Wholesome, tasty and green at Tasty Australia in Isetan KLCC

Clean, green and tasty encapsulates Tasty Australia 2019, on-going at Isetan Food Hall KLCC till September 11. This splendid showcase of Regional Australian food and beverages was launched by the Australian Deputy High Commissioner to Malaysia Michael Growder together with Koji Oyama, Director and Managing Director of Isetan Malaysia on September 3. Also present were Daniel Havas, Australian Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner and Vivien Lee, Executive Director of The Model Cook.

At the launch of Tasty Australia, from left, Daniel Havas, Koji Oyama, Michael Growder and Vivien Lee

This food event is a collaboration effort between The Model Cook and Isetan Malaysia, presenting 12 new brands with more than 80 products mainly from South Australia and Western Australia. This is apart from The Model Cook’s traditional best-selling 25 brands from South Australia. Here are some of the new products showcased:

Ben Bugden and Jonny’s Popcorn Delight

Jonny’s Popcorn Delights — A couple of days before that I caught up with Ben Budgen, production manager at Jonny’s Popcorn Delights from South Australia, after tasting his “wickedly delicious” popcorn on a walk-through the bright and attractive display at the Isetan Food Hall. This wholegrain popcorn is a healthy, tasty popcorn with lots of fibre and protein. It’s unlike popcorn elsewhere that’s highly coated with sugar.

“Popcorn is usually sprayed with sugar but we kettle cook it together with oil and sugar, so there’s flavour cooked through in every popcorn,” said Ben. “We have been making popcorn for 11 years. You don’t get thirsty eating our popcorn. We celebrate the day at home with popcorn which is not unhealthy.”

There’s scrumptious balance in the Sweet & Salty Popcorn which is so addictive. The Caramel one has a slight bitter edge to it. Both are now available at Tasty Australia. But other flavours in Jonny’s Popcorn Delights include Cheese, Sweet Chilli, Chocolate Chip, BBQ and Buttery. Ben is trying out popcorn with a sour flavour. “It’s what really excites me at the moment.”

Kim Fewster with his raw Jarrah honey

Fewster’s Farm Honey – I had a taste of the raw Jarrah honeycomb from Fewster’s Farm Honey and I was wowed. I met up with Kim Fewster, a beekeeper who comes from a family who’s been in the production and supply of Jarrah honey for four generations, since 1898. Fewster’s Farm honey is harvested from beehives in Western Australia’s ancient Jarrah forests.

“It’s anti-bacterial, full of antioxidants, probiotics and is low GI (low glycaemic index),” says Kim. “I have this every day. It helps with digestion. It does not crystallise and lasts forever.”Jarrah honey, which is produced once every four years, improves collagen production, and is tested in the same lab as manuka honey. “It’s better than manuka.”

A Jarrah honeycomb from Fewster’s Farm Honey

Jarrah honey is known world-wide, especially in South-east Asia and the Middle East. Fewster’s Farm honeycomb is served on breakfast buffets at luxury hotels in the Middle East.

Fewster’s Jarrah honey is also in a range of pharmacy products such as wound dressing for burns and in hand cream and facial cream preparations.

A taste of Southern Forests Honey with Simon Green, the founder

Southern Forests Honey, Western Australia

Southern Forests Honey drew lots of interest too at Tasty Australia, with its range of Raw Kari Honey, Raw Marri Honey and Raw Jarrah Honey from the apiaries in the pristine forests. Its proven medicinal properties with higher microbial content are well-known internationally.

Bevan Eatts and Dried Bravo Apple Slices

Southern Forest Flavours, Western Australia – There’s no healthier snack for your child’s lunch box than Dried Bravo Apple Slices from Southern Forest Flavours. The dark maroon-skinned Bravo Apple is the world’s healthiest apple, with its high antioxidant and Vitamin C content. It doesn’t brown easily. It’s such a change from the cottony, tasteless dried apple slices we are used to. These dried apple slices burst with flavour and I like their firm texture.

Dried Bravo Apple Slices, left, and Nestar & Miss Sweetie Vegan Chocolates

“The Bravo apple is a cross between a Pink Lady and Gala apples,” said Bevan Eatts, Director of Southern Forest Flavours. “The dark skin is high is antioxidants and is good for the heart and blood pressure. We use ripe fruit which can’t be transported and which has heaps of flavour to make these dried apple slices. These can be put in kids’ lunch boxes to keep them from eating chips.

Issy Bilal and Elizabeth Simaliak with their Nestar & Ms Sweetie Vegan Chocolates

Nestar & Miss Sweetie Vegan Chocolates, Victoria – One of the best and most unusual vegan chocolates I tasted here was the Inca berry ones. The plump berry exudes tartness balanced with sweetness and burst through the pure chocolate. Coffee berry, peanut and hazelnut chocolates were delightful too. That the chocolates are so good is because chocolatier Issy Bilal works with pure chocolate, slow hand panning it in 100-year-old copper pans.

Mei Sann Yong of Turban Chopsticks

Turban Chopsticks – Indian and South-east Asian flavours shine in Mei Sann Yong’s Turban Chopsticks range of Rice Kits, Small Bites, Thai Red Curry and Green Curry Pastes and Satay Sauce. They are vegan and gluten-free. No shrimp paste or fish sauce is used. Mei, who lives in Perth, is from the well-known Yong family who runs English Hotbreads in Petaling Jaya.

Indian and South-east Asian flavours are in Mei’s Turban Chopsticks range

Her Lentil Coconut Fritters with a base of chickpea flour was so versatile as she turned out delicious fritters with four-angled beans and lotus root. “You can bake it air fry or fry it,” she said at her cooking demo in Isetan. Her Pineapple Rice, cooked with the Tropical Thai Coconut Rice Kit was so aromatic and flavourful. I liked her Onion Bhaji too, in her range of Little Bites, and the dahl (as in the Dahl Kit) which is so easy to cook.

Other food products at Tasty Australia include Brookfarm muesli and macadamia-based granola, Truffle Hill gourmet products such as truffle oil and truffle salt, Pendleton Olive Oil, Tyrells Crisps, Monjava coffee, among several others.

Fruit straps



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