The passion of the approach was to design food that is firstly healthy, by eliminating as many preservatives and conventional additives, that are technically seen as unhealthy and replacing them with healthier options.
To design eastern style food that is prepared in a bistro style and still retain its authenticity – vibrant, colourful and full of natural flavour.
Feast first with the eyes then the mouth
All the dishes apart from a few traditional classics are new recipes grown out of a desire to please the senses. Alternating flavours and complimentary tastes was the basis of the flavour components.
Every dish is carefully prepared and plated with detail in mind, to blend the east with the west and have the maximum impact based on the ingredients. To create fusion style dishes that exit the mind and invigorate the palate.
This posed some challenges on a number of levels; firstly taste and secondly presentation. The presentation of our dishes leans towards the western style but the flavour was to remain eastern.
Plating conventional eastern food poses a few problems in terms of the way it is prepared. Most eastern food is usually wok fried or deep fried leaving it generally bulk based and not very pretty in its presentation.
Borrowing influences from Japanese, Singaporean, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Chinese, Philipino, Burma, and Thailand, we decided to set the style as a fine detailed approach with a western style presentation found in high end dining facilities.
Healthier ingredients and natural flavours are used to simulate the eastern style tastes. In the process of designing the dishes we determined that eliminating MSG, high levels of sodium and conventional sugar, were key elements in making our dishes healthier. The use of rice flours as opposed to high gluten flours (corn and wheat) for sauces and thickening agents.
The use of natural sugars like palm sugar and the natural sweetness of fruits were used to remove the use of commercial sugars. The use of natural salts in favour of mass produced salt and the inclusion of fish sauce and shrimp paste to simulate salt on a more natural level.
The use of low sodium Soy Sauce and miso to build levels of flavour without adding harmful additives. Where possible the elimination of any high risk ingredients has been the challenge.
An array of spices and herbs to stimulate taste experiences and the use of natural flavourings as opposed to commercially manufactured flavours which have colourants, preservatives and chemical codes in them.
The use of fresh limes and lemons, naturally fermented rice vinegar and apple cider vinegar instead of acetic acid and chemically treated vinegars gives the dishes a clean and fresh finish.
The dishes are designed to be fun, flavourful and fuse the original eastern style with elements of bistro style cooking.
Most of the dishes are designed to give maximum flavour and look like a painting at the same time.
A fun and interesting trip through the east with a western view.