It’s funny the foods you miss when you leave the country you grew up in. Should you ever find yourself in Australia, here are some things to look out for.
The first meal we had back in Sydney once we’d checked in to the hotel and taken a quick shower was embarrassingly at Oportos. The only wholly Australian-owned fast food chain, the easiest description I can think of, is to liken it to Nando’s however at Burger King quality. Salty, messy and delicious, it’s like half the taste is in the familiarity.
My favourite was always the small Bondi Meal with chilli and can of Lift on the side. I don’t know if it was the 24hours of plane food, or the jet lag, but those chips were the best I can remember eating in a long time. Piping hot, golden and crunchy, unhealthily seasoned with chicken salt (essentially chicken flavoured MSG), I still remember these chips rather fondly. The burger itself was simply a grilled chicken fillet, melted cheddar, shredded iceberg and a splodge of chilli sauce. So familiar, nothing else can quite compare. There is reportedly one Oportos branch in London, but I’m yet to visit. I like to keep the memory of Oportos as a reminder of what’s back home.
One of my favourite things to do in a new country is peruse a local supermarket for anything interesting. This is a habit that annoys Duncan to no end. Turns out perusing a local supermarket in the country you grew up but have been away from for 2 years is also fascinating for re-discovering all those things I subconsciously missed. Here’s a choice selection.
Of course if burgers and junk food aren’t your thing, for a taste of home that is becoming harder and harder to find, you can always have a lamington. Soft sponge cake cut into slices and dipped into chocolate icing and shredded coconut on all sides. Traditionally a upbiquitous bakery item, they are becoming increasingly a rare item. Avoid the supermarket pre-packaged ones; they’re too small and too dense. A perfect lamington should be taller than can fit in your mouth and be lighter than air. Once I’m up and running in my new kitchen, I feel a batch of these must be made.
In fact, the only thing nicer than a lamington, is one with a side of tea.