I agree with your hope eataust, and it's nice to see that this is happening more and more often. Only the other day I was re-reading a Kylie Kwong book and noticed that she had a something-with-native-pepper recipe in there, which I hadn't before (truth be told though, the whole book has never had a proper read since the first page I opened it to was a lobster and fois gras salad
. Food porn maybe, but that's just silly as far as I'm concerned!). I've also noticed a few lemon myrtles and native pepper mentions crop up on local menus, but figured that's a proximity effect as there's the Tumbeela farm down the road. Maybe it's not and there is a general movement, hell even Beat the Chef had a native-themed show.
Still, I reckon that this "sneaky" way of getting people used to native produce is the way to go. More than just my basic cynicism re. The General Public, I think that "theme" restaurants make the food into a bit of a joke and jokes can wear very thin, very quickly... I think there's also a perception of added cost for such 'special' food - borne out by Rimbaud's experience of Edna's Table! Although wasn't your degustation $100 ph eataust? Not pricey at all as far as such things go. And roo-for-the-home-kitchen has got to be one of the cheapest meats around...
Maybe a new thread in the bushtucker/suppliers area should be Top Ten Places To Take Your Unadventurous Mother* to Dinner, menus whcih sneak that bushfood in without diners noticing?
*or obstinate relative of your choice.
Aside 1: why is it that these types can always scarfe down fried bugs etc by the handful when in foreign lands, but wrinkle delicate noses when Skip's on the menu?!
Aside 2: But then again, I can't really blame 'em when our specialist roo butcher persists in promoting their products with a man-in-a-giant-roo-suit handing out roo mettwurst - "here, eat my uncle!"