Monday, 12 July 2010

Pan Asian, Prahran

Pan Asian reminds me of the little kid who likes to tip toe out the door first to the letterbox… then with a bit more dare to the end of the street when their parents aren’t looking. Part of the exuberance straight away shows in extreme Manga portraits that immediately capture the eye, taking a rebellious stand to the otherwise classic feeling décor and feels like a lure sinker for the funky fresh crowd that makes up Prahran. And to feed the clientele, the flavours touch on most of the South East Asian major players but then pushes them just a tad by combination or technique.

Take for example the lavosh that holds pickled watermelon rind, a smear of duck liver pate and curled slices of tea smoked duck breast. That simultaneous gamey, savoury yet fruit sweet taste are paired beautifully. Scallops get a Mexican treatment though the smokiness of the black bean tends to dominate over the sweet corn puree and the overall dish. What they should do more of is lather the laksa bisque sauce that came on a battered piece cod, just begging to be mopped up.

Mains go sub-continent first via a spice crusted BBQ lamb fillets and a lentil dahl, then stopping off with honey and Chinese caramel pork spareribs fried for the crunchy caramelised bits then braised and finally beef cheek ragu cooked down in a sticky sweet red miso and blueberry reduction that’ll make you want to hit up a second serve.

So the dishes push the boundaries a little but generally steers close to home. With the interesting food on show, looks like the sinker won’t be the only attraction.

3.5 / 5 yums!
Where? 267 Chapel Street, Prahran, VIC

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