Taste of Asia BBQ House

Posted on February 21, 2012

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We’re still on our last legs of summer, so quite naturally my mind is still set on lazy weekend picnics or barbeques. Speak of barbeques, a new one just opened up not too far from my abode. That, and the fact that it was featured on one of those coupon sites I so enjoy frequenting, meant dinner was sorted for Friday night.

It’s a grand old tradition, the great Aussie barbeque, so much so that we sometimes forget what a young country we are and that the humble barbeque is beloved the world over since long before our time. You’d be hard pressed trying to find anywhere in the world where the use of hot flames/smoke to cook food isn’t revered. It’s practically in our DNA. Since the cavemen first discovered fire, we have been cooking with it and thus an eternal love affair was borne. There is something incredibly primal about cooking meat (or veg if you swing that way) on the barbie. The sight of raw meat and the scent of it being lightly charred is intoxicating and whets my hunger like nothing else. It can even tempt me on a full stomach! Just the thought of it now is making me salivate.

So this new barbeque house I found, it’s quite a world apart from the Australian variety. The Taste of Asia BBQ House (61 Gordon Street, Footscray VIC) is, no surprises here, an Asian barbeque house that showcases how our neighbours grill their meats. While you won’t find any snags or lamb chops here, there are plenty other meats on offer from beef through to seafood. The flavours employed span across the orient, but Korean and Vietnamese style marinades are probably the most prominent.

Most of the tables are equipped with a gas burner and a small rangehood, which strangely was not turned on for our visit and resulted in a rather smokey atmosphere. $40 buys you a barbeque set for 2 featuring 3 meats of your choice with a generous array of accompanying sides and veggies; $5 extra for the seafood option. Additional serves of meat are charged at $8 each or $11 for seafood. Once your order is made, the burner is fired up and on top goes a heavy duty grill. Next comes the food. Side dishes, the meat platter, veggie platter and dipping sauce will ensure your little table is filled in no time. Then it’s just a matter of cooking your meat and veggies at leisure and washing it down with a cold beer. Did I mention that the Taste of Asia stocks a pretty impressive range of Asian beers? Tsing Tao, Asahi and even the more obscure Lucky beer make up just a fraction of their selection. Thumbs up for that alone.

Now to assess the food. Well, you can’t really go wrong with barbequed goodness can you? At the Taste of Asia, the marinades are delectable and as long as you don’t overcook your beef, then you will also find the meat perfectly tender. I particularly liked how they provided the small kimchi-esque dishes and a range of veggies for grilling (pumpkin, eggplant and mushroom slices) in the package. There isn’t anything I could fault them on.

Also on the menu is a Vietnamese rice paper roll barbeque set for 2 also priced at $40. This package will get you lemongrass beef and all the usual trimmings that go into a rice paper roll (lettuce, rice vermicelli, mint and so on). Grill your own meat and roll your own rolls. Another tasty option if a little more fiddly (I’ve had this at other venues, but not here – yet). If the barbeque alone isn’t enough for you, there is a small range of entrees and individual mains.

If you haven’t tried an Asian barbeque before, give it a go. Like many of Asian meals (Chinese steamboat/hot pot, Korean barbeque, Japanese shabu shabu), it’s a very social event and all about the sharing of food. Good friends, beer and barbequed meats. Asian or Aussie, it’s bound to be a good thing.

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Posted in: MissC eats