Pioneer BBQ and Bar: Crocodile-Emu-Kangaroo BBQ
Game to try the full Aussie outback grill? A trio combo of crocodile, emu and kangaroo, alongside a salad bar all for A$25 (circa 2003 rates) is available here. Very popular with the hostelites scene (those who do not wish to cook in the large kitchen). You grill your own meat on top of that, so have fun smelling like stale oil after, but heck, if you have never tried the trio before, it should be quite fun charring your own meat and trying to chew them down later!
- Budget Travel
Gecko's Cafe: Mediterranean in the middle of the desert
Well, the place is packed with tourists for dinner. The Paella I ordered was alright, delicious and juicy...though I could taste the frozen-ness of the seafood. Then again, I expected that! Service was a little wanting though, as the place is a little under-staffed and I was seating al fresco on the far end, and was practically ignored after my meal was served (which took almost 45 minutes to serve, BTW). Unable to get the attention of the waiters and waitresses who were buzzing around inside the centre of the restaurant, I gave up on ideas of dessert and walked right up to the cashier to pay up, not wanting to spoil my evening any further.
- Budget Travel
Gecko's: A Lizard's Holiday - Gecko's
One of the most important things to do while you are on a tour of Uluru is to eat traditional bush tucker. After you have thrown up from eating such wonderful things as tree back and witchity grubs, go ahead and find something edible at the fine restaurant, Gecko's.
Pretty stock standard fare for a resort restaurant, Gecko's staff is friendly and serve up a menu of horrible spaghetti dishes, decent chicken and beef, and pretty darn good pizza.
I would definitely recommend going with the pizza, although the salad disappointed a little as well, so just stick to the pizza. Sarah and I shared a large and did not need to eat later!
Open from 10:30am to 10pm.
Ayers Rock Resort Takeaway Cafe: Great Takeaway Burgers on the Rock
Not every meal has time to be gourmet and a long experience... sometimes just a quick bite of takeaway hits the spot, which was exactly what we got here in Ayers Rock Takeaway. I decided on the hamburger, and was not disappointed. Sarah went with the chicken sandwich, which turned out to be fried rather than grilled, and it did not taste all that much like chicken. With a choice again, she would have gone away from the chicken next time. The chips were ok, and you even got a free soda if you filled out a comment card!
Outback Pioneer BBQ: Barbecue
The most informal environs in the whole of the complex and, as a result, the best place to eat.
A bar, long tressle tables and benches, leading at one end to the small stage, where most nights will see an entertainer of some description providing a wide ranging repertoire to the audience. A couple of pool tables round the corner of the bar, with the 'room' being little more than a large, rectangular marquee, open to the elements on two sides.
Grab a jug of beer, buty your meat at the counter, bbq the meat yourself, pile on the salads and away you go.
(After checking out the anodine and over-lit formal options round the complex, this was without doubt the best option by a very long way).
Favorite Dish: Ranges from beef and lamb steaks at around A$23 through to sausages and veggie options for about A$12. Cook it yourself - heaps of salads on the side along with corn, baked potatoes etc. Its a fun, informal, friendly experience.
Sounds of Silence: A desert experience
Its way over priced at A$120 per person, but it is something that should be done. Its basically dinner in the middle of the outback. But no bushwhacker tucker and singing "Waltzing matilda' round a campfire. This is the 5 star treatment.
Collected from the resort, you are whisked away along restricted access dirt tracks to a cleared 'platform' in the middle of the desert (approx 20 minutes from Yularu). Here you are greated with views of both Uluru and the Olgas, as well as champagne and canapes. A didjideroo player will provide authentic sounds (although not authentic to this part of the world- the local indigenous communities do not use this instrument) whilst, to a person, the cameras are busy taking photos of the stunning vistas of sunset over the Olgas.
As the sun disappears below the horizon, yuo are whisked off down to dinner - a 3 course meal and wine. Its a mix of self and table service, and while the food may not be the best you have tasted, its certainly pretty good. With the meal also comes the star gazing experience - a guide will talk you through the extraodinary sights above you and includes opportunities to use powerful telescopes to look on to the likes of the ringed-Saturn and the many mooned Jupiter.
Approx 10.30/11pm, you are taken back to the resort.
Favorite Dish: Expensive, but remember that a 2 course meal of similar style is A$50/60 at the resort and then there is wine on top of that. So drink as much as you can (no driving involved) and get maximum value for your money LOL.
Book from any of the hotel receptions
Sounds of Silence: Wonderful sights!
This dining experience is a tour from the Ayers Rock Resort. A wonderful selection of canapés is offered on your arrival to enjoy whilst you wait for the sun to set over Uluru (Ayers Rock). During this time, you are entertained by a lone didgeridu player who will also tell you of the history of the didgeridu.
After sunset, you will enjoy a wonderful selection of BBQ meats, salads and warm vegetable dishes, followed by Australian desserts, all of which are accompanied by Australian wines.
At the end of your meal, there is an opportunity to understand more about the stars which form your canopy above your head. Heaters ensure that the chill night air is slightly warmed but it is well worth taking a light jacket with you.
In total, a great experience!
Favorite Dish: The whole experience is worthwhile. I enjoyed everything I tried - and it is a great opportunity to try a selection of different meats and dishes.
- National/State Park
Pioneer Kitchen: Good value
This is one of the value options for dining within the Yulara complex of hotels and resorts.
Orders are placed at the counter and then seating is within an outdoor area which is covered to provide protection from the sun.
Check the blackboard for the days menu and any specials.
Favorite Dish: I had a very adequate wrap.
- Budget Travel
Red Rock Deli: Great Salads!
Red Rock Deli is located in the small shopping complex in the heart of the Yulara resort.
It offers a great selection of salads, wraps and sacks to eat in or take away. There is an indoor seating area which is air-conditioned and an outdoor seating area.
Favorite Dish: I had a great salad - lovely and fresh ingredients, not over dressed!
- Budget Travel
Bough House Restaurant: Great meal
Within the Ayers Rock Resort complex, this restaurant is located at the Outback Pioneer. It offers a buffer selection of traditional Australian 'tucker' which includes some delicious breads, meats, pastries and desserts.
Open daily for breakfast and dinner.
Favorite Dish: Because of the buffet arrangements, it is possible to try some of the Australian meats which you may otherwise not wish to order a full portion. I really enjoyed the salad selection.
- National/State Park
Mobil Service Station: Cheap and good breakfast at Ayres Rock Village
If you haven't figured it out yet, the food at the Ayres Rock Resort restaurants is a bit expensive. I stayed at the campground this weekend and discovered a good and inexpensive place to grab breakfast. At the Mobil Fuel Station!
The have a little convinence store that has a little grill behind the counter. In the mornings they cook up home-made egg/bacon/cheese/english muffin breakfast sandwiches and hash browns. They are very similar to the McDonald's breakast Egg McMuffin, much much better tasting.
In the mornings I would walk over to the Mobil (which is next door to the campground) and get a fresh hot breakfast sandwich, hashbrown, and a 600ml Ice Coffee for about $7 AUD.
Favorite Dish: Just the breakfast sandwich.
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
Sounds of Silence Dinner: Silent? Not after the 3rd glass of champagne :)
The Sounds of Silence dinner is one of my fondest memories of Australia. It's not just a dinner, but an experience.
Just before sunset, they bus you out to a remote location to watch the sunset over Uluru and Kata Tjuta. It is beautiful. And gets more beautiful with each glass of champagne they offer you.
Then you are walked over to the fancy tables and fed a delicious 5 course (maybe more?) meal of kangaroo, crocodile and barramundi.
After you've eaten more than you thought you ever would, the candles are blown out and an astronomer talks about the stars that look so close you can reach out and touch them.
Cost was about $90US, and worth every penny!
Favorite Dish: The kangaroo isn't bad. And the emu was definitely the best dish there.
Rosie's Camp Kitchen: Another "Survivor" Meal
After an amazing day in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, we headed back to our campsite in the Ayers Rock Campground. It was time for another "survivor" meal. Rosie and Deb made a rissoto with spicy sausage and vegetables. Dessert was apple pie with custard. It was yet another delicious meal on the 2010 VT Survivor Camp.
- National/State Park
- Road Trip
The Tali Bar: Tali Bar - small menu but great venue & food
This is a well-priced really pleasant cafe/bar where we had dinner one night. It is in the Voyages/Sails hotel area and is accessible for all visitors to Yulara.
We were very pleasantly surprised that we could get a meal for under $20. This is a well kept secret I think as we found no reviews on the Tali Bar meals prior to our trip.
In the afternoon we had a beer at the Tali Bar. At about $6 for a schooner this is equivalent to all bars in the Yulara complex.
The menu is small but the meals were fine and in fact were cheaper than having a bbq at the Pioneer BBQ. The main course menu had choices of grilled salmon, steak, hamburger, 2 pasta dishes and others I can't recall. I had spagehetti bolognose and my partner had a hamburger. We bought a Saltram wine for about $40 (which is pricey) but that is also the same price for that wine all through Yulara. We actually took a couple of bottles of wine in our bag to Yulara too.
The staff were very attentive as they are in the upper end of Yulara venues. It seems they put their most experienced staff at the more expensive accommodation outlets and train new staff at the cheaper outlets. (Staff turnover is quite substantial apparently, but they seem to train them all very well).
Good value this one and nice outlook.
The Campsite....hehe: Make your own....
Take your own...throw it on the grill...work as a team and away you go..top tucker in the outback...
not quite widgety grubs but excellent atmosphere and memories for all...
Favorite Dish: Stir fry...
It's a poor picture but it depicts the idea.....