For people who care about their food

Regional Food – the next big thing?

According to the latest Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine, the next big cuisine is going to be regional food.

Yes, yes, we know you like Chinese, Italian and Thai food, but can’t you be a little more specific?

They go on to name some restaurants which have chosen to be more region-specific.

I have mixed feelings about this “new big thing”. Some of us have been into regional cuisine for years, and there are already some restaurants which cater for it. The best Thai food we’ve ever had outside Thailand was from a Thai restaurant in Shepherd’s Bush which served wonderful Isaan (Northern Thailand) food. But is the British palate really ready for this?

There are hundreds of Thai restaurants in the UK and most of them have the same offerings – Thai green curry, pad Thai, tom yum etc. Mostly they are a pale imitation of the real thing, partly because the authentic ingredients may be difficult or expensive to get and partly because of the craze that swept Britain about Thai food. Most of the customers have probably never eaten real Thai food, just as those who frequent Indian or Chinese restaurants in the UK have never been to India or China.

There may be some demand from the more discerning customer when some of the trendier restaurants start specialising in more regional cuisines. I suspect it will be a bit of a fad and most Brits will continue to nosh at the local curry shop or Chinese which sell the type of food they have known and loved for years.

Of course, I could be wrong. What do you think?

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