Lotus Lounge, on Yarm High Street was opened in June by entrepreneurs Howard Eggleston and Andy Drysdale with the aim of bringing upmarket, pan-Asian cuisine to the town for the first time.
The restaurant, located above Hide Bar, serves up the creations of executive chef Martin Moore – who formerly worked as head chef at Seaham Hall’s Ozone Pan Asian restaurant and was also the executive chef at luxury hotel Rockliffe Hall, near Darlington.
In just two months of trading, the venue has proved so popular that it has already expanded its team with the addition of three senior appointments and increased its opening hours.
Lee Hardy who was head chef at Seaham Hall’s Ozone Pan Asian restaurant has joined the Lotus Lounge team. He said: “Having travelled around China, and worked in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzen, I have a great passion for Asian cooking.
“I am looking forward to creating a well established name for the company and I want people to hear ‘Lotus Lounge’ and automatically think of a quality dining experience.”
The business has also appointed Ben Hunt as front of house manager and Alex Reay as restaurant manager.
Ben, whose most recent role was at the five star Calcot Manor Hotel and Spa in the Cotswolds, has returned to his native North East to take up his new position.
He said: “There’s a real buzz surrounding Lotus Lounge and I know we will be able to grow the company as a loved and respected brand.”
Matt Marriott, general manager, added: “We’ve made some key appointments prior to and immediately after the major launch. I am really pleased with how everyone has integrated into the team and I am sure we are putting the building blocks in for a fantastic business that notices good people, and provides an environment in which we can all learn, and forward ourselves within.”
Alex Reay has rejoined the team having originally worked at Hide two and a half years ago. Her hard work and dedication has seen her rise from glass collector to restaurant manager. She said:
“There is nothing more rewarding than leaving the shift knowing that customers have had an enjoyable experience and will be returning.”
Lotus Lounge offers authentic dishes from across Asia in an ambient setting on two floors featuring deep oak furniture, orchids and Buddha statues. It also provides a relaxed bar area for guests looking to soak up the atmosphere over a drink.
The Lotus Lounge Restaurant is open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 6.30pm-late.
The downstairs Café-Bar is open everyday, serving breakfasts between 9am and 12 noon, lunch from noon until 6pm, and dinners between 6pm and 9pm while the bar is open until midnight every day.
For more information visit www.lotus-lounge.co.uk