Beautiful aromas of soy, garlic and peppercorns wafted through the newly redeveloped Chinatown Plaza Food Mecca on Thursday night, as part of a preview for the upcoming Tasting Australia event, STREET – Asian Fusion.
STREET aims to showcase and highlight the many flavours and culinary delights which have come from Asia but have been refined and tweaked in Australia’s kitchens.
Guests were served a variety of treats that replicate the ‘melting pot’ street food experience you might find in the markets and roadside eateries throughout Asia.
The first dish was a small plate of Salt and Pepper Octopus Tentacles. With a similar texture to squid, the tender octopus melted in my mouth, complementing the crisp and salty outer layer. This was accompanied by small grazing plates of prawn crackers and a seafood and tomato dip.
Next came the Dumplings – steamed, fried and piping hot. All had a pork base, however the different cooking methods altered the flavour slightly. They also served xiaolongbao, a twisted minced pork dumpling that is encased with an almost soup like consistency that can either be sucked in after piercing the dumpling or explode in your mouth after gulping the dumpling whole.
Kung Pao Chicken and Chilli Fish followed the dumplings and added heat to the feast. The chicken was lightly fried and had a sweet barbecue flavour, while the fish was deliciously soft, drizzled with a generous serving of chilli oil and fell apart before you could even pick it up. The peppercorn rounded out the dish with a sweet chilli that numbed the tongue in a pleasant manner.
Japanese Fried Chicken, Sweet Pork Buns and Curry Fish Balls were served before we took a much-needed break from eating to watch the traditional method of hand pulling Chinese Langman noodles.
The chef started with what was essentially a ball of dough and slowly started kneading, rolling and pulling it until it eventually took the form of noodles.
Served only with a light sauce of tomato and egg it allowed the subtle flavour of the noodles to shine. Its hand rolled shape gave variety to the texture and the hand-pulled method gave a fresh authenticity to its taste.
The final highlight was the fried banana (a Thai specialty) which was drizzled with honey and while sweet was not overly rich, as well as the Custard Egg Tart which was the perfect little treat to end our ultimate Asian food experience.
Many Asian countries including China, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan were represented in these dishes. While the food caters to a wide spectrum of people in order to showcase each country’s street food specialties, the chefs emphasise that the odd dish may challenge the comfort zone and pallet of some diners.
Tickets include all you can eat food (in allocated seating) and one drink on arrival from Tomich Wines.
STREET – Asian Fusion is located in the revamped Chinatown Plaza Food Mecca. It starts at 6:30pm on Saturday the 6th of April and tickets are $70 per person ($35 for children). For one night only, Adelaide foodies have the chance to try a range of traditional and twisted Asian street food specialties. Book your tickets fast as the event is selling out quickly and prepare to taste all of the menu for a night that is bound to excite, entertain, and delight.
Words and Photos by Jesse Neill
WHERE: Chinatown Plaza Adelaide, Moonta St, Adelaide