There's more to Liverpool than first meets the eye, and this south-western suburb in Sydney is impressively diverse. According to the 2006 census, more than half of the population was born overseas. You'll find sari shops, African hair braiding salons and Croatian delis before you eventually end up at the mammoth Westfield shopping centre, looming over the pedestrianised mall.
For this month's Time Out Sydney column, I headed to Akash Pacific serving Fiji Indian cuisine.
WHAT IS IT?
Kokoda ($5.50) is the Fijian version of ceviche. Pieces of white fish are cured in lemon juice and served with a coconut dressing. Sweet and soft mouthfuls of New Zealand hoki contrast against a salad of tomato, cucumber and Spanish red onion. It’s light and refreshing, with coconut cream and lemon adding a taste of the tropics.
WHERE CAN I GET IT?
Akash Pacific Cuisine, a large diner-style restaurant that offers Indian and Fiji-Indian cuisine. Fijian cuisine draws on influences from Polynesian, Indian, Chinese and Western cuisine. Fijian Indian curries tend to be thicker in style than mainland Indian curries, with the sauce more like a heavy gravy.
The menu covers all bases, with burgers, steaks and schnitzels available, but most patrons are happiest with the Indian tali – compartmentalised metal trays with rice, curry and chutney.
Junly Murgi curry $12.90
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I ORDER?
The Junli Murgi curry ($12.90) is a Fiji-style jungle curry made with free-range chicken. The chicken is lean, and has plenty of flavour, but you’ll need to exercise some patience, as the pieces are small and fiddly, and served on the bone.
Goat curry ($12.90) is much easier to tackle, with chunks of tender meat easily falling off the bone. The sauce is dark and spicy, redolent with garlic and ginger. All curries on the menu are served with rice, chutney, salad and a pappadum.
Goat curry $12.90
Fiji-style chicken chop suey $10.50
Chicken chop suey ($12.90) is the last thing you’d expect to find here, but this dish commonly found across Fiji, and is one of Akash’s most popular dishes. Every second table is ordering it, and it arrives with a thimble of fresh chillies vinegar on the side. The saucy stir-fry of chicken, cabbage, onion, carrot and Chinese vegetables has some crunch, and is sweet and comforting.
There are chicken pakoras ($6.50) and samosas with chicken ($3.50) or vegetable ($2.50). If things get too spicy, you can always order a soothing lassi - a yoghurt drink mixed with mango, banana, sugar or salt ($3.50-$4.50).
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This article appears in the June 2011 issue of Time Out Sydney in my monthly Food & Drink column Eat This!
More Time Out Sydney reviews:
ATL Marantha, Kensington (Indonesian fried chicken with edible bones)
Balkan Oven, Rockdale (Macedonian burek)
Durban Dish, Baulkham Hills (South African cuisine)
Hijazi's Falafel, Arncliffe (Lebanese breakfast)
Island Dreams Cafe, Lakemba (Christmas Islands cuisine)
Kambozza, Parramatta (Burmese cuisine)
La Paula, Fairfield (Chilean empanadas, lomitos and sweets)
Sea Sweet, Parramatta (Lebanese sweet kashta cheese burger)
Sizzling Fillo, Lidcombe (Filipino pork hock crackling)
Tehran, Granville (Persian cuisine)
Tuong Lai, Cabramatta (Vietnamese sugar cane prawns)
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6/24/2011 01:51:00 a.m.