4 Australian Epicurean Experiences Aboard the Indian Pacific
It’s a common misconception that Australia lacks an authentic culinary culture. Whilst the land down under is famous for barbecues, beer, lamingtons, Pavlova, and meat pies, most of these are culinary extractions from other cultures, and Australia is often criticised for lacking it’s own unique ‘flavour’. Whilst the culinary traditions of Australia might not be as obvious as China’s dumplings or Italy’s pizza, it does exist, and a trip on the Indian Pacific is the perfect opportunity to experience it. This week, we run through four truly Australian gastronomic experiences you can discover on this rail journey.
1. Central Market Progressive Breakfast
At a quarter past three one Saturday morning in 1869, a group of market gardeners set up shop on the site of what is now the Adelaide Central Market. That first morning all the fresh produce was sold out by 6am but thankfully in 2016, the Adelaide Central Market keeps far more respectable hours and with over 80 produce stores, there is little chance of stock running out. Known as ‘The Heart of Adelaide’ the market is a veritable cornucopia of local fresh produce and small goods such as South Australia’s famous Coorong Angus Beef, Barossa Valley Cheese Co. products, SA cold pressed olive oil, and an entire store dedicated to produce from Kangaroo Island. The Progressive Breakfast excursion is included as part of both the Gold and Platinum Service fares on the Perth to Sydney journey.
2. Outback dining in Rawlinna
In the heart of jackaroo country lies the remote outpost of Rawlinna, a sheep station which encompasses 2.5 million acres of ochre coloured earth and sparse desert grasses. Although this might not seem like a prime location for a gastronomic experience, there is no better place to get a true taste of the Australian outback. Lamb from Rawlinna is naturally imbued with the unique desert flavours of saltbush and blue grass, which the animals graze on. Dining on a ‘Rawlinna roast’ with a glass of South Australian wine whilst sitting beneath the vast desert sky is the definition of an Australian culinary experience. The Rawlinna outback roast excursion is included in the fare of both Gold and Platinum Service travellers on the Sydney to Perth journey.
3. Barossa Valley
One of the world’s great wine producing regions, the Barossa Valley is on every oenophile’s (wine connoisseur) bucket list. Just 13 by 14 kilometres in size, the Barossa has a long viticulture history dating back to the 1840s, and in fact there are some surviving Shiraz vines from that period which still produce fruit. The Barossa is famous for it’s Shiraz grapes, which produce one of the most powerful and flavour dense wines in the world. Shiraz from this region is characterised by a big fruit flavour and sweet aromas of ripe blackberry, dried currant, and mocha which are rounded out with tobacco and a damp earthenware notes. Meaty and peppery aromas are also not uncommon. Both Gold and Platinum Service travellers have the Barossa excursion included in their fare on the Sydney to Perth journey. Platinum Service travellers will be treated to tastings at the Rockford Winery, whilst Gold Ticket holders will visit Seppeltsfield Wines and all guests will wind up the day with pre-dinner drinks at Yalumba Winery.
4. Queen Adelaide Restaurant
It would be remiss of us to run through a list of Australian epicurean adventures aboard the Indian Pacific without mentioning the train’s on-board dining, the Queen Adelaide Restaurant. Senior Chef De Partie Joseph Cobiac is the menu curator and places a heavy focus on regional produce. Cobiac works to match the dishes he produces to the particular area the train is travelling through at each point of the journey. For example, as the train passes through the Margaret River region, they’re served up dishes like beef tenderloin or cheese soufflé which showcase produce that the area is famous for. Ingredients from Kangaroo Island, Murray River, Riverina, Barossa Valley, and the Adelaide Hills feature prominently on the menu, as do traditional ‘bush tucker’ ingredients like desert oak wattle, kutjera (desert raisins),poang- gurk (river mint), rosella flower, wattleseed, macadamias, and quandong (wild peach). The Queen Adelaide Restaurant is open to Platinum and Gold Service guests for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
If you want to get better acquainted with the unique flavours of outback Australia, book a Gold or Platinum Service ticket aboard the Indian Pacific with Rail Plus or get in touch with us by calling 03 8779 4828 to learn more.