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Lifestyle : Taste of Asia 2012
1HERSA1 0017 We specialise in premium loose leaf chinese tea, which is air shipped here from the tea farm . We have the most famous top 10 chinese teas: Dragon well; Green Snail Spring; Iron goddess; Fur Peak; Silver Needle; Qi Men Red; Big Red Robe; Melon Seed; White Fur Silver Needle and Puer. We also hav th of premium chinese tea besides these rare and very p 14 Union St Pyrmont Australia Tel: 02 9008 3230 Mob: 0416 885 Wednesday to Sunday - 10:30am to 7:00 www.dragonwellchinesetea .com We also have other sorts precio 79 0pm ahouse.com also have other sorts ous top 10 teas. 92 m house com 393-399 Sussex Street Sydney NSW 2000 Australia T. +612 9212 3901 F. +612 9211 6292 Open 7 Days 12 noon - 4am E. firstname.lastname@example.org www.goldencentury.com.au The Star, Pirrama Road Pyrmont NSW 2009 Australia T. +612 9566 2328 F. +612 9552 3773 Lunch 11:30 - 3pm / 7 days Dinner 5:30 - 11pm / 7 days Supper 11pm - 2am / Fri & Sat Spice I Am Darlinghurst. Early Bookings only. Takeaway: 02 9332 2445 House Surry Hills North East Thai Street Food. No bookings. Licensed. Takeaway: Tel: 02 9280 0364 Spice I Am Balmain No Bookings. Takeaway: 02 9555 9224 www.spiceiam.com Award Winning Chef Sujet Saenkham proudly serves the Finest Authentic Thai Cuisine in Sydney AG5365358AA-110912 good living Local influences . . . (clockwise from above) Mr Wong chefs Dan Hong, Eric Koh and Jowett Yu; their Peking ducks; the owner of Claude's, chef Chui Lee Luk, is inspired by Malaysian cuisine. Photos: James Brickwood, Marco Del Grande, Sahlan Hayes want to eat home-style Vietnamese food,'' Yen says. ''So we put together a menu of the food that we liked to eat when we were kids.'' Caramelised fish, pork belly cooked in a clay pot with young coconut juice, and whole golden squid stuffed with pork mince and black fungus are popular with the customers. ''Vietnamese cuisine is a funny thing -- it is either Chinese- or French-influenced,'' Yen says. His mother attended a French school as a child and came away with distinctly French recipes that became part of her repertoire and are now treasured family meals. ''We ate custard flan with caramel sauce twice a week as kids,'' Yen says. ''Creme caramel, essentially.'' Chef Luke Nguyen, of Red Lantern and Red Lantern on Riley, is also fond of dishes brought to Vietnam by the French. ''I started researching recipes from the late 1800s and found there were so many dishes that had French influence that I'd never realised,'' he says. ''I became obsessed with colonial Vietnam and the French influence on food and architecture on my last research trip to Vietnam. It is the reason that I was so keen to open an Indochine- style restaurant like Red Lantern on Riley.'' For instance, he says, Vietnamese roast duck is close to the classic French duck a l'orange but is served with an orange sauce spiced with cassia bark and star anise. Nguyen serves it at his restaurant. Even pho, the archetypal Vietnamese soup, has French origins, he says. ''It is basically a pot-au- feu. The stock is consomme with aromatics added.'' Street-food sandwiches Banh mi are also thanks to the French. ''The French brought that bread,'' Nguyen says. But like Thai, he rejects the fusion label. ''It is not fusion,'' he says. ''It is a part of Vietnamese culture and history that influenced and changed our cuisine forever.'' Transplanted to Australia, it has changed again. ''It is important to us to be authentic, but our food is influenced by what is around us,'' Nguyen says. ''We use local, seasonal ingredients. That is why there is a watercress and fennel salad with the roast duck.'' Chef Jowett Yu, of the Merivale group's new Chinese restaurant, Mr Wong, is also influenced by what is around him. ''We have a Sichuan steak tartare on the menu,'' he says. ''It is not a Chinese dish. You'd never eat raw beef in China, but we can here because the beef is incredible, so why not use it.'' Yu says he and fellow Mr Wong chefs Dan Hong and Eric Koh have embraced local ingredients in the development of their menu and called on their training to improve certain areas of the menu. ''Dessert is the weakest course in a Cantonese meal,'' Yu says. ''We asked ourselves, 'Do we need to follow the repertoire and serve red- bean soup or a plate of cookies?' We figured why not use our training in Western patisserie and come up with good desserts.'' Yu and Hong ate at more than 100 Cantonese restaurants across Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney, in the name of research, and decided to develop their own Cantonese dishes, Sydney-style. ''We want to cook Cantonese food that we really like, but bring it into modernity so that it suits the Australian palate,'' Yu says. ''It is Cantonese in presentation and flavours, but it is our take.'' Likewise, the chef and owner of Claude's in Woollahra, Chui Lee Luk, says the new restaurant and bar menus are influenced by the travels she and her team have done, but the flavours are their own. ''Each of us in the kitchen has had a preoccupation with a different Asian cuisine at one time or another,'' she says. Lee Luk is interested in Malaysian cuisine, head chef Ben Sears in Japanese and Korean, and sous chef Sebastian Myers draws inspiration from having lived in Thailand. Examples of dishes influenced by each of these cuisines appear across the menu. ''The lemon curd dessert on the menu includes a Jersey milk ice, a shaved ice which is something Ben came across in Korea,'' Lee Luk says. ''Shaved ice is prevalent right across south-east Asian cuisines; there are certain culinary parallels across Asia.'' A mussel dish, on the other hand, ''is quite Thai in its outlook'', she says, while the hapuka main course is inspired by her travels to Malaysia. ''The fish sits in a pork bun tea, which is a specific reference to a Malaysian-Chinese broth, bak kut the.'' Inspiration is one thing, fusion another, she says. ''Ingredients and technique should be seamlessly incorporated.''
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