Sunday lunches with family thehungrybea.com/2012/01… TheHungryBea.com
We have tried our fair share of Chinese food in all parts of London. Lotus is like our family restaurant that we love to go every time we want some good flavor of the east.
Generally, we loved the service there as we have been there often and know few familiar faces even though some new recruits can looked a bit stone faced at times.
The atmosphere is probably best for someone who wants to have quiet discussion and enjoy their food. The selection and the taste of dinner food is okay but I love their Dim Sum better than most of the Chinese restaurants that cut costs by using loads of fat stuffings to make it tender but unhealthy or reduce the size the dumpling dramatically.
The Lotus is my local Chinese restaurant and is one I am very happy about. The location is not bad, either a walk along the waterside, or a trip by DLR to Crossharbour station.
As for the food, very good value as always and the price is extremely reasonable - maybe not as cheap as you would get it in Hong Kong or China, but very good for London standards. The menu is not bad either, decent selection with the odd mix of specials being introduced - for the specials, you really need to speak to one of th waitress' to get a good idea.
I personally much prefer the lunch options over the dinner options - the Dim Sum is much closer to authentic Chinese food than the dinner menu - which is rather unfortunate as I had expected more on that front.
One final note for those who generally split the bill - they have a minimum for the amount for card transactions, so beware.
Excellent Restaurant in an excellent Location.
I've been here several times with both friends & family & cant stop going back because it's such a nice place.
Service can sometimes be slow, but the food itself certainly makes up for that & the prices are not too bad either.
It's in a wonderful location in the heart of the Docklands & Canary Wharf, so fairly easy to get too but a nice area to go for a stroll by the river on a sunday afternoon.
Highly recommended to anyone who likes Chinese food.
Enough said really!
What could have been an excellent dining experience (good food, wonderful location) spoiled by dismal service and unhelpful staff.
Having called ahead and been told that there was no need to book we turned up and sure enough the main dining deck was half-empty. It was thus a little surprising when we had to flag down a waiter after twenty minutes for our order to be taken but nonetheless we ordered starters and mains. Our starters turned up piecemeal and we noticed that the waiter made no effort to serve the right dish to the right person. When our starters were cleared a different waitress came back with menus and asked if we were ready to order our main courses. We pointed out that we'd done that half an hour earlier. Eventually our original waiter appeared and found his note of our order. He told us that there was a large party upstairs and that service was very slow that evening; it was painfully obvious that our main order was not only late but had in fact been lost.
After some considerable discussion (during which our repeated requests to speak to the manager were fobbed off) we eventually got a free bottle of wine and our main courses finally arrived. The food was very good but by this point we just wanted to eat, pay and leave. At no point did any of the staff we dealt with show any sign of genuine concern, nor did they apologise for not informing us that service would be slow despite having told us that the restaurant was not busy (when in fact it was).
I would not recommend the Lotus. If someone did want to try it I would suggest asking on arrival for a clear statement as to how busy they are and how long it is likely to take to get served.
Recommended by a friend or two, certainly didn't disappoint. The food was really nice, I had a quarter duck. Lots of comments about the service here but I found it to be more than satisfactory. Especially an older plump woman who was very warm and welcoming. It's a shame duck isn't in the £11 luncheon menu, but it's certainly worth paying for, and I'd recommend it even if you're not in docklands, it's worth a tube/dlr journey to get to.
I go there once in a while for Sunday lunch (dim sum). This is the only good place I know for dim sum in east London.
Some of my favourite are Char-siu pastry which is a dim sum size pastry with barbecue pork as filling (does it sound weird? I cant tell cos I have been eating this for my whole life), egg custard tart and sticky rice wrap in lotus leaves. Food usually comes quickly and is usually piping hot which is important to me as a Chinese.
I have also been a few times for dinner (which they do not serve dim sum). Food is ok but I am not impressed.
It is a shame that Bradders_in_e14 had such a bad experience. I have been to this place some ten times this year (2010). In fact, and very different to Bradders_in_e14's description, I always thought the service is outstanding. I don't know any other restaurant in the area with so many really many waiters. They are also very, very quick.
The food is the best chinese (or even asian) food available in Canary Wharf. Would especially recommend to come before the early afternoon, and have the dim sum. Quite authentic.
I once wanted to leave feedback (positive) about our waiter. I hence asked to speak to the manager. This was received with honest shock=was asked if there was anything wrong and what she could do to make it better. Even when I said it was "positive" feedback, she still seemed concerned.
Nice and friendly place. A bit bare interior, but hey == its a boat!
If I want go to Chinese restaurant I always choose Royal China. I prefer going to Docklands then Bayswater, as the restaurant is newer and brighter. You can never go wrong with the food there. Whatever you order is really tasty and tastes like real Chinese food not like European Chinese.
Not quite as good as the Royal China, but still worth a visit, I had a great time and would definitely go again, but I have to say I only tried the dim sum... but if you like that, you'll like this!
Poor, inattentive customer service, fruit flies and freezing cold washroom. Nothing more to say
We booked the restaurant for my 5oth birthday. As we we got in we where met by dancing, singing monkeys which escorted us to our table. Not sure if they were real monkeys or not but the entertainment value was second to none. it didnt take too long before the waiter with 3 arms came to take our order. At first my girlfriend was a little shocked by the extra arm, but soon came round to it as it made having all our dim sum arrive in only one trip. That was pretty impressive as we ordered about 50 dishes.. one for every year of my life.
The food really came to life. Quite literally! The prawn stood up and started to do what looked like a belly dance, before doing a triple back flip into my mouth. Now how the chefs trained them to do that is beyond me
I would definitely recommended the lotus to anyone who is after a great meal. This was a truly great experience and one which i will never forget.
Fantastic food, service and atmosphere. I can't wait to go again.
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