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There’s a new take-out place in Tokyo selling kangaroo bento boxed lunches, so we hopped on over to try them for ourselves.

You can find all sorts of boxed lunches in Japan, with ones that place salmon, hamburger steak, or even Chinese dumplings in a starring role. Recently, though, we found out about a kangaroo bento, and we don’t mean that the box is shaped like one of the Australian animals.

Not far from the Takeshitadori shopping street in Tokyo’s Harajuku neighborhood, the recently opened Roo Meat is a bento takeout joint in which all of the boxed lunches feature kangaroo meat.

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Naturally, the meat is sourced from Australia, where kangaroo populations are regularly culled to prevent damage to the nation’s agricultural centers. You can find kangaroo in Australian supermarkets, where it’s positioned as an alternative to other, costlier types of red meat. Kangaroo also has a number of health benefits. Aside from being rich in conjugated linoleic acid and the amino acid L-carnitine, kangaroo is high in protein and low in fat, as you might have guessed from looking at the muscular build most kangaroos have.

But does kangaroo meat work with Japanese cooking styles and seasonings? To find out, we paid a visit to Roo Meat and ordered three different items from the menu, starting the 650-yen (US$5.40) Miso Roo Steak.

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Next up was the 600-yen Roo Soboro, an Australianized take on the soboro (ground chicken) that’s commonly found in more traditional bento that’s seasoned with soy sauce.

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And finally, the 650-yen Ponzu Roo Steak, flavored with the citrusy vinegar sauce.

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Kangaroo meat doesn’t have a particularly strange appearance, and while it’s firm, we found the meaty texture pleasing as well. There’s just a bit of gaminess, but not enough to be off-putting, and the seasonings did a great job smoothing out the flavors. If anything, we could have done with a little less miso on the Miso Roo Steak, in order to better appreciate the unique choice of meat we were dining on.

Of course, kangaroo isn’t currently a regular part of the Japanese diet, which is why this bento shop is open only for a limited time. But if you’re in the mood to try this mix of Japanese and Australian cuisine, Roo Meat will be open until December 29.

Restaurant information
Roo Meat / ルーミート おいしく燃やすダイニング
Address: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Jingumae 3-23-5
Open 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

Photos ©RocketNews24
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