An Aussie Experience Still Possible Near Melbourne?

10 replies

loopflyer

Member since 13 Nov 2015

Total posts 12

Will be in Melbourne area for 3 days for the first time and I would like to avoid the cookie cutter globalised big city (which is now everywhere) experience with the now ubiquitous ferris wheel, and vegan, halal, hindu, kosher, kebab, sodium light, peanut free restaurants in favor of an authentic Aussie one.  Any recommendations for locations say about 45 minutes or so outside Melbourne Airport which are pleasant, nice with decent restaurants (thinking non-PC global warming inducing steak) and, oh yeah, actual non-PC Aussies. Thanks in advance.

rrysp

Member since 23 May 2017

Total posts 2

I'd try a drive up the Calder Highway to Bendigo, far more laid back than Melbourne. Tried the Woodhouse restaurant a couple of years back great steak nice beer selection.


loopflyer

Member since 13 Nov 2015

Total posts 12

I'd try a drive up the Calder Highway to Bendigo, far more laid back than Melbourne. Tried the Woodhouse restaurant a couple of years back great steak nice beer selection.

Thanks, I'll look that up.

thelongroad

Member since 14 Nov 2015

Total posts 43

If you like steak, hard to go past Vlado's. Hasn't changed since 1973!

StudiodeKadent

Member since 20 May 2015

Total posts 109

Will be in Melbourne area for 3 days for the first time and I would like to avoid the cookie cutter globalised big city (which is now everywhere) experience with the now ubiquitous ferris wheel, and vegan, halal, hindu, kosher, kebab, sodium light, peanut free restaurants in favor of an authentic Aussie one.  Any recommendations for locations say about 45 minutes or so outside Melbourne Airport which are pleasant, nice with decent restaurants (thinking non-PC global warming inducing steak) and, oh yeah, actual non-PC Aussies. Thanks in advance.

I'm sorry to see this is downvoted but if it helps, there are tons of non-PC people in metropolitan areas. So you can in fact meet plenty of people whom are NOT Tumblr Social Justice Warriors or psycho "Gender Studies" students whining about cultural appropriation. Most of the lunatics are confined to university campuses or to the internet. Or to Fairfax press opinion pages. That said, Melbourne is kind of the "hub" of this kind of stuff in Australia (Melbourne is effectively the San Francisco of Australia... full of smug "artiste"/"culturati"/hipster types... but you can just roll your eyes and ignore them).

As for "authentic Aussie" food, Australia doesn't really have too much of a food culture that wasn't ultimately derived from other nations. Most culture in general is like this (since its an evolutionary thing where people (gasp) appropriate ideas from other cultures), but food culture in Australia is very much so because... well... the UK roots of mainstream Australian culture were never very foodie-centric. The British ended up having to import most of their food culture too (due to historical reasons... basically the British aristocracy once had flavorful cuisine, but then the commoners started being able to afford herbs and spices too, and so they went all hipster about it and then decided that food should be bland).

The closest thing to "authentic Aussie" food I can think of is the "Modern Australian" style of cuisine, which is a fusion cuisine with plenty of Asian and Mediterranean influences, using Australian produce. The Rockpool Bar And Grill at Crown Towers is one of Neil Perry's restaurants and Perry was one of the founders of the style. And Rockpool Bar And Grill is indeed a steakhouse and has some very, very nice meat! 

Of course you could always try Indigenous Australian cuisine but termites and witchety grubs aren't particularly appetizing...

FrequentFlyer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 20 Mar 2012

Total posts 194

I agree with above that you'll need to venture out of Melbourne CBD to find something similar to what you're after. Melbourne is a very cosmopolitan city, great for different cuisines. Some great fine dining restaurants come to mind when I hear 'Aussie' cuisine but I imagine that's not what you're after. More regional Vic might be where you should head.

A little off topic but I actually find Melbourne to have an excellent culture for the most part. Particularly in the gentrified areas around Fitzroy, Collingwood and Richmond. I find the best illustration of this is the café fare and I think it has largely been driven by young people. Of course you'll find most big cities are very globalised but compared I think Melbourne does very well for itself, compared to Sydney. I'm quite impressed with how it's grown as a city of the past half century but it might just not be for you.

loopflyer

Member since 13 Nov 2015

Total posts 12

Will be in Melbourne area for 3 days for the first time and I would like to avoid the cookie cutter globalised big city (which is now everywhere) experience with the now ubiquitous ferris wheel, and vegan, halal, hindu, kosher, kebab, sodium light, peanut free restaurants in favor of an authentic Aussie one.  Any recommendations for locations say about 45 minutes or so outside Melbourne Airport which are pleasant, nice with decent restaurants (thinking non-PC global warming inducing steak) and, oh yeah, actual non-PC Aussies. Thanks in advance.

I'm sorry to see this is downvoted but if it helps, there are tons of non-PC people in metropolitan areas. So you can in fact meet plenty of people whom are NOT Tumblr Social Justice Warriors or psycho "Gender Studies" students whining about cultural appropriation. Most of the lunatics are confined to university campuses or to the internet. Or to Fairfax press opinion pages. That said, Melbourne is kind of the "hub" of this kind of stuff in Australia (Melbourne is effectively the San Francisco of Australia... full of smug "artiste"/"culturati"/hipster types... but you can just roll your eyes and ignore them).

As for "authentic Aussie" food, Australia doesn't really have too much of a food culture that wasn't ultimately derived from other nations. Most culture in general is like this (since its an evolutionary thing where people (gasp) appropriate ideas from other cultures), but food culture in Australia is very much so because... well... the UK roots of mainstream Australian culture were never very foodie-centric. The British ended up having to import most of their food culture too (due to historical reasons... basically the British aristocracy once had flavorful cuisine, but then the commoners started being able to afford herbs and spices too, and so they went all hipster about it and then decided that food should be bland).

The closest thing to "authentic Aussie" food I can think of is the "Modern Australian" style of cuisine, which is a fusion cuisine with plenty of Asian and Mediterranean influences, using Australian produce. The Rockpool Bar And Grill at Crown Towers is one of Neil Perry's restaurants and Perry was one of the founders of the style. And Rockpool Bar And Grill is indeed a steakhouse and has some very, very nice meat! 

Of course you could always try Indigenous Australian cuisine but termites and witchety grubs aren't particularly appetizing...


Well, I'm near a big.liberal U.S. city, so what you note is exactly what I do not wish to witness during my brief stay.  I dare say that had I had the time I would venture to the outback, to a sheep station to meet said 'authentic Aussies'. In your face (or is that front shirting), a good sense of humour, and a bottle of beer. Thank you for your input, and I will keep Neil Perry in mind.  Food wise I always felt that fish/lobster, steak and lamb is sound, solid Aussie fare.  The best lamb I had was in Auckland a few years back.

btaus

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 15 Dec 2016

Total posts 171

The Rockpool Bar & Grill at Crown is pretty bad (compared to one in Sydney, I visited both)

Zac

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 23 May 2014

Total posts 19

I think I know what you mean... my recommendation would be to rent a car and drive out to Noojee (about 90 minutes away, very scenic and totally off the beaten track) there is a great pub / hotel there called the Toolshed Bar / Outpost Retreat, spend the afternoon / evening meeting the locals (buy a round - all will be good) stay the night and drive back the next day. Stop off in any small town for a pie - will be a great trip.


Having said that Melbourne is a great city - if you want down to earth try the pubs and perhaps a parma at Mrs Parmers.

loopflyer

Member since 13 Nov 2015

Total posts 12

I think I know what you mean... my recommendation would be to rent a car and drive out to Noojee (about 90 minutes away, very scenic and totally off the beaten track) there is a great pub / hotel there called the Toolshed Bar / Outpost Retreat, spend the afternoon / evening meeting the locals (buy a round - all will be good) stay the night and drive back the next day. Stop off in any small town for a pie - will be a great trip.

Having said that Melbourne is a great city - if you want down to earth try the pubs and perhaps a parma at Mrs Parmers.

Thank you. I shall look that up. Yes, down to earth Aussies as I recall from my visit 20 years ago.  But they are fast disappearing as globalisation has changed the dynamic and character of countries everywhere. Again, thanks, mate.  Will toast you in a pub!

Dredgy

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 02 Apr 2017

Total posts 167

For the ultimate Aussie food experience, rent a car and drive to a gas station. Order a meat pie or sausage roll. Make sure they have the squeeze capsules of "tomato sauce". Your life will be changed.

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