JUNK ASIAN, SOUTH BANK: A very casual Asian fusion eatery along Southbank’s newly revamped dining precinct with plenty of cheap and grub options to fill you up. The staff are pretty laid back but friendly and service is quick. There’s a pretty large bar but not really a wide variety of drink selections. Menu is quite simple, except I wouldn’t really call some of the options “meals” – more share plate-type options e.g. kimchi fries. Sometimes the combo/name gave me a different expectation to what actually appeared – except I really enjoyed all the flavours in the end. Decor is super cool with Asian steamers from the ceiling!
Lotus Chips – $7.0
The good fat: I’ve always loved lotus chips and these were no exception. Crispy and tasty!
The bad fat: Not fried very evenly so there were quite a few very burnt pieces and definitely should’ve had an option of sauce on the side – I still enjoy it by itself, but a bit of mayo etc. on the side would’ve made it perfect.
Crispy Pork Belly (Kaffir Lime and Dark Plum Sugar Caramel, Laksa, Green Papaya and Cashew Salad) – $19.0
The good fat: Pork belly was delicious! The skin was very crispy, the fat was there in the middle and the marinade over it went together perfectly – it was sticky, sweet and salty but not overpowering in any aspects 🙂 The papaya was shredded very finely and the cashews worked well. The laksa… I thought it was going to be a classic Asian-style laksa in broth but it was dry! Regardless, the curry-type flavour of the laksa sauce was important in undercutting the strong acidity.
The bad fat: The pork belly could’ve been a little bit more tender (melt-in-the-mouth quality wasn’t there) and the lime dressing was very very very strong in the end. The laksa was still a bit strange as the noodles were thin and a bit hard – all completely drenched in the lime sauce by the end. Should definitely cut back on that dressing and increase the laksa sauce proportion instead for a mellow, refined flavour that isn’t so sickenlingly sour and salty towards the end (especially for a salad)
Crispy Fried Gunpowder Chicken Ribs (Tamarind Chutney, Gunpowder Salt and Coriander Yoghurt) – $15.0
The good fat: Great flavouring – nice level of salty/sweetness from the tamarind and salt. The chicken also had a really crunchy crispy coating. There wasn’t much bone either in the pieces and the chicken was tender inside.
The bad fat: Would’ve liked a bit more coriander yoghurt as that’s an interesting addition!
SHOULD YOU GET FAT HERE?
YES – Interesting but nice flavours if you’re at Southbank and don’t want to spend a fortune.