By Flavor & The Menu
February 10, 2020
Translating global flavors so they fit into a restaurant brand’s culture is an exciting part of menu innovation today. Pinpointing emerging hotspots requires research that, unfortunately, doesn’t always involve immersions in those far-flung regions. True Aussie Beef & Lamb has a team positioned around the world. Consider them flavor scouts, tracking trends and reporting back about intriguing flavors and dishes that are poised for American adaptation.
This time, the spotlight is on a tiny village called Jugiong, tucked into the Australian countryside of New South Wales. Here, the global discovery for U.S. chefs leads them on familiar pathways to iconic favorites.
The Sir George is a modern and casual Australian tavern on the highway between Sydney and Melbourne. It’s both a destination restaurant for foodies and village pub for locals. The kitchen is helmed by celebrated chef Nick Williams, lured away from Melbourne by the charm of country living and the opportunity to source grassfed lamb raised on neighboring farms. “The grassfed lamb is so high quality, tender and sweet on its own, I just grill the chops over the charcoal with good quality salt and a bit of lemon—it’s all you need,” he says.
Why we love it
The owners’ vision for The Sir George was to share produce from the family farm with guests. It’s that familial approach that makes their modern Australian menu so special—pasture-raised meats, farm-fresh produce prepared expertly with an easy vibe that is 100 percent Aussie.
What’s the opportunity?
Australia, like the U.S., is a country that has a thriving meat culture. As Aussie concepts, with their laid-back feel, proliferate in the U.S., it signals a willingness by American consumers to embrace that relaxed approach to dining—as long as quality of ingredient remains.
When considering meat-centric dishes, look to places like The Sir George for inspiration. What cuts and preps of meat work on modern casual menus that were once relegated to fine dining? For Williams, lamb is a top answer: “Lamb adds that little upgrade on your everyday, so it’s a perfect pub food.”