What to order at Miss Mi

Published on 9 December 2021

Photo: Miss Mi's grilled kangaroo skewers with avocado and macadamia nut satay.

The inside word on the menu from chef Esca Khoo.

Operating from the ground floor of the towering Môvenpick Hotel on Spencer, Esca Khoo’s Miss Mi casts a wide net around some historically underrepresented regions of Asia. Khmer chicken salad, hinava from Sabah and Sri Lankan watalappan each feature on a dynamic set menu brought together by the Dinner by Heston alum’s technical nous, in a sharp new blueprint for high Southeast Asian food in Melbourne.

An à la carte menu is in the works, but in the meantime, here’s Khoo with a few of his favourites from the set menu. 

What to order at Miss Mi
Initially we’ll be running our ‘journey through Asia’ set menu, working with the season, suppliers and the amazing produce we get here in Victoria. It's a menu with a host of dishes inspired my favourite Asian countries, including Laos, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Sri Lanka. It’s a really fun menu – both for us to cook and for our guests to eat.

Which of the dishes on the menu capture the Miss Mi vibe?
The food is a play on familiar flavours in combination with the best local produce available. We take staples and classics and interpret them in new and exciting ways. For example, the grilled kangaroo skewers with avocado and macadamia nut satay is a local expression of Malaysia’s classic satay. Our chicken salad from Cambodia is revamped using the wonderful citruses we have here in Australia. I hope to show an invigorated view of Asian cooking.

How about a drink?
My favourite is the Cucumber and Chilli Margarita. It’s clean and balanced and has a small kick to it: a refreshing and flavourful way to begin the night. As for wine, I really enjoy the Holly’s Garden ÜberBrut sparkling wine, which is fermented and oxidised in large old oak barrels and packs some buttery umami notes.

I’m here for a good time not a long time
Head to the bar for some of our signature cocktails and order some delicious snacks, like our Sri Lankan pickles, tasty peanuts, Malaysian curry puffs, pork crackle with a Laotian dip and more. You’ll have a delicious adventure even if you’re short on time.

Got anything light and fresh?
Our freshly shucked oysters paired with a calamansi ice make a great start, or perhaps green mango with crème fraîche and Thai chilli salt. They’re both light, clean and easy to eat; simple and delightful.

I like tasty food but I don’t eat animals.
We’re celebrating our vegetarian menu just as much as the ‘journey through Asia’ menu. In the ‘journey through Asia’, there’s a lovely dish Thai-inspired dish of heirloom tomatoes, basil, fresh peas and mushrooms with tom yum flavours. 

Let’s go big. Let’s go crazy. What have you got for me?
For now, settle in for the full ‘journey through Asia’ experience. Down the track when we launch our à la carte menu you can look forward to lamb shoulder slow-cooked with Malay spices, Filipino-style grilled chicken and Timorese-inspired whole line-caught fish.

And to close?
Right now on the spring menu, we have a dessert inspired by Sri Lanka called watalappan. It is a baked coconut custard pudding spiced with vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom. We dress it with star anise caramel and cashew nuts and balance it with rhubarb, blackberries and roses. A very special dish that is both vibrant and comforting.

Miss Mi, Môvenpick Hotel On Spencer, 160 Spencer St, Melbourne, 03 9600 5488, missmimelbourne.com.au, @missmi.melbourne. 

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