SOMETHING NEW: Michael Nguyen with a sample of what's on offer at his new restaurant, Bite of Asia.
SOMETHING NEW: Michael Nguyen with a sample of what's on offer at his new restaurant, Bite of Asia. Renee Albrecht

Rainbow food strip gets oriental flavour

THE IDEA to supply the people of Rainbow Beach with a fresh culinary option didn't come naturally to local business owner Michael Nguyen, but repeated customer suggestions convinced him to give it a go.

Having owned and operated Rainbow Beach Pies and Cakes for three years, Mr Nguyen saw an opportunity to pursue something new when building extensions commenced in the CBD last year.

Landlords at the '14 on Rainbow' complex were on board with the move, giving Michael a clear path to open Bite of Asia, a cafe and restaurant blending Vietnamise and Chinese quisines.

Mr Nguyen said bringing "something new” to locals was the main inspiration for branching out.

"There's just fish and chips down here and pies, so something oriental was a good idea,” he said.

"People requested it a couple of times when they came here, they saw we were Asian and asked whether we were going to do any Vietnamese food.”

After originally intending to open during last year's festive season, organisational complications caused a lengthy delay.

Mr Nguyen said Bite of Asia had enjoyed a positive start to trading despite the setback, with steady improvements to the menu and the facilities a key short-term goal.

"It's been good so far.

"Christmas would've been better, but it's been a good start at Easter.

"Hopefully people will start to get to know the place, and locals have been supportive so far. We've had a lot of good feedback.

"There's no rush into it at the moment. We're still tweaking, trying to improve the place a little bit, change the menu here and there.”

Mr Nguyen said he was excited to receive more local support in future, but not at the expense of his bakery a few doors down.

"I didn't want people to eat fish and chips anymore, I still want them to eat pies, winter is pie weather,” he said with a laugh.

"I didn't want to eat pies because I make them every day, I wanted to provide something different.”