Saturday, 30 January 2016

It's The Schnitz.

Schnitz has been around for a while. It's actually a surprise to me that I haven't reviewed it before; I really like their menu and they have an outlet conveniently located in Wantirna.

They do, as their title suggests, a range of dishes featuring schnitzels. They do beef, chicken and fish schnitzel, grilled or fried, in a bun or a wrap, with something like dozens of other ingredients thrown in. They do chips, too, which EVERYONE gets because seriously it's Schnitz and THEY DO CHIPS. I don't know what they season it with, but it tastes freaking amazing. Costs vary - meals obviously cost more than schnitzel wraps or buns by themselves, but it's worth it.

On the day in question that I am reviewing from, it was a day or two before Christmas. Knox should have been insane, but somehow, it was relatively peaceful and no-one was doing anything stupid for the sake of joyeaux noel. I'd just gotten my hair done on the spur of the moment, and had finished half a book in the process, but I wanted to read the end before I went home, so Schnitz for lunch it was.

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Meal deal = happy girl

I ordered an 'American Dream', a grilled chicken schnitzel in a wrap with cheddar, baby cos lettuce, dill pickles, onion, tomato, tomato sauce and honey mustard mayo. I also got chips and aioli for dipping, and a drink. Came to about $20. Good value as I was pretty full by the time I finished, and it was delivered quickly to my table as I devoured the remainder of my book. It was typically well-wrapped and everything stayed contained while I ate, with the schnitzel well-cooked and crumby on the outside without being gross and the sauce and salad evenly distributed to make it neat to eat.

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One thing I've never understood about Schnitz is why the schnitzel is warm and the chips are hot (duh) but everything else is packed into the wrap cold. Not saying it has much of an effect but I'm curious. Why is it so?

Overall, I like Schnitz a lot better than some of the other options available at Knox O-Zone and I'll continue to hit them up for lunch options and the occasional dinner. If you haven't tried it, you need to try them - and their chips. I won't say anything about their chips that will incriminate me if you get addicted, suffice to say they are amazing and everyone should experience their magic at least once.

Schnitz Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Road Trip 2015/16 - Journey to the Red Centre

Six travellers.
Two cars.
Over five thousand kilometres.
One breakdown, one speeding ticket and one hell of a story.

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Our road trip this year took us to the red centre of Australia (as far north as Alice Springs in the Northern Territory). We (myself, the Khocolateman, his work buddy Tam, his brother Mali and our friends Vidya and Scott) were on the road for two weeks (almost to the hour).

In short, our itinerary looked like this:
Day One – Melbourne to Port Augusta (aka Ian Owns All of Port Augusta)
Day Two – Port Augusta to Coober Pedy (Birthplace of Emu Pizza)
Day Three – Coober Pedy to Uluru (How to Take A Camel out to Dinner)
Day Four – Uluru and Kata Tjuta (How not to make a chai latte, and the perfect bogan antipasto)
Day Five – Uluru to Alice Springs
Day Six – Alice Springs to Glen Helen, home of the gale force wind
Day Seven – Glen Helen to Kings Canyon
Day Seven – Kings Canyon (Home of the Camel Burger)
Day Eight – Kings Canyon to Coober Pedy
Day Nine, Ten and Eleven – Coober Pedy (Waffles at the Winch, Crocodile Harry’s Dugout and Josephine’s Kangaroo Orphanage)
Day Twelve – Coober Pedy to Port Pirie (aka Ian Still Owns All of Port Augusta)
Day Thirteen and sort of Fourteen – Port Pirie to Melbourne

You can click around and explore what we did while we were away via the links above. If you’re pushed for reading time, my top picks would definitely be to hit up what we did on Day Three, Day Six and all the things I did on Day Eleven. If you're after landscape photos and pretty sunsets and other stuff like that, and food is not your thing, and fuzzy animals are not either, you're best off hitting up the Two Blokes On The Road blog.

Ian Still Owns All Of Port Augusta

Day 12 of Road Trip 2015/16 - A Review Of Ian's Chicken Hut in Port Augusta

On our way up, Ian's Chicken Hut had caught our eye as we had booked into the motel next door. Unfortunately, we arrived quite late on a public holiday - Boxing Day - so they were closed, and were still shut when we left the next day. As half of our party came through some ten days later, it was closed again - but our last chance, those of us travelling in the Territory, coming through after three days in Coober Pedy, saw the welcoming sight of cars in the car park, lights on, and the unmistakable aroma of cooked chicken as we pulled up...

Ian's Chicken Hut is a typical greasy spoon takeaway joint specialising in all things chicken. Chicken and chips, chicken tenders, dim sims, chicken nuggets - the stuff of a chicken lover's dream. I ordered a fairly standard quarter chicken and chips with gravy - and it did not disappoint. The chicken was rotisserie cooked, with a well-seasoned skin and firm but moist flesh underneath. The chips had the perfect make-up with about half being soggy under the gravy, and the others crispy and liberally sprinkled with chicken salt. The others in the party waxed lyrical in a similar fashion about their selections from the menu.

Having little basis for comparison in Port Augusta, I can't say if it is the best in the vicinity, but I can definitely say it is up there with the best chicken places in Melbourne. High praise, indeed.

Kangaroos and wasabi peas? Surely not!

Day 11 of Road Trip 2015/16 - A Visit to Josephine's Kangaroo Orphanage and Gallery

No, I did not eat kangaroo with wasabi peas. Are you crazy? Pffff. Why would I do that? It's not like I ate anything else weird on this trip.

Indeed, this title has entirely different meaning. Did you know that kangaroos eat wasabi peas? Nope? Me neither until I visited Josephine's.

The orphanage doesn't just rescue kangaroos, but emus (apparently very stupid), wombats and anything else whose parents have met their untimely demise at the hands of a truck on the freeway. The kangaroos we met - adolescents - were more or less permanent inmates for whatever reason - one had been attacked by birds of prey before being found, so its feet were a bit wonky; one was just plain silly and wouldn't have been accepted into a mob, etc. Otherwise once they've been weaned and are on their way to being happy healthy adults they're usually turned over to animal sanctuaries further north.

We were able to feed the teen 'roos through the fence with handfuls of mixed peas, dried banana and a few things I didn't recognise but I'm assuming were grains. They were pretty cute, and very tame, though they were also pretty sleepy and a few barely made it through feeding before digging themselves a little ditch in the dust and going back to dozing.

Our guide brought out a joey for feeding before we finished up. Still bottle fed, it was very happy just to nestle up in its bag and guts itself on a bottle of mammal's milk (apparently you can't feed them cow's milk - same as most mammals aside from humans). We each gave it a little pat after it had finished eating, but couldn't hold it, even in the bag, as they are apparently a bit Houdini-esque once they wake up and one good wriggle and it'd be spreadeagled on the ground.

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Before I left, as a thank you I donated two tins of formula to the orphanage. I was given two lids with a hole bored into each one to decorate and be nailed to a donations wall in the orphanage. One has my name on it and the other has been inscribed on behalf of my grandmother (June) who passed away nine years ago.

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If you're visiting, maybe call to make sure you have the times straight for joey feeding as we got it wrong the first time around, missed all the fun and ended up just browsing the gallery there for a bit instead. I came back on my own once we had the ute as the walk into town is HOT and I wasn't keen to do it twice! Definitely worth a visit, and one of the more kid-friendly attractions in Coober Pedy. They have a facebook page here which is updated fairly regularly.

Hit them up and look for Ang and June's tin lids on the donation wall when you visit!

Crocodile Harry's Dugout

Day 11 of Road Trip 2015/16 - A Review of Crocodile Harry's Dugout.

The afternoon that the Two Blokes got back from Port Augusta all they wanted to do was sleep, but being still rather cabin feverish I had two destinations in mind for some adventures of my own - starting with Crocodile Harry's dugout.

Anyone who's heard me extol the virtues of Mad Max: Fury Road will know how much I love post-apocalyptic anything (I'm the kind of person who gives zombie apocalypse preparedness kits to people for their birthdays and I'm currently reading 'The Post Apocalyptic Dead Letter Office'). Coober Pedy has been the location for shooting a few different movies of this particular persuasion (including the original Mad Max), so when I heard about Crocodile Harry's, it was a thing that had to be done.

The drive out there: let's just say I'm glad we got the hire ute, rather than a hire sedan.

The place itself: that guy must have been one hell of a character. The memorabilia, the graffiti, and what sounded like a gimp crunching bones in a boarded up room just off the front of the dugout contributed to a picture of a very eccentric man of whom some stories that circulate and true and some probably fanciful. He had good choice in books (there were a few in his bookshelf that I recognised from books handed down to me from my grandmother), obviously enjoyed wrestling crocodiles (some great photos, and interesting souvenirs!), and according to this website the underwear you find hanging there is from the thousand virgins he had to stay during his time at the dugout (!). His decline into ill-health - quite brief, from what I can gather, before he passed away - seems to have been lamented by quite a few visitors, with one part of the ceiling covered in well wishes for a speedy recovery, quite different to some of the colourful epithets in other places. Definitely not a place for children, though adolescents might think it quite amusing.

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The cost: they ask for a cash donation to keep the place up (note: they do not have eftpos. This is almost not even Coober Pedy, it's so far out - definitely not city!).

The verdict: definitely worthwhile! I'm in perpetual awe of the dugouts - and this one is something else! Crocodile Harry must have been quite the character - it wouldn't surprise me if somewhere along the line they end up doing a movie on him and his life.

Waffles at the Winch

Day 11 of Road Trip 2015/16 - A Review of Waffles at the Winch.

So the bigger boys (the Khocolateman and Tam) left Mali and I behind in Coober Pedy while they went chasing a drive shaft in the hire car. It was pushing 35-40 degrees (Celsius) during the day, but we'd been inside all day the day before and both of us were starting to get cabin fever, so we decided to head over to the Big Winch. We'd visited it on our first trip through Coober Pedy, but Waffles at the Winch had been closed, and I wanted to be able to say we'd been there, so off we set.

The Big Winch is just that - a large winch. There's also a giant tree there, made of welded metal, made by a friend of mine's father when she lived in Coober Pedy thirty years ago. The view is certainly something - we only saw it during the day, but I imagine it would be beautiful at night as well as it's a 270 degree view around Coober Pedy from the top of the hill.

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The Winch in all its glory.

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Lucy's dad's welded tree

Waffles at the Winch is in a log cabin type arrangement. We were greeted by a proprietor who seemed almost surprised to see us, and apologised that the full range of waffles wasn't available as it was low season (ie; boiling hot like Hades). It didn't bother us as we were simply pleased to get waffles for breakfast! We topped off our order with a juice and an iced chocolate.

While we were waiting for our order we had a bit of a geeze at the artwork for sale. I ended up purchasing a hand-sewn lizard, a textile artwork and some mosaic coasters for Dad and Amma - nice pieces, one of a kind, and a great reminder of our time up north. They had jewelry and the usual range of opals and indigenous artwork but I kind of have examples of those from other parts of the trip and other places I've been, so we gave those a miss.

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Mmmm, waffles...

The drinks were pretty non-descript - the juice was bottled and the iced chocolate was fairly standard - but the waffles were pretty awesome. Liberally doused in maple syrup, dusted with icing sugar and served with a tennis-ball sized scoop of vanilla ice cream, they were crunchy around the edges and soft without being soggy in the middle. Nicer than the packaged Belgian waffles we usually get in the city when we order them, and about three times the size, we were very pleased with the value for money we received!

Waffles at the Winch - an awesome start to any day in Coober Pedy!

Home of the Camel Burger

Day Seven of Road Trip 2015/16

We made it to Kings Canyon.

You might detect a small amount of relief/happiness/deep sigh of contentment at this proclamation. Considering we made it there without the car shaking itself to bits on 180 kilometres of corrugated dirt road, without seeing another car the whole time, and negotiating passage with dingos, brumbies and the occasional donkey (!) I think we did pretty well (despite breaking down later on - more about that another time). We arrived at Kings Canyon Resort after dark and checked into a family room (clean, spacious, perfect for four adults), before making friends (reluctantly) with a baby whip snake that had taken up residence in another room and after being shooed out decided to have a crack at ours (!).

The next morning we went for a bit of a drive to Kings Canyon, where Tam and Mali decided to do the South Wall walk - the Khocolateman and I did about half and bailed, me because the height of the lookouts was making me woozy and the Khocolateman because he wanted to play with the drone. We got some fairly epic footage - well worth the trip - and apparently the walk was lovely too. It was shut off soon after we got there as the temperature had risen to beyond what the rangers felt was safe for people to be hiking extensively in.

As we arrived back in time for lunch, we hit up the Desert Oaks Bistro for lunch. Chips were a hit, as were their cocktails (hey I was on holidays, alright?), but the highlight of the meal was the camel burger.

Wait what - camel?

Yup - camel. Did you know Australia exports camel meat to the middle east? Pretty cool, huh? I mean, we use them in tourism too, but we don't usually think of them as being an edible commodity. Maybe we should, because this burger was something else. The salad was fresh, the bread was soft, the sauces added a gorgeous hint of je ne sais quois (but something slightly tangy, herby maybe?), but the camel patty was the piece de la resistance. The same texture as ground beef, it was slightly more gamey - more like goat or kangaroo. I'm guessing it was a handcrafted patty as it wasn't heavily compacted but instead broke apart easily.

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Total win.

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Also, I took an artistic shot of some chips.

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Also, there was cheesecake.

That night, after watching the sunset from the viewing platform behind the resort, and the Khocolateman breaking a blade on his drone, we all pitched in to cook up every vegetable we could lay our hands on in the fridge to make a MASSIVE curry. Pumpkin, potato, onion, corn - none of it could go back over the border with us, so in it went, and we ate it with gusto. Apparently the aroma was pretty enticing as a dingo came up to the verandah to have a sniff at the culinary genius going on in the kitchen, and hung around hoping to be fed (we didn't).

Totally recommend this place - the family motel rooms were awesome, the staff friendly and helpful and the bistro a gastronomic oasis in the middle of a land of roadhouses.

Glen Helen Homestead - Home of the Gale Force Wind

New Year's Eve - Glen Helen Gorge.

Glen Helen Homestead sits on the banks of the Finke River, and is basically the last call on the long road to Kings Canyon. It was also the first place we saw on the map that wasn't suffering the torrential downpour we were suffering in Alice Springs, so we hit them up for New Year's Eve. They had grassy powered sites so we pitched our tents close to the (clean and well maintained, though lacking in hot water) amenities blocks... and the wind started. Gale force to the point we thought the tents were going to get flattened.

Having driven that far, we decided to stick around and hope for the best - they were doing a buffet dinner and live concert that night, as well as a fireworks display, and that was the best offer we'd had or heard of for that part of the world, so take it up we did.

Glen Helen Homestead has two ways to dine - either at the bar or in the Namatjira Gallery Restaurant. There's an area in between that they serve a continental breakfast in each morning, but you can also order a la carte items as well. We had breakfast there on New Year's Day - the eggs and bacon were pretty good - the bacon was crispy, and the eggs were tender and fresh. We ordered lunch from the bar as well; burgers half a foot tall and sausage rolls that melt in the mouth.

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Scrambled eggs and crispy bacon. Mmmm.

The piece de la resistance, though, was the buffet they put on for New Year's Eve. About eight different kinds of meat (including GIANT BARBECUED PRAWNS and my favourite barramundi!) and salads (potato salad was amazing, as were the greens), cooked veggies (mmm salty happy spud chips) and dessert. I really don't have words for the hubcap-sized serving I ended up with. I mean, look at my plate.

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Once again, abysmal photo. Awesome food - check out all its majesty.

We did bail the next day as it was just too windy for us to guarantee we wouldn't blow away. I'd also attempted laundry between gusts, as they have coin operated washers and dryers - which resulted in lost coins, a massive gain in dust throughout our clothes and the total diminishing of my patience. Once the boys were back from their day's adventures, we were on the road again we went - this time to Kings Canyon.

Chai Latte Disaster and Bogan Antipasto

Day Four of Road Trip 2015/16 - Uluru and Kata Tjuta.

Sooo our ACTUAL trip around the red centre kicked off with two nights at the Uluru Resort Camp Ground. The same resort has accommodation all the way from that up to beautiful self-contained units - us, being the cheapies that we are, decided powered camping sites were appropriate for us. Note: communal kitchens have no stoves. Microwaves and barbecues only. They did have a pool, though, and that more than made up for it!

After our night with the camels and a phenomenal dinner, we took a drive out of the complex the next morning. We had to buy passes for the four of us to travel into the National Park at $25 a head, but we could use them as much as we wanted for three days so if you were staying for longer than we did I'm sure you'd get enough use out of them to make it worthwhile.

Kata-Tjuta was pretty cool; beautiful rock formations with an impressive gradient of colour as the sun moved across its surface. Tam and Mali went for a short walk to the base of the mound while the Khocolateman flew the drone to get some footage. We didn't stay for long as there honestly isn't much to do there once you've read the information plaques, unless you want to go hiking - and in the middle of summer it isn't wholly advised unless you come prepared (which I had not - sandals do not a comfortable hike make).

We hit up the IGA on the way back and stocked up on antipasto elements for later that day. I also had the worst chai latte I'd ever had at one of the cafes in the shopping complex at the resort - someone behind the counter made a latte, and stirred chai powder into it. This is not the done thing - for good reason. On first taste, I thought I had sipped drain cleaner. It was the first time I'd ever ordered a chai and not finished it. IT WAS FOUL. Never again.

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Their citrus tart was yum though.

That evening we loaded up our antipasto, wine, beer, juice, camera gear, and a partridge in a pear tree, and drove out to the national park again to watch the sunset over Uluru. There is a designated area where you can sit and watch, with enough space to set up tripods and picnic chairs, without anyone getting in anyone else's way. Many had set up near picnic benches and had their antipasto all neat and tidy - we decided to do it the bogan way and arranged ours artfully on the car bonnet to prevent it tipping over or blowing about as there was a pleasant little breeze going.

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Artfully engineered bogan antipasto on the bonnet of the Territory

WOW is all I can say about the sunset itself - stunning. The way the palette blended, bent and merged into every shade of red known to Pantone (plus a few more to boot) as the sun's rays reflected off the north-west side of the rock made it a true thing of beauty. Tam got some great shots, and I had fun playing with silhouette shots of the Two Blokes afterwards, in that hazy in-between time straddling dusk and full-blown night. We cleared out of the area just after the 9pm cut-off, as the rangers were coming through to make sure we weren't going to set up camp or run off to climb the rock at night, or anything else equally silly.

All up - a great evening which made good use of our National Parks pass and from which I can tick off that I have seen Uluru in postcards, from afar, and now up close as well! For photos you are best off visiting the Two Blokes On The Road as I kinda suck at remembering to take photos. They, on the other hand, are excellent.

How to Take a Camel Out to Dinner

Riding a camel around Uluru has been a dream of mine since I was eight years old and I learnt it was a thing you could do from the 'Getaway' book my parents kept on the coffee table.

Cue my almighty squeals of joy when I found out that even though you're advised not to climb Uluru any more, camels are welcome to convey you near it. To make the deal even sweeter, book for the right price and at the right time, and they'll drop you at the scene of a three course dinner with unlimited wine.

Sooooo we hauled ass to get from Coober Pedy to Uluru with enough time to pitch tents and cool off with a swim before we made ourselves presentable and boarded the shuttle to the Uluru Camel farm. A safety briefing later, we were introduced to 'our' camels for the evening - the Khocolateman and Mali got the tallest one in the train, Tam and I got Hugo, and Scott and Vidya got Lazy Daisy (who is actually male, won numerous camel races (yup, look it up - they're an actual thing), and likes to drink beer). Our cameleers (WHO KNEW YOU COULD MAKE A CAREER CHOICE LIKE THAT?! where did I go wrong?!) guided our camel train out of the 'depot' and along sandy red paths, filling us in about the plants we could see, the other non-vegetative landscape features, how camels are raised and raced, and what else you can use them for (meat, apparently). Did you know Australia is among the top exporters of camels for meat to the middle east? I guess that's one way to fix the feral camel problem!

I will say this: the week before our trip, I fell down the back steps at home. They're steep, it was raining, and I came down butt-first (on my bad side) about four from the bottom. I kinda forgot about it after we left - the Territory seats are well-padded and I was sitting pretty comfortably, but a camel saddle is a totally different kettle of fish and I ended up half-sitting, half-standing in my stirrups to stop my tailbone from jarring every time we moved. If you have done what I did (bruising your coccyx) which I advise you not to do)

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Doesn't he look happy? Meet Hugo.

At the end of our camel ride we clambered off our noble steeds (I got a hug, which he either loved or was grimacing mightily over) and were handed our bags and a glass of bubbly (some of the best I've had, suiting my palate down to the ground). We made our way up to a viewing platform where we were greeted by the dulcet tones of a didgeridoo and the appetizing sight of plates of canapes circulating.

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I can now say I've tried crocodile pate. It's great.

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After we'd had several glasses of champagne, beer or softdrink, heard several 'doo tunes, and appreciated the view for perhaps half an hour, we were invited down to the plateau where the dinner was to be held. The set-up was every bit as good as an indoor restaurant, with the tables set with silver service and lanterns in the middle for when we were eating. Our group of six was seated with a lovely family of four from the states, and all of us hit it off pretty quickly from the start. It was a fun group.

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Awesome sparkling wine.

The actual food. Oh my. Our entree was tomato soup and bread, served to the table. The soup was more a minestrone base than a creamy tomato soup, adequately seasoned but nothing out of this world. The rest of the meal was so good it more or less broke my tastebuds for anything else to taste good for a good 24 hours. The buffet consisted of about a dozen meats, including kangaroo, lamb and - my favourite - barramundi. The salads were just as plentiful, everything fresh and crispy, and the cooked vegetables done so as to maintain their flavour and texture (buffet veggies always run the risk of degenerating into tasteless mush in a bain marie - but not these ones).

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Terrible photo. Awesome food.

The desserts were just as good. My favourite was a crumbly cake flavoured with lemon myrtle (the most addictive of lemon-flavoured things you can include in a cake) which grows naturally in the area, but there was also a plethora of chilled fresh fruit perfect for the warm night. By that stage I was seriously on struggle street, but we definitely made a dent in the buffet's contents and got our money's worth.

The entertainment! That definitely rates a retell. I mentioned the didgeridoo player before, but we were also entertained by indigenous dancers telling stories of animals native to the Yulara area, and an astronomer came to tell us about the night sky over Uluru. I've never seen such a sky before - not even when I was living on the farm - with all the major formations so clear. He brought a telescope with him, and you could use that to see some of the highlights he spoke about up close.

After dinner we were transported by bus back to the campground - tired and happy - with memories to last a lifetime (and, in my case, a tailbone that is still recovering!).

Sounds of Silence Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Coober Pedy #1 - Emu Pizza, Where Have You Been All My Life?

Day 2 of Road Trip 2015/16 - Coober Pedy #1

You can read about tourist attractions that need doing at Coober Pedy - Waffles at the Winch, Josephine's Kangaroo Orphanage and Gallery and Crocodile Harry's Dugout - in separate posts, but this one is about our first impressions on the way 'up', and John's Pizza Bar and Restaurant which left this foodie - and everyone else in the group - absolutely gobsmacked (in an amazed, fulfillment of wonder kind of way).

Coober Pedy is not a typical town, structure speaking. There are not a great number of homes built high above ground level like a Queenslander, or sprawling out like a homestead for greatest through-flow - it is HOT AND STILL there, so the only way to go is down. That doesn't mean ladders and stairs but instead rooms and homes dug out of the side of the few hills and the sandstone undulations around the town. Both the hotels we stayed at - the Desert View Motel and the Lookout Cave Underground Motel - were both dugouts, stretching far back into the ground, cool and well-ventilated through ducts sunk from the top down and fans to circulate the air.

So there was that, which was pleasantly surprising, and then there was dinner.

John's Pizza Bar and Restaurant came recommended by the reception at the first motel we stayed at. When perusing the menu, the 'Native Pizza Selection' caught out eye and we ended up ordering the Coat of Arms, featuring emu metwurst, kangaroo, cranberry and camembert - a combination too good to pass up. The large, ordered as in Melbourne that is the standard feed for four adults, turned out to be the size of a truck hubcap (ENORMOUS) but we managed to finish it over the course of dinner and breakfast the next morning regardless. The taste of the emu and kangaroo meat was very moreish - salty and a touch gamey (as kangaroo is wont to be), but balanced by the sweetness of the cranberry, and the crispy floury dough of the base.

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This is called the Coat of Arms. Fittingly regal, for something of such good taste.

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This is kangaroo (malu) pizza. A very close second.

We liked it so much we ordered it again when we returned (but we were smart enough to order a medium one rather than the large) and we would be ordering it to Melbourne if they delivered that far - regardless of the cost. Some pizzas are seriously that impressive - this was one of them.

Ian Owns All Of Port Augusta

Day One of Road Trip 2015/16 - Everything Is Named After Ian

We reached Port Augusta late in the afternoon after driving for nearly twelve hours. Everything seemed to be named after Ian - Ian's Hotel, Ian's Chicken Hut, Ian's this, Ian's that. We weren't in the mood to heat up gross instameals so we decided to hit up the pub over the road - the bistro at Ian's Western Hotel Port Augusta.

The bistro was busy but not packed out and we were shown to a table quite quickly. The menu wasn't anything super spectac, but it did have the necessities needed for any pub to be able to call itself a pub, and we took advantage of that - roast of the day and chicken parmagianas all round, though the fisherman's basket was looking pretty good too. Maybe I should have gone with that?

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Roast of the day with sides

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Chicken parma and side bits

Look, I'm not a fussy eater. For me the parma was pretty standard - size wise, standard; taste wise, standard; side bits wise, standard- nothing special but nothing terrible, either. However, the boys were not so impressed - Scott's parma was burnt underneath, and the Khocolateman's roast and veggies were somewhat miniscule, even though he had been assured they were sizable enough to satisfy his hunger from driving all day.

Add this to the staff seeming to lack a sense of humour, and you have a fairly non-descript experience all-round. While it didn't give us food poisoning, it certainly didn't titillate our taste buds either, and I don't think we would visit there again.