New Farm restaurant, The Foraging Quail, will launch a new concept on Wednesday 8 June, with the current degustation menus to be replaced by Asian share-plate style dining.

“I’ve decided to go back to my roots and look to my cultural heritage for inspiration,” said Minh Le, whose family arrived in Australia from Vietnam in the mid-70s.

“I really want to showcase the best Asian food, with dishes inspired by those I was bought up with –food with bold flavours, cooked with heart and designed for communal dining.”

Le is just one of a number of Australian chefs choosing to forgo formal dining for something more relaxed.  Among those moving away from tasting menus is Neil Perry, who recently announced Rockpool will begin offering an a la carte dining experience.

“Adapt or perish is a fundamental rule of being a restaurateur these days. Our job has always been to make diners happy and what they want right now is great food at good prices with friendly service but without the stuffiness of formal dining,” Le said.

While The Foraging Quail’s new menu is Asian-inspired, diners can still expect to see examples of Le’s modern technique, in dishes such as sticky pork belly, bean sprout salad and shrimp powder; salt and pepper quail with ‘bird nests’, smoked egg and lemon emulsion; and Chinese barbecued smoked duck with kimchi, mandarin, lotus and cucumber. Bo Kho, a traditional Vietnamese stewed beef, will be given a modern spin with the addition of chilli ‘snow’.

The Foraging Quail’s extensive wine list will remain but Asian-inspired cocktails designed to complement the food are a new addition to the drinks list, along with a selection of Asian beer. 

With share plates priced from $22 to $55 – for a honey-glazed roast pork rack for two – Le said his aim is for The Foraging Quail to be accessible to all tastes and budgets.

“I wanted to make The Foraging Quail somewhere that you can take the kids for a dinner on a weeknight, or celebrate a birthday with a group of friends,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to feedback on the new menu from regular diners as well as welcoming new ones.”





TheForagingQuail_highres-12.jpgImages: Judit Losh. 


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