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With an abundance of native Australian ingredients on their doorstep, Melbourne chefs have taken the opportunity to challenge people’s perception on Indigenous cuisine. With menus incorporating ingredients like wattleseed, lemon myrtle, finger limes and quandong as well as game meats such as wallaby, crocodile, emu and kangaroo, Melburnians have the chance to broaden their palates if they keep an open mind. Here are five restaurants where you can sample native bush tucker.
Often named as one of the best restaurants in Australia, complete with multiple accolades and the honour of three hats, Ben Shewry’s Attica delivers evocative cuisine with an eco-friendly conscience. Inspired by the diverse landscape of the Taranaki region of New Zealand as well as native Australia, Shewry’s menu echoes the earthiness of volcanos, the purity of rivers, the unpredictable ocean, and the bush. Sample salted red kangaroo and bunya bunya, emu’s egg, wallaby blood pikelet and wattleseed bread, and for dessert, try Gazza’s Vegemite pie.
Attica, 74 Glen Eira Rd, Ripponlea VIC, Australia, +61 3 9530 0111
The name may be French, but Shannon Bennett’s menu at Vue de Monde incorporates native produce into a fine-dining experience, accentuating local ingredients traditionally used by the Indigenous. The ever-changing menu has featured black lip abalone with hen’s egg yolk and fumet blanc; poached barramundi with turnip dashi; Davidson plum with flowers and herbs; roo on charcoal with beets; and emu and wallaby jerky. Vue de Monde encompasses classical European cuisine while referencing native ingredients and does so sustainably.