Award-winning New Farm restaurant The Foraging Quail is ditching its degustation menus and replacing them with Asian share-plate style dining.
Head chef and owner Minh Le credits his family history for the new concept.
“I’ve decided to go back to my roots and look to my cultural heritage for inspiration,” says 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 brought up with — food with bold flavours, cooked with heart and designed for communal dining.”
Le says the move is in line with many Australian chefs choosing to forgo formal dining in favour of a more relaxed atmosphere.
“Adapt or perish is a fundamental rule of being a restaurateur these days,” Le says.
“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.”
While the venue’s new menu is Asian-inspired, diners can still expect to see examples of Le’s mastery of modern technique and perfectionism in plating 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.
Even a traditional Vietnamese stewed beef, Bo Kho, is given a modern spin with the addition of chilli ‘snow’.
The extensive wine list will remain, but Asian-inspired cocktails and Asian beers will be new additions to the drinks list.
With share plates priced from $22 to $55 for a honey-glazed roast pork rack for two, Le says he intends the new 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 dinner on a weeknight, or celebrate a birthday with a group of friends,” he says.
“I’m really looking forward to feedback on the new menu from regular diners as well as welcoming new ones.”
The Foraging Quail (148 Merthyr Road, New Farm) will launch its new Asian menu on Wednesday 8 June.