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February 6, 2023

South East Canteen: just the good stuff

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Simon Haslam

South East Canteen is the new project from Tyler Preston, trained at Melbourne’s cult classic Chin Chin, and most recently executive chef of the iconic Bang Bang Byron Bay and Noosa venues.

Think dumplings, Charsiu barbecue pork, satay skewers, a selection of snacks and Thai street food, cooked with the hibachi grill.

It can be canapes, street food, party food, or the restaurant can come to you.

South East Canteen caters for private dining banquets and events, in any setting you desire.

If you like the comforts of your own home, your wine and no hassles, with the quality and product of a top restaurant, then this is for you!

What South East Canteen offers are the simple things; great food and good company away from all the hustle and bustle.

The food does not claim to be over-the-top, super-fancy with unnecessary garnishes – it’s the flavour and quality that counts. It’s street level everyday food: low fi production, hi fi product.

Keeping it simple is part of Tyler’s focus at the moment. ‘It’s really about the food and the people,’ he says, ‘and keeping it fun. It was a big decision to step back from the security of a salary in a bricks and mortar role, but there is no greater motivator than fear, and so far we have been flat out busy each week.’

‘I really enjoyed our pop-up last week at St Marie’s in Brunswick Heads,’ says Tyler. ‘It was a sellout, and was fun to be the chef of a kitchen for a short time again, but I felt working full-time in a busy restaurant was not where I needed to be anymore, and I had more to offer the community by going out and diversifying my product range.’

‘Bring the restaurant to the people!’, he says.

When not catering or doing pop-ups, he’s offering his ‘heat & eat’ product to retail stores, to see how people like it. ‘I’ve nailed my recipes over a period and now they can be made consistently on a much larger scale than I could make them, so I’ve teamed up with an ex-Longrain head chef who knows Thai cuisine better than most. He heads up the operation at the commercial kitchen, so I’m happy that I’ve got the right balance between price and quality.’

South East Canteen pre-packaged meals come out at a pretty good price for people who want to cook at home. They are double portioned, and super easy to prepare, so in terms of value it’s closer to double a restaurant portion for a similar price. If you add rice, greens and your favourite additions you can easily cater for three or four people with minimal effort, says Tyler.

This range is being introduced to select locations around Byron, Bruns and the wider Northern Rivers, so look out at your local food stores and keep up-to-date on Instagram.

South East Canteen will have a food truck setup at the Bruns Motel over summer, starting from early December, so be sure to go down and try some of their offerings, you might even be able to pick up an early bird retail pack before the grocers take them all.

But if you just want to party and have someone else take care of you, he seems like the man for that too!

Tyler: 0410 581 469 

[email protected]

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