The Australian Brewhouse is so Aussie-centric I half-expected to be served at the bar by Paul Hogan wearing stubbies and a cork slouch.
The new Australian-themed pub is located on the waterfront at Port Coogee and overlooks the very busy, but very beautiful marina.
Potted gum trees line the entrance and interior walls are plastered with two giant photos of Australia’s most famous native animals – the kangaroo and koala.
The Australian Brewhouse is decorated with just the right amount of Australiana to evoke a subtle sense of patriotic pride without the cultural cringe.
The Australian theme extends to the menu too and I was elated to see crocodile and emu were available.
Game isn’t locally available that often and I’d love to see chefs get creative with exotic meats like squab, buffalo, camel and boar rather than the standard quail, duck and venison.
The emu is served on skewers ($16 for 6) and comes with a rich bush tomato chutney.
Emu is a red meat, so it’s firm in texture, but these skewered cubes were very tender and juicy with just enough grilled char on the outside to add a smoky layer to each bite.
The kids were keen to try it and both Ollie and Chloe gave it the thumbs up.
“It’s delicious, I want more,” said Ollie.
They weren’t as keen to try the crocodile bites ($17), but after I explained to them that a crocodile wouldn’t think twice about eating them both, they had a small nibble.
Unfortunately for them, they didn’t approve, but that meant more for my wife and I, so we were happy.
The crocodile bites are seasoned and floured then deep fried. They were crunchy and salty on the outside and the crocodile flesh inside was firm and tasty.
If you’ve never eaten crocodile before, I’d describe it as being a mix between chicken and fish – an odd combo to imagine, but utterly delicious nonetheless and I highly recommend it.
For the less adventurous eater, there are plenty of classics on the menu like the Angus scotch fillet ($37), pappardelle ($28) and Australia’s favourite pub feed – the chicken parmi ($24).
Other than a few side dishes there isn’t a lot to cater for vegetarians, with a simple frittata and two vegetarian pizzas the only meat-free options on the mains menu.
We were tempted to carry on a game meat theme and try the kangaroo pizza ($22), but decided on the meat lovers ($20) instead.
The pizza dough was thick and well-cooked and there was plenty of toppings including smoked ham, thick chorizo, red onion and BBQ sauce.
The pizza rounded out a great meal that was enjoyed by the entire family at The Australian Brewhouse – a place that will be very busy when summer kicks in.
By Matthew Eeles
The Australian Brewhouse
4/72 Pantheon Ave, Port Coogee