In recent years the Bendigo foodie scene has exploded onto the taste buds of locals and tourists alike.
Set to join the list of French, Greek, Malay, and Mexican influenced restaurants will be Penguin Palace, which has a focus on Antarctic cuisine.
“Obviously penguin is pretty central to the Antarctic diet,” says new restaurateur Ceeya Drilinn.
“There’s fried penguin, roast penguin, fricassee penguin, penguin on a stick, lots of different ways to cook penguin. The most traditional method is to serve penguin raw on a bed of krill, because using fire while huddled in an ice shelter has issues.”
The lack of native human inhabitants to Antarctica would seem to inhibit a cooking history, but Mr Drilinn is adamant a realistic experience will be delivered to customers.
“We’re going to invite nomadic scientists who are trying to escape messy relationship break-ups to head to Bendigo and set up experiments on ice in our giant freezer, aka dining hall, rather than travel to the Antarctic itself.”
And when asked about the buzz-words of food culture, ‘organic’ and ‘renewable’, Mr Drilinn had answers at the ready.
“Everything will be 100% organic, technology simply has stalled on synthesising food, and all ingredients will be responsibly farmed.
“Of course we can’t freight everything from the Antarctic, just as local Indian restaurants don’t get cumin from India, and pizza places don’t smuggle dough from Sicily, but we’ll get the best whales from Japan and I have a contact on Phillip Island for other produce.”
The coming Penguin Palace venture will take over the old hippy place near the soon to be refurbished Allan’s Walk.
“Once we fumigate to get the smell of incense and hemp out of the place, we’ll be rolling in the boilers used for the Antarctic delicacy, Whaselguin – which is a penguin stuffed inside a seal that’s been stuffed inside a whale served on a bed of krill.”
It’s exciting times for Bendigo food lovers.