Taking Asian food for a spin
Bored of the same old staples at your favourite eatery? Take the fusion route to make things interesting
Asian cuisines like Chinese, Japanese and Thai are among the most popular options when we eat out. In the past few years, Singaporean, Vietnamese and a smattering of other dishes have also made it to restaurant menus.
While this definitely shows that these are the go-to cuisines for restaurant diners, many are fatigued by the lack of new choices. We visited one of Mamagoto’s many outlets to check out an inspired new range of dishes called Fusion Experiments, which show how cuisines that are polar opposites can be clubbed to create new dishes with surprisingly good results. There’s also a bunch of items that take ingredients found commonly in Asia, cooked using non-Asian recipes and techniques.
For instance, have you ever thought of Lebanese and Japanese food mingling? Try adding a tinge of wasabi to your hummus, and top it with a miso flavoured mince of veggies or meat (we tried chicken). And while we expected these strong flavours to clash and try to overpower the other, the result is a fantastic dish you can try at home too. Serve it with pita, lavash or even Japanese rice crackers.
There’s also the Italian staple – ravioli – which lends itself quite well to fusion. We tried a variant stuffed with camembert and goat cheese (of course you can add a whole host of other stuff) and topped it with a typically Southeast Asian sauce of mango and tamarind.
Another way to mix and match is by taking elements from one course and introducing them in another. For instance, crispy wanton skins add an unexpected crunch to a raw salad bowl that can contain everything from carrot, cucumber, vermicelli or glass noodles, cashews, and a spicy dressing (ours had all!). And for those who love Thai flavours but find curries too heavy, use the signature herbs to make a dressing to add to a staple salad, such as a quinoa salad.