Excerpt from the diary of a drunken sailor. AKA Grazza McFilthy Mouth
The final day of the holiday. Back to Perth from Albany to fly out at a time that can only be referred as silly. And an introduction for my children to a milestone of the great Aussie road trip; the roadhouse buffet. Aka the baine marie. Aka the hell that the idea of decent food goes to after it dies.
The Bain Marie #1. A water bath. An invention of early alchemists, adapted by the classic fore fathers of modern cooking – the French. Used to heat/cook things (hollandaise sauce, parfait, terrine, egg custards, etc) gently.
The Bain Marie #2. Bastardized warming system used by the Australian roadhouse.
For those of you who have never been on a road trip through outback Australia and never sampled from the glorified Ho Chi Minh hotbox that is the Bain Marie, here’s some of what’s on offer…
The chiko roll. An Australian icon. Modeled on the Chinese egg roll and spring roll with thick pastry and a weird, globular (yes it’s a word) filling.
Corn jack. Similar to the chiko roll but with a globular corn-like filling.
Devil wings. Spicy fried chicken wings. Super tender due to the fact they have been sitting at 70C for four hours.
Chicken tenders. Crumbed and deep fried chicken tenderloins. Maybe there’s some chilli in there somewhere.
Various sausages. Crumbed, cheese filled, plain beef, kransky.
Lasagne topper. Shit gets proper weird here. A square of mince topped with béchamel and tomato sauce, crumbed and deep-fried. Yep. These also come in cottage pie toppers. A square of mince and gravy topped with a mashed potato type product (who am I kidding?), crumbed and deep fried. I wish I was joking.
Seafood stick. Crumbed or battered stick of some kind of soy product coloured with flecks of red to give it the very vague appearance of crabmeat.
Squid rings. I picture the process of making these as grinding up the whole squid, a magical machine not unlike something on a Looney Tunes cartoon somehow forming that back into rings, crumbing those rings and then a stint in the deep frier. Sensing a trend yet?
An array of pies and sausage rolls (possibly from the oven), toasted sandwiches, other random shit and of course hot chips.
Today I decided to live life a little closer to the edge (or increase my chances of spending the night on the edge of the toilet bowl), so I also ordered the chicken, cheese and mayonnaise toasted sandwich. The chicken could’ve come from any animal except, I think, a chicken. Excellent. Seba opted for the burger and Obi a sausage roll. Both were homemade and surprisingly quite good.
Lunch was consumed in the middle of nowhere then it was back on the road to Perth to find a hotel with a decent toilet I could get comfy on…