I was recently asked to review a new magazine called Asia Eater that has just been launched. It’s no secret that I love my food, so for me this concept really can’t go wrong; a magazine devoted to the food of Asia, where you should eat it and how to cook it yourself… yes please!
When I first opened the magazine, what immediately jumped out was its fresh looking format, and if you’re tactile like me you will appreciate the high quality paper. Flicking through the pages, I really liked the great photography, the spacious layout (I didn’t feel like I was being bombarded with ads that had been cramped into the publication), and the diversity of articles.
With the theme of desserts, this issue of Asia Eater cuts straight to the end of the meal and takes the reader on a gastronomic journey across Asia and how sweets form part of the meal. From egg tarts in Hong Kong to rashgulla in Bangladesh, the stories don’t try to generalise the experience of that city or country, but rather take you behind the scenes of a small but significant part of the food scene and shows the reader what makes that part of the cuisine so special. I personally really enjoyed the human element of the feature stories, rather than observing the food from the sidelines. Like all great meals, it is the history behind the recipes that make it taste even better.
The magazine doesn’t give you reviews of restaurants, but rather takes you into the kitchen of some great chefs and let’s them tell their stories and share their recipes. I for one cannot wait to try Ian Kittichai’s Thai Tea Creme Brulee. It is this approach of learning about the food and the passion behind the chefs, that makes this a great read. I didn’t feel like I was reading someone’s press release, but rather was sharing in the joy of food.
Then of course there are photos, which are rich and descriptive. Whether it is showing someone on their way to Tokyo’s fish market or of an ice cream vendor in HCMC, each tells its own story, and brings you into that part of the world even if only for a few minutes.
To be published every quarter, this interesting magazine certainly has potential. I hope that the content can continue to be as fresh and entertaining, without falling victim to some of the traps of other food magazines. After all the world doesn’t need another magazine that just does superficial reviews of restaurants and skims over cuisines that are centuries old in a few words. In this regard, Asia Eater is different, and if you are a foodie, it is well worth taking a look at it.
*Note: This was a voluntary review and I have not been paid in any way for it.