FERMENTASIAN, Tanunda, SA
Since my previous visit, fermentAsian has undergone a massive renovation and it looks fantastic. Apart from the frontage, it looks like a brand new place. More modern, more spacious and less noisy. It’s fitting for a place that’s serving such good food. Quality food. Southeast Asian food in the small country town of Tanunda? Yes. And it’s worth the drive to get there.
Vietnamese owner/chef Tuoi Do obviously takes pride in her work and every dish being placed on the table is not only beautifully presented, it’s made from fine local produce and the flavours are perfectly balanced. With white tablecloths and attentive, friendly service, it’s pretty much Asian fine dining, but with a relaxed feel.
It’s won a few awards in its time, and rightly so – not just for the food, but also for the wines, for which Tuoi’s partner both in business and life, Grant Dickson, is responsible. The food in many cases is a beautiful blend of Vietnamese and Thai cuisines, and much of the produce is grown in their own home gardens, tended to by Tuoi’s parents.
There were seven of us and we happened to be up there on Valentine’s Day so that meant we had no other option but a set menu for $65 per person. I’m always a bit peeved about the whole Valentine’s Day set menu thing, however on this occasion, being a tasting menu an’ all, I was happy not to have to make any decisions and just let the food come out.
We started with Betel leaves topped with sticky caramelised pork, followed by delicious Hanoi spring rolls with fresh herbs and dipping sauce. The food kept on coming – Spiced scallops with shallots and herbs, Barossa chicken and fresh coconut salad, Stir fried squid with Chinese celery, the magnificent Pork belly with ginger and orange sauce, and finally a Yellow curry of snapper. There simply wasn’t a bad, or even mediocre dish amongst them.
fermentAsian certainly isn’t your average Asian restaurant. You simply must experience it.