.

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

You could say that much of NZ Street Food’s roaring trade belongs to a line of homesick Kiwi stomachs.

But the Dandenong Market outlet is also a pit-stop for the curious. No other food outlet in the South East offers a hangi straight out of a steaming oven.

Hangi, a Maori cooking tradition, is the definition of slow-cooking.

Traditionally, it is a combination of meat, cabbage and spuds cooked under hot stones in a pit in the ground. There the food stays for hours, cooking moist and tender in a combination of steam and smoke.

Owner Jae Tuhi, a carpenter by trade, designed his own above-land hangi oven, suitable for the kitchen.

He prefers his hangi of chicken, lamb, potatoes topped with thyme stuffing to stew in foil-wrapped juices for up to eight hours. The longer, the better he says.

By the end, the flavours of each ingredient are absorbed into the other.

It’s a treat Mr Tuhi looks forward to every Friday night. Though customers are keen for it anytime, including as a hearty reviver early Saturday and Sunday mornings.

The business started in a food truck in 2015, gained a cult following and has now become a Dandenong fixture.

Cooking for large numbers of people was something Mr Tuhi grew up with.

It’s a tradition, like his Maori carvings, that he wants to keep alive in the South East.

“A lot of the younger ones don’t get to see our culture.

“I love it. It’s a passion.”

NZ Street Food’s menu includes some other New Zealand favourites – deep fried bread buns filled with hangi-cooked pulled pork.

The fried bread is like a donut, but not so sweet.

“As soon as our people see fried food, they jump on it,” Mr Tuhi said.

Also steamed in the hangi is a sweet brown-sugar pudding topped in custard.

NZ Street Food also imports seafood from the homeland – such as smoked snapper, as well as fresh abalone (paua) , sea urchin (kina) and mussels.

It stocks ‘home-grown’ confectionery , chips and other packaged foods, such as L&P soft drink, Rashuns, Munchos and Watties tomato sauce.

Your first stop before buying a home. View the whole picture.

More News

The traffic paralysis on Heatherton Road, Endeavour Hills can often drive motorists to despair. In the case of Heather Pereira, ...

It’s kind of a rags-to-riches transformation. Dandenong North fashion student Mikaela Eldridge has a way of turning an ...

A cancer survivor has been overwhelmingly backed by friends and family during an inspirational 32-kilometre walk in the South East. ...

A “highly intoxicated” driver who reversed over a woman standing behind his van and then drove forwards back over her ...

Mortaza, pictured, swung his hips into an actively interactive, online program at Dandenong West Primary School. The world-first Transform-Us! program ...

There was plenty cooking between business leaders and jobseekers in the Chisholm Institute restaurant recently. Taking part in the Kitchen ...

Latest Sport

Brandon Barnes is the best striker in the country outside of the A-League. That’s a statement that has floated ...

It all comes down to this. On Saturday, 22 September at IKON Park, the Dandenong Stingrays will take on the Oakleigh ...

The Doveton Eagles’ quest for back-to-back premierships failed at the final hurdle; unable to keep up with Highett as they ...