Hot plates: where we're eating this week - 8 March, 2013
Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country this week.
Fancy Hank's Bar-B-Que
The moveable feast that is Fancy Hank's Bar-B-Que [pictured, left] has found a semi-permanent home at the Princes Park Bowling Club, and the combination of authentic American barbecue - smoky, spicy brisket, pulled pork and baby back ribs from Otway, sides of house-made pickles, coleslaw and potato salad - and lawn bowls is a surprisingly snug fit. Owner-operators Kent Bell and Rob Cattanach (who also own Collingwood's Cavallero) took a barbecue tour of the American south and had their authentic barbecue equipment made to order. The results, served on brown paper on a red plastic tray, speak volumes about good research. Fancy Hank's Bar-B-Que, Princes Park Bowling Club, 104 Bowen Cres, Carlton North, Vic. MICHAEL HARDEN
Mrs Luu's Vietnamese Canteen
First the bad news. Get here after 11.15am and you'll need to join the queue out the door of this simple little diner to taste Mrs Luu's banh mi. Arrive after 2.15pm and you'll probably go hungry. And the good news? These guys are pros. Beneath the crisp crust of their locally baked Viet-style baguettes you'll find a fluffy interior crammed with a jumble of house-made pâté, punchy pickled daikon, carrot and fresh coriander. Whether you add the house-made porchetta, barbecued pork and Vietnamese ham (Three Little Piggies) or opt for a fillet of chilli-laced chicken, marinated flank steak, omelette or pork chop, you'll be back for more. The name Mrs Luu's honours co-owners John and Thuy (Frankie) Nguyen's mum, who owned Trang at West End, and the marinade recipes are all hers. Alongside banh mi, you'll find a choice of plump goi cuon rice paper rolls crammed with a selection of six fillings, three varieties of com using jasmine rice and six vermicelli salads. Drinks-wise, consider the house-made lemonade or a lemon iced tea, or pick up some coconut juice. Drip-filter Vietnamese coffee is done the trad way before 11.30am; after that it's pre-made and ready to go. Mrs Luu's Vietnamese Canteen, 25 Railway Tce, Milton, Qld (07) 3369 5760. FIONA DONNELLY
Pigs On Fire
With all of Adelaide out on the streets during the Adelaide Festival and Fringe, street food is the flavour of the moment - none more enticing than barbecue pork offerings from the Pigs On Fire stall, within the Garden of Unearthly Delights carnival site. Dutchman Didier Prince came with four crew members and a five-metre high tripod and two-metre wide two-tier hotplate to barbecue pork cuts, and has caused a sensation. So far, in just two weeks, they've cooked 300 pigs and 3500 special-recipe pork sausages from Richard Gunner's Feast Fine Foods. They will remain at the garden site until 17 March, so get down there to try their pork VOC sausage (rich in cloves, and named after the 18th-century Dutch East Indies spice-trading company) with mayonnaise and Amsterdam pickle, or pork belly marinated in their secret sauce for 24 hours. Garden of Unearthly Delights, Rundle Park, East Tce, Adelaide, SA. DAVID SLY
Amazy Chinese Takeaway
When it comes to real-deal Asian food, Victoria Park's Albany Highway has long offered rich pickings. One of the latest additions to an already impressive gene pool is Amazy, a mustard-coloured shoebox of a restaurant specialising in the chilli-laden cuisine of Sichuan province. Come for deeply coloured chicken wings rolled in white sesame seeds and ground chilli. Come for cold slices of porcine and bovine offal, bathed in various sauces including an addictive garlic and chilli number. Come for a hearty rendition of that perennial lazy Susan favourite, Sichuan chicken: bulked up with a good amount of taters, onions, celery and - oh yes - chilli, it's a complete meal that's good to go the second it hits your table. But most importantly, come hungry. Dishes are as big in volume as they are in flavour, which probably explains why dinner reservations are a very, very wise idea. Amazy Chinese Takeaway, Shop 4, 393 Albany Hwy, Victoria Park, WA, (08) 9472 0042. MAX VEENHUYZEN
PHOTOGRAPH FANCY HANK'S BAR-B-QUE
This article was published in March 2013.