Sunday, December 16, 2007

December 10, 2007: Brambuk Bush Tucker Cafe

And so we walked and watched. From up high...

... from down low...

and up close.

Also worth a visit is the Brambuk cultural centre. First up, there's the usual National Park information about walks, precautions and camping, and bookings for organised outdoor activities. A little further back is the painstakingly and beautifully designed Aboriginal cultural centre, sitting low to the ground like one of the local cockatoos. I thoroughly enjoyed the half an hour I spent in the late afternoon, slowly winding my way up the serpent-like ramp, reading and thinking about the past, present and future.

Unsurprisingly there's a gift shop, as well as a cafe. But what's notable is that the cafe offers something more than the soft drinks, ice-creams and soggy sausage rolls I anticipated. This is the Bushfoods cafe, where the menu features gourmet preparations of kangaroo, crocodile and emu. The vegetarian options are a little more tame, but you can still find native herbs in the soup, scrambled eggs, damper and coffee.

I tried the wattleseed damper with quandong and peach jam, and cream ($5), as well as a wattleseed latte ($4). The damper was crusty, warm and of generous proportions and though I could see the ground wattleseed all through it, its flavour was much weaker than in my home-baked muffins. Kudos for the fresh whipped cream! (Those aerosol ones should be outlawed.) The ground wattleseed was more potent in my latte, which was served scaldingly hot and drunk much, much later. I enjoyed it, though Tracy and Michael liked their takeaway ones far less.

Michael chose the vegie burger, served with lettuce, tomato, wild rosella chutney and a side of chips ($10). He liked the chutney a lot, and though the chips looked pale and undercooked they were actually very tasty.

The Brambuk Bushfoods cafe has a surprisingly diverse menu. The prices, especially if you're into bush meats, are very reasonable; probably better than any of the restaurants serving dinner. The staff were lovely, too. It's the ideal place to fill up on maps, local history and food before soaking up what the Grampians really have to offer.


  1. Nice review Cindy, though that Vegie burger had me thinking it was all covered in ants for a brief moment!

  2. Thanks William! I can assure you that the burger was free of such animal products. :-)

  3. Those prices are really REALLY good...

    I am a huge fan of croc, but can rarely get it here in the 'burbs.

    Will mark this for out next trip up the the Grampians (we're old Zumstein's camping ground fans!)

  4. I hope the croc meets your expectations, PG! One of our friends ordered a plate of the wattleseed pasta with smoked emu, it was well worth the modest cost.

  5. Hi there,
    Your blog has been an awesome introduction to vegetarian Melbourne.
    I wanted to ask if there are any other bush tucker cafes or stores in Melbourne? Ie, where can I find quandong?

    1. Welcome, Bettina! I actually haven't come across anywhere selling whole bush foods in Melbourne (Oxfam, for example, sells packet mixes, jams, etc). Paddymelon looks promising though.