The term “fusion” in the food world has become the ginger buzz-word that no one likes to use or knowledge anymore, instead, choosing words like, “nouveau” or “modern” in its place to rationalize a menu that interweaves two different types of cuisine or to exemplify a chef’s take on a particular food. What I enjoy (and don’t enjoy) the most is seeing Asian-fusion restaurants and menus. I often deem these places as serving food that tries to introduce Asian cuisine to non-Asian palates, easing in uses of Asian cooking ingredients that aren’t too weird or will freak out the masses. I recently checked out Restaurant Hà that represents themselves in the spirit of a “Bia Loi” – a Vietnamese street corner watering hole that serving quick bites – with a South-East Asian inspired menu.
I once wondered what it would be like to cook a bao (a steamed bun) like you would a pan-fried dumpling. I entertained the idea for a while trying to figure out how it would work and followed my instincts and went for it. I didn’t get too far until my mom told me that pan-fried baos are an actual thing and popped all my dreams of being a hybrid dumpling-bao visionary. Chances are unless you’ve traveled to Jiangnan or Shanghai China, you’ve probably never had these pan-fried pork buns here in Montreal – no one makes them here… but now YOU can!
Ever been to south-east Asia? No? Now you don’t have to anymore! – Satay Brothers
In recent years I have been fortunate enough to visit and travel through Asia; the heat, the humidity, sights and smells are comparable to nothing and is something I think about often. The one thing I miss the most is obviously the food; the meals I shared with friends under a smiling moon, on the side of a bustling street, being lit by tubes of halogen lights and propane flames. Not knowing exactly what it was we were ordering but it looked good, it was cooked fresh and more often than not, by a chef with a cigarette in his mouth and flip-flops on his feet.
It’s been a while since I’ve had quality dirty hawker street food. As ePetitions are signed and public opinions reformed, the realization of Montreal street food is elusive as driving on a street without orange street cones. So can you guess how happy I was to come across the closest thing Montreal will ever come to as a Hawker stand at the Atwater market? Happy like a pig in shit or like a fat kid at Tim Hortons with a pocket full of allowance money. So I hit up Satay Brothers with one of my twitter followers Nic.