From a simple, small unassuming shopfront in the multicultural suburb of Mawson, Asian Taste has recently opened its doors with an enterprising twofold plan. The small Malaysian restaurant is looking beyond the borders of the Southside location in which it opened by offering free delivery throughout Canberra, and acting as a pilot to replicate and scale the venture to other locations throughout Australia.
Asian Taste is owned and managed by a Malaysian-based company with a focus on Halal food and beverages. The Australian arm of the company is SD Impex Australia and its ambition is to share the unique flavours of Malaysian cuisine throughout the country.
“We have received a very kind and warm welcome from the community in Canberra in our first few weeks of opening,” director Fatos Omar Othman said.
“In the midst of COVID-19 and this next normal reality, we can already see that delivery plays a very important part of our business. We can see our customers order from as far away as Casey, Gungahlin and even Queanbeyan. We are so happy that we can share our Malaysian food with them to enjoy at home.”
Malaysian food is the ultimate in fusion cuisine, blending spice, culture and rich history. Being a maritime hub in the heart of Southeast Asia, over the centuries the country saw ships sail in from Europe, the Middle East, India, China, Thailand and Indonesia, with each leaving behind its own unique influence. The Asian Taste menu celebrates this vibrant and diverse cuisine, offering up big bold flavours with classic dishes such as Char Kway Teow and Nasi Lemak along with some playful additions.
Living locally, I have already clocked up two visits to Asian Taste, both times enjoying a balmy warm night and the opportunity to eat in the cosy outdoor seating area. While the décor and styling is simple and white throughout the small restaurant space, the dishes served are full of colour and personality.
The menu features soft drinks and imported speciality beverages from Malaysia including Yeo’s Lychee, Sugar Cane and a Chrysanthemum Tea. We also took advantage of the BYO and paired our dinners with a bottle of wine.
The food menu is split into starters, noodles, house specials, vegetables and rice dishes. Full of tempting options throughout, the restaurant excels in seafood dishes.
Highlights include a take on San Choy Bao with fried crispy fresh school prawns coated in spices. Eaten piping hot, the salty crunchy small prawns paired with the fresh lettuce cup is a perfect starter. While the Ikan Goreng Perak delivers an addictive chilli lime sauce atop a whole crispy fried flounder. You will want to order rice to mop up every single drop of the sauce.
For some colour and spice, the vibrant Sarawak Chilli King Prawns is worth getting your hands dirty for, shelling juicy king prawns cooked Singapore style on a bed of pan-fried vermicelli.
For noodle lovers like me, the most popular dish at Asian Taste since they opened has been the Jalan Imbi Pan Noodle. It is a generous giant saucy dish featuring a caramelised pan-seared flat rice noodle and vermicelli with seafood, chicken vegetable and egg.
Asian Taste is located at 118 Mawson Place, Mawson and is open Tuesday to Friday from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm and on the weekend from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Visit the website for free delivery or to order takeaway.