Could you eat Skippy?
It was the summer of 2008 and for the first time in 4 ½ weeks I was about to be all alone. I was on the Greyhound bus on my way to Mission Beach in the north of Queensland, Australia. FYI Mission beach is basically the middle of what felt like nowhere. I had been travelling with my friend, Sayra, but she decided to give Mission Beach a miss and continue up to Cairns where as I was keen to try out white water rafting; one of about 4 active things to do in Mission Beach. Little did I know one of them was eating kangaroo…
3 merry POMS and a lone Chinese Restaurant
On the bus I started talking to two people we had briefly met in magnetic Island and they well and truly took me under their wing! It turned out they too were staying at Scotty’s Beach House !phew! Panic over! Once settled me and my two new friends went to the only shop in Mission Beach (which happened to be a Woolworths Superstore) to buy supplies aka as many bottles of Passion Pop as we could carry. Typically, the night turned out to be pretty alcohol fuelled. We ended up raiding the Hostels fancy dress box frantically trying to find a suitable outfit for the hostel night out which was supposed to include a dinner. Cut a long story short and we have arrived at the bar/restaurant to find that they have stopped serving food. It was hot and humid, we looked like idiots (me in a mechanics outfit and Tor in a 1980’s frock) and we were starving. Fortunately for us we found a Chinese takeaway that we persuaded to make us some food before they shut (NB. it was 9pm and they were about to close!!!). We wolfed it down without even tasting it, and made such a big mess that the possums came for a scavenge of our leftovers.
Working up an Appetite
The following day we were up before the sun to get ready for a day of hung over white water rafting which turned out to be one of the best cures for a hangover. After an adrenaline fuelled day, rafting down the River Tully , we headed back to the hostel craving a nutritious dinner and a hot shower. Tor and I made our way to Scotty’s Bar and Bistro for the free wine and cheese night, naively thinking that would sort us out for the evening. But our hunger got the better of us and we decided to have a look at the bar menu; our eyes were immediately drawn to one particular dish: Kangaroo.
The Kangaroo Question
We were tempted but the word ‘no!’ entered our minds! How could we eat this cute animal?! It’s Skippy, who would eat Skippy?! We battled with out morals and ‘ummed’ and ‘ahhhhed’, but the barmaid convinced us that it was a dish not to be missed.Besides, we both agreed that we normally try new dishes in new places so what was so different about kangaroo?
When our meals arrived we immediately saw that all the vegetables were fresh and everything was homemade including the plum sauce; This was not what we expected from a hostel restaurant. Then we saw the meat… We both looked at each other and winced, could we really do it?So, for moral support, we took the first bite together. My oh My! It was delicious! The only way I can describe it is the best bits of beef and lamb put together. We ate every last scrap on the plate and even contemplated ordering another plate between us!
Ultimately Kangaroo is a fantastic meat and was undoubtedly one of the best meals I had whilst I was in Australia! But if you were to ask me to eat dog in South East Asia I would have to politely decline, even if it is a local delicacy.