BBQ @ Healsville Sanctuary – Eating With The Animals

A wonderful day for a day trip and a perfect day for a BBQ.  No this wasn’t on Australia Day, I just haven’t had the time to post this up. It was actually between Christmas and New Years 2010.
We got there pretty late (11am) and the line was massive. But we were greeted by Mr Toilet Man, a grassy camp insect and a friendly lizard who entertained us while we lined up.

Before exploring the place we had to find a BBQ area. There were 2 areas with a BBQ, one near the dingos and the other near the kangaroos (I think). There were 4 BBQs near the dingos section which are free to use and they were in pretty good condition.
Without wasting any time we chucked some chicken skewers, sausages, hamburgers & corn onto the BBQ. Prepared the table with some salads, bread, rolls and other tasty treats. We were so prepared and brought everything you would need for a BBQ except some cooking OIL. Luckily we asked the restaurant/cafe and they were kind enough to give us some oil.

Cooking was finally done, btw they had tables available or you could go for the picnic rug option. Twas a feast but was looking forward to walking it off!

After lunch we were just in time for the “Birds Of Prey” show which was probably my highlight but you need to get there early so you can grab yourself a nice seat or a seat under some shade (was a hot day). Otherwise if you’re not fussed the crowd ends up overflowing to the grass area.
At times like these, I wish I had an awesome zoom lense for my SLR, hence no good pictures of the birds except for this wild wedge-tailed eagle who decided to join in on the party or to show off in front of the Sanctuary’s own wedge-tailed eagle.

I could post all the pictures of the animals we saw but here’s a few of my favourites. Unfortunately the kangaroos were having their siesta time and didn’t want to be fed so I decided not to include them in my photos (serves you right! lazy kangaroos!) anyways…Enjoy!

Things to know if you plan to go to Healsville Snactuary:-Arrive early, it gets busy
-Pack light, don’t want to be carrying eskies around the place, plus if you’re lucky and you came early, you would of got premium parking space to return items to your car

-Make sure you bring cooking oil if you’re going to have a BBQ

-Good walking shoes

-Plan what you want to see before arriving such as shows, feeding time, etc

-Leave time for after Healsville Sanctuary and visit the Blueberry Farm Cafe which is 2 minutes away (we got there at 4:45pm and they closed their kitchen….boooo them, there were 8 unsatisfied potential customers)

Location: Badger Creek Rd, Healesville VIC 3777
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TableTopBBQ – Beef Rice Paper Rolls Recipe

The TableTopBBQ is great fun and Melbourne’s weather last Saturday was perfect for a BBQ which gave myself the idea of testing out the TableTopBBQ!!!!

Unboxing of the Table Top BBQ

You get three sauce plates inside, 4 sets of chopsticks and a very handy flip grill…

We were looking at eating a healthy lunch so we decided on Beef Rice Paper Rolls. Off to the butchers we went and bought some top-side beef and asked them to cut it into thin slices (I love the butchers, they’re so convenient).

Marinating the beef: add some lemongrass, fish sauce and a teaspoon of sugar…

Now how to fire up the TableTopBBQ:

Jiffy fire lighters are a must and are placed in the bottom section of the TableTopBBQ and add some newspaper to get it firing up.

Then add your coal in the middle section of the TableTopBBQ covering the holes as best as you can. You know when it’s ready to cook once the coal turns white and is steaming hot (when you hover your hand over it, not by touching it)…

Now let’s cook…you can place the beef in between the grill or top of the grill. I liked it in between the grill which made it super easy to flip when the bottom side was ready…

Look at that beef…

What you need to construct a Beef Rice Paper Roll (In order of placement):
1. Rice Paper (from your asian grocery)
2. Lettuce
3. Mint Leaves
4. Other leaves (optional)
5. Rice Vermicelli
6. Thinly Sliced Cucumbers
7. Pickled Radish (optional)
8. Beef

Here’s one I prepared earlier…

Rolling is easy as long as you didn’t go overboard with the stuffing. Roll the rice paper tightly 3/4 then fold the sides into the middle and complete the roll…

Dip the roll into some pre-prepared Vietnamese fish sauce or in Vietnamese it’s called “nuoc mam”. Google the recipe because it’s a synch.

Please mind my fish sauce, it has remnants of some rice vermicelli and looks like a piece of beef…

Take a bite into your Beef Rice Paper Roll and you’ll never want to order these again from any asian restaurant…

There’s other types of rice paper roll versions out there such as pork and prawn, vegetarian ones, etc but that can wait for another post.

The TableTopBBQ was super fun and easy to use but most of all cooked the beef nicely and evenly and gave it an authentic taste and feel of Vietnam. Can’t wait to have my next cooking adventure with the TableTopBBQ.