Special Correspondent Peter Jon Lindberg uncovers a world of Asian flavors in Australia.Special Correspondent Peter Jon Lindberg uncovers a world of Asian flavors in Australia.
[BLANK_AUDIO] My name is Peter John Lindbergh, I'm a writer with Travel + Leisure. Recently, I went to Sydney, Australia, where I ate Asian food for 14 days and found that it's probably the best Asian food in the world. One of the first places we went was a wonderful little storefront cafe called Spice I Am, a Doctor Seuss kinda name. Which was fairly unknown until recently when pretty much every newspaper in Sydney decided to call it the best Tai restaurant in all of Australia. You'll find no argument here from me. It really is astoundingly good. I've had Tai food in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and all over Thailand, but nothing really can beat Spice I Am. The flavors are incredibly clear and clean and there's not that cloying sweetness. That you find in so much Thai cooking elsewhere even in Thailand. The deep fried whiting which is pictured here is really fiery and assertive. I mean this is like full on set your ears on fire. Thai cooking. Americans have probably heard of [UNKNOWN] she is a very accomplished Chinese Australian cook, who actually has a show on the Discovery network here. Her restaurant, [UNKNOWN], Kwong is one of the most popular in Sydney. She does pretty much straight out Cantonese comfort food. One of her signature dishes is this crispy skinned duck with mandarin orange slices and cinnamon sticks, which is a lovely sweet and savory Calorie combination. Kylie's Place is one of the most polished in town and draws a very upmarket crowd. At the whole other end of the scale you'll find a place called Tai Wong Barbecue in the city's Chinatown. Tai Wong is a favorite of the foodies in town for serving some of the best char siu, which is roast pork, done, slow cooked and then finished to give a crackly, crispy skin, which has that wonderful deep red lacquery finish. And this incredibly tender, juicy meat that is not at all dried out, like most pork you will find in lesser barbeques. They also do our favorite, the so called dancing quails which you can see in this picture. Lined up like Rockettes on skewers. Down the block from Taiwan is a place called Chinese Noodle Restaurant. Nothing more than that. And this is a [UNKNOWN] style canteen that's become famous for its noodles. Although it is probably the tackiest restaurant I've ever set foot in. There are these hilarious Florentine tapestries of deer racing across valleys and then the ceiling is covered with a plastic trellis with all these fake vines and flowers, it's really atrocious but in really a comical way. Some of the best Japanese restaurants in the world are right here in Sydney [UNKNOWN] uses on one of those best on the whole planet lists every year, you know? And I found it a little bit disappointing on our visit and instead, I would recommend Yoshi. Which is a wonderful sushi restaurant internationally speaking, it doesn't get much attention. But in my mind, it's probably the best restaurant in all of Australia. We had a phenomenal meal here. Basically was about 17 different plates, that went from the sea urchin in an egg custard served in the egg shell, that you see in this shot, all the way through to a 10 course sushi extravaganza, that Yoshi himself prepared. Sitting at the sushi bar is obviously the thing to do here, because you can have this wonderful interaction with the chef, and watch his knife move around and hypnotize you. Then amazing thing about it, is that when you walk out of the place, you're hardly full at all. You've just been provoked and tantalized with these amazing flavors but you don't feel that sort of lead weight in your stomach. My favorite area is Sydney besides the beautiful harbor itself is the area of Cabramatta which is a suburb of the south west area of the city known as little Saigon. It's also a fabulous place to eat Vietnamese food. One of our absolute favorite places was a restaurant called Thanh Binh where they served some of the best pho I've ever had in my life. This is the beef noodle soup that's famous among connoisseurs of Vietnamese food, and here you see the seasonings that they use to flavor that, which is a slice of onion. Ginger, star anise, cloves, and cinnamon sticks, as well as leaves of holy basil and mint and cilantro. One of the funniest things was that when we walked in there, there were three or four families sitting there having steak and spaghetti. When we asked the owner why they were eating that, which didn't seem to be on the menu, she says, well we can't eat Asian food all the time, you know? I said earlier that Sydney serves what I think is the best Asian food on the planet. The reason is that the ingredients are astounding. The freshness of the produce in Australia is legendary, and the freshness of the fish really comes through. Second of all, the ease and the familiarity with Asian culture and cuisine that you find in Australia, even among non-Asians. Is similar to say what Americans have with Mexican food or what British people have with Indian food. Gives it a certain authenticity that you don't find in say, Thai restaurants in New York or Los Angeles where they have to cater to American tastes. Here, it's very authentic and real and genuine. [BLANK_AUDIO]