Ferment Asian - A trip up North

A road trip to Tanunda on a hot hot Saturday was planned, all in the name of trying the food at Ferment Asian. With chef/owner Tuoi Do recently heralded Chef of the Year at The Advertiser's 2012 Food Awards expectations were running high.

A small number of dishes on the menu made choosing relatively easy, with two entrees and two mains being chosen out of a possible 13. First to come out were the fresh betel leaves with sticky caramelised pork and incendiary components. The caramelised pork was a soft mince texture and had both sweet and savoury elements. The betel leaf tastes herby with notes of pepper that cut through the sweetness of the pork mixture. Each mouthful was certainly flavourful and interestingly textured.           
Fresh betel leaves with sticky caramelised pork and incendiary components

Next out were sugar cane prawns with lime chilli salt. Although fine to eat, I found the prawn mince slightly rubbery and bland in flavour. Even with the lime chilli salt, I couldn't shake the feeling like I was eating mass produced prawn balls most commonly used for Chinese hot pot.

Saigon sugar cane prawns with lime–chilli–salt 

For the mains, we went for the Barossa Berkshire pork belly with ginger sauce and Penang peanut curry of Barossa Black Angus beef ribs. There was no doubting the quality of the Berkshire pork belly. Meat was tender, while the fat to meat ratio was spot on - no grease headaches here! Crackling was crunchy and melted in the mouth. However, the orange flavour of the sauce was slightly overwhelming.  As a result, eating any more than two pieces of the pork was faced with difficulty.

Barossa Berkshire pork belly with ginger and orange sauce

Penang peanut curry of Barossa Black Angus beef ribs was...nice. Unfortunately, I don't really have many more words to describe this curry. Not your typical hot-style curry, this one had a pleasant taste but did not impress as much as I had hoped. Punchy curry flavours were missing and the curry sauce was on the thin side. On a positive note, the quality of meat used to make the curry was second to none.  

Penang peanut curry of Barossa Black Angus beef ribs

The food at Ferment Asian is creative and made with great local produce. Although tastes were nice and the meal was pleasant, I can't help but feel that there are some areas for improvement.

Ambience: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Food: 7/10

Jess gives Ferment Asian 15/20 chops on the chopping board.

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  1. I'll settle with Penang peanut curry, cause I think among the dishes you got here that's the dish with the least cholesterol content. I'm currently working on some specialized exercise to lessen or better yet to remove my belly fat.

  2. Actually, ever since I started online dating, I've also started my diet. So I think I'll settle for Penang peanut curry too, because I cheat on my diet during the date anyway. I guess for the next date I'll order Fresh betel leaves with sticky caramelized pork!


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