Ordering kangaroo 101: or, why don’t you just hack off a piece of your own shoe and eat it?
Starring: A table of four young people, the host of which is a European woman
Scene: I am taking their order for mains after politely reminding them that the kitchen is closing in ten minutes.
European: I’d like the kangaroo, but cooked medium-well, please.
Me: *deep breath*
Morning, boys and girls! Pop quiz! Can anybody tell me why no reputable chef ever cooks kangaroo fillet more than medium rare?
If you answered, “Because kangaroo meat is not beef steak. These two meat varieties hail from rather different animals, one of which spends most of its time hopping across the outback at speeds of 20-70 kilometres per hour, while the other bums around grazing and mooing. Kangaroo is hence prized for its leanness and intensity of flavour; unfortunately its low fat content means the meat will immediately dry out if cooked over medium-rare. Overcooking will destroy it entirely, and not in a subjective tastebud-of-the-beholder way. Literally.” You are correct!
I would also have accepted, “Because it would taste like burnt dinosaur shit.”
Armed with this information, I attempted to save European Woman from this impending plate of costly dinosaur shit. I asked if she’d had kangaroo before. I explained the properties of the meat, and the chef’s decision to never serve it cooked over medium rare. She insisted that she could not tolerate rare meat. Ah, I thought, here is the key.
“If you prefer your meat cooked medium-well or well-done, perhaps you’d like something from our aged beef selection?” I offered, beaming. “We have scotch fillet, sirloin-”
“I live in the States,” she huffed, tossing her menu to me with a note of finality, “I have steak all the time. Just get me the kangaroo, cooked the way I want it. I want the kangaroo.”
This part was my fault. You see, at Melbourne Waitress School, we had a lecture on the States Clause, which mandates that under no circumstances should you ever recommend steak to someone who has spent any amount of time in the US. Ever. Do not even think that your puny Commonwealth beef industry can compare, you presumptuous Foster’s lover. Tell your Australian chefs to stick to what they know: kangaroos and wombats and shit. La Luna what now? Bitch, I’m from Texas.
Unfortunately I must have spent that lecture at the back of the class doing goon laybacks and drawing stick figure caricatures of my boss.
After entreating looks from her guests, I finally gave in. You demand to spend $36 on a plate of peppered car seat? Knock yourself out, honey. Sure, I will be the person standing there sighing as the chef rants in disbelief at your ignorance, but as long as you get what you want all is well.
Their meals came out, and European was overheard poking at her kangaroo (grudgingly cooked medium-well with nary a juicy pink piece of flesh in sight) and complaining, “This is the most they’d cook it?”
She offered a piece to her friend, who compared the overcooked kangaroo to her own medium-rare kangaroo. The friend tried one bite and immediately pushed the burnt crap away, happily returning to her own dish while declaring European’s “inedible”. Finally, as European was in the bathroom, the three (Australian) friends called me over to personally apologise for her behaviour.
Always right, my arse.
Presentation: 3/5. Fairly well-presented – but I will deduct points for that fugly grandparent-blue parka.
Intelligence: 3/5. Socially aware, assertive. Apparently unable to comprehend that different types of meat come from different types of animals, nor able to accept further explanations and recommendations. Probably thinks everything tastes like chicken.
Behaviour: 1/5. All former politeness was eroded by her meat tantrum.
Value: 3/5. They paid the bill and tipped.
Experience: 2/5. I do not go to work to be harassed by Eurotrash about how we should cook our national animal.
Total Score: 12 Timmys out of the well. Stop embarrassing your Australian friends you wannabe Yank.
0-5 complete waste of a human organs 6-10 a distinct displeasure 11-12 what a turdburger 13-14 a few mildly tolerable hiccups 15-16 customer could accomplish something with more manners 17-18 staff could handle as a regular 19-20 a pleasure 21-25 the ideal customer