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Lifestyle : Taste of Asia
1HERSA1 E018 Shop 2a / 122 Edinburgh Rd, Castlecrag Ph. 9967 3433 licenced & byo only Shop 8, 3 Myahgah Rd, Mosman (Cnr Vista St) Ph. 9960 7454 licenced & byo only Are you looking for good quality Thai food? Dine in, Take away, Free home delivery Good Food Guide 2008, 2009 and 2010 Aseana Food Village recreates the traditional atmosphere of dining in a South East Asian village Reminisce old times and discover new memories at Aseana T: 9399 7010 Shop 1/149 Alison Rd, Randwick NSW www.aseanafoodvillage.com AG4383383AA-130911 A: 199 Castlereagh Street, Sydney NSW 2000 (Inside The Castlereagh Club) T: 926 777 80 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: lynnshanghaicuisine.com.au THE MOST AUTHENTIC SHANGHAI CUISINE IN SYDNEY IS NOW OPEN! Open from Monday to Saturday from 11.00am - 9 .30pm. All you have to do is visit lynnshanghaicuisine.com.au; book online and enter the promotional code “20%” . BOOK NOW AND SEE WHAT ALL OF SYDNEY IS TALKING ABOUT! 20%OFFTotalFoodBilluntil31.10.2011*cashsalesonly*offercannotbeusedinconjunctionwithotherpromotions 18 Tuesday, September 13, 2011 smh.com.au good living taste of asia special report Beyond the basics Spice things up with some different and exciting flavours, writes Ellen Connolly. Further afield . . . Alex Lee brings Singaporean flavours to Ginger and Spice; (left) Pink Peppercorn’s Lao dishes balance sweet and sour tastes. Photo: Domino Postiglione T hai, Chinese and Indian restaurants proliferate in most Sydney suburbs these days but diners have also learnt to love the food of other Asian countries. Specialising in Singaporean hawker food, Ginger and Spice at Neutral Bay has gained a loyal following, particularly among chefs including Tetsuya Wakuda, Rick Stein and Justin North. Describing his cooking as a fusion of Malay and Chinese (often referred to as ‘‘nonya’’), owner and chef Alex Lee says his menu has more intense flavours than other Asian food. ‘‘The difference lies in the extensive blend of aromatic spices,’’ Lee says. This allows him to achieve a range of intensity, from subtle dishes such as Hainan chicken to full-bodied flavours in a beef rendang. ‘‘Beef rendang requires the perfect blend of spices and long, slow cooking to produce a dish that melts in your mouth,’’ he says. Lee’s signature dish is kecap manis sotong (squid), which he says has ‘‘sweet, savoury and spicy flavours, with both crunchy and tender textures’’. Slow cooking is a key element of Lao cuisine, with padaek (Lao fish sauce), galangal, kaffir lime, lime, tamarind, coriander, mint, dill, lemongrass and lemon basil ‘‘very important’’ ingredients, says the co-owner of Pink Peppercorn in Darlinghurst, Caroline Thein. ‘‘Lao savoury dishes are never sweet but, rather, a balance of sweet and sour flavour,’’ she says. Unlike its neighbour, Thailand, where the cuisine has a Chinese influence, Lao dishes often have a French influence, Thein says. Staples among Laotians are sticky rice and taam som, a spicy, green papaya salad dish. A classic dish is moak paa – salmon steamed in banana leaf with dill, kaffir lime leaves and fragrant coconut sauce. Ping, which means grilled, is a popular cooking method and Thein’s favourite dish is yaam ping ngua – chargrilled marinated beef tenderloin, tossed with fresh herbs, cherry tomatoes, mild chilli, lime and lemongrass. Burmese restaurants are still few and far between in Sydney but the owner of Kambozza in Parramatta, Nang Sein, says it is a healthier option than the usual Thai menu. ‘‘Thai cooking is based on coconut cream, whereas our curries are based on onion, tomato, garlic and ginger,’’ she says. Sein describes the food as a mixture of Indian, Chinese and Thai flavours, with soups, salads, curries and stir-fries on the menu. Main meals are eaten with pan-fried flat savoury bread, similar to roti, topped with soft, curried beans. Burmese people like their desserts sweet, particularly during festivals or celebrations, when fried banana soaked in honey is served. Sri Lankan cuisine relies on spices including saffron, tamarind, rampe (a type of curry leaf ) and mustard, says the chef at Parramatta’s Flavour of Ceylon, Aquinas Fernando. Curries, including the popular black pork curry, are traditionally eaten with hoppers – pancakes made from rice flour, coconut milk and yeast.
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