More Than You Can Chew

Korean breakfast sets, Filipino grilled chook & 20 last-chance Ramadan feasts

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Recently I confessed to someone that I keep writing the date as 2024. They didn’t bat an eyelid. “That’s because you’ve already done a year’s worth of stuff,” they shot back.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the phrase “biting off more than you can chew”. To be frank, I’m for it. In the last six months it’s allowed my family to raise $100,000 for motor neurone disease, something we know all too well. It’s prompted last-minute travel to California to create memories with my family; to Thailand, where I connected with others equally as passionate about food; to Spain for my own version of Eat, Pray, Love (but replace ‘pray’ with ‘drink’); and at the end of this month, to London and Greece – because life has never felt shorter, nor more precious.

In this year alone, biting off more than I can chew has meant I’ve been a journalist, an event planner, a restaurant reviewer, a curator, a photographer, a tour guide, a host, a presenter, a travel agent, a publisher and an editor. This newsletter features the bits I squeeze in between, but the more people subscribe, the more I can dedicate to it.

2023 has been one hell of a mouthful, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Here’s to biting off more than we can chew.

Sofia x

Filipino inasal (grilled chicken) is having a moment. Here’s everything you need to know.

Inasal is a dish from the Philippines that’s gaining traction in Australia. It’s grilled chicken marinated in calamansi (Filipino citrus), coconut vinegar, annatto (a red powder or oil from the achiote tree), herbs and spices, before being grilled over hot coals while being basted with the marinade until it’s sticky and golden. Here are five newish places to find it across the country:

Ondo serves traditional Korean breakfast in a “white people area”.

The Korean diaspora crosses town for brunch at this a 24-seat Armadale cafe, where a fine-dining chef serves bansang all day. Bansang, by the way, is the structure of a traditional Korean meal, where rice (bap) is served with accompanying dishes (which always includes guk, a bowl of soup). It's become so popular that a second restaurant will open in the CBD come June. Read more here.

Tonight is your last chance to eat an Iftar feast. Here are 20 Melbourne recommendations.

Ramadan, which finishes tonight on April 21 with Eid, is the best time of year to #EatCuriously. From $35 all-you-can-eat Iftar buffets, to camel burgers and hidden Malaysian markets, I put together the ultimate Ramadan Melbourne restaurant guide with 20 restaurants and home businesses to try. Get the list.

NIBBLES: 5 Bite-Sized Tips

1. EAT THIS: $50pp bento from March in Collingwood, by Peter Gunn of IDES.

2. DRINK THAT: DiBaldo, the best gin I’ve ever tasted, from a master Italian alchemist and perfumer. Poured in Melbourne at 1800 Lasagne (Thornbury), Zsa’s (Northcote), Clover (Richmond); in Sydney at Lola’s (Bondi), Where’s Nick (Marrickville) and Chin Chin (Surry Hills), to name a few.

3. COVET: literally every food and drink painting by @libbyhainesart.

4. READ: this personal piece on Uyghur cuisine, identity and celebrating Eid, via SBS Food.

5. COOK: the perfect homemade butter naan (it's actually really easy), via Foodess.

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