When you're living in a new country, you generally want to try and immerse yourself in the local culture as much as possible. You want to speak to locals, eat local food, partake in local festivals and get a chance to experience all of the new and different things that you can't at home.
Sydney Ribs at Hooroo House
Sometimes though, when you're away from home for a long time you might get homesick and nothing cures that more than a taste of something familiar.
With Australia Day being celebrated (or, understandably mourned by some) back home this week, I was keen to check out a few of the “Australian” restaurants that were around Porto Alegre. Wherever you go in the world these days, you can always find Australians - I'll leave it to others to debate whether that's a good or a bad thing. More and more there are Australian themed restaurants, cafes and bars popping up, catering not only to ex-pat Australians, but also to locals interested in Australian food, coffee and drinks. While we're still a long way from the number of Irish bars spread throughout the world, we're certainly making an impact.
First off, I cant write about Australian themed restaurants in Porto Alegre without mentioning the one that everyone here seems to know – Outback Steakhouse. Everyone seems keen to know what I think about this place, and the truth is it isn't bad, it just isn't Australian. It's an American steak house dressed up in an Australian theme. Like I said, not bad, jut not Australian.
Kangaroo Australian Wraps
While Outback Steakhouse may not be a good Australian option, that isn't to say Porto Alegre doesn't have anything to satisfy the craving. Kangaroo Australian Wraps serves wraps, juices and banana bread and could easily pass for an Aussie sandwich shop. Filled with toppings like hummus, avocado, beetroot and sweet chilli sauce along with your choice of meats, it serves up something quite unique for the city.
A couple of giant wraps from Kangaroo
Valkiria Café while not strictly an Australian themed place, offers a cafe that would easily be found on the streets of Melbourne or Sydney. Valkiria, led by an owner who spent time studying in Australia, serves up good strong espresso coffee available for take away (a rarity in Porto Alegre) along with sandwiches, salads and sweets, including banana bread. It is certainly the closest thing to an Australian cafe I've found.
Coffee & banana bread from Valkiria Cafe
Finally, but certainly not the least, is the place that I decided to spend my Australia Day evening, Hooroo House. Owned an run with passion by a Gaúcho who spent several years in Australia, Hooroo delivers the most authentic Australian restaurant in Porto Alegre. Serving up favourites like fish & chips, ribs, potato wedges, Aussie burger and an Aussie style BBQ platter, Hooroo is a little piece of home away from home. They also deliver an amazing take on the Aussie classic desert, the pavlova and a home made banana bread which certainly satisfy the cravings.
BBQ Platter & Fish & Chips from Hooroo House
With great food and a genuine desire to offer the most authentic Australian experience in Porto Alegre, I'd definitely recommend any Gaúchos (or homesick Aussies) to make a visit.
Hooroo House - Av Nova York 835, Auxiliadora, Porto Alegre, RS
Valkiria Cafe - Av Carlos Gomes, 604, Auxilidora, Porto Alegre, RS
Kangaroo Australian Wraps - Av Icarai 780, loja 105, Cristal, Porto Alegre RS
Second location - Otto 2500 Shopping, Av Otto Neimemeyer, 2500, Triseteza, Porto Alegre, RS
Facebook.com/kangaroowraps & facebook.com/kangarooo2500