The Australian: Tie me kangaroo down, sport!

Checked out The Australian on 38th St. between 5th and 6th, for dinner last night, after catching some reviews on Menupages and being intrigued by some of their entrees. There wasn’t much of a crowd for a Saturday, and we didn’t leave till well after 8 p.m. It’s a damn shame, because it’s a beautiful space. I’m sure Happy Hour is much more crowded. Tables in the front, lots of elbow room at the bar, and booths in the back, as well as seating space upstairs that we didn’t get to see. Perfect lighting — you can actually see your dinner companion — and a really, really, good-looking staff. (What? It’s relevant to the experience!)

I had a glass of their Wine of the Month, a grenache-shiraz, while I waited for T. to arrive, and I liked it, though it wasn’t as flavorful to me as the Paringa shiraz I had at home a few weeks back. I wish I could remember the winery, but, hey, I’m not a foodie. I just like to drink and eat and experiment. As evidenced by the fact that we, very daringly, ordered the Kangaroo Sate appetizer. Kangaroo is a darker meat; it reminded me visually of beef or lamb on a skewer, but more tender. The Australian only gives you two skewers of the sate (one a piece for us!), but they compensate with their delicious potato wedges, accented with a delicious curry sauce, and some salad.

I ordered the breaded lamb cutlets for dinner, while T. had the roast lamb sandwich. Judging by the half she left on her plate and the nearly untouched steak fries (not as good as the wedges), I’m not sure she enjoyed her choice. I, however, demolished my lamb cutlets. They’re beaten very thin, along the bone, served with a tomato chutney and mashed potatoes with onion gravy. The whole thing was lick-the-bowl good, but I had to leave some of the carbs and chutney behind. We then lingered and split a treacle pudding with vanilla custard…which was too sweet. We couldn’t finish it, lest our teeth fall out of our heads.

I definitely want to go back and try a few other dishes, and just try out more Aussie food in general. I know there’s Bondi Road (153 Rivington St. bet. Suffolk and Clinton) and The Sunburnt Cow (137 Avenue C, bet. 8th & 9th). I’d be willing to try the fish at Bondi Road and the infamous brunch at The Sunburnt Cow, but other than that, their menus don’t seem that much different from American places in the same vein. Eight Mile Creek at 240 Mulberry St., looks intriguing, though.


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