This year’s invitation to Kylie Kwong’s Chinese New Year banquet promised “unusual delicacies” from a local entomophagist.
For the uninitiated, that’s someone who studies insects for human consumption.
When guests called her one-hatted restaurant, Billy Kwong, to book, the restaurant manager spelled it out to make sure there was no confusion: “You do realise Kylie will be serving insects?”
Lucky, because Kwong will be adding bugs to the menu permanently. And she’s not the only one. El Topo’s Matt Fitzgerald has been serving crickets at the Eastern Hotel in Bondi Junction since the Mexican rooftop bar opened in November last year. Both expect insects to become a more common sight on dinner plates during the next decade because of their sustainability credentials as a source of protein.
But there are some challenges to overcome first. Like taste and texture.
Billy Kwong’s sold-out Wednesday night 10-course dinner featured crickets, scorpions, meal worms and bee larvae.
“Crunchy, a bit nutty, but a little spiky” says Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2013 co-editor, Joanna Savill, of the crickets. And the bee larvae? “Sweet and gooey … Like a melted lolly.”
What about the whole-roasted scorpion?