Want some ramen with your burger?

mX, Sydney, Wednesday 26 February 2014

“Mutant” food combinations like sushi tacos and ramen burgers are on the menu for 2014.

These unusual combinations have been named as some of the top food trends to watch this year, according to Weber Shandwicks’s Food Forward report.

The report surveyed 1000 consumers and food experts nationally and also predicted that culinary inspired travel and single-item restaurants will be big this year.

Noodlies blogger and food commentator Thang Ngo said the trend for “mutant food” showed that Australians were becoming more comfortable with a range of different flavours.

He said there was already a place in Newtown filling tacos with sashimi and ramen burgers being served up in Sydney CBD.

“What this is saying is that we are looking for something different, it’s not about find the best way to make chocolate cake, it’s about experimenting with different types of ingredients,” he said.

And it reflects a shift to a more casual approach to dining – the report found 48  per cent of Australians favoured home style cooking over fine dining (19 per cent).

“If you go to a fine-dining restaurant you can’t even pronounce half the things, people know what tacos are, they know what ramen is,” Ngo said.

“We are confident enough to say, I just want pho noodles today and go to a single restaurant.”

Almost half of Australian consumers reported they felt passionately about supporting local farmers, but 70 [per cent] were most influenced by cost when shopping for groceries.

Download Weber Shandwick’s Food Forward 2014, Australia report.

Thang Ngo has been one of the food experts interviewed by Weber Shandwick for Food Forward for the past three years.