Let’s clear something up. Eating at an Asian restaurant, eating meat, or visiting Chinatown or a suburb densely populated by Asian-Australians will not cause you to contract coronavirus (COVID-19). Authorities have already warned people to be mindful of fake news that has been rife across social media as the outbreak spreads.
Nonetheless, Chinese and Asian-run businesses are experiencing a very real decline in business, with some reporting a drop in sales of up to 80 per cent due to public reaction to the virus outbreak.
Times are tough enough, with Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg last week saying the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak will be more significant than the detriment caused by recent bushfires. With customer numbers dwindling, Asian food businesses could use a helping hand.
Luckily, public support is gaining momentum with several food industry voices speaking out. Recently, activist group GetUp joined the conversation with a new petition labelled #IWillEatWithYou. The movement is not dissimilar to bushfire recovery support initiatives like the Empty Esky or Spend With Them, and encourages the public to 'vote with your wallet' so to speak.
To join the movement, all you have to do is pick an Asian eatery or grocery to visit this month and share your experience under the hashtag #iwilleatwithyou.
If you need help choosing, we've compiled a restaurant hit list to get you started including recommendations from Luke Nguyen, Adam Liaw and Melissa Leong.
New South Wales
This late-night joint slings some of the most sought-after bowls of Bun Bo Hue by local chefs. Some say it's even more satisfying than a bowl of pho.
Bun Bo Hue Gia Hoi
230 Canley Vale Rd, Canley Heights NSW 2166
Sun to Thurs 9:00am – 11:30pm
Fri to Sat 9:00am – 1:30am
Next time you're in the heart of Sydney's Chinatown, you might just have to venture to Market City's 1909 Dining Precinct for sushi burgers, Chongching noodles and Korean barbecue.
Market City Dining Precinct
Level 3/9-13 Hay St, Haymarket NSW 2000
Daily 10:00am – 11:00pm
So famed is the Cebu version of lechon, it's not uncommon to fly a whole pig from Cebu to Manila, but we've got a version right here. Be prepared to queue at Sydney Cebu Lechon.
Sydney Cebu Lechon
Shop 4/80-80A Enmore Rd, Newtown NSW 2042
Thurs 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Fri 5:30pm – 9:00pm
Sat and Sun 11:30am – 3:00pm, 5:30pm – 9:00pm
David Yang opened Nong Tang Noodle House last year with his mother, wanting to showcase the authentic Shanghai cuisine he grew up eating.
Nong Tang Noodle House
MidCity Arcade, Shop 16-17, 194-200 Bourke Street, Melbourne, Vic
Daily 11:30 am – 10 pm
Pho Thin in Melbourne’s CBD touts the original unique recipe from its namesake shop in Hanoi that starts cooking at 5:30am.
Shop C, 389 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne (enter via Hardware Lane)
Daily 10:30am – 8:30pm
Drive about 15 minutes from the centre of Melbourne, and you’ll hit the reasonably innocuous suburb of Box Hill. Somewhere around the 1970s, this predominantly English and Australian neighbourhood began its evolution into one of the city’s great (and possibly most overlooked) food destinations.
Box Hill Central, Victoria 3128
You can follow the official COVID-19 Government updates here.
Cooking everything together allows the rice to soak up the stock and for the flavours to permeate. Plus, minimal cleaning!
Indulgent and highly addictive, these fried dumplings are a staple of the Caribbean plate – warm and crunchy, yet soft in the middle. They’re also one of our favourite things to eat all day, every day, with everything.
Dumplings are the ultimate crowd-pleaser! This recipe uses a combination of pork, beef and tofu with aromatics, making them juicy and rich, yet light.
Midweek meal dreams are made of veggie soba noodles with peanut dressing.
There are many versions of beef with rice noodles in Chinese cuisine, but they all have one thing in common: they're all equally hearty and comforting on a cold night!