Last month, I was invited to Australia Day by one of my good friends, Hayley, who is living in Vancouver on a working holiday visa. I have never celebrated Australia Day, so I was quite excited and curious to check it out!
I have heard my other friends say great things about Moose’s Down Under, and it was time to see for myself how it was like! Of course, when an Australian tells you this place is legit, you know you gotta check it out.
The boyfriend and I could hear the music from Moose’s a block away, so we knew it was going to be busy and packed! When we got in, we could tell it was crazily packed. There was a lot of great Australian music blasting, and literally a sea of Australians (Well, not literally, but you know 😛 ).
The man who greeted us at the door was wearing extremely tight denim short shorts, with temp. tattoos of Australia all over his body! For Australia Day, it is tradition to play the hottest 100 songs on the radio station, Triple J. The countdown ends when the number one song is played.
It was my first time listening to Australin pop/rap/rock, but I was thoroughly impressed and enjoyed all the songs they played! Aside from the music, the screens were also playing Australian television- most of it was cricket, which is as popular as hockey in Canada!
Also, at one point, the owner of the restaurant stopped the music and everyone stood up to sing the Australian anthem. Me being Canadian, I stood up and absorbed the environment around me, and was in awe. It was so great seeing such patriotic people being united in one place, yet at the same time, loving Vancouver. There was lots of (drunk) cheering and hugging to be found as well. I admired and respected the staff working that day, but service was pretty decent seeing how busy they were.
Also, I learned that the term sheila is slang for a female! Many other Australian slang words were learned that night!
Now comes the food! I was quite excited to try the food after my coworker told me about the kangaroo burger. Naturally, as a foodie, I was intrigued- I’ve never been to a place not recognizing more than half of the menu! I saw many different items on the menu that I’ve never heard of before, and it took me awhile to decide what I wanted to eat!
For drinks, the boyfriend and I decided on trying Australian beer. We both love beer, and can not pass an opportunity to try new ones! We ordered Coopers which was a type of pale ale and Toohey’s extra dry based on the recommendation from Hayley. I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t like Toohey’s since it’s extra dry, but it was really good!
I was very intrigued by this “chicken parmie” on the menu. Basically, it is a grilled breaded chicken that is slathered in tomato paste sauce, with melted cheese on top. I really enjoyed this! It was breaded really nicely and the chicken portion was very generous.
The tomato paste tasted really fresh, and wasn’t overly sweet to the point where it tasted fake. It came with a side of salad and on a bed of fries which were both decent, nothing too special. I will definitely be ordering another “parmie” soon! They also had special “super parmies” menu which included outback jack (smokey BBQ, carmelized onion, bacon, cheddar) and parmie gonzalez (salsa, guacamole, jalapeno, corn chips, nacho cheese).
The burger in the back is the roo burger. Yup, you guessed it.. kangaroo meat patty!!! I had mixed feelings about this dish, and was hesitant to try it. I’ve heard that kangaroo meat isn’t as good, and I kept having an image of a cute little kangaroo hopping around….
Anyways, I found that the patty is definitely not as juicy as a beef patty. It is a lot more drier and also a lot more leaner. I prefer my patties juicier so I wouldn’t order the roo burger again but it was definitely an interesting experience.
Behold, the roo poutine. Basically like a regular Canadian poutine, but with kangaroo meat! Again, I found the kangaroo meat a tad too dry for my liking, but I would definitely suggest giving this a try. They were pretty generous with the portion of kangaroo which is always a plus!
In conclusion, I really enjoyed Moose’s Down Under and had a great time celebrating Australia Day. Hayley also said that this place is “as Ozzie as it gets”, so really, you can’t go wrong when a true Australian says it’s great and authentic. She also comes here when she’s craving some good ol Aussie food.
What I really liked most was the atmosphere. Everyone seemed to be friends with each other, they were all united there for a single cause- the love for their nation. It was really nice to be surrounded by such happy and drunk people that took so much pride in their country, especially when singing the national anthem. Everyone there was also really friendly, so I felt right at home even though the boyfriend and I were the only ones without an Australian accent.
On a side note, Hayley has her own blog which you can find here – Hayley on Holiday. ! Hayley is never afraid to take chances and explore the world on her own, and attempting to visit 25 countries by 25- she is only one away from that! Somehow, she balances working two jobs in Vancouver while exploring the city and working on her website! Read all about her travel adventures and her experiences living in Vancouver so far! I promise you, her adventures are awesome and will make you want to travel the world alone, too.