The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Aussie fast food

I may be stating the obvious here, but I don't eat much fast food. I wasn't always healthy though - I used to eat fast food on a regular-ish basis, until about ten years ago when I embarked upon a healthier lifestyle. I was still a university student then, and I was amazed that those stubborn kilograms disappeared just from incorporating a bit of exercise and healthy eating. The best part was that I had lost the weight without feeling hungry! I developed a distaste for fast food, and I don't recall ever stepping into a fast food joint during our 4 years in Japan and 2+ years in Hong Kong! However I'm only speaking for myself because hubby sometimes crave for the burgers and the chicken 'n chips that he grew up with. On our recent trip to Perth, we ate more fast food than I would have liked, usually when meeting up with friends or family for a meal. Even our 4-year-old, who had been growing upwards rapidly but not gaining any weight for at least a year, put on a kilogram on his skinny frame during our two weeks' vacation. Fast food is different in each country, and I thought it might be of interest to non-Aussie readers to see some Australian-style fast food. Our first meal down under was lunch at the food court in a shopping centre, where we'd gone to pick up some supplies. A doner kebab from a Middle-Eastern food vendor, and chicken 'n chips from Australia's own Red Rooster filled our tummies well.

Chicken Doner Kebab (AU$10), a typical Aussie version with the ingredients rolled into a pita bread like a wrap:

Red Rooster's The Big Deal - a quarter roast chicken, chips, two crispy chicken strips, mash and gravy and a drink, for about AU$11. Hubby worked at a Red Rooster franchise for a few years, and this was before we met more than a decade ago:

Hungry Jack's is only found in Australia, although many of its menu items appear in Burger King's outlets worldwide because it belongs to the same corporation. Hubby has always preferred HJ's over Macca's, although I was quite indifferent and eventually didn't care for either after I grew an appreciation for a healthier diet. Hubby's favourite HJ's item is The Aussie, which is not all that surprising as he would always order everything with "the lot" if he could. If I had to eat at HJ's, I would go for the simpler and marginally healthier Chicken Burger, which is just chicken, lettuce and mayo.

The Aussie burger has an extra-thick beef patty, bacon, egg, beetroot, cheese, onion, tomato, lettuce, mayo AND BBQ sauce - how's that for sensory overload!

The minimalist Chicken Burger:

When we got back to Perth at the end of our short road trip to the south of Western Australia, it was already evening and we were all road weary. It was my nephew's birthday that day, and we brought home for dinner his favourite food, pizza. We dropped by the Crust Gourmet Pizza store that was newly opened in Joondalup, and staff was helpful with allergy requests. It was pretty expensive for takeaway pizza (they also deliver), but I was dazzled by the wide variety of pizzas available on the menu. The nephew wanted the Aussie Pizza, which we had never heard of before, but he said it is widely known and available. And sure enough, the Aussie was on Crust's menu, and the nephew was a happy boy that night. We were impressed with the quality and taste of the pizzas.

The Aussie pizza with ham, bacon and egg on a tomato base:

Pepperoni pizza with onions, capsicum, ground beef, olive tapenade and garlic on a tomato base:

Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar
420 Joondalup Drive
Joondalup WA 6027
(corner Boas Avenue and McLarty Street)
Tel. +61 8 9301 1099
Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar  on Urbanspoon

So there you have it, a snippet of what Aussies call fast food. How is fast food different in your location?

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