Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Curiosity at Kanitar

So you're in Geelong.

You're hungry.

And you're hankering for some Southeast Asian goodness?

I say, mosy on down to Kanitar on Malop St - the town's main drag.

I hadn't been there before, but I wandered in after seeing the golden statues, hoping for the best.

I was delighted to discover they do an $8 lunch special on a variety of thai staples.

The owner and chef are thai and the vegetable red curry I ordered was as authentic as any I've enjoyed in downtown Banglampoo.

The serving was generous. The service was friendly. The decor was quaint. And the flavours are all there. That perfect balance of spicy, salty, sweet and sour were married behind a little shopfront in Geelong.

A surpringly good find.

Kanitar Thai Eat-In Takeaway on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

STREAT at Fed Square

Don't you wish that eating lunch could have a positive social impact, great environmental credibility and also taste really good?

How about a meal where 100% of the money you paid for it went into a social enterprise, supporting and training youth at risk in Melbourne.

It almost sounds too good to be true, but at STREAT, founded by dynamic duo Rebecca Scott and Kate Barrell, they're realising these lofty goals.

I popped in to the Federation Square STREAT kitchen cart today and ordered the Kashmiri Chickpea Curry ($8.50). This innovative food store features a seasonal menu and there were four other dishes available on the day I visited. My curry was ready after a few minutes accompanied by rice and a papadum and came served in a nifty cardboard box. The box reminds you of the positive impact you are having "Youth homelessness is hard to swallow. 100% of the profits from this meal help it to stop." 

The curry was a tasty blend of chickpeas, potato, mushrooms and cauliflower in a tomato curry base. It went nicely with the rice and papadums. There is a hint of citrus and sweetness in it too, perhaps from tamarind? Very refreshing. I'll have to taste it again to figure out those ingredients.

While my food was being prepared, one of the senior staff was quietly training a couple of newer recruits. The original KOTO concept in action.

Concepts like STREAT are fantastic and should be supported and applauded. I'll definitely be making it a regular lunchtime spot. The staff are very friendly and you get that lovely warm fuzzy feeling in your tummy that comes from tasty food and the knowledge that you are making a difference.

Here is a quick quote from STREAT's website:
STREAT’s training curriculum and street cafĂ© menu choices also take an eco-gastronomic perspective. In this way we see our food as a fusion of the best of slow food and fast food. Food that’s fresh, tasty, healthy, fair, cultural but also served quickly, can be eaten on the run and great value.
STREAT is a hybrid organisation – or social enterprise – that brings about social change through market-focussed business activities.
In effect, STREAT is three organisations rolled into one and underpinned by sound governance structures. STREAT is a:
  • Social support provider ensuring holistic care and well‐being to trainees within its programs;
  • Training provider giving internationally recognised vocational training in hospitality;
  • Foodservice business that provides on‐the‐job training and work experience for trainees, while generating the income to finance the organisation’s activities.
STREAT's business model is designed to scale and the organisation expects to have five sites within Melbourne's CBD over the coming couple of years.
How could you not want to support this organisation? Stop reading this and go eat at STREAT!

Streat on Urbanspoon