In Short: Lot One. Restaurant + Bar wears a few guises, and it does it so well. With a well stocked bar, settle in for a few drinks and some bites, or lounge around longer for delicious larger plates that are contemporary with touches of brilliance. My tip, start with the sardine, proceed to the beetroot gnocchi and finish with snickers.
What I love to do most days before spending upwards of eight hours sitting at the desk is get off a few train stops before work, and to scour the city for great coffee. I almost always come away with an outstanding cup, and in the process get in a few thousand steps. During those walks in 2o16, I saw the striking Lot. One take shape. It was opulent, and had the real wow factor, and that was just first thing in the morning. I recall the buzz, with a concierge coffee service. Just as I was preparing to take the crew in for a visit, I learned of its demise in the York St location. Fortunately, perseverance has paid off as the next iteration of Lot. One has set down roots in Potts Point.
While the York St. location could have been described as grandiose, at Potts Point, Lot One. nestles in perfectly with a more intimate approach where it can thrive as a bistro during the day and its spectacular bar setup can liven up the experience when the sun goes down. On our visit, there was us with our nine year old daughter, another couple with their child sound asleep in the pram, and yet other groups of twenty somethings and forty somethings laughing away with wine and cocktails. It’s that accessibility that makes a positive first impression.
Positive vibes kept on flowing when co-owner and head chef Xenia Jade served a striking cocktail to make it a celebratory start to our visit. My Beautiful is made up of lavender infused gin with elderflower liqueur. Sprigs of lavender provide a beautiful scent and that first sip builds in floral intensity with the subtly sweet flavour of the elderflower liqueur. It’s an easy drinking cocktail, and I certainly could go for additional glasses of this beautiful concoction, without much trouble at all.
Lot. One’s menu is versatile. You can swing between bites with your favourite drink and then if you feel like anchoring, there is a more substantial pasta, and large plate offerings. To start, we sampled the Sardine. This petit offering exhibits finesse. While canned sardines are convenient, you are really missing out if you have not sampled fresh sardines. At Lot. One, chef Xenia has formulated an offering in which the sardine is cured. The result, is nothing short of exceptional. A firmer flesh, yet clean flavour that comes through. Our duo of sardines sit on thinly sliced plantain chips, along with tomato jam, and is topped with caviar like balsamic spheres and basil leaves. I thought the accompanying tomato jam was inspired with its slightly acidic yet sweet flavour. It is creative, thoroughly delicious, and beautifully assembled.
From a dainty Mediterranean inspired sardines, we moved onto seriously proper Popcorn Chicken. The highlights had to be the Togorashi seasoning sprinkled onto the crispy, bite size pieces of battered chicken. Speaking of the chicken, it was moist, with a light batter. The aforementioned Togorashi injected a delightful tingle of heat and the yuzu tinged mayo added creamy citrus notes. If there’s more than two in the group, it will be a fight to get that last chicken bite.
For a robust, meaty starter, we launched into a meatball. Yes you will get more than just one meatball, but we could only pry away one from Sammi as she devoured two Naked Meatballs, before we could shout out. “Save some for us!” The meatball is juicy, with well developed meaty flavours. It’s slathered with parmesan cheese that adds a rich, hearty dimension. It received the thumbs up from Sammi and we were inclined to agree with her, that these were legitimately tasty.
With the larger plates, we saw elegance with the Beetroot Gnocchi. Now, the Coco and Vine team have had plenty of good gnocchi at the likes of Cucinetta and Entrata , and in 2019 it continues with Beetroot Gnocchi at Lot. One. First off, it’s vibrant with the beetroot gnocchi bursting with colour and a unique offering of ribbons of shaved asparagus that are shaped like tagliatelle. I enjoyed the fluffy, pillowy texture of the gnocchi which were cooked to perfection. Adding depth to the beetroot sauce was lashings of gorganzola and a sweet surprise of muscatels. For me, that was the genius touch that differentiates and elevates this plate of gnocchi. That asparagus delivered freshness and texture. It’s unique, without the regret you may get with some overtly over-carbed, rich pastas you may be used to.
Rounding out a stellar set of savoury dishes, was Rangers Valley Skirt Steak. It’s a visually striking dish with contrasts of the white petit linaria flowers, and the black of the burnt leek crust on the steak, Garnished with cubes of green tomato, green grapes, jalapenõ salsa verde and splashes of leek oil, it just looks so inviting. I enjoy the well seasoned steak and the smoky flavours that come through. Beautifully balanced with a little spice from the jalapenõ salsa verde with fruitiness of the green grape.
We finished with a playful dessert. It’s a favourite of the pundits that grace Lot. One, and we too are impressed when it landed on the table. Snickers takes a classic chocolate candy bar and gives it a Masterchef style treatment which results in a divine eating experience. A quenelle of nougat sits in the middle of the plate with sticky melted caramel and peanut brittle and a sprinkling of roasted peanuts. If you’re wondering, what about the chocolate? Well, the dessert sits on lines of melted chocolate which act as the sauce. It’s a delicious, rich, and filled with a range of textures from the smooth of the nougat to the crunchy elements of peanuts and brittle.
Come to Lot. One Potts Point, and if you have budgeted some time, expect to stay a lot longer, as its comfortable. You can stretch out and slowly sample their bites menu and take in your favourite cocktails. For those looking for more substantial offerings, the menu is filled with excitement that also exhibits finesse. You may leave a little tipsy, yet ultimately satisfied.
*Coco & Vine dined as guests of Lot.One. However, all images and opinions are our own.