We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
Kangaroo is a very popular type of Australian food
Grab a kangaroo pizza at The Australian Hotel in The Rocks.
Australian food comprises many meat dishes, yet seafood dishes — especially oysters — are very popular in Sydney. Yes, that’s right — kangaroo is a very popular type of Australian food. Kangaroo is as commonplace in Australian food as chicken, steak, or lamb, and it can be found in supermarkets as well as in restaurants across the country.
One of the most popular ways to eat kangaroo is grilled, just like you would a grill steak, and for a tasty example of this you can visit the Clovelly Hotel in Clovelly a popular pub-style eatery with beautiful views of the beaches. It’s also common for Australians to buy a kangaroo sausage and grill it on the barbie. There are also kangaroo burgers available at many restaurants in Australia.
You will find that you can eat raw kangaroo, or kangaroo carpaccio, at many restaurants if you wish to try something really special. Try raw kangaroo at Kinglsey’s Steakhouse if you want the best example.
If these options seem too adventurous, try getting pizza topped with bits of kangaroo meat. In Australia, you will find that many pizzerias offer kangaroo pizza, and you can still get the flavors of the meat without having a whole filet or burger of it. For a great kangaroo pizza, you can visit The Australian Hotel in the Rocks, a historic area in Sydney.
The kangaroo steamer is first mentioned in the 1820s and various versions appear in cookbooks until the late 1800s. Finely diced fresh kangaroo meat and salt-pork or bacon were packed into a clay pot and ‘steamed’ in its own juices as it boiled on the stove. Although it seems ‘uniquely’ Australian, the steamer is a colonial adaptation of the English jugged hare, and a prime example of colonists’ adapting native ingredients to traditional British recipes.
[Images courtesy: Eat Your History by Jacqui Newling]
14 Unique Restaurants In Sydney For A One-Of-A-Kind Dining Experience
From feasting at Old English banquets to dining in a revolving tower, check out this list of 14 restaurants in Sydney that’ll give you a one of a kind experience you won’t forget!
1. The Hero of Waterloo Hotel
What makes it special: You can have a drink with your mates at any bar but only here is there a chance to enjoy a pint or two with a few ghosts!
With live music, ghost tours, restaurant area, and a hotel, the Hero of Waterloo may well be the hero of all Sydney adventures!
Hit the hero bar for their social events like the Melbourne Cup, Father’s Day Special, and NRL Grand Final and they’ll have you well-taken care of! When there aren’t any particular events on, you’ll still have a grand time with their live music. Fridays are for folk music where the strings give life to the wooden furniture, Saturdays showcase old time jazz talents in the afternoon and folk at night to add a little it of colour on the sandstone blocks, and Sundays deliver old time jazz again but this time with an Irish jam session to get the buzz going.
For even more of a thrill, ask their bartenders about their cellar and tunnel, rumoured to have been used for smuggling rum and recruiting sailors. One of the oldest pubs in Sydney, , you’re sure to have a good old time with a lager in honour of the Duke of Wellington, the hero himself!
Address: 81, Lower Fort Street, Millers Point NSW 2000
2. Dirty Dicks
What makes it special: You’ll experience what it means to have a Medieval Old English feast with this interactive entertainment crew!
Known as Australia’s most popular theatre restaurant, Dirty Dick’s travels to deliver a festival of interactive entertainment themed with costumes, food, and music just like Old English banquets. With long tables piled with smooth wine, colourful fruits, and hearty food, you’re sure to have a full stomach. Accompanied by their exuberant performances and their ever fashionable costumes, you’ll either be chewing with bliss or laughing with joy, or even both!
This energetic crew will be in Sydney at the Rydalmere Central Bowling Club from November 14 to December 19 to spread their jubilant joy. But make sure you visit their website for location and show date details just in case there are any changes so you don’t miss out on their crazy, merry celebrations!
Address: Location/show dates, click here
3. The Secret Creek Café and Restaurant
What makes it special: You can have a meal with the great views of the Blue Mountains and even a few surprise guests like dingos and wallabies!
Surrounded by both the naturally beautiful fauna and flora of the Blue Mountains, The Secret Creek Café is one secret only true locals know of! Located right in the Secret Creek Sanctuary, you can have a bite to eat before or after a wildlife tour full of quolls, dingos, potoroos, wallabies, pademelons, and turkeys.
It’s perfect place to have a feast as you escape the city noise into Mother Nature’s tranquillity. Their more popular dishes include the Australian spiced bush dukkah, the pasture fed sirloin steak, and the macadamia crusted barramundi fillet but you’d be mistaken to give their ever-changing and never-disappointing specials list a miss.
Because this treasure promises an unforgettable experience, they cater to functions such as birthday parties and weddings so bookings are always essential! Suitable for families, friends, and partners, you’re sure to have a blast in the midst of nature, delicious food, great company, and adorable creatures!
Address: 35, Crane Rd, Lithgow, NSW 2790
4. Pancakes On The Rocks
What makes it special: You can have pancakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! And you’ll get more than just syrup on your pancakes, you’ll have ice cream, Thai chicken, seafood and more!
With their creative and colourful menu, Pancakes On The Rocks will have you questioning whether pancakes really are just breakfast food. For those who vouch for pancakes at breakfast, you can choose from their classic pancakes like the Long Stack or The Ultimate, which will give you an simple yet sweet and savoury experience. For those who believe pancakes are for desserts, try an item off their “Famous” list like the Strawberry patch or the Black Forest Cherry for a flavoursome familiarity. For those want to try pancakes as dinner, give their ‘Savoury Crepes & Pancakes” list a go with their Chicken & Mushroom, Thai Chicken, or Potato Au Gratin to enjoy pancakes like never before!
Don’t worry if sweet pancakes or pancakes in general aren’t your thing because they also serve gourmet pizzas like Italian Salami, items off the grill suck as Pork/Beef Ribs, and starters and salads like Nachos and Calamari for a fully fledged meal. Regardless of whether you’ve got a sweet tooth, an eye for meat, or simply want good old pizza, Pancakes On The Rocks has got something for you!
Address: 4, Hickson Rd, The Rocks, NSW 2000
5. Hello Kitty Diner
What makes it special: You’ll get to have a tea party with Hello Kitty but this time it won’t be pretend!
Unlike regular cat cafés, here you’ll be surrounded by one very cute, very pink kitty – Hello Kitty! Join the party in their deliciously decorated diner that can only described as absolutely kawaii (that’s cute in Japanese!) compatible to the likes of Japan’s! Take a look at the menu sporting a fusion of American and Japanese dishes, and indulge in their sweets, desserts, milkshakes, burgers, and other diner foods so good they’ll induce catnaps right after!
If you don’t know what to choose from the mouth watering list you may want to try customer favourites such as the Maple Pulled Pork Burger, the Gee Gee Burger, Hello Kitty tea, Fried Mozzarella, and the White Chocolate Milkshake. With a bow on their burgers and a whiskers on their cakes, this cutesy café is sure to be the cherry on top of your day! You won’t want to miss out, this tea party is bigger than the Mad Hatter’s! Pay a visit, grab a bite, and say hello to your favourite childhood kitty!
Address: The District, Chatswood Interchange, 436 Victoria Avenue Chatswood, NSW 2067
6. The Absinthe Salon
What makes it special: You get to experience absinthe in the charmingly professional way it was intended to with their nonpareil fountain equipment and the thrill of a new and lucid experience!
Regardless of whether absinthe is a mythical drink you’ve yet to encounter, or a good old friend you frequently venture with, the experts at The Absinthe Salon will treat you just right!
The one of a kind experience begins from their fancy yet skilfully engineered fountain filled. These fountains have four taps which drips ice-cold water onto a sugar cube placed on a stick across the rim of your glass. In the glass, the ice-cold water and sugar drips into the absinthe to create a magical visually alluring and tastefully inviting swirl.
If you’re a little one edge about absinthe, not to worry because the expert staff will explain the true and false of this rumoured drink, the preparation process, and what to expect. If that doesn’t do it, take in the alluring combination of Goth and Burlesque décor that make up the intimate yet oddly relaxing atmosphere. Don’t miss out on this rare experience and enjoy this well-rumoured drink in safe, comfortable hands!
Address: 87 Albion St, Surry Hills, NSW 1020
7. The Australian Heritage Hotel
What makes it special: You can get a taste of Australian meat in ways you’ve never thought of before! Think kangaroo, crocodile, and emu pizzas!
The Australian Heritage Hotel will take you back to it’s roots with a menu list like no other. Famous for their Australian meat pizzas, this may be the only place in Sydney you can enjoy a kangaroo as a topping!
Try their novelty Pepper Kangaroo pizza, Coat of Arms pizza sporting half emu and half pepper kangaroo, and their Saltwater Crocodile pizza to see what the buzz is about! You can also enjoy a plethora of other meats such as lamb, beef, chicken, pork, and don’t forget about the seafood! It’s a right haven for meat lovers but don’t worry, they’ve also got vegetarian dishes to cater to everyone.
To celebrate the Australian heritage further, they have an impressive drinks menu showcasing wines, beers, and ciders from all over the continent! With their homey vibes, moody antique decor, and the charming atmosphere, the Australian Heritage Hotel is definitely a local favourite well worth a visit!
Address: 100 Cumberland St, The Rocks, NSW 2000
8. Via Napoli Pizzeria
What makes it special: This is where your dreams come true – Where else can you get a two-metre pizza?
Put your dreams at rest and your hunger to the test at Via Napoli Pizzeria where you can get a two metre long pizza! Topped with their best five pizzas, this renowned creation is any foodie’s absolute dream come true! But in case you wanted to indulge on just one flavour, you can also get a regular sized, half a metre, or one metre long ones of whichever pizza on their extraordinary menu. And just in case these pizzas aren’t enough to sooth your watering mouth and rumbling stomach, have a go at their other Italian appetizers, seconds, and salads!
The place is warm not just from the ovens but also from the spirit of the staff as they share the love for what they do with the customers! With a heavenly smell in the air, this vibrant, energetic eatery is great for families, friends, and couples looking for an enjoyable time! It’s humble, happy, and hearty so if you’re ever looking for delicious food, an animated ambience, and two metre pizza, it’s best done at Via Napoli!
Address: 628 Crown St, Surry Hills, NSW 2010
9. The Grounds of Alexandria
What makes it special: You’ll be surrounded by everything you love about food. From food in restaurants to food for take away, casual food sold at markets to organic food grown in the garden areas, it’s any foodie’s paradise!
From breakfast at The Café, fresh produce at The Garden, and a bar scene at The Potting Shed, the Grounds of Alexandria is an acre full of experiences. What comes with the range of food is the artistic presentation of it all. Lingering lights up above, the air filled with an inviting scent of a million mouth-watering combinations, the colours of the food and the furniture complementing each other – it really is a festival for the senses!
It won’t matter if you’re specific to what you eat the Grounds of Alexandria is a ground for all. Whether you’re looking for fresh produce, meat products, halal chicken, gluten free foods, or even if you’re just after a few herbs and spices, you’re sure to find just what you need. Not only are they well rounded with their food, they’ve also got pets in their Grounds Farm waiting for a visit! And if that’s not your thing, don’t worry because they love embracing the open space so you’ll be able to walk around to take in everything before deciding what you want to see and do.
It’s one of Sydney’s every day treasures but one that will deliver like nowhere else!
Address: 7A, 2 Huntley St, Alexandria, NSW 2015
10. 360 Bar and Dining
What makes it special: You get a full view of Sydney without having to leave your seat or your food!
Make your way around the city without moving your feet located in the Centre Point tower, 360 Bar and Dining is the only revolving restaurant in Sydney.
Whether you’re a devout Sydney Sider local or a tourist fresh off the plane, the breathtaking views of the beautiful, ever-exciting city will make you fall for Sydney like never before. Not only that, the magnificent skyline is accompanied by modern Australian cuisines for a full experience of what it means to be in Sydney.
Following the same theme, their luxurious bar delivers an impressive list of Australian and international wines and cocktails, waiting to accompany your meal and view. Catering to all crowds, they’ve got carefully crafted lunch and dinner menus as well as a group menu, making this revolving restaurant perfect family meals, a date with a significant other, or a celebration with friends. It’s quite literally a moving experience delivered right to your seat, don’t miss out on possibly one of Sydney’s best skyline views!
Address: 4, Sydney Westfield Centre, 100 Market St, NSW 2000
What makes it special: You get your cocktails in bubble tea cups or served in a teapot! Plus, the food is amazeballs.
With Chef Dan’s and Yu’s amazing mix of perky designs and snappy flavours, this is a place you cannot afford not to dine at.
You start off by heading upstairs to the bar where you get your specially packaged cocktails with the pearls – try Ms G’s Famous Yuzu Slushee (Wyborowa vodka, shochu, yuzu juice, Regan’s orange bitters, lemon). If you’re a beer junkie, forget the cocktails and go for their Miyozakura panda cup or Akishika Bambi cup – 180ml sealed glasses printed with gambolling pandas and fawns – super cute (you even get to keep the glasses)!
Most of the dishes here are must-tries so instead of naming recommendations, I suggest that you bring a group of friends and order many things to share – have a taste of everything!
Address: 155, Victoria Street, Potts Point, NSW 2011
12. Lowenbrau Keller
What makes it special: Experience little Germany in Sydney!
You don’t have to fly to Germany to have a taste of Bavaria no more. This Munich-styled restaurant is famous for its happening celebrations for any occasions from birthdays, christmas or German-related (Oktoberfest).
What you must try here are their specially imported Bavarian beers and the oven roasted pork knuckles. Multi-task and feast while singing and dancing along to Oom Pah Pah Band’s traditional tunes.
Don’t be shy to join their beer drinking contests held in the name of fun. Diners will be invited to down non-alcoholic beer (sorry guys) in the fastest possible time. Winners receive a special prize!
Address: Cnr / Playfair & Argyle St,The Rocks, NSW 2000
13. The Tea Palour
What makes it special: Participate in a midnight tea party with your mates in Victorian themed costumes!
This dainty and quirky tea parlour is the perfect place for girlfriends who fancy an alternative to bars or coffee shops to hangout and carry out their weekly gossip sessions. Being surrounded by gorgeous, antique treasures, you will feel as though you’ve been transported back to the Victorian era. Patrons are even encouraged to come in fancy themed dresses!
Featuring both homegrown tea labels as well as international brands, the tea menu here is probably the most extensive you can get in the whole of Sydney. Choose wisely and enjoy as much as you like as The Tea Parlour offers unlimited top ups for your tea. The food menu here may be limited but everything just hits the spot. The food is homemade by the owner herself, Ruby, using her own grandmother’s recipe with heart and soul.
The Tea Parlour can be booked for occasions at anytime of the day. I think I’d fancy a midnight tea party one day.
Address: 569, Elizabeth St, Redfern, NSW 2016
14. Doughbox Diner
What makes it special: Step back in time into a Pin Up’s paradise and meet Doughbox Diner’s very own Diner Doll.
Come to Doughbox Diner to fulfil your childhood dream of traveling to America just for an authentic diner experience, on steroids!
Usually at diners such as this, you would get burgers and fries. However at this joint, get ready to try something completely different – hand held Crepe Cones. With over 20 combinations to choose from, no one will get bored of their signature dish. No experience at a diner is complete without milkshakes or soda, so be sure to accompany your crepe cones with the Malted Thickshake or Ice Cream Soda!
The diner dolls are the truly the stars of this place, well according to me. So make sure to get a picture while you’re there (or maybe some tips on how to pull off the look)!
Address: 137, Enmore Rd, Enmore, NSW 2042
Give your eyes and tummy a treat
Two metre pizzas, tea parties with Hello Kitty, and drinking with ghosts, this list is full of peculiar places to try! If you have other one-of-a-kind dining experiences to be had in Sydney, let us know in the comments below!
The Great Australian Cookbook
The Great Australian Cookbook is a celebration of food, travel, family and love. The nation’s top chefs and food producers invite viewers into their homes and favourite spaces to learn what they cook, and how, for the people they love.
Right across the nation, from the city to the sea, from the tropics to the bush, the dramatic Australian landscape plays host to deliciously simple dishes and seriously complex creations.
Jam-packed full of tips The Great Australian Cookbook is the story of Australia, and the food we love to eat.
Matt Stone & Maggie Beer
One of Australia’s brightest young chefs, Matt Stone – head chef of Oakridge in the Yarra Valley, VIC – returns to his parents home in Pinjarra, WA to showcase local produce and fresh home-grown ingredients when he cooks prawns and a charcoal roasted vegetable salad feast for his family.
Culinary Icon Maggie Beer shares one of her all time favourite recipes – Chocolate Pear Almond Tart, gathering some of her most trusted staff together in the Barossa Valley, SA for afternoon tea.
Gilbert Lau & Darren Robertson
The father of Chinese cuisine in Australia, Gilbert Lau, reveals his family recipe for Roast Chicken and Fried Rice.
Darren Robertson from Three Blue Ducks restaurant in Byron Bay reveals the secrets to perfect Poached Eggs, Avocado, Sourdough and Fermented White Cabbage and Fennel Salad cooking up brekkie for his wife Magdalena and son Archie.
Matt Moran & Rayleen Brown
Food icon and restaurateur, Matt Moran invites his head chef’s to his Sydney home for a BBQ of Prawns and Barramundi with Raw Zucchini Salad.
Indigenous trailblazer Raylene Brown puts the twist on the traditional Christmas fare when she shares her recipe for a Bush Foods Christmas Cake cooked in the desert outside Alice Springs, NT.
Victor & Evelyn Liong & Nick Holloway
New wave innovators of Chinese Cuisine and siblings Victor and Evelyn Liong, of Le Ho Fook in Melbourne, head home to mum and dad’s for a family dinner sharing their take on Sweet and Sour Pork.
Tropical wizard Nick Holloway of NuNu Restaurant in Palm Cove, North Queensland, invites some mates over to share his Wood-Roasted Reef Fish with Pineapple Curry.
Sharon & Carol Salloum & Peter Russell-Clarke
Sydney’s Almond Bar owners, Sharon and Carol Salloum, head back to mum and dad’s for a Syrian BBQ and share the secrets to traditional Tabouli, Baba Ghanouj and Lahem Meshwi.
Aussie icon, larrikin and Australia’s first TV chef Peter Russell-Clarke shares his tips for the perfect Mango and Fig Omelet and Smoked Trout Soup cooking lunch at home in rural Victoria for his wife Jan.
Sharon & Carol Salloum
Matt Wilkinson & Simmone Logue
Owner of Melbourne dining institution Pope Joan, family man Matt Wilkinson shares one of his children’s favourite meals, Pesto Pasta and Mango and Coconut Ice-blocks.
Catering queen Simmone Logue shares a long lunch with her siblings at their country home in Oberon, NSW. Cooking a six-hour slow-roasted lamb shoulder with Sage Potatoes and Charred Red Capsicums.
Alla Wolf-Tasker & Rodney Dunn
Creator of the fine dining institution The Lake House in Daylesford Victoria, Alla Wolf-Tasker prepares her River and Lakes Share Platter recipe.
Agrarian Cook Rodney Dunn showcases his Tasmanian property’s produce, baking a Rhubarb & Berry Crumble With Goats Milk And Vanilla Custard for his young family.
Victor & Evelyn Liong
Merle Parrish & Peter Gilmore
CWA legend and grandmother Merle Parrish reveals some of her baking secrets when her entire extended family gathers at her home in Cudal, NSW, for an afternoon tea of Anzac Biscuits and Pavlova.
Culinary Genius and the gentleman of fine dining, Executive Chef of Quay and Bennelong, Peter Gilmore reveals his favourite Sunday night meal, Korean Chicken Noodle Soup.
Ross O’Meara & Anna Polyviou
Chef turned food producer Ross O’Meara cooks up a Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder with Mustard and Greens, all locally sourced, for his young family on their farm on Bruny Island, Tasmania.
Punk Pastry Chef Anna Polyviou, of the Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney, invites her staff over to sample her Summer Trifle with Tropical Fruits.
Frank Camorra & Clayton Donovan
King of Spanish cuisine, and creator of iconic restaurant chain Movida – Frank Camorra, heads home to where his love of food began – his mum’s kitchen. Together they share some of their secrets of traditional Spanish dishes Tortilla de Patatas and Asadillo.
Fusing local produce with native foods, all sourced on country in his beloved Gumbaynggirr lands, Indigenous Chef Clayton Donovan cooks up two of his young families favourite meals – Kangaroo San Choy Bow and Oysters with Finger Lime, Carrot Foam and Avocado Cream.
Ronni Kahn & Paul West
Sydney founder of OzHarvest Ronni Kahn cooks her mum’s Veggie Lasagne for her team of charity crusaders.
Australian River Cottage Host Paul West gets back to nature with his young family on the NSW South Coast with an outdoor cook up of Braised Wild Rabbit With Salami And Warrigal Greens.
7 Traditional Dishes to Try in Australia
While it often feels like Australia doesn’t have many traditional dishes due to our multicultural population, once you give it some thought, it becomes clear that we really do have some unique offerings down under. The 7 listed below may not fall under ‘fine dining’, but they are definitely as local as they can get!
The first thing that comes to mind when someone asks me about Aussie food is the Chicken Parmigiana. And as you can probably tell from its name, even that isn’t one hundred percent Australian! A pub meal that’s as common as fish and chips in the United Kingdom – it consists of a chicken schnitzel, topped with a tomato sauce and covered in melted cheese. Many arguments have also been started as to whether ham should be included under the cheese – this writer says definitely!
Generally people have their own preferences when it comes to ‘Parmi’ (or ‘Parma’, depending on where you’re from) being served with chips and salad, or vegetables. Although, those with bigger appetites have even been known to order both – chips and vegetables. Regardless of your views, this is a dish that many Aussies crave while they’re out of the country and it’s always the first pub meal that I turn to when I come back home!
There are many things that Australians and New Zealanders don’t agree on – cricket and both forms of rugby are good places to start with. Then there’s the dispute around who can claim a number of well known icons, such as Russell Crowe and Crowded House. It won’t surprise you to learn then, that this (mostly!) friendly rivalry has also spread to food – in this case, who invented the Pavlova.
This sweet, meringue-based dessert can always be found garnished with a variety of fruit (including strawberries, more often than not) and whipped cream. It’s one of those dishes that is a staple at Christmas lunches across the country and many people’s grandmothers, my own included, are famous for their Pavlova creations!
Rather than getting caught up as to where it originated, you’re better off just enjoying it – even if it is only once a year. And, just to throw a spanner in the works, some research suggests that Pavlova was actually an American creation, based on a dessert from Germany!
Even if you haven’t been to Australia, you’ve probably heard of Vegemite and its polarising nature. That is, no one ever thinks that Vegemite is just ‘OK’ – you either love it, or you absolutely hate it. A lot of its bad press comes from the uninformed assembly of the simple, yet complicated, Vegemite on Toast.
I’ve seen people spreading the dark brown mass on thick, like if they were making a peanut butter sandwich. Even a Vegemite novice will tell you that this is a bad move, unless you enjoy salty flavours akin to a cup of seawater. Instead, the trick is to spread it on a piece of a buttered toast lightly – just like this:
As is the case with the ‘Parmi’, further ingredients can be added to this delicacy, such as avocado, or cheese – which is definitely not for everyone. Another variation also involves crumpets instead of a toast. As for what Vegemite is actually made of – it’s a yeast extract that’s a by-product of beer. It’s also high on Vitamin B, so it’s good for you as well!
I didn’t find this out until only recently, but the Flat White is another controversial topic between Australia and New Zealand. Both countries lay claim to its creation, which apparently happened sometime in the mid-1980s.
Australia’s coffee culture is considered to be one of the best in the world, with numerous ‘out there’ options available that will please even the most adventurous connoisseurs. The Flat White, however, is probably the most popular style across the country, that you will find anywhere you go.
It has also found its way overseas, being served in Australian-style cafes in New York, London and Madrid, among others. In terms of what it is, this post from I Love Coffee does a much better job of describing the differences between a Flat White, Cappuccino and Latte than I ever could!
Just like I’ve had to explain to many foreign friends that no, this one isn’t a joke – we do actually eat kangaroo. Ten years ago, the only place you could really buy kangaroo meat was in specialty (local) butcher shops. The other option was if you had a friend or a relative who owned some land and would supply it to you directly. Since then, however, it has become a lot more readily available, with all the big supermarket chains stocking it, just as they do chicken, beef and pork.
One of the reasons for its rise in popularity is that it contains only around 2% fat and is high in protein. There are also environmental benefits, such as the low production of methane and the fact that no additional land is required, as is the case for traditional farm animals.
Some of the more popular ways to consume kangaroo meat include fillets, minced meat burger patties, steaks and sausages, known as ‘Kanga Bangas’. The best advice is to prepare it outside at a BBQ, as it doesn’t smell great while it’s cooking!
Just like you can’t attend a baseball match in the U.S. without buying a hot dog, it just wouldn’t be right if you went to a ‘footy’ match in Australia without trying a Meat Pie. That’s not to say that you can only find them in stadiums and local sporting fields – they are available absolutely everywhere!
In fact, I would hate to count how many meat pies were consumed by my mates and me during our time at school. The most traditional pie consists of minced beef (and I use that term loosely . . .) and gravy, however, you can also find variations such as peppered steak, steak and mushroom, and curried chicken.
The luxury end of the pie scale also contains delights such as curried scallop as well as chicken, brie and cranberry! Along with hanging out for a ‘Parmi’ when I’m overseas, the thought of eating a proper Aussie pie also occasionally takes over. Just like it does now.
Back to something for those with a sweet tooth, the humble Lamington is another Aussie favourite, amongst both adults and kids alike. Strictly speaking, it is a sponge cake, covered in a thin layer of chocolate sauce and sprinkled with dried coconut. As has often been the case in this article, alternative versions also exist, including using raspberry sauce in place of chocolate and cream and/or strawberry jam being spread between the two halves.
Lamingtons are one of a handful of items that schools, sporting teams and scout groups generally sell as part of their fundraising efforts since this is a symbol of childhood for many Australians. In the true Aussie tradition of shortening words, you may also hear Lamingtons referred to as ‘Lammos’. And just to keep up with further ‘traditions’ here, there are also rumours from across the ditch that they were first created in New Zealand!
Barbecue Wallaby with Pepperberry and Port Sauce
Wallaby meat tastes great with native herbs and spices, and can be cooked in a number of ways from pan frying to slow braising. When BBQing, look for a sirloin or loin fillet, and coat the meat in olive oil before seasoning to taste. Wallaby has a similar fat content to beef, so cook in a similar way as you would a steak. Always rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- Reduce port by half in a medium-sized saucepan.
- Add remaining ingredients, and reduce by half again.
- Pour sauce over wallaby meat, cooked to your taste.
Kidney is a truly underrated ingredient to cook with. Rarely seen outside of a steak and kidney pie (which we’re not knocking at all – they’re a true bastion of British cooking), this incredibly cheap offal cut can be sourced from cows, pigs and lamb, adding an incredible depth of flavour to whatever dish it’s used in.
Henry Harris’ Veal kidneys with a Roquefort and walnut butter are to die for, putting the offal centre stage and allowing its flavour to shine. The same goes for Pascal Aussignac’s Hay-smoked pork kidneys with savora mash, an incredible dish that shows off an understanding of classical French cooking. Geoffrey Smeddle uses lamb kidneys in his Lamb kidneys with crushed broad beans, lemon and capers – a nice and easy recipe that’s bursting with flavour.
Of course, if you’d prefer to stick to pies, then we’ve got plenty of those too. Shay Cooper’s Steak and kidney pudding is arguably the ultimate version of the dish, while Food Urchin’s Steak and kidney pie with smoked oysters adds a point of difference to a much-loved classic.
Public, Upper Level 1, 400 George St, Brisbane, 07 3210 2288.
Campari sherbet, orange sorbet, curds and whey ice-cream, $12
Who hasn't wondered what the curds and whey little Miss Muffet was eating actually were? Ironically, this sweet-bitter flavour bomb that's a joyful celebration of childhood nostalgia made us all grow up and realise that dessert didn't have to be childishly sweet.
Esquire and Esq, 145 Eagle St, Brisbane, 07 3220 2123.
Potato gnocchi, pork and fennel sausage, black truffle tapenade, $24/36
It certainly won't win any accolades from dietitians, but diners are deeply fond of this hearty combination of gnocchi, chunks of pork and fennel sausage and black truffle. So much so that it has become Enoteca's signature dish.
1889 Enoteca, 10-12 Logan Road, Woolloongabba, 07 3392 4315.
Sand crab lasagne, $27/$39.50
Invented by then chef Gillian Hirst in 1989, the sand crab lasagne has never been off the Il Centro menu and still its popularity shows no sign of waning. Definitely a retro indulgence, it's as excessive as our shoulder pads were back then.
Avocado on toast
Avocado is a much loved staple at the Australian breakfast table, and particularly popular when people eat out for breakfast (something Australians do with great enthusiasm). This is a true local delicacy, consisting of mashed (or "smashed", as it's sometimes called) avocado served on one, two or even three slices of toasted, crusty bread. It's also known as an avo smash, and served in a variety of ways. You might find it mixed with feta cheese, sprinkled with sesame seeds and sea salt or drizzled with virgin olive oil (or all three, which is how it's served at Byron Bay's Folk café). Then again, it could be topped with poached eggs or even served with black sesame and beetroot hummus, as is the case at SingleO café in Sydney. This is one dish you can't visit Australia without trying.
Bacon and egg roll
Eating bacon and eggs for breakfast might be a British tradition, but in Australia this dish has been transformed into a popular grab-and-go morning snack, served in a bread roll with tomato sauce (ketchup). Every city in Australia offers this local treat, but different cultural communities have added their own creative mixes – such as the caramelised onions and fresh tomato relish served at Sydney's Australian-Italian Contessa café, or Melbourne's Vietnamese-inspired roll, stuffed with smoked bacon, fried egg and cucumber at Luxsmith. With freshly baked bread almost compulsory in popular cafés (it's increasingly common for cafés to bake their own) you might also find your bacon and eggs served in an artisan bread roll, filled with grains or topped with seeds.
When broken down, a lamington is simply a square of sponge cake, some chocolate sauce and dessicated coconut. But when these three ingredients are combined, the sum is much greater than the parts. This beloved local delicacy is considered by many to be Australia's national cake, and can be found in neighbourhood bakery windows and trendy cafés alike. Look out for them at food markets too. Mostly you'll find this treat simply served as is, but a small subset of Australians prefer theirs filled with jam and cream in the middle. Australia's current obsession with all things salted caramel has also resulted in the popular salted caramel lamington, a sweet treat you'll find at the Gold Coast's enormously popular dessert shop and cafe, Reid Street Kitchen.
Super fresh seafood
When it comes to seafood, Australians like to keep it simple. It's not uncommon to find a silver bucket of cold cooked shrimp offered on menus as a "bucket of prawns". Served with a glass of chilled white wine or a beer, this is a popular snack at pubs across Australia. Local, fresh oysters also feature on most menus within sight of the ocean – look out for these delicacies from Coffin Bay in South Australia, and make sure you try Sydney's celebrated rock oysters while visiting the Harbour City. Keep an eye out for barramundi on menus, too. This white, firm-fleshed fish, similar in taste to snapper, is hugely popular in Australia, especially in Darwin, where it can be caught in the morning and served by lunchtime. And, of course, look out for locally farmed Atlantic salmon and ocean trout. These Tasmanian specialities are highlights of any gourmet trip Down Under. Local's tip: you'll find these food items on menus across the country, but for a taste of them all visit Sydney Fish Markets.
The modern meat pie
A pastry case full of minced or diced meat and rich gravy, the once humble meat pie has been a part of Australian working-class history for decades. Traditionally made of beef and topped with tomato sauce, this quick takeaway snack can be found in many service (gas) stations and convenience stores across the country. However, Australia's love of this snack has led to its elevation into countless modern varieties of the classic. Local bakeries, found in almost every neighbourhood in Australia, usually offer several varieties of meat pie. These could include anything from classic beef and gravy to creamy scallop pie, lamb shank pie or vegetable curry pie. At Sydney's crowd-pleasing Bourke Street Bakery, you'll also find more complicated recipes – try the chicken, sweet potato, pea and lime pickle creation for something different.
Salt and pepper squid
Thanks to Australia's multicultural community, cuisine from all over the world has been given a uniquely Australian twist and adopted as our own. Such is the case with salt and pepper squid, a traditionally Vietnamese dish of simply spiced, fried seafood, now found throughout Australia in beer gardens, regional pubs, beachside takeaways and refined city eateries. This delicious dish is served in a multitude of ways – for example, with salad and deep-fried sweet potato wedges, or with a touch of chilli, lemon dipping sauce and a side of steamed rice – but it's loved equally throughout the country. Try it at Joe's Fish Shack in Fremantle, Western Australia, where all seafood, including Joe's hand-cut, crumbed version of salt and pepper squid, is pulled straight from the water into his waterfront kitchen.
19th-century Aussie fare
- Slippery Bob: Take kangaroo brains and mix with flour and water and make into batter season with salt and pepper then pour a tablespoonful at a time into an iron pot containing emu fat. Take them out when well done. — "Bush fare requiring a good appetite and excellent digestion."
- Pan jam: Roast kangaroo tails in the ashes with the skin on when nearly done, scrape them well and divide at the joints. Put them in a pan with a few slices of fat bacon, to which add a few mushrooms, pepper, etc. Fry gently and serve. — "First-rate tack."
- Roast wombat: This animal feeds on grass and roots and its flesh is eaten roasted some persons like its flavour, others again decry it. It is also cooked in steaks. Native porcupines are cooked in a like way.
Ms Newling said while stews and casseroles were favourites, the colonists quickly learnt to use fresh native ingredients not only because they could be grown in Sydney's sandy soil, but also because of protection they offered from scurvy.
"In the wintertime it was really practical to have a stew, because youɽ have the oven on to keep the house warm and so those slow-cooked dishes were very common," she said.
"In the summertime, even though they're not written about much, people did eat salads.
"That's where you probably were more likely to have a grilled chop with your three veg, rather than something that had to take a long time on the stove.
"They also definitely used local resources and fished from the harbour, they gathered oysters and mussels, they hunted kangaroos.
"They were probably eating lilly pillies, the native currant, the native cherry, and as far as vegetation goes they were eating native spinach — warrigal greens."
ABC Radio Sydney: Harriet Tatham
The lack of refrigeration had a major impact on the way people both shopped and prepared their food, Ms Newling said.
"If you butchered an animal, youɽ have to sell up very quickly or you have to salt it down, so on the butchers' catalogues and receipts you'll see a lot of corned beef, pickled pork or ham."
Supplied: NSW State Archives
24. Flat White
Alright, so this isn’t food per se, but Australians are passionate about their coffee and are strong contenders for the best coffee in the world.
One sip of their coffee and you’ll never be able to go back to Folgers.
Even taking a barista course is an unspoken requirement before getting a coffee gig in Australia.
Locals will proudly say you can’t find a better flat white anywhere else in the world, and they might be right. Stop into a local coffee shop (you’ll find dozens of local coffee shops in any city – locals tend to avoid Starbucks like the plague) and grab yourself a flat white.