Rasa opens at Ni­ra­maya

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

SOUTH­EAST Asian in­spired cui­sine with a mod­ern twist is com­ing to Port Dou­glas, when Rasa Restau­rant and Lounge opens its doors at Ni­ra­maya Vil­las and Spa.

Taste­buds will tingle with de­light when the new restau­rant opens its doors on Novem­ber 9, af­ter a changeover in restau­rant op­er­a­tors at the five-star re­sort.

Ni­ra­maya man­ager Zac Sar­necki is ex­cited to in­tro­duce some­thing new to Port Dou­glas with Rasa, which in In­done­sian trans­lates back to taste, sense, feel­ing and flavour.

‘‘We are look­ing for­ward to it - th­ese guys are bril­liant and I can­not wait for Port to sam­ple their wares,’’ he said.

‘‘They are as unique as pos­si­ble with a lot of Asian fu­sion and a lot of play­ing with turn­ing food solids into liq­uid and liq­uid into food solids. It’s more like a the­atre as op­posed to a restau­rant.’’

The restau­rant will be op­er­ated by three part­ners, An­drew Saville, Jared Jones and Louise St Ge­orge, col­lab­o­rat­ing to­gether with ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence in all ar­eas of hos­pi­tal­ity, from the kitchen and cus­tomer ser­vice to func­tion and event man­age­ment.

The team’s vi­sion is to pro­vide a re­fined din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in­spired by flavours of Thai­land, Bali, Malay- sia, In­done­sia, Sri Lanka, China and Ja­pan.

‘‘The con­cept of Asian fu­sion food has been at the top of the culi­nary scene the past few years and con­tin­ues to be a lead­ing con­cept through­out ma­jor cap­i­tal cities,’’ An­drew Saville said.

‘‘Restau­rants with sim­i­lar con­cepts to ours can be found in South­east Asian coun­tries such as Bali or in Aus­tralia’s trendy food hubs in Mel­bourne or Syd­ney.

‘‘This Port Dou­glas-first will pro­vide lo­cals with flavours they will love, and pro­vide the re­gion with a new culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ence that will ap­peal to a dif­fer­ent de­mo­graphic of tourists.’’

Rasa Restau­rant will draw on au­then­tic and street-food in­spired fare, while in­cor­po­rat­ing western tech­niques to pro­duce visu­ally out­stand­ing, flavour and tex­tu­ally bal­anced dishes.

‘‘As an ex­am­ple, we could make Tom Yum Con­somme´ by tak­ing a tra­di­tional hot and sour Thai soup then re­fin­ing it through French clar­i­fi­ca­tion tech­niques of egg whites,’’ Mr Saville said.

‘‘This pro­duces a highly aro­matic soup with pre­fect clar­ity and clean­li­ness on the palate and adapt­ing the in­gre­di­ents to heighten the senses of taste, smell, colour and tex- ture.

‘‘Quite sim­ply, we’ll be us­ing the ex­ist­ing flavours and com­pos­ites of cul­tural food and re­fin­ing the flavours and tex­tures with mod­ern tech­niques.’’

Jared Jones said they want to show that food can be more than just a meal, it can be evoca­tive, emo­tional, thought pro­vok­ing and sat­is­fy­ing to all of the senses.

‘‘Our vi­sion is to de­con­struct clas­sic dishes and al­ter­ing the struc­ture of mol­e­cules to ma­nip­u­late dif­fer­ent tex­tures to food in­gre­di­ents,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ll be ex­per­i­ment­ing with the chem­istry of foods tweaked with mod­ern tech­niques such as molec­u­lar gas­tron­omy, for ex­am­ple turn­ing fats into pow­ders/soils or liq­uids into gels and pearls.

‘‘We are mov­ing away from tra­di­tional din­ing cour­ses to­wards Ta­pas style dishes to share, com­ple­mented by pop­u­lar cock­tails with a twist.’’

Rasa Restau­rant and Lounge will be open to lo­cals for all day lounge menu and bar from 11-5pm and for din­ner from 6-9pm from Satur­day 9 Novem­ber.

All dishes will be of a five star pre­mium qual­ity with a high fo­cus on re­gional and lo­cal pro­duce where ever pos­si­ble.

ASIAN IN­SPIRED: the Rasa restau­rant at Ni­ra­maya

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