There was a time when ‘meat and three veg’ and spaghetti Bolognese was all one could think about when asked what Australians typically eat. Vegemite figures in daily meals for sure, but without the excitement of aboriginal choices such as emu and kangaroo meat, nothing much stands out with Aussie cuisine.
A melting pot
Today, when you ask an Aussie what he or she will have for a meal, do not be surprised if he or she answers mee goreng, a Malaysian staple, or something that sounds Vietnamese. The current food culture of Australia is strongly influenced by its neighbour Southeast Asian countries. Indian influences are not far behind. Curry dishes presented on resin serving trays often figure in potential dinner options. Even paellas have a place in the kitchen, and Italian favourites, too.
Standout Aussie desserts
In recent years, top chefs in Australia are producing standout desserts. Perhaps, one of the most unforgettable desserts in the past decade is Peter Gilmore’s “Snowy Egg,” which has become part of the history of the television reality program, “Masterchef Australia.”Adriano Zumbo, Kirsten Tibballs, Darren Purchese are three of Australia’s top pastry chefs. Between them are a few dozen winners—creations that have become top tourist destinations.
Food fusion, where cultural influences are mixed seem to work for many of the most sought-after dining rooms in Australia. At least for now, Aussies can enjoy the availability of globally competitive restaurants at the home front. Indeed, one need not fly halfway around the world to enjoy a Heston Blumenthal dish. One only has to book a table at Dinner By Heston Blumenthal in Crowne Towers Melbourne.
The dynamism of the Australian food scene is driven by the amazing diversity of cuisines that now characterise the main metropolitan centres. The eclectic menus of top restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne reflect the capitalist-driven stance that is spreading in other developing countries. While the affluent still have almost exclusive access to the most expensive restaurants, the middle class has enough options, which include Michelin three-star restaurants in, and destination regional restaurants.