“I’LL have a crocodile sandwich and make it snappy!”

Chef Paul Young would be a very rich man if he had a pound for every time a customer said that to him since he brought an exotic menu to his pub.

Among the traditional grub at The Brittania in Oswaldtwistle, he and his partner Tony offer crocodile steaks, shark fillets and kangaroo meat — a taste of the outback in East Lancs.

The menu sounds like a bushtucker trial — try a skippy stack with kangaroo, chicken and black pudding; crocodile with a creamy chorizo sauce; and shark with a ginger and lime glaze.

The unusual menu began as an experiment. “Someone told me that everybody around here likes tradition, so I saw this as a challenge and decided to experiment,” said Paul who has run the pub for two years.

“Customers are a bit sceptical but once they try it they really love it, especially the kangaroo. It’s like strong beef and has to be slow cooked. The kangaroo goes well with the chicken, bacon and black pudding — there’s a good contrast of colours.”

Paul trained in the West End in London. He was a chef for 23 years in several of the city’s wine bars and now lives at the premises in Haslingden Old Road.

The 53-year-old buys all of his produce locally. The kangaroo comes from a farm in Nelson and the shark comes from a Blackburn wholesalers who specialise in catering.

“The shark is a bit like white tuna and it tastes delicious. It’s quite a tender meat and goes well with the ginger and lime. The crocodile is imported from Africa and the shark is from Asia. I wanted to bring something different to East Lancashire,” said Paul, who was once an art and design teacher at Burnley College.

Fillet venison stroganoff is another dish popular at the Thwaites pub. “People like their traditional meals but it’s good to experiment, something that I started off doing with the menu. It’s now really taking off.”