Cuisine: Native Australian
I’m not sure how I keep discovering these places but Kuditj Cafe popped up on my radar and I was keen to try native Australian cuisine. Kuditj (which means think and reflect) Cafe is Perth’s only Aboriginal owned and operated cafe which has been going for a few years. It’s established to train indigenous people into the hospitality industry. Sounds like a great idea and they also do catering and have seminar rooms available apart from the cafe. I’d only recently tried crocodile in a pie at the Twilight Hawker’s markets so I was keen to try other interesting proteins.
I took a walk out to the Perth side of Northbridge and found Kuditj Cafe on Beaufort Street opposite Weld Park and McDonalds. I walked in and I had previously had a look at the menu so I ordered the platter. I think the platter must have been a daily special at $9.95 as they do have the Bush Experience Platter for $12 which I imagine is the same thing. If you’re vegetarian there are a few options on the menu as the platter is packed full of meat. However, I didn’t think I’d be eating two of the animals on Australia’s coat of arms. Not sure if my patriotism is brought into question as a result.
Starting at the top going clockwise there is a scattering of dried damper crisps at 12 o’clock, then an aoili and spicy sauce, a wild chicken sausage roll, a kangaroo meatball, kangaroo stew on steamed rice, a salad, emu, and finally crocodile. For $9.95 it’s a steal and this is such a filling meal it was a struggle to polish the plate.
I really like damper but the dried damper crisps tasted kind of stale and there was some crunch on the outer edges but it was softish in the middle. I would have preferred just the fresh damper instead. When I was served the dish, it was recommended I have the aoili and lime with the crocodile and the emu with the spicy sauce. The crocodile and emu are kind of the cold meat section. The crocodile was quite tough, unfortunately overcooked, but it certainly was livened up with some fresh lime juice and the excellent aioli which had a lease of life. Maybe it would be tender if it were served hot as meat tends to stiffen when it’s stone cold. Crocodile, like the pie I ate, tastes similar to chicken. Unusual that crocodile has white flesh. I thought white flesh is mainly associated with some birds (think chicken, turkey) and fish. The emu also was a bit tough and overdone but went extremely well with the spicy sauce which had a unique flavour. I suppose there must be some native Australian ingredients used which give a different flavour profile. There are these native herbs in bottles and other items available for purchase. The emu is like a cold carvery. I didn’t find the flavour way out there but it does have it’s own intensity which the tomato flavoured spicy sauce aids in taking the edge off.
The wild chicken sausage roll was fantastic. The pastry needed a little improvement but the flavour of the filling was excellent. It didn’t taste like chicken as such, so the “wild” element of the chicken obviously adds a different flavour which I loved. I thought this was one of the best sausage rolls I’ve eaten. The kangaroo meatball was really different. Unfortunately, the kangaroo was a little tough and chewy but it has quite a gamey and rather intense flavour. As a reasonably sized meatball, there’s a bit of intenseness to get through. In stark contrast, the kanagaroo stew was completely different. The chef has done a superb job of creating a flavoursome stew with tender pieces of kangaroo. Obviously stewing kangaroo produces the best result and the flavour profile is very different to that of the meatball. Rather than a strong intense of flavour, the stewed version resembles that of beef without the same meaty flavour. The stew is much more toned done. The quantity of the stew is ridiculous! It’s absolutely packed with kangaroo over the rice serving which seems insignificant. There’s generosity in spades in this dish. Fortunately there was some spicy sauce, aoili, and lime juice left over to spread over the salad which appeared to lack dressing. However, with these 3 elements the salad was livened up and helped to take the edge off all that meat consumed.
Kuditj Cafe Food Review Summary
Verdict: Kuditj Cafe is quiet and simple cafe but offers a variety of items on their menu showcasing native Australia. They are open for breakfast and their menu includes burgers, Aussie Specials, wraps, and breads. I ordered the bush experience platter for $9.95 which should easily carry a higher price tag given the generous quantity of meat packed into this dish. There’s loads of variety with crocodile best enjoyed with their delicious aoili and a squeeze of lime, emu enjoyed with a unique spicy tomato sauce, a fantastic wild chicken sausage roll which I could keep on eating, an intense gamey kangaroo meatball, a chunky tender kanagaroo packed flavoursome stew upon a small amount of rice (well it appears that way when the stew is overflowing with kangaroo), a salad and dried damper crisps. I didn’t find the native Australian meats hugely different to what I’ve normally eaten but the kangaroo is quite intense via the meatball, but so completely different in the stew. It was unfortunate that some of the meats were a little tough but I really liked the generosity, the different flavours, and a new experience. I might have to come by to try a few of the other menu items which offers lots of choice. I haven’t seen much use of native Australian elements in cooking apart from a brief session on MasterChef but there are some items for purchase like lemon myrtle.
Kuditj Cafe Restaurant Details
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