5 Classic Australian Pub Snacks You Must Try

The Pub menu is a marvelous thing anywhere in the world, but especially so in Australia. Well-priced, tasty, reliable and comfortingly familiar no matter which watering hole in the country you walk into.

Several Aussie specialty counter meals have left down under over the decades – the succulent lamb fry has been replaced by chicken wings, the prawn cocktail with the pork slider and so on. However, many local dishes rule at the bar, regardless of whether one can finish them off on your own or not.

Calamari rings

Hugely popular in the 1980s, hoops of deep-fried, breaded calamari were a constant on every pub menu. But now, at least in the cities, the reconstituted rubber ring has been replaced by the salt-and-pepper squid.

Though the latter at the pub is great, nothing can beat pinching a calamari ring into a figure-eight before dipping it into tartar sauce. More so when chased down by a chilled beer on a summer afternoon.

The “House Special” burger

Pretty much the same thing from coast to coast – a toasted bun with a fill of lettuce, onion, tomato, beetroot, meat and packet cheese. Bacon is a preferred addition, but eggs are better avoided.

The “open” pub burger trend of the 1990s empowered the diner to Lego their meal together and also encouraged picky brats to remove everything from the plate that they didn’t like. Nowadays the standard serving involves stacking the burger as high as gravity allows it and stabbing it through with a knife.

Roast of the day

The classic Roast du jour dates back more than a century when hotels would put out free spreads of goose, lamb and other meats with sides of fruit, vegetables, and salad. It started out with pubs originally serving free bread and cheese to sober up wasted gold-prospectors. As the number of licensed outlets began to increase, so did the competition for the public’s appetite.

Soon these the house banquets got so exorbitant to the point of affordability, and such kingly feasting at the boozers was done with by World War I. At present most pubs worth their title still offer cracking Sunday special roasts.

Chicken Parmigiana

Chicken schnitzel is simple, filling, go-to food – an inoffensive dish accompanied by a squeeze of lemon and veg sides. But when combined with tomato or cheese it’s another thing altogether. The ultimate should be the “Meat-lovers pizza parma” served by a pub in Newcastle. A schnitzel suffocated in cheese, tomato, and ham that looked like the Elephant Man with acne.

A lot of people do seem to like the chicken parma, as it is on display outside 90 per cent of Victorian pubs.

The Mixed Grill

A big cold beer to quench some hard-earned thirst needs a mixed grill for company. There are many local variants, but the popular ones include steak, lamb chops, bacon, sausages, fried egg, and chips. Those health-conscious can ask for a grilled tomato to go with it.

Still, traditional mixed grills are a dying breed and the ones that do, mix things up which is not the same.