Good food is one of life’s pleasures and it can be as simple as a steaming bowl of Vietnamese pho, delicious dumplings or a comforting curry.
In Asian cooking, making food that soothes and delights is an unspoken rule, with each cuisine having its unique dishes to ease the mood, relieve fatigue and uplift spirits when the going gets tough.
Here are five places for tasty Asian comfort food to soothe and uplift your mood:
For a real taste of the Land of the Himalayas, discerning foodies head along Barkly Street in West Footscray to find Magic Momo Kafe
. Discover the magic of Nepalese and Newari food at this Melbourne dining destination, which projects a fun and funky vibe of vibrant murals, neon and fairy lights indoors, while on balmy Melbourne nights, take to the alfresco area to mix and mingle with family and friends.
Expect to sample authentic momo steamed dumplings to start your memorable meal, or marinated spicy lamb served with beaten rice, soybeans and sauce; then devour a satisfying and comforting chicken curry with exotic Nepalese spices and steamed basmati rice, before cooling things down with a dessert of mango kulfi.
Authentic Vietnamese fare has Sunshine Coast locals and visitors returning time and again to Pho Bui
restaurant on Brisbane Road in Mooloolaba. Soak up the sun alfresco on balmy days or head indoors where wooden floors, statement light fittings and a wall mural set the scene for inspired dining from a traditional menu dishing up all your Vietnamese favourites.
Settle in with signature rare beef pho noodle soup with fragrant broth; before delving into a hot and spicy green chicken curry, wok-tossed seasonal vegetables and steamed rice, or a Vietnamese braised beef stew with carrots, lemongrass, star anise, cinnamon and egg noodles.
Located in the heart of Potts Point, Busshari
restaurant on Macleay Street represents the essence of Japanese cuisine – simplicity and freshness. Step into a softly lit, warm and welcoming dining space where you can perch on a stool at the bar and watch Chefs in action, or take to a cosy table for two and enjoy a memorable meal with your someone special.
Expect to sample delicate sashimi and sushi along with a selected and refined offering of wine and sake; perhaps starting with kingfish carpaccio, with chive oil, seaweed and tosa vinegar, before sizzling Wagyu striploin, sweet soy and citrus chilli sauce with sides of tempura vegetables and steamed rice.
Wholesome rustic South Asian fare and cheeky cocktails bring Fortitude Valley diners through the doors of Stone & Copper
on Brunswick Street. A chic vibe of Edison bulb lighting, black subway tiles and vibrant yellow cushions set the scene for a culinary journey through India, Malaysia and Thailand; or unwind over a drink on a stool at the neon-lit bar, as Brisbane’s entertainment and dining precinct buzzes at night.
Start with scallop dumplings in laksa sauce or vegetable spring rolls and dipping sauce; before classic beef rendang with coconut, fresh turmeric, lemongrass, dry spices and steamed rice on the side, or red duck curry, with lychee, capsicum, Thai basil and chilli. Vegetarians opt for cottage cheese kofta with paneer, potato, fenugreek and creamy tomato.
It’s all about Mama’s delicious dumplings at ShanDong MaMa
on Bourke Street in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. Expect unique northern Chinese-inspired fare at this authentic eatery, where everything on the menu is made with quality ingredients, hand-picked and prepared by Mama herself; settle into warm and cosy surrounds with wooden carved furniture, authentic accents and artwork.
The dumpling skins are made from three different grades of thickness to match the filling and method of cooking; while fish dumplings taste best in a thin, translucent skin, meat dumplings need a thicker skin to withstand longer cooking. Think choices like signature Spanish mackerel with coriander, ginger, garlic and chives wrapped in an extra thin dumpling skin.