In the midst of action-packed beaches and surfer dudes, every city in Australia has a character of its own, much like its diverse people and food.
Sydney speaks of fame and glam embedded in its sandy beaches, posh boutiques and bars. Melbourne is a canvas of art and football. Brisbane is a subtropical paradise, while Adelaide is bustling with lights and festivities.
Indigenous Australians who lived here, prior to European colonisation, had a hunter- gatherer kind of diet called ‘bush tucker.’ As the British and Irish colonised the lands, agriculture became more important.
In the 21st century, Australians have become increasingly aware of the need for organic food. With variety, nature, history, and the shore, Australian food eateries have the best to offer with fresh produce, lip smacking seafood delicacies and curious historic relishes:
1. Go for the weird (read scrumptious) bites
A vast variety of uncut bushes and greenery gives Australia the joy of what they call bush walking. The bush tucker is the nuttiest grab that is typical to indigenous Australians.
It’s impossible to leave out Kangaroo meat when you talk about Australian food [Yes, the Aussies eat their national animal].
Emu meat, served as a pizza topping or simply served cold, is yet another Australian speciality. Call yourself gutsy?
How about a juicy steak of crocodile? Barbecuing in the true Outback style brings out the beautiful flavours of Australian meat. Barbecued snags spiced with herbs or Balmain bugs (a slippery kind of fish) are ideal for picnics.
Thang Ngo, the mastermind behind Noodlies, a famous Australian food blog, is an Econometrics graduate who stumbled into Advertising and ventured into food and travel as a hobby.
According to him, Australians are relaxed, casual, easy -going people. Fine dining is exactly the opposite, it’s stiff and stuffy. Ma-and-pa (humble eateries that just don’t get the proper exposure) on the other hand is exactly Australian; it’s about migrants making a go of it, fair prices, and real people.
Thang began his blog with an aim to bring light over such small ma and pa restaurants as he terms them. Thang believes that his love for food lends itself to travel. He feels lucky to be living in Australia and has travelled to almost six countries in a year.
Here are restaurants he highly recommends: if you’re in Aussieland:
2. The Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne
In addition to fine dining and the traditional restaurants, Australia offers everything under one roof at its famous multicultural Queen Victoria Market. With crunchy greens and scrumptious finds from the sea along with cheese and wine, the Vic Market is a must-visit. It’s a one-stop shop for street-style fashion collectibles, cultural bites, performances and bars.
3. True Outback style BBQ and Wine
Here you’ll find the yummiest beef, lamb and chicken barbecues. The love for wine is evident as flocks of tourists pay a visit to the Yarra Valley Wine region where they get to taste and see different kinds of wine, be it the Barossa Valley Shiraz or the Hunter Valley Semillon.
4. Feeling indulgent? Dine at the Opera House
“Bennelong Restaurant in the Opera House is a beauty. It is fine dining with a million dollar view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, inside the Opera House. It’s pricey, but it’s the sort of thing you’ll regret if you don’t do”
5. Tasmanian Cuisine
The beautiful island of Tasmania is known for its tranquillity, food, history and festivity all at once. Book a table and be pampered by a local chef as you sip some whisky.
Read more about this island’s rich cuisine in this Wall Street Journal article.
With Asian and British cuisine neatly imbibed and crafted in Australian raw and fresh bounty, Australian food is a coming together of diametrically different cultures.
Note: The coffee culture in Australia is top-notch; look out for delightful coffee trucks while walking in the city.
Affluent, green and diverse, Australia has coped with globalization in the most effective and welcoming way. For a relatively young country, Australia has a striking cuisine since it adapts to cultures so easily.
What unique Australian food did you find most appealing? Would you experiment with modern (sometimes extreme) food, say, eating cheesy grubs or play safe with your favourites?
Let’s hear from you.
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