Melbourne is blessed with a never-ending array of food choices from around the world and winter is the perfect time to head indoors and experience some serious global flavours. This week we journey into the world of Asian flavours from some of our city’s best restaurants.
Japanese: Fukuryu Ramen
Fukuryu Ramen serves up tasty, traditional ramen, contemporary ramen and delicious Japanese pub food classics (who knew there was such a thing?). Their food is made with fresh ingredients and with mains below $20, you’ll have budget left over a Japanese beer, sake or rice wine to wash down your meal.
Must try: Their express lunch combo meal, including ramen, a special side dish and drink.
Malaysian: NL House
The Malaysian-inspired hawker food at NL House is made to the owners’ family recipes and incorporates sauces, pastes and condiments made in-house. Try the national dish of Nasi Lemak as an accompaniment to the spicy Beef Rendang or get your tastebuds tingling with the signature Laksa.
Must try: Their house-made sambal chilli sauce.
Pan-Asian: Chow City
You’ll find a mix of Asian influences at Chow City, from Thai to Vietnamese and Indonesian. There’s a good helping of Thai specialties including Pad Thai, Pud Kra Pao and Massaman Curry along with Vietnamese Thit Bo Nuong La Lot (spicy minced beef in betel leaf). Is your mouth-watering yet?
Must try: Their winter special of mulled wine and spiced rum cocktails.
Asian fusion: Aloi Na Restaurant
Aloi Na, which means ‘delicious’ in Thai, certainly lives up to its name. The menu is Asian fusion with a predominantly Thai influence and includes favourites such as Satay and Green Chicken curry. Chef’s specials include the amazing Whole Steamed Barramundi, Cellophane Noodles with Prawns and Seafood Curry served in a coconut shell.
Must try: The winter lunch special for $12, which includes a dish and soft drink (or Thai lemon or milk tea).
East is the new kid on the block and as a sister restaurant to the renowned Hu Tong Dumpling Bar, you really can’t go wrong. The Chinese menu includes a selection of their famous dumplings, but its main focus is on meat and vegetarian mains, designed to share.
Must try: Their signature tasting menu – for a little bit of everything.
All your Vietnamese food dreams come true at Pho24. The menu is designed with fast service in mind, so step in for a reviving hot Pho soup, crispy Bahn Mi roll or rice paper rolls for a quick weekday lunch or dinner under $20.
Must try: Their smoked barrumundi pho.
Indian: Jaisalmer Palace
Technically Indian is not Asian, but if you’ve lived in England, you’ll consider it to be! We’re happy to include it because Jaisalmer’s authentic north Indian cuisine will leave you wanting more. You’ll see all your favourites on the menu, including Rogan Josh, Madras Chicken and a good range of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.
Must try: Their vegetarian seven course banquet.
What are your favourite Asian-inspired hot spots in the city?