Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Chinese New Year banquet

This year's invitation to Kylie Kwong's Chinese New Year banquet promised “unusual delicacies” from a local entomophagist.

For the uninitiated, that's someone who studies insects for human consumption.

When guests called her one-hatted restaurant, Billy Kwong, to book, the restaurant manager spelled it out to make sure there was no confusion: “You do realise Kylie will be serving insects?”

Yes, they did. And they came by the dozen – around 50 diners in all – excited, nervous and armed with an appetite and a sense of adventure.
Challenging ... Roasted scorpion with deep fried silken tofu.
Photo: James Brickwood

Lucky, because Kwong will be adding bugs to the menu permanently. And she's not the only one. El Topo's Matt Fitzgerald has been serving crickets at the Eastern Hotel in Bondi Junction since the Mexican rooftop bar opened in November last year. Both expect insects to become a more common sight on dinner plates during the next decade because of their sustainability credentials as a source of protein.

But there are some challenges to overcome first. Like taste and texture.

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