Australia Food and Drink
Forget the Vegemite sandwiches. The best of Australia’s food and drink is world class these days, with seafood an integral part of the cuisine and quality local produce now increasingly important. Production of organic foods is also rising to meet demand, and there are fine dining restaurants throughout the larger cities.
Big-name chefs are helping to give Australian cuisine a reputation for bright, creative gastronomy, and regional markets and food festivals are commonplace. Look out for things like farmhouse cheese, speciality sausages and local fruits. Elsewhere, the country’s multitude of good wines has earned international acclaim.
'Bush tucker' from Australia's endemic flora and fauna can be delicious; kangaroo meat in particular is growing in popularity. For all the advent of fine dining, however, the humble barbecue remains a quintessential Australian food experience. Steak, prawns and beer tend to feature prominently.
Sydney rock oysters: Small and soft with a distinctive taste.
Barramundi: A fish particularly prevalent in the Northern Territory.
Moreton Bay bugs: A kind of lobster.
Macadamia nuts: Native to New South Wales and Queensland.
Kangaroo: Yes, poor old Skippy is also on the menu.
Meat pie: A staple on-the-go snack.
Fruit: Apples, mangoes and pumpkins are among those grown in large quantities.
Dagwood dog: A deep-fried battered hot dog on a stick, popular at fairgrounds and outdoor events.
Wine: Regions like the Barossa Valley in South Australia, and Margaret River in Western Australia, are world class.
Craft beer: Away from the likes of VB, you’ll find some excellent small-batch brewers.
Sparkling wine: The bubbly from Tasmania is superb.
In top-quality restaurants, 10% is usual for food and drink waiters, but is optional elsewhere.