Vegemite for big kids
The breakfast spread of the masses is heading upmarket as chefs embrace its salty richness.
One of the best dishes at Sunda (sunda.com.au) is not actually on the menu. That doesn’t stop this pan-Asian newcomer selling out of its 25 serves of roti with Vegemite curry sauce each day. Reserved for those in the know, it’s been Melbourne’s worst-kept secret, the buttery roti teamed with an addictive sauce that deftly harnesses Vegemite’s flavour credentials for good rather than evil.
It’s a real collision of cultures at Anchovy (anchovy.net.au), in the Melourne suburb of Richmond, where chef Thi Le takes her signature brand of modern Asian-Australian and puts it through a centrifuge to come up with “tempura Vegemite, Laughing Cow cheese”. The cubes of Vegemite-infused custard, tempura battered and fried then topped with creamy cheese, have made it to the chef’s selection menu “because so many people ask for it”, says Le.
The dark arts
The menu at the d’Arenberg Cube (darenberg.com.au) in South Australia’s McLaren Vale embraces a taste of terroir, adding a Vegemite mayonnaise to accompany hot-smoked barramundi blackened with onion ash, wattleseed and mountain pepper.
At Highroad (highrd.com.au) in Canberra’s Dickson, the menu cements Vegemite’s status as breakfast’s best friend but a side order of the black stuff whipped through ricotta presents a DIY conundrum: spread it on toast or just lick it straight off the knife?
Frozen little Vegemites
Heston Blumenthal couldn’t resist the Vegemite challenge when composing a menu that incorporates the Australian culinary icon. But, naturally, his mischief-making turned it into a dessert: ice-cream with Vegemite served with toasted barley cream, yeast caramel, macadamia, puffed spelt and sourdough crumble. Succumb at Melbourne’s Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (dinner by heston. com.au).