Australian Bushfood is losing its status as just a novelty product. Nestled just a stone throw away from the bustling crowds of Chapel St, Windsor, there sits a small door with just 5 letters dangling ontop. ‘GALAH’ is written there, opening into a small bottle-shop and deli with a stairway leading into a much larger warehouse-styled bar.
Core to GALAH’s message is their “belief in Australian produce”, ranging anywhere from local liqueurs, spirits and wines all the way to Australian native herbs and spices. One of their famed cocktails, the Bush Tommy contains patron tequila blended into strawberry gum curacao and agave pepper-berry. This Margarita-styled cocktail is served with a salty ring of Aniseed Myrtle over a large cube of ice which helps deliver the refreshingly unique drink.
Also on their menu is a delicious array of native produce. Anywhere from crocodile nuggets, cheeseboards, kangaroo and seafood – they specialize in the use of fresh aussie ingredients and native produce. The style of the bar with its use of comfy sofa lounges and calm and nature-like atmosphere creates a sense of relaxation which helps ease the senses so that you can enjoy a delicious dinner, or wine with your friends or loved ones.
The novelty of Australian ingredients usually comes in the price tag. The cultivation of native plants has consistently been outstripped due to its high demand. Markets both domestically and especially internationally are putting a high premium due to the unique flavour range coming from Australia. Ingredients like the Finger Lime are being increasingly in demand overseas due to the unique caviar-like bubbles of citrus deliciousness causing prices to increase sometimes up to $100/kg. Because of this, only the finest of restaurants have traditionally used these ingredients. However, with the increase of new growers, the deadlock is starting to lift to allow affordable restaurants to create delicious meals and drinks en masse.
Recently opened, Mabu Mabu has become a large name in the emerging indigenous food market. A concept created a week before their application was given to South Melbourne Market, Mabu Mabu has grown to encompass a cafe, a market stall and catering business with their exciting range of new flavours and tastes. Meaning ‘help yourself’ in the Torres Straight, they are a business ran and owned with the concept of using fresh, seasonal and native ingredients to create beautiful dishes that bring people together.
Imagine a brunch consisting of kangaroo tail bourguignon with native thyme and house damper, or bush tacos with desert spiced cauliflower, sea succulent slaw, warrigal greens and edename tabouli – this is Mabu Mabu.
It’s clear that the Bush Food or Bush Tucker revolution is developing faster than ever imagined. The demand for sustainably sourced, Australian-grown native ingredients is no longer the novelty mayonnaise on the side of the plate. Instead, the hospitality industry is taking on these new changes to bring fresh and delicious foods and drinks that are affordable and accessible.