Cycle 5 – Item 338
9 (Tue) December 2014
Wild Harrisa Spiced Wallaby Loin
at Charcoal Lane
-Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia-
Mission to Australia (Day 4)
In Melbourne. Here to participate in a “Training of Trainers” workshop organized by The McCabe Centre for Law & Cancer to develop capacity-building programs for government officials towards strengthening their national legal frameworks on NCD risk factors.
From what I’ve gathered through scattered observations over the past 3 days, food described as “modern Australian” tends to involve a piece of meat or seafood, along with veg and carb of some sort, the more uniquely local the better, minimalistically prepared, often seasoned with exotic spices. Sounds like “Californian” cuisine, which now seems somewhat obvious, though it was quite radical back in the day.
Charcoal Lane is an Australian restaurant. Specializes in modern “native” Australian cuisine. Strong emphasis on indigenous goodies: both fauna (e.g., kangaroo, wallaby, emu) and flora (e.g., nasturtium flower, wattleseed, rivermint – whatever any of that may be).
Disappointed by the limited selection at The Meat & Wine Co yesterday, I was very happy to find that Charcoal Lane offered a wider range of cute local animals available for consumotion.
The food was pretty good. The meal represented exactly what I’d looked forward to Down Under – even if Aussies themselves don’t really eat stuff like this. It’s like, say, visiting Nigeria and eating, say, zebra.
The best dish was the Wild Harrisa Spiced Wallaby Loin. Not because of the wallaby itself, which, being a type of kangaroo, which, as noted yesterday, looks/feels/tastes exactly like lean beef, also looked/felt/tasted exactly like lean beef. Rather, I was intrigued by the quinoa, my first experience trying it; I found the seeds to have a pleasant popping texture that contrasted nicely with the meat and mash, and a light grainy flavor that paired nicely with the other minced veg and wild harrisa spice.
Quinoa are the seeds of a grain crop. Generally attributed to South America, specifically Peru, where it has been a staple for millions of years, now a globally recognized super food – good source of protein, fiber, minerals. Foodies freak out if it’s mispronounced: should be “kin-WAH” not “kee-NO-wah.”
By good fortune, I booked a hotel in the St Kilda neighborhood, adjacent to St Kilda Beach, near McCabe Centre on the other side of Albert Park. It’s a hotspot for casual/hip food and drink. Reminds me of Berkeley.
Even at quick-fix, all-night kebab shops, I’ve been extremely impressed by the quality of ingredients: pristinely fresh, carefully prepared, proudly displayed behind glass for customers to see.
(See also BOOZE)
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN AUSTRALIA)
(See also DUTY TRAVEL)