No matter what your cravings, Broome's sophisticated dining scene is guaranteed to hit the spot.
By Ute Junker
Broome is a true melting pot of a town. Built on the pearling trade, it has long been a multicultural community where Aborigines and Japanese, Chinese and Malays have all played a prominent role in its community. The flavours of all these cultures have been woven into the local food, which explains why Broome is one of the outback’s most exciting places to eat out.
The best of Broome
Broome’s very own microbrewery is heading for its 30th anniversary, and remains one of the town’s most popular hangouts. Housed in a historic general store, Matso’s serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner with menus designed for almost every taste. If you don’t fancy the raw parsnip and carrot salad, how about pulled pork and chips, or a seafood plate laden with octopus, prawns, oysters and fish? Don’t forget to try some of the in-house brews: the mango beer is recommended.
Is it a bar, a restaurant or a bit of both? However you define this Chinatown favourite, The Aarli is one of the most inviting places in town to kick back on a balmy evening and graze on Asian-inspired share plates. Find some new friends to feast with so you can order up more of the tasty bites, that way you don’t have to choose between the salt and pepper tofu, the Korean fried chicken, the mussels with chilli jam or the soft shell crab with red nam jim dipping sauce.
Broome’s restaurants tend to shut up shop early, but 18 Degrees on Roebuck Bay is a welcome exception. On Friday and Saturday it serves a late night menu until 11pm, so you won’t run out of food as you work your way through the superb selection of cocktails and wine. The global offerings reflect Broome’s multicultural heritage. Try the harissa spiced samosas, stuffed with pumpkin and potato and served with peach and chilli salsa.
Good Cartel is the place to come for the best coffee in town, as well as one of Broome’s tastiest brunches. If you like Mexican flavours, try the breakfast burrito. Rather get your day off to a healthy start? Then the super brekkie salad bowl, packed with goodies such as broccolini and kale, is made for you. The eggs benedict burger is another favourite, and the fresh juices are almost as popular as the coffee.
Most first-time visitors to Broome aren’t sure what to expect food-wise, but it’s a fair bet they don’t expect anything like Azuki. Chef Scotty Thorpe may be a true blue Aussie, but he turns out the best Japanese inspired food in town. His breakfasts are justly famous; try the bacon-and-egg okonomiyaki or breakfast ramen.
Zanders at Cable Beach
It sometimes seems as if everyone in town shows up at Zanders toward sunset, and no wonder: its beachfront location makes this the perfect spot to watch the sun sink into the ocean. The wide-ranging menu covers all bases from prawn cakes to club sandwiches, but the best bet is to grab takeaway fish and chips and head to the beach for a picnic dinner.
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