For our wedding anniversary recently I wanted to do something wildly exotic, and experience something totally different. Going to dinner was pretty standard practice for us, and there are many wonderful restaurants around the Brisbane area, Gold Coast, and the Sunshine Coast to choose from. This year I wanted to do something uniquely different, an evening we could share with our son. My prayers and wishes were answered a week before our anniversary in the form of an advertising brochure in a magazine. I checked out the website, the food and location and excitedly made the booking. The restaurant we were dining at is called Tukka, an Australian colloquial word meaning 'tucker' or food.
Tukka is an award winning restaurant of contemporary native Australian fare, situated in the cool suburb of West End, 5 minutes from downtown Brisbane. We arrived for dinner and were immediately hit by its warm earthy ambience and gentle lighting. Dream time music played softly in the background. We were shown to our table by friendly wait staff, our son by now in a rebellious mood because I'd told him in advance what was on the menu (game meats such as possum, emu, wallaby, and crocodile). My husband ordered a beautiful red merlot, and as I'm not a wine connoisseur can only describe the taste of this wine as smooth as silk, with the warmth of cognac and absolutely no bitter after taste. That won me over straight away.
It was easy to now slip further into relaxation and immerse myself fully in the ambience of the evening. Having our menus explained to us we chose for starters a native platter for two as well as a crocodile entrée which we shared. The huge native platter consisted of game meats such as possum chipolatas, wallaby proscuitto, and emu pastrami. There was warm home-made lemon myrtle damper, refreshing on the palate, native nuts, rainforest fruits, dips, Tasmanian pepperberry and the strong spice of desert tomatoes to try.
The crocodile meat was sliced paper thin and delicious. Eating slowly and remarking on the uniqueness of every morsel of food the three of us were totally absorbed and engaged in this delicious meal and truly connected as a family. Next came the mains, I had emu fillet with macadamia nuts and braised beetroots - absolutely heavenly and not gamey at all. My son had tuna steak with asparagus, bush potatoes and a pink berry sauce which he totally enjoyed, and my husband ordered the kangaroo steak served with broccoli, asparagus, bush potatoes and gravy. For dessert there was coffee, a delicious home-made lemon meringue and chocolate assiette, consisting of chocolate mousse, chocolate tart and lavender sorbet (with real lavender - yum!) which was absolutely delectable, I knew it would be a winner. Tukka is sophisticated dining at its best, the menu not in the cheap range; however the chef certainly knows how to produce exceptional meals.
Each meal that arrived was creatively displayed although initially appeared as if there wouldn't be enough. In fact, we were too full by the end of the evening! For us, it was worth every cent because it was truly a unique Australian, cultural experience (and delicious) enjoyed immensely by me and my family. If you ever come to visit Brisbane Australia, treat yourself to some great native Australian food at Tukka just as we did. You can find Tukka Restaurant at 145 Boundary Street, West End, Brisbane Queensland Australia 4101, Tel 07 3846 6333 Fax: 61 7 3846 0224. .
By: Michaela Scherr