Saturday, February 25, 2012

fusion of cultures: digress restaurant

I find fusion food interesting – the attempt to combine two+ distinct cultures in a dish. It’s kinda like an artwork. There should be more fusion food in Australia as it is still a new country and the ‘Australian identity’, in my opinion, is still finding its feet. From a very basic perspective, compared to other countries, there aren’t that many generations of people in Australia and the majority of have some sort of European, Asian etc heritage.

Interestingly, I find that a lot of the ethnic food in Australia strives to be as authentic to its origin as possible i.e. ‘come to the [ethnic restaurant] to be transported to [country]. Is this reasonable – to think that in such a multicultural nation, authenticity true ethnic food is possible? Should we just learn to expect that Italian food will always taste better in Italy? Or should we just appreciate the plethora of food available to us in Australia, without thinking about its country of origin?

I went to the Digress Restaurant for a good friend’s birthday. Digress is a fusion between Italian and Indian. The menu included pasta dishes with curry sauce and pizza with tandoori chicken. We were a bit boring/healthy and went for the Chicken Tandoori Salad, which was mediocre and a waste of money. The chicken was amongst the best tandoori I’ve eaten as each bit was roasted in full-bodied spices. On a whole, the salad was essentially around 8 pieces of chicken on a bed of boring green veges. Probably not worth the $15 we paid.
On the other hand, we got a bit tipsy and I found the elongated cutlery interesting – they were like tall people in heavy gypsy pants.

The concept of the restaurant was interesting – would go again and grow some balls to get something more unique.

Digress Restaurant & Lounge
11 Akuna Street, Canberra


  1. I have been to Digress and did not enjoy the food or the service. It's a shame as the concept has potential! and I agree with you, the cutlery was the most interesting thing in the restaurant!

    (did you know the owner is the daughter of "An Indian Affair" in Phillip? that restaurant is fantastic!

    1. How funny that the daughter is the owner of the Indian restaurant in Phillip! I wonder if the daughter went: oh fusion food doesn't work, so I'm just going to focus on food from just one culture.

      I wasn't such a fan of the Phillip restaurant (prefered Rama's Fiji Indian) as there was too much sauce in each dish and the sour/saltiness taste were prominent in the dishes I ate. But maybe I just prefer dishes to be a bit sweeter, ordered the wrong dishes, or just uncomfortable because it was a work lunch in a new team! I should def try it again.


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