Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Asian Street Food in Cork City

Asian Street Food in Cork City
Enjoy Eddie's Asian Experience

Red Duck Curry

Asian Street Food hit the streets (well, one street!) of Cork City last Friday night when Aroi opened its doors in Carey’s Lane. Aroi means delicious or tasty and has had a successful six months in Limerick and now Chef Eddie Ong Chok Fong has brought the Asian experience to the heart of Cork.

If you like dishes like Pad Thai Noodles, Red Duck Curry, Som Tam Salad and Pandan Chicken, all served, street food style and perfect for sharing, then make a date at 6-7 Carey’s Lane (021) 427 2388.

The ethos in Aroi (pronounced Aroy) is to serve market fresh, locally sourced ingredients. “Our healthy cuisine avoids the obscure chemicals and additives so common in our food today. Aroi sources authentic herbs and spices and we do not use M.S.G. in any of our preparation.”

Yellow Fish Curry

Sounds good and tastes pretty good too as we found out on opening night when we called to sample. I absolutely enjoyed my Red Duck Curry (with peas, aubergines, baby corn, long beans, lime leaves and cherry tomatoes). Where else would you get it? The duck perfectly cooked and those lovely crisp vegetables.

CL went for the Yellow Fish Curry (with cod, salmon, smoked haddock, calamari, prawns, cherry tomatoes, baby corn and beans). Another bowlful of spicy deliciousness. By the way, the very spicy dishes are marked with an “s” but if in doubt ask the very helpful staff

No starters here. Just pick your mains. All curries and stir-fries are served with rice and mains cost a tenner, aside from a couple of rice dishes that come in at nine euro.

Some side dishes
If you want to add to the mains, then there are a bunch of sides dishes, most of them costing a fiver. We loved the Pandan Chicken, the Satay Gai (chicken skewer with peanut sauce), and the Thai calamari. But there are many more, including Chicken Wings and a Crispy Lotus Salad and each with its own sauce.

Lots of choices too when it comes to mains: Noodle Soups, Wok Noodle dishes, Salads, Rice Dishes, Grilled Dishes. Check them all out on the website here.

How about a drink? No shortage. We enjoyed Singha and Tiger beer and they also have Chang. Three choices each of red and white wine, most at a fiver a glass. Plenty of soft drinks also, plus teas and coffees.

Chef Eddie: Drop by some time

Valerie O’Connor, who does the PR for Aroi, says chef Eddie has enjoyed extensive attention from the food media since the setting up of Aroi in Limerick. “Hailing from Malaysia and cooking street food in Thailand since his schooldays, former Michelin star chef Eddie was nominated in the Best Chef in Munster category as well as best casual dining and best ethnic food at the prestigious Food and Wine Magazine Restaurant of the Year awards this summer. He has received glowing reviews from the country’s toughest food critics and been featured in the top food publications across the country.”

“It is not just the authentic Asian food, made with fresh herbs from his native Malaysia and Thailand, but the terrific value that customers can enjoy. With no dish above the €10 mark, groups can indulge in mains with as many side dishes that their appetite can manage, rounded off with delicious home-made gelato and coffees. Noodles dishes are created using rice noodles which are naturally gluten free, and everything is made with an abundance of fresh vegetables and are low in fat yet full of good things. With Asian beers and wines to match your feast, Aroi is sure to excite the discerning palates of Cork food lovers.”

“Drop by some time,” the smiling chef said as we made our exit. We will.

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