The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

Raging Bull – An essential Aussie experience

Posted by gingerbreadpirate on March 15, 2010

One of the things that any Australian tour book will tell you, is to try an Australian game restaurant.  Basically, these restaurants specialize in the native meats of Australia.  Specifically, these establishments will have kangaroo, crocodile and emu, at a minimum, but they may also have beef, chicken, pork and lamb, as the “usual suspects” for meat, and may even include more unique meats, such as wallaby or rattlesnake.  In the town adjacent to Urangan, Torquay, there was a game restaurant called Raging Bull.  We decided to check the game restaurant off our list while in Hervey Bay, and check out the Raging Bull.

IMG_2171We made reservations (Australians call it a booking), but one clearly wasn’t necessary.  It was a little bit of a challenge, because they didn’t include an area code (two-digit) on any information we could find, and one is required when calling from a mobile phone.   Through a little investigative work, we got the area code, and despite some communications problems with the gentleman taking the reservation, all was good.  I think he just had a hard time with my “accent.”  Once we arrived, though, our table DID have a reserved sign on it, which they left on the table for the duration of our meal.

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So, the Raging Bull is a Stonegrill establishment; meaning that your meal is served on a searing hot (literally) stone, and you cook the meat on your [stone] plate to your liking.  We had heard of a stonegrill restaurant, but we couldn’t actually remember having been to one.

The restaurant was a nice open-air restaurant, with a nice charm, right across the street from the ocean.

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The Wife started with a glass of Australian Chardonnay, and I started with an Australian beer.

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IMG_2157The menu looked fantastic.  As promised, all sorts of “different” kinds of game meat.  In general, we’ve been kind of surprised at how expensive food has been here, but when you consider that there is no tax on food, and that tipping is not customary, it really doesn’t seem as expensive.

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IMG_2158We started with the chicken liver pate, despite the fact that we had chicken livers at lunch.  It was excellent, and the Turkish bread here in Australia is fantastic.   We kinda fell into it in Sydney at Bill and Toni’s, as their “toast” was made of Turkish bread, and since then, we’ve been seeking it out.  For the record, I’ve been to Turkey, and had authentic Turkish bread; it is nothing like the Turkish bread in Australia, but the Australian type far surpasses the authentic stuff.

IMG_2160The Wife ordered the Kangaroo, and I ordered the Bellow, Snap, Jump, and Run.  The Wife had kangaroo once at Sir Edmund Halley’s, and it is the only meal we have had there that wasn’t excellent.  We had both had kangaroo at my brother’s in Sydney, and it was excellent.  It probably speaks to the freshness of the meat (I am currently unaware of any kangaroos native to North America.), as well as the comfort level of the chef preparing the meat.

IMG_2163 See how the meat rests on the thick (~1.5”) stone?  It’s searing hot, and you just let the meat sit, depending on how “done” you want your meat.  The Wife said her Kangaroo was wonderful and flavorful.  The stone is also lightly covered with salt, which adds to the flavor as you cook your meat.

IMG_2165Here is my “plate.”  Starting from the biggest hunk (top left), and moving clockwise; beef, kangaroo, emu, and crocodile.  Each was unique in its own right.  The emu was certainly my favorite.  It had a very duck-like quality to it, and was nice and juicy.  The beef was also spectacular.  The kangaroo was good, and I really liked the texture, but I didn’t find that it had particularly special flavor, and tasted like any other beef steak.

Few Americans realize that Australia has a huge beef industry.  With all the open land, however, it’s ripe for open-range beef cattle.  Tomorrow we’re headed through “beef city” in Rockhampton, Queensland.  I’m hoping to have a great steak there.  I’m not so much for red meat, particularly on consecutive weeks, let alone consecutive nights, but I feel compelled since we are in such a high-quality beef area.  If the Raging Bull’s beef is any indicator of the quality of beef in the region, then I certainly won’t be disappointed.

The evening ended with the Raging Bull’s proprietress talking to us for nearly half an hour.  Australians are just so friendly.  She asked us where we were from, how long we were staying, where we were going, etc. etc. etc.  She was from New Zealand and had moved to Australia 30 years ago!  (She must have come when she was very young.  😉 )  It’s particularly nice because you never feel rushed.  We’ve had a really hard time figuring out HOW to pay at restaurants, because some you go to the register, and others they bring the bill to the table.  They’re so laid back, though, that you’re not sure which it is, because it isn’t like the check is on the table along with the main course.  We’ve taken to just asking to simplify things.  “Uhhh… sooo… how do we pay here?”  Once again, though, they’re so friendly, they just laugh in a friendly way, and take care of us.

Certainly if you come to Australia, get to a game restaurant.  I feel for our vegetarian readers for not being able to take part in this one.  If you have time in Hervey Bay, which turned out to be a wonderful, quiet resort region, make it a point to swing by the Raging Bull!

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10 Responses to “Raging Bull – An essential Aussie experience”

  1. Heather said

    I knew you’d like kangaroo!

  2. Moranna said

    Very interesting blog as well as a gastronomic eye-opener!! The photos were superb – the only thing I didn’t like were the prices!!

  3. Great blog and photos! Would love to visit Australia and experience some of the places you’ve visited. Looking forward to reading more! 🙂

    • We hope you get there sometime! It’s wonderful, and there’s really so much to see that we’re NOT doing! Going out to the rain forest north of Cairns. Seeing Darwin, Perth, or Adelaide. I would love to drive the Nullabor. Checking out Broome in Western Australia. The Outback, Uluru, Coober Pedy, Tasmania! The list goes on and on. There is so much to see and do here, and three weeks we’re only getting to see the East Coast! If you get there, let us know. If you do something we didn’t, tell us how it was!

  4. Lakia said

    It looks good, but I would have to be tricked into eating it… not knowing what it actually was.

  5. elmer said

    I’m going to have an indigestion with those exorbitant prices

    • Yes, it’s expensive. BUT, our meal came out to be about ~$80 AUD, tax, tip, out the door. After the exchange rate, that’s about ~$72 USD. Subtract 18% for tip, that’s $62 USD. Subtract 7% tax, that’s $57 USD. That leaves $28 USD for alcohol, appetizer, and a steak dinner, at a first-class restaurant. When you really look at it, it’s really not as bad as it looks.
      We’ve had to work this math out a couple times, just for our own sanity.

  6. mrh said

    great photos!

  7. slamdunk said

    It looks like a worthwhile dining experience–thanks for posting.

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