Celebrity chef Adam Liaw said Cabra-Vale Diggers’ new dining precinct District 8 is one of the most “ambitious food projects” that has been in western Sydney for a very long time.
“It’s essentially a Mekong-Delta translated into diverse food offerings like China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia transported to Cabra-Vale Diggers and reinterpreted in a modern form,” Liaw told the Champion.
“There is a very strong Asian community in the Cabramatta and Canley Vale area, so the food has to be authentic and has to be of a high standard or else it won’t be successful. It’s essentially reflecting the community that is part of that club.”
So what is District 8?
It is stage two of a multi-stage food revolution at the club and has several South-East Asian food options and ‘stations’ including dumplings, congee, soup, noodles, BBQ, grill/stir fry, seafood and Chinese à la carte.
It also has an in house Asian bakery, fresh fruit and sugar canes juices and salads and an Asian bar.
“It’s a newish dining experience, not in a food court type of way but there are lots of difference influences and you can choose your own adventure with and bring them all together in one meal – you can go to the dumpling bar or get a fresh juice or the bakery and get fresh seafood from tank,” said Liaw, who is a former MasterChef winner.
“It is a great dining and entertainment destination, but it is much more than that; it really is something the entire community can be a part of and also be extremely proud of.”
The club has spent $18 million on the first two stages of its new dining rooms after opening Brasserie on Park and the Poppy Café in stage one. Stage three will be a new steakhouse and the dining facilities of the new hotel will be stage four.
Cabra-Vale Diggers chief executive Boris Belevski said there was some logic behind the name District 8.
“Not only does the number 8 imply good fortune, but there are eight food outlets that will be selling a wide variety of authentic Asian foods, with a concentration of South East Asian tastes,” he said.
“All the dining precincts – which seat up to 900 people – will provide a multi-faceted East meets West eating hub.”
Tina Fox, Project Leader, Interior Design, from Altis Architecture, said diners will be transported to South East Asia.
“We were particularly inspired by the tastes, smells and sights of the Mekong River...we have created 'streets' and walkways throughout the scheme, surrounded by columns, plants and Hong Kong style illuminated signage to really give that feeling of being outdoors,” she said.
District 8 had an official media launch on Tuesday after opening its doors last month.