How to Breakfast like an Antipodean
New Zealand and Australian cooks are creating sunny, generous and unexpected takes on a classic meal, inspiring food-lovers far and wide. The Guardian’s Mina Holland investigates what makes a real Antipodean breakfast, and where to find one in London.
“From Britain to the US and beyond, Australian breakfasts have become a thing, with New Zealand also making notable contributions,” Holland writes. “When asked about the hallmarks of the trend, New Zealand chef Miles Kirby, founder of the five-site Caravan group, suggests that Oceanians have simply elevated a meal that Britons already love: ‘There’s a rich tradition of greasy spoons and local caffs in the UK, but I think Antipodeans have refined it. We’ve upped the level of service, the quality of ingredients, and brought a fresh approach with a menu that has something for everyone.’
“Caravan’s take on the full English, for example, is brought up to date with thick-cut bacon and slow-roasted tomatoes, or, as Tamper calls it at Sellers Wheel in Sheffield, ‘the Big Kiwi’, where dukkah corn cobs and bubble and squeak are thrown into the mix.
“Everyone seems to agree that these breakfasts are inextricable from the coffee culture. As you might expect, this is pretty high-end coffee – single origin, small batch, with names as natty as their velvety crema tops; where would millennials, or indeed TV satire, be without those Oceanic imports, flat whites and long blacks?
“These are as quintessentially Australasian as the technicolour breakfasts, and the majority of eateries mentioned here opened offering both coffee and food, which [Australian Rose] Mann [from Notting Hill’s Farm Girl] and Kirby agree would have been unusual a decade ago.
“All the restaurateurs I speak to agree that New Zealanders and Australians tend to draw on a variety of ethnic influences. From miso to tahini, XO sauce to pitaya powder, and chillies galore, Oceanic breakfasts typically include unexpected ingredients.
“‘I’m always looking for new ways to manipulate ingredients and to challenge their classic uses,’ Kirby says. He attributes this culinary boldness to a culture that’s both curious and itchy-footed: ‘By nature, we travel to broaden our minds. Our continent is isolated – we can’t just pop over to Spain or France or Morocco for the weekend – so we make leaps of faith and plant ourselves somewhere else.’”
Original article by Mina Holland, The Guardian, August 16, 2018.