On Saturday, we had the chance to try a few things at The Thirsty Koala, the new Australian-influenced restaurant that is opening up on Ditmars Blvd in Astoria, at a blogger preview tasting. And depending on how fast all the remaining paperwork moves, they may be open by end of week.
We met up with the restaurant partners, who fed us – Katherine Fuchs, Alex Styponias, and Christine Chellos – as well as a group of local bloggers, including Judith Rich (Fooditka), Sue Yacka (tastoriaqueens), Bradley Hawks (Amuse Bouche), Danielle McClure (QNYC), Jeffrey Orlick (Queens Qustodian), and Veronica Chan (Woks and Lox). It was a nice time to catch up and taste some new Australian-influenced victuals.
We really enjoyed the food. It’s fresh and interesting, and very tasty. What we tried was a sampling, and the full menu will have many more things on it. The first dish we tried is a vegan moussaka. The “bechamel” is made with tofu.
It had a wonderful rich tomato sauce, potato, organic tofu, and thin slices of eggplant. This dish also happens to be gluten-free, too. They will also have a vegan chili on the menu.
Next up was quite a contrast – lamb lollies, which are little lamb chops, cooked beautifully with a nice crust, served with caramelized pumpkin, and a little salad of arugula and pomegranate.
This was a real winner.
We also had a couple of Boomerang prawn tacos, consisting of three good sized prawns topped with avo salsa (avocado), cabbage, cilantro, and something called “white sauce” all on Tortilleria Nixtamal corn tortillas. The sauce tastes of sour cream, lime, and chili. It’s addictive.
We also tried a couple of Australian-style crostis, which are crostini. One was Kakadu – made with kalamata tapenade, house made chevre, kakadu plum, shallots, prosciutto, and balsamic reduction. The Noosa Head consisted of house made chevre, cucumber pineapple salsa, smoked salmon, and dill. We were particularly taken with the Kakadu, in part because of the plum – the kakadu plum has what many believe to be the highest levels of vitamin C in any fruit. It was tangy and sweet, and yum. Expect to see a a whole variety of crostis on the menu.
For dessert we tried a Triple T – Tim Tam Tiramisu. It is inspired by tiramisu (missing mascarpone cheese) made with crumbled Tim Tam cookies (a popular commercially made Australian biscuit made of two cookies sandwiching caramel or chocolate cream, then covered in chocolate), coffee, and whipped cream. The cream was a wonderfully thick consistency, and only lightly sweet. The cookies aren’t as soft as you might expect in tiramisu, but the combination is delicious.
We also had some delicious Australian wines and little glasses of Crabbie’s a ginger beer from Scotland, which is seriously tasty – it’s like a very robust ginger ale, but it does have a little alcohol (a little under 5%).
We think this will be a wonderful addition to the neighborhood. As we posted last week, the interior is beautiful – so light and airy compared to the dark Spiced that was there before.
Many thanks to Koala partners Katherine, Alex, and Christine for a delicious meal and wonderful conversation, as well as the other bloggers that came to enjoy food and friendship together!
The Thirsty Koala, 35-12 Ditmars Boulevard, Astoria, New York 11105 (GMAP)