Who is Hyeokrae Noh (Ted): I am the pastry chef at Hotel Realm in Barton and make desserts for all the DOMA Hotels in the Realm Precinct.
Best dining experience: Iori restaurant in Canberra City. It is so authentically Japanese in terms of both atmosphere and quality of food. The ingredients are fresh, the service is really friendly, and it’s always the best experience.
Favourite cuisine: As a pastry chef, I especially love bread! My favourites are Korean-style bakeries and garlic bread.
Most embarrassing fridge or pantry item: Cake mix! I know it’s so embarrassing as a pastry chef, but sometimes it’s just very convenient and the quality isn’t that bad. The finished product is always better than I expect (I hope I don’t lose my job!)
What ingredient can you not live without: Flour! I love making pastry and flour is the main ingredient. I can’t imagine a world without flour.
Next big thing in the Canberra food scene: The number of people moving to Canberra has increased so much in recent years so I think we can expect more restaurants to appear – of all cuisines!
What’s your go-to coffee spot? I don’t go there often, but I had an unforgettable soy latte at Coffee Lab on the ANU campus. So perfectly frothy and nutty!
A must-try on your menu: The gin mousse cake. People think the taste and smell of alcohol will be strong because of the gin, but adding fresh lime makes the flavours refreshing and sweet. It is a dessert that has been loved for a long time and is on both our high tea and dessert menus.
Biggest culinary Influence: I’ve been influenced a lot by YouTube lately. I find recipes from famous chefs from around the world and can follow the changing trends through various videos.
Favourite cookbook: There is a book by a Japanese author called The Science of Baking. It analyses baking with scientific logic. It’s very technical but interesting to read.
What business/which person do I admire in the Canberra food and wine scene: Only one person comes to my mind – DOMA Hotels Executive Chef Fabien Wagnon. He inspires me a lot and has taught me in many ways while working with him. I especially admire his excellent sense of taste and the way he uses ingredients harmoniously.
Where are you travelling next? I think it will be Thailand. I like Thai culture and cuisine and I love spending time there.
Death-row meal: Nachos with beer, but the cheese sauce needs to be perfect. I am a huge fan of craft beer, and I think it would be the perfect last meal.
Least favourite food: Coriander! I like Thai food, but I do not like the unique flavour of coriander, so when I go to a Thai restaurant, I ask for no coriander on my dish.
COVID-19 response: With the first round of COVID-19, I felt so hopeless and discouraged because it was so unpredictable. But I had so much support from my work, and as the situation got better, we moved to do more takeaway orders so I was able to go back to work as usual.
Top three recipe tips:
- Accurate measurements
- Do not be afraid of new combinations of ingredients.
- Be sensitive to the weather and seasons.
Buvette Bistro and Wine Bar at Hotel Realm is open for lunch from Tuesday to Friday from 12 pm to 3 pm, dinner from Tuesday to Saturday from 6 pm until late, and for High Tea on Saturday and Sunday from 12 pm onwards. It is located at 18 National Circuit, Barton.