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The Asian Persuasion

words by kim batto

Calling all 90s babies – remember Nelly’s dilemma? ‘No matter what I do, all I think about is you. Even when I’m with my boo, you know I’m crazy over you’ – dude was confused. Doesn’t this apply every time you try and think of something to eat? There’s always so many choices, so many cuisines. It’s so hard to choose just one. Good thing some genius has thought of inventing this so-called Asian fusion cuisine.

Melbourne’s so lucky to have so many good Asian fusion restaurants, but here are our top picks:

Lucy Liu Kitchen and Bar
Located just off Oliver Lane on Flinders Street, with an eye-catching (IG backdrop worthy) neon red sign is Lucy Liu – a restaurant that never disappoints. With a menu inspired by the street foods of Bangkok, Taipei and Shanghai you already know you’re in for a treat. Their sticky pork belly and yellowfin tuna tataki are a must try, but if you don’t want another dilemma let Lucy choose and do a tasting plate of 5 for $58 or 7 for $68.

Already a winner for me for having a karaoke room down in their basement, their food is just as good. Supernormal is a restaurant influenced by dishes from Tokyo, Shanghai, Seoul, and Hong Kong. Their menu changes depending on the season, but their mainstay and most talked about dish is the lobster roll. All the flavours are mixed so well, guaranteed you’ll be salivating for months.

Hawker Hall
Good food accompanied by carefully chosen beers on tap – what more can one ask for. A restaurant inspired by the hawker centres of Singapore and Malaysia offering dumplings, curries and stir fries, this place is definitely worth the venture down Chapel St. Make sure you leave room for dessert because their roti apple pie and chilli chocolate tart are not to be missed.

Opening its second branch just up the Paris end of Collins is Uncle. This restaurant offers Vietnamese dishes with Chinese and French influences that would make you question yourself, and ask why you’ve never been here before. Whatever you do we beg you to order the crispy pig’s ear banh mi and beef short rib bao. Trust us, you won’t regret it.

Hot Sauce
Last but never least is our very own laneway bar and restaurant Hot Sauce. Korean and Japanese inspired with crisp fried chicken baos and kamikaze rolls. This restaurant does not only offer amazing food, it’s got cocktails that even Tom Cruise would sign off on. Try The Stingy Priest and rest assured you’d go for seconds, even thirds.

I’ll leave you with those five, because I don’t know about you but after Hot Sauce ‘it’s getting hot in here.’

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