As the weather starts to cool, classic creature comforts re-emerge – long scarves, soups & stews, mulled wine, dumplings… Granted, dumplings may not have been high on your list of Autumn must-dos until now, but you may reconsider after you’ve tried the Dumpling Masterclass by dumpling making legends Lotus Dining Group, as I did last weekend.
It was a beautiful sunny afternoon as my plus one and I entered The Gardens by Lotus. I already felt I was ticking off an extra box as The Chinese Gardens of Friendship are an iconic Sydney feature I had always wanted to see and not yet made it around to.
From being surrounded by tourists in Darling Harbour one moment, to zen vibes and beautiful architecture the next, it felt as though we had been transported far from Sydney CBD. Exquisite wooden paneling, stained glass windows and lanterns hanging from the roof – the class was in the aptly named Blue Room.
We started at a relaxing pace, to boost our confidence with simple yet impressive spring rolls (Dutch courage available with a bottomless rose option for $35pp). These were promptly collected, fried, and returned to us so that we could start our lunch. Thus the class continued – make, eat, make, eat.
I needn’t have soothed myself with the knowledge that dumplings taste just as good no matter how they look – our small class to chef ratio meant that we had a lot of individual attention, focus and help with any dumpling dilemmas. The dumplings came out delicious and quite beautiful (if I do say so myself!)
Aside from scoffing a total of 12 dumplings and spring rolls, we each learnt some fun new kitchen skills and got to take home a Lotus goodie bag – with a few essential dumpling making tools and Lotus apron.
As far as cooking classes go, this one is the whole package – cuisine, architecture, great views, and another iconic Sydney landmark finally ticked off the list.
Elli de Ryckman de Betz has enjoyed eating dumplings and drinking wine in a variety of Sydney venues, now that she knows how to make them, she can add her own home to the list!
The Dumpling Masterclasses run on the first Saturday of every month through to November, and tickets are available through Lotus Dining Group, who are currently running a variety of foodie experiences at their 7 Sydney locations, check out the details on their website.