A Trip Down Under

Australian, Cuisine, Food, New York

The Battleground

Burke & Wills, Upper West Side, New York

The Contenders

Duck Burke & Wills Edit

Spiced duck breast with foie gras farotto, smoked raspberry sauce and grilled peaches. Candlelight for added romance.


Duck is my favorite protein of all time, so I was insanely excited to see it on the menu at Burke and Wills.  Although we were initially drawn to the establishment because of the kangaroo burger, I knew there was no satiating my appetite without a hearty dose of duck.

I was not disappointed.  Skin perfectly crispy and wonderfully seasoned, a beautiful medium rare center and none of the overwhelming oiliness that duck is so renowned for.  It was my honor to have the opportunity to dine upon this bird.

The sauce: wow.  A light raspberry glaze with a hint of smoke was the perfect complement to such a meaty protein.  If it’s fruit it’s low calorie, right?  All of it was served on top of some darn good “stuff,” namely a light risotto… er… farotto with mushrooms (gross) and foie gras (yum!).  The grilled peaches on the side were somewhat of a disappointment.  A bit too dry and bitter to really satisfy your peach expectations.  Good thing they were just a footnote to the duck’s majesty.

All hail the queen.

Kangaroo Burger Burke & Wills Edit

Kangaroo burger with arugula, onions, and tomato jam. Served with triple fried chips, spicy mayo, and a reason to live.


I consider myself to be an adventurous kind of guy. If I get an opportunity to do something out of the ordinary I’m more than likely to give it a whirl. When I was given the opportunity to have a bit of kangaroo for dinner I pounced. Things were about to get weird and I was so ready.

My medium rare marsupial hopped its way into my heart with the very first bite. The succulent patty was bursting with herbaceous flavor and a perfect char to seal it all in. There was even a taste of fennel seeds to it that I actually welcomed despite my extreme displeasure for them.

I could almost hear a chorus of didgeridoos as the subtle sweetness of the tomato jam infiltrated the burger and sent me through the roof. Luckily the arugula and shaved onions were there to break my fall as I gently came back down to earth. Sublime.

Thick cut fries aren’t my style, but triple fried chips are apparently a huge exception. I didn’t have any time to question the man I had become because I was too busy dipping the chips in spicy mayo. Sweet, sweet denial.

After that meal I really couldn’t care less about what dangers lie in the bush. I’m going to Australia and I’m going to eat everything in sight.

And the winner is…a tie?

✗Protein  ✗Sauce  ✗Sides/Veggies  ✗Presentation

Well this is awkward. Both meals were amazing and we both honestly preferred our own choices. It’s a draw! But somebody needs to stand tall on the mountaintop. Time to settle the score.

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