FBI Radio's Sweetie: "I have friends who have just gotten of the plane from New York. They want to eat our national treasures. Where do we start?"
Poor little Skippy. Once known for being cute, furry and found at Symbio Wildlife Park, these guys are increasingly hopping from park to plate, thanks to an increase in the availability of roo meat in Australia's butchers (prime cuts) and supermarket shelves (kanga bangers).
Seen as a pest in some rural parts of this wide brown land, kangaroo meat has been embraced by conservationists and farmers alike, who see the farming of kangaroo as a way to keep the population (and it's damage) down and supply the public with a viable source of red meat.
The movement to eat kangaroo has even spawned a new 'atarian'...the kangatarian. Tayissa Barone's article in Good Living in February 2010 identified a new breed of semi-vegetarian (wtf?) - those whose only meat intake is kangaroo, based on environmental, ecological and humanitarian grounds.
Omnivores alike will find roo meat just as tasty, whether you buy into the ethical argument or not. So what's it like? Like any game meat, there's very little fat which means it should either be cooked fairly quickly, or incredibly slowly, to get the best out of the produce. There's a moderately gamey scent and flavour don't let the doe eyes fool you - this is one tasty little guy.
So where to you go to eat roo?
1. Wolfie's Grill
17/21 Circular Quay
The Rocks NSW 2000, Australia
(02) 9241 5577
For $43, you get two Aussies on your plate; kangaroo loin fillet and crocodile tail medallions..think of it as native Australian steak and chicken. If two is a little much, roo also features on their mixed grill platter with a more traditional line up of lamb cutlets, petit tenderloin, ribs and sausage, for $45.
2. Kingsleys Steak House
29 King St
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9295 5080
Not just for a seriously good beef steak, if you like your roo a little bit fancy, try the roast kangaroo loin with spatzli, red cabbage & porcini cream at Kingsleys Steak House on for size.
3. Haydens Pies
166 Princes Hwy
New South Wales, 2539
Phone: (02) 4455 7798
If you're headed down the coast, make sure you stop by Haydens Pies for a pie pitt stop with gourmet aspirations. The pastry is flakey and buttery, there's a huge selection including rotating daily specials that run the gamut from seafood bisque to good old steak and kidney...and kangaroo with roasted beetroot. Stewy and rich, the meat is tender and the beetroot gives a great earthy flavour and sweetness. For something closer to home, try St Honore Bakery in North Sydney, 50 Miller Street, North Sydney , NSW (opposite Greenwood Plaza).