But ready yourself for a whirlwind tour of Southeast Asia when you step into Aseana Food Village in Randwick, which serves Malaysian, Singaporean, Burmese and even some Chinese dishes to the locals and lots of Southeast Asian customers it seems.
|Teh tarik (front) and ice teh with condensed milk (back) from|
Aseana Food Village, Alison Road, Randwick
Drinks were an easy choice to start on: mine a sweet, warm, frothy and milky teh tarik, ‘pulled’ from mug to mug to incorporate a head of air bubbles; while the other is an iced milk tea with condensed milk for sweetening.
Choosing food from the menu of appetisers, rice, noodles, mains and vegetables took a little longer, as we had some serious ‘want list’ culling to do first.
|Rojak – Singaporean/Malaysian fruit salad|
A ‘junk’ fruit salad was a sweet and refreshing start to the meal, and included gorgeously ripe pear, crunchy green apple, cucumber, bean sprouts and pieces of Chinese fried dough sticks or yau tiao, heavily smothered in a dark, mildly spicy and mildly fishy sauce, all covered in crushed peanuts.
|Crispy roti canai and chicken curry set|
But it doesn’t matter. Crispy on the outside with buttery layers within, the roti tears easily and is the perfect mop for the small bowl of quite thick curry.
|Htaw baht rice set – Burmese buttered rice, served with Burmese tomato gravy pork, |
pickled vegetables and spicy fried shrimp
The rice wasn’t what I expected, but thankfully not overly oily, dotted with crispened bits of rice probably from the bottom of a buttered-up wok.
|Burmese tomato gravy pork|
|Lee’s stewed duck with Hokkien noodles|
A deboned breast, with wing, presents itself as “Lee’s stewed duck”, sticky and sweet from its time in a stewing sauce. In fact, the sauce was so strong that the entire dish with noodles was almost overpoweringly sweet, but the tender, gamey duck was still a standout.
Stir fried with a not-too-spicy sambal sauce, I still find the stems of the vegetable a bit on the chewy-stringy side, and the taste quite like any other Asian green.
The ice is shaved from a cool, old-school contraption that spins in several places and makes quite the restaurant-filling noise.
|Cendol noodles and red beans beneath the shaved ice|
Nonetheless, it’s a sweet, though not too sweet, close to the meal and our evening tour of Southeast Asia. And as ever with travels, we end the trip feeling somewhat heavier than when we first arrived but richer for the experience.