The Asia Topa Festival Barre
From February 24 to March 14, Arts Centre Melbourne’s Asia TOPA festival will transform the precinct with a wide-reaching program of dance, music, theatre, film and visual, digital and performance art from across the Asia-Pacific region.
Some Asia TOPA events have a culinary theme: Double Delicious, sees guests including writer Benjamin Law and celebrity chef Elizabeth Chong, weave stories around live cooking demonstrations, while Fermenting: Listen has artist Chun-liang-Liu examining the ritual of fermentation in a participatory performance engaging all the senses. But the true foodie experience will happen at Arts Centre Melbourne’s in-house restaurant The Barre.
The Asia TOPA Festival Barre menu will range from snacks – such as beef satay skewers with sweet and spicy cashew sauce, and cold soba with a mentsuyu dipping sauce – to more substantial meals. Senior chef de partie Cecilia Salvante will also give a contemporary twist to a Filipino family favourite, pork adobo. For dessert, try a deconstructed Singapore Sling cocktail, with pineapple compote, cherry sorbet, freeze-dried orange, and lemon balm. An outdoor pop-up version of the Asia TOPA Festival Barre is creating cocktails with an Asian theme, including Yuzu Sour, Gin Pow and Thai Basil Mojito.
The precinct’s Café Vic will focus on Vietnamese cuisine, offering some fresh al fresco flavours, while foyer bar Allegro is getting in on the action, too, with some Indian-inspired dishes.
Arts Centre Melbourne’s director of food and beverage, Frank Bischoff, travelled to Kyoto, Tokyo and Singapore specifically to gather inspiration for the festival. In Kyoto, he met seven-Michelin-starred chef Yoshihiro Murata, a master of traditional keiseki Japanese cuisine, while in Singapore he taste-tested the best hawker markets under the guidance of Singapore Airlines’ Antony McNeil.
See the full Asia TOPA program.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Asia TOPA.