FantAsia Asian takeaway in the city lives up to its owner's vision: 'Restaurant-quality food at takeaway prices'.
I found this out when I stumbled across FantAsia last week while looking for a mid-morning bite to eat in MacArthur Central. Riding the escalator to the second-level food court, I spotted FantAsia's bright-orange facade and headed over for a closer look.
My first impressions were very good. Above the counter were crisp photos of appetising Asian meals, all for around the $10 mark. Behind the counter, a smiling staff member asked if she could help me. And, perhaps best of all, along from the counter sat a box of glistening, fresh wombok, which soon disappeared into the kitchen. This place was definitely worth a try.
FantAsia's menu offers 13 different meals from seven Asian countries. These range from Tokyo Beef with rice ($8.90) to Bangkok Noodle Salad ($8.90), Penang Chicken Curry ($8.90), Beijing Zha Jiang Noodles ($7.90), and Singapore Chicken and Prawn Laksa ($9.90). Tofu can be substituted for meat in the curry, noodle salad, and laksa (but vegetarians should be aware that all these dishes will still contain some animal products in their stocks or sauces).
My meal -- prawn wonton noodle soup
I was tempted by the Steamed Barramundi with Ginger and Shallot Pesto ($10.90), but ended up choosing the Prawn Wonton Noodle Soup (one of three noodle soups on the menu for $9.90).
It lived up to my expectations: six fat prawns encased in fresh dumpling pastry nestled alongside a big pile of egg noodles and fresh bok-choy in a clear, tasty broth. The serving was generous and I couldn't finish what had suddenly become a very substantial morning tea.
All FantAsia's dumplings are made fresh daily
While I was taking notes on my meal, keen-eyed manager Chris Wong spotted me and headed over for a chat. He explained that FantAsia is the latest venture for his mother, experienced restaurateur Judy Wong, who emerged from retirement to start the new business. With a background in fine dining, the Wong family has a clear vision for FantAsia: 'restaurant-quality food at takeaway prices'.
A major factor in achieving this is a commitment to making food from scratch, using fresh, local ingredients. Chris was keen to show me this commitment in action -- before I knew it, he had me standing at the kitchen door watching his industrious staff making hundreds of plump little dumplings. The dumplings are made fresh each day, and fresh produce arrives each morning (hence the wombok).
I also saw FantAsia's barbecue pork roasting on the rotisserie, and staff making the day's iced teas. I can recommend the lemongrass, ginger and mint version for $2.50 if you're looking for a sweet and refreshing drink.
Before I left, Chris explained that the Macarthur Central store had been open nine months, that they also do corporate catering, and that a new FantAsia had just opened in the Myer Centre.
I sent a couple of mystery shoppers along to the Myer Centre outlet this week, and their reports were also positive. .
Silken egg pastries are another FantAsia specialty
After dining on the Kuta Beef Rendang with Rice ($8.90) and the Singapore Chilli Barramundi with Rice ($10.90), they agreed that FantAsia's food was definitely a cut above your average food-court meal. FantAsia staff were friendly and efficient and, despite a crowd, meals arrived quickly so that my secret agents got back to work on time.
If you read my recent review of the wonderful Yash Indian Cuisine, you'll know that I'm on a mission to spread the word about food-court eateries that go above and beyond the average takeaway. FantAsia is definitely a worthy addition to my list.
By jay.m - reader Thursday, 25th of August @ 12:52 am
I would try there just because of the name, FantAsia!!
By katin - reader Thursday, 25th of August @ 02:22 am
I has been there before and had a terrible experience. A female manager was yelling to the stuff in front of the customers and I totally hated this unrespectable behaviour. I tried the foods but were also so bad...they completely do not represent Asian food
By Anonymous Saturday, 16th of June @ 02:06 pm
I'm really sorry to hear that. I haven't been for a while but I'll check it out again soon. It's probably worth forwarding your concern direct to FantAsia at their website so they can respond. Thanks for letting me know.
By West End Girl - senior reviewer Sunday, 17th of June @ 01:46 am
If you like Asian food you might want to try Taste Of Penang at Sunnybank hills