The Lotus Chinese Floating Restaurant information

Those fine people at Lotus certainly offer diners something different - quality Chinese food served in a floating restaurant that boasts excellent views of the Docklands.

Ranked #2925 of 5241 restaurants in London

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Opening Hours
Opening Hours



12:00 - 22:30


12:00 - 22:30


12:00 - 22:30


12:00 - 22:30


12:00 - 22:30


12:00 - 22:30

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What did you think of The Lotus Chinese Floating Restaurant?

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The Lotus Chinese Floating Restaurant reviews

By Chen T.

We rang them twice in a day trying to ask whether they open at night, both of the time they just hang up the phone harshly without saying good bye. When we got there the staff were not friendly and guided us to our seat in an ordering manner as if we were not their customer but their employee. The food was oily and not tasty, when we questioned one of the waiter on this we received another cold reply saying he doesn't know. The worst is that they didn't put genuine food on the plate as we ordered a fish dishes for £28 in the hope that we can get a much superior fish (which I don't know the name of) cooked rather than turbot and sea bass. However in the end it wasn't the fish we hoped for and paid the higher price for, which was clear cheating. There are many more better Chinese restaurants around offering much better quality foods and services, this one is just a run down family business.

By Rebecca W.

Cross over a green carpeted drawbridge, and step into the disheveled Nineties. Although it is undoubtedly a floating novelty, with the constantly expanding Canary Wharf developments erupting around it, the Lotus seems slightly out of touch with its shiny new neighbours. However, with its refusal to revamp, the elegant pond-skater has kept its charm.

The Venue
Proudly displayed in iridescent neon, the Lotus’ name flickers off the slanted gable roof, reflecting red ripples in the water. Draped with cobwebs of white fairy-lights, the two-tiered, balcony girdled restaurant appears to be a gift-wrapped jewel from the outside. The inside, however, doesn’t quite live up to the alluring exterior. With once-golden tablecloths and cheap burgundy chairs, the faded glamour fails to be disguised. The lighting and red panelled walls are so sheer that the waterside view is disappointingly compromised by harsh reflections of the restaurant’s interior. Chinese artwork lines the walls and a central glass cabinet displays an interesting mix of china figurines, stone carvings and the ornamental Maneki Neko waving cats.

The Atmosphere
A blend of families, business parties and couples, the Lotus caters for all-comers. The relaxed and cheery staff are a pleasant change from the more snooty bars on the opposing shore of South Quay and the air is laced with general merriment, even if the Westlife Greatest Hits CD that's on repeat might drive some to distraction.

The Food
If you’re a sucker for complimentary prawn crackers, then you’re in for a treat. Wafer-light and full of flavour, the crispy crackers offer a good introduction. The chicken with orange sauce (£7) is beautifully presented with twisted slices of orange, and while it's ravishingly tangy the portion is sparse, even when teamed with similarly skimpy helpings of egg-fried rice (£4) and pan-fried noodles with beansprouts (£5). The aromatic duck pancakes (£10 a quarter), are sweet and cooked to perfection, but again the meat is diminutive in quantity compared to similar Chinese restaurants.

The Drink
The wine menu offers a range of European and Australian options. The house recommended Pink Elephant rosé wine (£4.50, 125ml) is crisp with hints of raspberry, and refreshing enough to make you want another glass. The standard mix of spirits and soft drinks are also available and Champagne bottles range from £19.50 to £150.

The Last Word
With all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets in abundance over London, it’s difficult to justify the pricing in the Lotus. The food is flavoursome, but portions of this size would only be warranted if served in a high-class setting, and not in a run down venue in Canary Wharf. Novelty and pleasant service aside, this is probably one to avoid.

By Samantha T.

We live walking distance from Lotus and are so glad we have finally found a place for authentic cheap dim sum without needing to travel all the way to Chinatown!

From its mundane unlit appearance in the afternoon and tinted windows which prevented us from seeing inside, we always assumed it was a novelty joint either failing miserably or completely abandoned, until we walked in last week at lunchtime and realised it was buzzing especially with the office crowd from Canary Wharf!

All the steamed dim sum classics are well executed- fluffy white char siew bao (BBQ pork buns), har gau (prawn dumplings), siew mai (pork dumplings), beef tripe with ginger etc, and we were surprised to find good Ma Lai Koh (Malay steamed sponge cake) on the menu too which is the first time I've encountered it in London!

We ordered two varieties of cheong fun (steamed rice sheet rolls)- char siew and fried dough- and loved both, highly appreciating the fact that the sauce for the fried dough version was served in a separate saucer for dipping instead of drizzled over, to ensure the filling remained crispy.

The fried/baked dishes also got the thumbs up all round- gorgeous little egg custard tarts with a flaky pastry, light and not-too-greasy wu kok (yam puffs with meat filling) and crunchy salad har (fried prawn dumplings with salad cream).

The only thing we regretted ordering was the plate of dry-fried beef hor fun, which was rather bland and oily and not worth the £6.50 price tag.

Although I haven't tried any of their other noodle dishes, I would say it's a safer bet to stick to the dim sum classics.

Service was typical of a Chinese restaurant (none too friendly, civil but indifferent), but with most of the dishes priced at £2 (the most expensive ones being £3.50) and a lovely waterfront view to boot, I will definitely be back at Lotus over and over to satisfy my dim sum cravings! :)

By Lucy S.

I was so disappointed by this restaurant. For the simple reason that the gorgeous setting (a boat on a lake) implies a certain standard. A standard which is immidiately lowered by the food!!!!!!!!!!!What a let down. You pay inflated prices for 'dressed up' fast food. The standard of the food was no better than at a Chinese fast food restaurant, it was very greasy and sticky. My partner and I did not enjoy the experience one bit, and wished we hadn't fallen into the trap of making assumptions about a restaurant based on it's appearence.

By Nicca M.

If you are looking for a great meal with excellent service (3/4 waiters per table at some points!) and a delightful setting then this is the place to come. It is by no means the best Chinese food I have eaten and the Christmas menu (a couple of years back) was un-inventive and around £20 per person not including the drinks. However it was of an excellent quality and a nice mixture of 'favourite' dishes so everyone enjoyed the meal. My best experiences have been with the dim sum menu and taking risks on food I hadn't tried before. I am not a great fan of shellfish but think that the salt and peppercorn scallops are fantastic and would highly recommend their standard crispy aromatic duck.I have never had anything I didn't like but found chicken satay a little dry and on the chewy side. They cater for large groups and couples alike - it is always busy so best to ring and reserve. Just try to request a river view table as this adds so much to the experience.

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