With a focus on local produce and healthy alternatives, the great Australian brunch has come a long way from its British roots.
Whether you’re planning an outing into the majestic red-rock landscapes of the Northern Territory or an underwater excursion to the Great Barrier Reef, there’s no better way to fuel up for your adventures than with a hearty Australian brunch. Like many of the country’s current population, the brunch tradition originated in the United Kingdom. Also like those long-ago settlers, it has since evolved into something uniquely – and proudly – Australian.
Keeping it local
Some elements do hark back to the classic English brunch: think melt-in-the-mouth scrambled eggs, or the savoury crunch of bacon fried to perfection. Nevertheless, Australian brunch menus typically offer a smorgasbord of more exotic dishes inspired by the country’s abundant local produce – and the culinary traditions of the different people who make up its cultural landscape. Tropical fruits are a particular highlight, with passionfruit, mangoes, lychees and papaya serving as the focal point of many sweet treats. These range from fruit-filled pancakes and pastries to juices, smoothies and mocktails.
As an island nation with the majority of its cities located on the coast, it’s unsurprising that Australian brunch dishes also often showcase sustainably caught seafood. Wild salmon sliced thinly and served with cream cheese atop bagels and corn fritters, anyone? Or perhaps a freshwater delicacy, like smoked barramundi paired with lightly pan-fried potato rösti. For something a little less sophisticated (but no less loved), be sure to try a crisp slice of toast with Vegemite. This yeast-based spread may split opinions amongst culinary connoisseurs – but it is an undeniable Australian staple, and no brunch experience would be complete without it.
Australia’s major cities are also known for their progressive outlook, and as such many brunch restaurants cater to health-conscious and environmentally friendly diets including gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian. Superfoods frequently dominate the menu, from smashed avocado on toast to chia porridge flavoured with coconut and berries. Coffee aficionados will also feel right at home in cities like Melbourne and Sydney, where the quintessentially Australian flat white takes centre stage with an understated yet addictively smooth combination of espresso and milk topped with velvety microfoam.
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(*) Average meal price calculated on the basis of starter and main course or main course and dessert, excluding drinks, menu and promotional offers. The average price is an estimate only, calculated according to the prices provided by the restaurant. Depending on the country, the average price may or may not include all taxes. ↩