“Fun dining, not fine dining” – they’re words to live by for Masterchef alumnus Poh Ling Yeow, who was runner-up on the first Aussie season of the cooking show.
There’s an infectious playfulness to the Malaysian-Australian cook (behind Adelaide farmer’s market stall Jamface) and prolific TV presenter (who hosts Snackmasters alongside Melbourne chef Scott Pickett). And this Thursday, she’s bringing it to a four-month pop-up at QT Melbourne.
It’s set up – and operates just like – a sushi train. But instead of sushi, cheffy snacks will circulate on a conveyer belt, each on coloured plates correlating to their price, from $8.
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While punchy Asian flavours and textural flourishes dominate, “We really trot around the globe with the menu,” Yeow tells Broadsheet.
Savoury-wise, find fluffy fried-chicken bao with kimchi and Kewpie, and French fries with bagna cauda (a garlicky anchovy dipping sauce typically served with crudites). Sweets include pandan-coconut sago shots and apple and miso-caramel turnovers.
Cooking will happen in the hotel kitchen – not in the middle of the train, as is customary – but the team hopes the long, oval-shaped communal table will keep things buzzy. Yeow will be here to launch the concept, before handing over operations to the QT team.
Called Delicious Discoveries, the pop-up is a collaboration with Scottish whisky brand Singleton. Each dish is listed on the menu alongside an optional pairing of a simple whisky cocktail that’s equal parts 12-year-old Singleton single malt, with a sparkling and a still mixer. For example, the cocktail companion for the spicy Sichuan eggplant stars Strangelove lemon squash and zingy lemon iced tea. Or you can create your own.
Singleton Delicious Discoveries runs from February 2 to May at QT Melbourne’s Premiere space. Bookings open on February 2.