Barossa Valley visit: stunningly delicious lunch

The dining highlight of our three-day visit to the Barossa Valley was lunch at fermentAsian, a restaurant that specialises in the flavours of South East Asia, applied to local ingredients.

The chef, Tuoi Do is Vietnamese and the sommelier and maitre d’ is her husband, Grant Dickson. They met in Singapore, when Grant was there for a music gig. Ah, ain’t love grand?

They opened the restaurant about four years ago, partly to provide Grant’s colleagues in the wine industry – he worked at Rockford – with a local option for enjoying good quality South East Asian food. Tuoi Do had never cooked commercially before but, within 18 months, she had been crowned Best Chef in South Australia!

The quality of the cooking is matched by the extensive list – more than 70 pages at last count –  of food-friendly wine, saki, spirits, beers and more. Some of them are well-established favourites, many others are rarely seen on Australian tables. The list is not strait-jacketed by local loyalty; rather, it has the breadth, quality and in-the-know curios that remind you that the Barossa is still one of the world’s major wine regions.

Everything about the food was profoundly satisfying – appearance, quality of ingredients, flavours, textures, balance of salt sour and sweet and anything else you could wish for. fermentAsian does not serve so-called typical Barossa Valley food, but what it does provide, is exactly the quality of dining experience you would hope for in such a region.

Here is a quick account of what we ate:

Ferment 1   Ferment 2
Nen Ha Noi (Hanoi spring rolls), followed by Diep nuong hanh va ra thom (spiced scallops with shallots & herbs)

Ferment 3   Ferment 4
Chim vut vol goji (grilled quail with gojiberries and herbs), followed by duck breast with a spicy plum sauce, Asian vegetables and jasmine rice

Ferment 5   Ferment 6
Lime brulee for Maggie and, for me, tapioca with orange & Szechuan pepper ice cream


About rmgtravelsandfood

Maggie and I are both in our late 60s and live in Melbourne, Australia. This blog is devoted to our shared passions for travel and fine dining at home. As cooks, we are skilful and adventurous within a framework of mainly traditional ingredients and techniques, and we aim to prepare nutritious food that looks good and tastes delicious. Our evolving repertoire is influenced by both our travels and Melbourne's vibrant food culture. From 2008 to early 2020, our priority travel destinations were overseas, although we have always spent a bit of time each year exploring parts of Australia. Our first overseas journey together was to Italy in the northern autumn of 2008. We later travelled in France (2009), Spain (2011), Singapore and Cambodia (2012/13). Most of our international adventures from 2014 to 2020 are covered in this blog. We have now reached a time in our lives when the prospect of long flights to distant places are unappealing, so we will travel mainly within Australia or to countries that are close to home.
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1 Response to Barossa Valley visit: stunningly delicious lunch

  1. cam says:

    Nice to meet you both yesterday.
    Stay in touch


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