~The Intern Series~
You might be wondering, like we were, what is Australian food?
Well, I have answers. Australian food is a melting pot, like the U.S., of a bunch of other cultures and countries near Australia. The common countries are in Asia, the Middle East + the Mediterranean. It’s a beautiful combination of seafood, curry, endemic proteins like kangaroo and emu, and flavors of their Asian neighbors!
Here is what we tried at Isla and Co in Fairfield, CT.
Kangaroo Tucker: traditional Australian rubbed Kangaroo skewered over herbed tahini, marinated cucumbers, pickled onions, fried lentils
Blistered Brussel Sprouts: Isla’s famous chili sauce & herbs
Crispy Halloumi: almond romesco, honey, spanish dukkah
Braised Lamb Shoulder: Swiss chard, crispy fingerlings, labneh, zhoug
Aussie Chicken Parma: fried chicken parmesan served with mixed green salad or fries
Check out our Q+A with their manager TJ!
What inspired the concept for Isla & Co and how do you feel it reflects the rich culinary traditions of Australia?
” At Isla and Co, we try to bring Australian values, culture and cuisine to the Fairfield community. Our staff is laid-back, chill, friendly, and cheeky with every guest that comes in. Our goal is to make the residents of Fairfield and the surrounding areas feel welcome and at home every time they visit us.”
Can you introduce us to a few standout dishes new customers can’t miss out on?
“You can’t miss the Kangaroo Tucker, the Brussel sprouts, the Lamb Shoulder and the Espresso Martini!”
Is Isla & Co accommodating to people with dietary restrictions and how so?
“We are very accommodating to guests with allergies and restrictions, one of our key members of Isla & Co. is a celiac so a lot of the menu is designed by him to be gluten free! The fish n chips is used with rice flour, we don’t use regular flour in the fryer for this reason, we have gluten free buns and toast, etc.”
Since sustainability is a hot topic right now, is Isla and Co. doing anything to help preserve the environment?
“Yes! We use paper straws made from agave plants. Not to mention that kangaroo is a very environmentally friendly meat, they are wild caught only and they are shipped from Australia. Kangaroo hunting is the same as deer hunting in the states, just as a means of cutting population to not harm the farms crops.”
Are there any fall specials coming up?
“Yes! We are releasing a fan menu soon. A fall sangria will be on the cocktail list featuring pear puree, with cinnamon apple nutmeg and a white wine base. We are adding soups + stews as well as pumpkin bread and a pumpkin spiced coffee!”
What’s your fav menu item?
“The Chicken Sando for sure!”
About Isla and Co: At Isla & Co. we bring our Australian culture and vibes to America through food, drink and shared experiences. People visit Australia for the natural beauty. The outback, the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Harbor, Kangaroo Island, but by and large when they return home travelers rave about the people, the hospitality, and the welcoming experience that Australians are known for. We look to imitate that feeling in our venues, guests come to Isla & Co. for the food and drink. They come back for always engaging, fun and personable experiences. Whether it’s a quality coffee alongside a friendly chat with our barista on a Sunday Morning or that “hits the spot” end of day cocktail paired with a few laughs with the bartender or, our personal favorite (and combination of the two), an espresso martini made without judgment (but a bit of jealousy) by the general manager at 11 am on a Monday morning – we believe that quality of service doesn’t need to mean pretentious and stuffy.