Bianca: To celebrate ‘Speed Racers’ birthday, a celebratory dinner was on the cards. ‘In Asia’ has been one of those places I would pass on a daily basis in my local suburb. Watching its development over the last year to finally see the finished product. A spiffy upmarket Asian restaurant offering a variety of fusion dishes.
What sets In Asia apart from the local Chinese or Thai is its chic sophisticated fit out. Arriving at 5:30pm on a Thursday night, us eager beavers were warmly greeted by the wait staff and were allowed ‘lay of the land’ as we were the first customers of the night. With lots of warm brown hue’s In Asia is a very welcoming space and the staff definitely make the effort to make the experience a good one.
To share we ordered a serving of ‘Herbal Fresh Roll’ – with house made pork patty and mung bean dipping sauce $12. Two pieces. These fresh rolls had an odd flavour the first few bites but as I continued eating they grew on me. I initially thought the dipping sauce was a peanut puree (the downside of menu perusing whilst gossiping). They were very refreshing and didn’t leave you with the heaviness from a regular run of the mill deep fried spring roll. I did find the texture of the pork patty a little unusual but not so much that it detracted from the taste or flavour. I was also a little confused by the peanuts on the side of the dish but I won’t complain too much because I LOVE me some peanuts.
For mains Speed Racer went with the ‘Caramelised twice cooked Pork Belly with crispy panko eggs and sweet tamarind sauce $21. This brought on a serious amount of jealousy and I constantly found myself gravitating back to this dish over my own. I’ve never been one to order pork belly when I eat out but that may change after this dish. The gelatinous fatty bits melded with the crispy shattering crackling. Definitely a killer dish. The egg was another great addition, what would have made this dish even better would have been some runny yolk. It was bordering on chalky.
Indecisiveness when ordering is a serious affliction, one I struggle with constantly. Fear of missing out is a serious condition. But dining out with a companion tends to soften the blow. A perfect example of not listening to my initial instinct was my choice of the ‘Korean style barbequed wagyu beef, grilled pear, black sesame, pickled radish and ginger $24. Delicious morsels of perfectly medium rare wagyu beef, with generous dollops of the sticky sauce. While this was a faultless dish, it was a little underwhelming. And perhaps it was just me but I didn’t think many of the ingredients went that well with each other, particularly the pear.
To add a little sustenance we also got one serving of ‘Steamed Rice’ $3 per serve and a serving of the ‘Roti’ – $4 per piece. The roti was the flawless combination of both savoury and sweet and was great for mopping the sauce from the pork and the wagyu.
My only concern now is having ‘In Asia’ virtually a 5 minute walk away from my house, a very very dangerous combination. Or perhaps the perfect storm.
Hope you had a Happy Birthday Ameriza!