Thursday, 5 March 2009

Oz Cuisine - Our Way

Our apartment in Cairns has the essential Aussie cooking apparatus... a barbie. It's an electric barbie (we've also got an electric frying pan), but it's still a barbie. So, eager to be able to "throw another shrimp on the barbie" we've been off to see what Cairns has to offer on the groceries front. We were pointed in the direction of the local supermarket which we found, to our surprise, was Woolworths. Out here, it seems, Woolworths has an almost Tesco-like market share in the supermarket business. As supermarkets go, you couldn't fault it - we found a wide range of things which looked burnable - steak, lamb, kangaroo and,of course, shrimps.

One thing that was conspicuous by it's absence in Woolies though, was alcohol. This must be what supermarkets used to be like in the UK, before they were allowed to sell everything at any time of the day. It was a big store and we wandered up and down every aisle but it became clear that they aren't permitted to sell booze.

Well you can't have a baabie (I'm trying to do the accent now) without a couple of cold ones so we needed to find an off-licence. And we found a "drive-through" one. Thats's right... A drive through off-licence!!! Except they're not called off-licences, they're called Bottle Shops. This drive-through was like a B&Q (not the normal ones, the huge aircraft hanger B&Q Warehouse type). And merry Australians could either park up and wander in to get their beer, wine or the exceedingly popular cans of coke with rum or whisky. Or alternatively they could drive in, choose a couple of tinnies from the fridge and drive out again. That's what McDonalds should do in our country (instead of pretending to serve food).

So I bought a couple of stubbies (small bottles of beer for those who don't know) and some Mango wine for the lady.

We then popped into Brumbys the bakers (think of it as a slightly more upmarket Greggs) for some stuff for breakfast. I was staggered to hear Justine ask them if they could recommend a good type of bread for dipping in our balsamic vinegar and olive oil (very middle-class, us). On the point of dragging her out of the shop with embarrasment I was even more staggered when a friendly face (possibly Mr Brumby himself?) appeared and provided such a recommendation. Something along the lines of "that one's very soft and doughy... it'll be fantastic for dipping". And it was! You wouldn't get that in Greggs!

Armed withe these ingredients, we've eaten very well indeed, in true Australian style, with a hint of Guardian-reader Englishman (olives and sun-dried tomatoes were also on the menu). Although I don't think I did the Kangaroo justice - a little overcooked.


  1. Again, not enough shirt-wearing in this picture. I think I've just sicked-up a bit in my mouth.

  2. Paul - Sorry about the pictures, but it's warm out here. I'll try to keep pictures of me withiut a shirt (or me at all) to a minimum in future.