Guest Post: Shopping at Costco Australia

November 19th, 2015 · No Comments

{In honor of the new Costco Australia location in Moorabbin (8 Chifley Drive, Moorabbin Airport, VIC 3194) that opened on November 18, I thought a post from Rick Vanover, frequent guest poster and Twitter minder, about his recent shopping experience at the Melbourne Costco seemed fitting.   And congrats to Costco Australia on the opening of their eighth location!}

Kirkland Signature Big Red Cups

Kirkland Signature Big Red Cups

Who can’t use the big red party cup?! This cup is available in the United States warehouses as well, but is offered at AUD 18.99 and is very practical for anyone hosting a get together. Myself, I keep these in our basement for the kids to drink water from the sink down there. It’s great as they are non-breakable and sturdy. For those concerned about the environmental impact of a large number of plastic cups, these are recycling code 6 (in the common category of recyclables – you don’t want to generate a lot of 7,9 or “others”).

The 240 count package is surely a good deal and will last you quite a while. The Kirkland Signature brand has a slightly different “ridge design” than ones I’ve seen in US warehouses; namely the Dixie brand with a more classic “red party cup” theme (think of college times). Either way, I find these very handy and recommend buying them for a party and keeping them in stock for when you need them next.

Pure Blonde Lager

Pure Blonde Lager

I love finding a good beer (see recent review of the Sierra Nevada fall collection) and that endeavor is even better when I find it at Costco! In the Melbourne warehouse, I was happy to see a 24 pack of 355 ML bottles of Pure Blond offered for AUD 39.79. Pure Blonde is a really nice beer, and it’s marketed as a low carbohydrate beer. In fact, I didn’t even notice that until I read the case label at the Costco warehouse.

Pure Blond is an Australian beer that is really light in all elements ( aroma, taste, bitterness and aftertaste) and pairs well with almost any situation. Whenever I’m in Australia, it’s my go-to beer, and if I called Australia home I’d surely bring this case home with me. Now, I’d love to walk into my warehouse here in the states and see Pure Blonde offered but I don’t think that’s going to happen. If you see this one in the Australia warehouses, give it a look!

Charlotte's Macarons

Charlotte’s Macarons

MACARONS. MACARONS. MACARONS. This is an item I’m glad I actually DON’T have in my warehouse, I’d buy them too often if I did. I did appreciate that they had an assorted flavor package that I could take home and entertain like a pro! The five flavors are: milk chocolate, raspberry, passion fruit, lemon lime, and salted caramel. I think I’d gravitate to the passion fruit and lemon lime myself, but I’d surely try them all. These were offered for AUD 22.89 in the Melbourne warehouse and would surely be a hit at any party you have. These are imported from France and kept in the refrigerated aisle; so you know they will have that chewy middle and subtle sweetness that makes a macaron great. The real debate around the table will be how you pronounce it? Do some put two “o”s in the word? Macaroon or Macaron? Either way it’ll be fun to debate the silly things over a case of Charlotte’s Macarons!

Kirkland Signature Monterey Jack Cheese

Kirkland Signature Monterey Jack Cheese

One of my staple purchases from Costco is cheese of all types. I was shocked to see this Monterey Jack Cheese in the Melbourne warehouse. For one, it’s made in the USA.  I’m quite jealous as I don’t have this one in my market. I do have Colby Jack and two Cheddar cheeses in block form like this, but I’m sure I’d purchase this if  my Costco had it!

It is offered for AUD 8.89 and is a 2 pound block (907 grams) that is really a versatile size for most households. I ALWAYS (I truly mean always) serve any shredded cheese at home from a fresh shred by hand off of a block of cheese like this, and the taste shows. Fresh shredded cheese doesn’t “cake” like pre-shredded cheese does and it also melts better and has more flavor. I’d love to add this cheese block to #CucinaRickatron (Check that out on Instagram, it’s my home cooking!) for some good Monterey Jack additions to my Mexican or Italian cooking techniques.

Costco Food Court Mexican Style Beef Bake

Costco Food Court Mexican Style Beef Bake

The last item I’ll offer is from the food court. The food court at the Melbourne warehouse was slightly different in offerings than what I’m used to in the United Sates. The two key differing items are the Aussie Meat Pie and Mexican Style Beef Bake. I opted for the beef bake, priced at AUD 4.99 at the food court right before lunch time (around 11:20 AM).

As a starter, I’d say that Mexican food outside of the United States and Mexico is an “opportunity for improvement”. Specifically in Australia, I’ve never been overwhelming impressed with Mexican food offerings for a number of reasons.  My primary reason is that I can make almost anything pretty good (see Instagram link above!) and there is a lot of competition for good Mexican food in the United States. Kimberly has also written about tortilla woes before! I’ll be honest, I didn’t care for the Mexican beef bake, it felt like it was a corner of pizza crust filled with some loosely flavored beef and bean concoction. It was missing a spicy and cheesy element, or possibly a zesty red sauce to dip. No worries though, it’s not my taste and I’ll carry on with other things at the food court which is still one of my favorite food venues!

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