Saturday 1 June 2013

Boundary Espresso

107 Plenty Road, Preston, VIC 3072

Boundary Espresso on Urbanspoon
So, ocassionally I do a blog of a cafe/restaurant that's not Asian but offers the occasional Asian-inspired dish. Boundary Espresso is one of those but really only has a couple of dishes in this category. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the dishes that much that it deserves an entry here. From its name, it seems that coffee is the big thing but since I am no coffee drinker, I am just going to focus on the food and the tea here is great too.

The Place
This is a tiny place that can seat no more than 22 inside at a squeeze, though there are a few tables outside too. There are some tiny tables and a long table that seats up to 6. It's a nice little corner cafe and the parking is on the streets that surround it.

Things to do Nearby: There's not a lot to do nearby but a short drive will take you to the Preston Shops and Markets.

The Food
So we're here to talk about the "Asian coleslaw" which is in two of their dishes, the Asian Style Salad and Baked Eggs, and Pide with Smoked Chicken and Asian Coleslaw. This is more a Vietnamese style salad (but with wombok rather than cabbage as the base).
The Pide with Smoked Chicken and Asian Coleslaw (with a side of Roquette) 
Baked Eggs with a huge serve of the Asian Salad (with smoked tofu)
The freshness of the salad is undeniable and it's also got an amazing lime based dressing. Just beautiful, and balanced out with crunchy peanuts and shallots. If you love nuts in your salad, this comes with a generous serve of them. Then there's the smoked proteins (chicken in the pide, and five spiced dense tofu in the salad), which may or may not be to your taste but the highlight is the salad.

The Service
This place is well run and efficient, with very welcoming friendliness. It's a pretty relaxed atmosphere and they make every effort to see to your needs, while making do with the small space they have. Just what you need in the morning. In fact, I observed them dealing with slightly difficult customers, all with a smile.

I shall be back! There are other things (non-Asian) I can't wait to try, including the Chorizo baked eggs, Mushroom with truffle oil, and green eggs with ham. All sound so good.

Cultural Moment
So... was the salad really Asian? Have you seen Margaret Cho's Asian Chicken Salad video? It's hilarious.
In my books, it certainly is, with it's fresh balance of sesame, lime and peanuts. It's really yummy - and just reminiscent of Vietnamese salad dressings. It's great to see Asian flavours taken in a new direction. So, this is a great addition to the area.

So, what is the difference between Westernised Asian dishes and Asian-Inspired dishes?

I think that Westernised Asian dishes are those that take an original Asian dish and twist it to the point that the flavours are either watered down or have lost their core balance. On the other hand, Asian-Inspired dishes are those that take the core Asian balance of flavours and apply them to different dishes and in different combinations. Would you agree?

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