EAST meets West at a new cafe in the heart of Wodonga, appropriately-named Junction.
Veronica Shio opened the Elgin Boulevard eatery, opposite Junction Place, about six weeks ago.
Born in Cambodia, Shio moved to the Border during 2008 via Sydney and New Zealand.
"I got my first job in a cafe in Auckland while I was studying in New Zealand," she said.
"I love Melbourne and Sydney's food scene and I like healthy, quick and easy dining.
"We've done an urban-style fitout on the cafe with a focus on fresh, healthy food."
Shio, who is also the head chef, said her food background had influenced the menu.
She said typical dishes included Beef Lemongrass and Vietnamese Noodles yet the Beef Burrito Bowl was already a top-seller.
"Cambodian food is very similar to Vietnamese," Shio said.
"There's also some similarities between Chinese and Cambodian cooking."
Junction opened for breakfast and lunch six days, catering for myriad dietary requirements.
Salads (including build-your-own), warm bowls and fresh juice are typical fare.
MEET MORE HOMEGROWN CHEFS:
What's your favourite dish?
Orient Crunch; a char-grilled chicken salad with an Asian dressing and gluten-free noodles.
What's your favourite season?
Autumn. I like spring too but I get hay fever!
What are the staples in your pantry now?
Mixed salad, eggs, Asian herbs and spices.
What is your earliest cooking memory?
My nan's homemade sweet potato bao was the best in the world.
Which ingredients do you grow yourself?
Lemongrass and herbs
Which six people would you invite to dinner?
My staff; they all deserve to put their feet up for a special meal. Also my parents and sister live in Melbourne.
What is your favourite foodie ritual?
Albury Wodonga Farmers' Market
What are you bingeing on TV? If anything.
White King on Netflix
What did you have for dinner last night?
Spring Roll Talk; It's an Asian salad with spring rolls and Vietnamese dressing, now on the menu.
What are you drinking at the moment?
Tropical Charm: Pineapple, orange and apple juice.
Elgin Boulevard, Wodonga
Phone: 0481 881 337
Open Monday to Saturday, 6am to 5.30pm.
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