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Lifestyle : Taste of Asia 2012
1HERSA1 0016 Book Now (02) 9879 3200 54 Alexandra St, Hunter Hill www.fivespices.net.au Catering available (Free delivery to parties and corporate functions) Where food meets creativity THE MARIGOLD RESTAURANT WISH TO THANK YOU & SHARE OUR APPRECIATION FOR YOUR LOYAL SUPPORT WITH A SPECIAL CELEBRATORY MENU Available from July to December. Steamed Scallops w/ Vermicelli in XO Chilli Sauce Pan Fried King Prawns in Superior Soy Diced Beef Fillet with Wasabi Dressing Crispy Peipa Duck Braised Hearts of Vegetable in Double Broth Steamed Jasmine Rice Fresh Fruit Platter Seasonal Dessert Chinese Tea Subject to availability and changes without notice ITS OUR $128.00 for 4 persons. GST included BIRTHDAY L4 & L5 683 George Street Sydney Tel 9281 3388 www.marigold.com.au Azuma Japanese Restaurant Celebrating 10 years. Come in and experience the new look Azuma a treat to all the senses. Level 1 Chiàey Plaza, Sydney CBD T: (02) 9222 9960 | www.azuma.com.au TRADITIONAL AND INNOVATIVE JAPANESE AG5360142AA-110912 special report Taste of Asia Best of both worlds A blending of cultures creates innovative food still true to its heritage, writes Carli Ratcliff. Family traditions . . . Michael Thai and Bac Cang Nghieu. Photo: Steven Siewert New take . . . (from left) caramelised pork spare ribs; snails in coconut sauce. Fusion is a highly misused term,'' Vietnamese-born restaurateur Michael Thai says. ''That is why we are very conscious of remaining true to our heritage.'' With his mother, chef Bac Cang Nghieu, Thai oversees a triumvirate of Vietnamese restaurants: the original Bau Truong in Cabramatta, another in Canley Vale and their newest outpost in Marrickville. ''The original restaurant and Canley Vale are home-style Vietnamese cooking,'' he says. Bac Cang Nghieu is a veteran of Vietnamese dining in Sydney. Taking a job in the kitchen at Bau Truong, Cabramatta, in 1992, she bought the business in 1995. Her home-style cooking is popular with Vietnamese locals and with day- trippers to Cabramatta. When the family decided to open in Marrickville, Thai was keen to present a new Vietnamese dining experience. ''The local council were incredibly slow at approving everything,'' he says. ''It gave us the opportunity to do a couple of trips to Vietnam, which gave me inspiration.'' Vietnam was colonised by the Chinese for 1000 years, he says. ''Chinese people love their food. Then we were colonised by the French, who also love their food. There is a lot more to Vietnamese food than what we see in Sydney.'' The research trips inspired Thai to offer a different style of Vietnamese food at the Marrickville restaurant. ''I wanted it to be very different to usual home-style Vietnamese,'' he says. ''That proved to be quite a challenge because mum is old school.'' Thai gives the example of caramelised pork belly: ''People are very used to eating it. They've had it in Japanese restaurants, but the traditional Vietnamese version that we serve in Cabramatta arrives with a thick layer of fat. I felt we should tweak it and make it using pork spare ribs. That idea to slightly change an ingredient initiated a heated three-hour discussion.'' His mother did come around. ''She called me after she'd tested the recipe with ribs,'' Thai says. '' 'OK, we'll refine it,' she said. From then on, she was more open to suggestions, so we designed a menu that is contemporary but that doesn't move away from our heritage.'' Brothers Yen and Le Nguyen, of Yen for Viet in Marrickville, have drawn on their childhood dishes. ''Our non-Vietnamese customers
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