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Top foodies share their South Australian food secrets

  1. South Australia Undercover with Tim Bourke, Pop Up Chef Extraordinaire

    With time at the helm of the kitchen at Kangaroo Island’s renowned Southern Ocean Lodge, Sydneysider, Tim Bourke is no stranger to the quality of South Australia’s produce.

    Along with partner Sarah Feehan, a move to Adelaide followed with plans afoot to open their own restaurant.

    Whilst the search for the perfect venue for their own restaurant continues; Tim is consulting and working on new recipes for Maggie Beer in the Barossa and Sarah’s working at Orana in Adelaide.

    In the meantime, the pair have been running a series of successful pop-up dining events under the South West Supper Club banner.

    “What we are doing is just what we do naturally. Hosting and cooking with great South Australian produce. We look at the market list and the menu evolves from what is delicious and seasonal at that time. South Australia has a really strong food culture, probably the strongest in the country,” Bourke says

    “We work with some pretty amazing suppliers in particular Rachael McMillan at Scoop. Twelve months ago we gave Rachael a list of all the things I’d like to work with and today we are working with that produce. They also have a farm-gate on Saturday’s in Aldinga that is open to the public. Amazing muesli and bags of fruit and there is always one seasonal dish available … it’s fantastic.”

    From his time at Southern Ocean Lodge, Tim definitely has a soft spot for the produce from that idyllic slice of South Australia.

    Kangaroo Island Fresh Seafoods is another producer we absolutely love and Southrock Lamb is brilliant.”

    And where to do they love to eat in South Australia?

    “For breakfast Paddy’s Lantern is awesome; great coffee and food. We tend to eat a lot of Vietnamese food sometimes three times a week and our favourite is a little place called Saigon Gate (402 Prospect Road, Kilburn), beautiful fresh flavours and they never seem to close.”

    “One of the best meals we have eaten lately was at Casa Carboni, a small Italian enoteca/cooking school in the Barossa Valley. Seven courses of the most amazing Italian food on a communal table … a wonderful dining experience.”


  2. Chester Osborn and the finer things in life

    As winemaker for the famous McLaren Vale producer d’Arenberg, he is no stranger to the art of enjoying the finer things in life. One of the State’s most popular cellar doors also features the much loved d’Arry’s Verandah, a dining venue of which Chester is rightly proud.

    “I’m pretty lucky to dine at our own restaurant d’Arry’s Verandah … ummm … a lot.” Osborn says.

    “Our chef Peter Reschke does an amazing job for us, changing the menu every three months and focussing on the fantastic produce we have here in South Australia.”

    “We’ve got the best pork dish in the world! Juicy without being fatty, it’s a knockout and at the moment, the jungle curry is fantastic. The restaurant’s signature dish is a lobster medallion with blue swimmer crab and prawn ravioli in a lobster bisque. I’d pretty much be happy eating that at every meal. We are very lucky.”

    "And of course if you are visiting McLaren Vale, the Willunga Farmers Market is on every Saturday and that is a great place to check out to stock up on some of the region’s best seasonal produce.”

    In Adelaide, Osborn recommends Chianti Classico “I recently had a chicken heart and pigs ear pasta there that blew my mind. It’s been around for a while now and the food and service is absolutely on song. It’s got a great wine-list too.”

    As for laid-back local eateries Osborn loves Ahern Thai in Duthy Street.

    “The chef used to own a place on Unley Road. He retired for three years before reappearing and opening up Ahern Thai. Fantastic food and a really eccentric waiter. I just love the place.”


  3. Simon Bryant, a foodie’s guide to Adelaide

    Given the many guest chef events in which he participates, not to mention his consuming role as co-director of Tasting Australia, it’s little wonder that Simon Bryant looks for a life away from food.

    “I’m so embedded in food I kind of run from it,” he says … but not entirely.

    He does have his favourite restaurants – and their chefs, and although he can admire chefs at the top of their craft, what he really enjoys most is simple food.

    “I’m actually a very simple person because when I’m a guest chef in a fancy kitchen I’m always trying to convince chefs to cook plain. And when I eat I don’t critique, I don’t even want to order – I just like to be fed.”

    Which is why he so likes the humble Afghani family-run restaurant Parwana.

    “It’s the ultimate in hospitality,” he says.

    “They make you feel so welcome. It’s in their spirit that feeding people is a noble and good thing to do, and you can’t fake that. I can honestly say I’m happiest and most comfortable in places like this.”

    Going more upmarket, he singles out Fino at Seppeltsfield in the Barossa, simply because he so admires co-owner and chef David Swain’s cooking.

    “Fino is so relaxed, not uptight about anything, and the food isn’t messed with. David knows how to work with flavour, not against it – it’s beautiful food. And (co-owner) Sharon Romeo runs a brilliant outfit – she’s the most hospitable person in the world.”

    Back in the city, Bryant points to Peel St.

    “It doesn’t take itself too seriously but it’s one of the best things about Adelaide. There’s no friggin’ hoo ha, no wanker tongs or bubbles, just awesome food.”

    He loves the farmer’s markets that have sprung up around Adelaide.

    “We’re really very lucky,” he says.

    The Willunga farmer’s market was the first and it’s still the gold standard.

    Unlike some farmer’s markets around the world it still has complete authenticity and it’s my favourite.

    But the city farmer’s market at Wayville each Sunday morning is a tribute to people’s interest in great food – it’s a place where you come away with less money but richer for the experience.”

    And when he really wants to get away from it all, Bryant goes bush – he heads to the desert with some Aboriginal mates, totally remote around Maralinga near SA’s border with Western Australia “where you can’t escape how old this country is”.

    “You give up on showers, submit to the dirt and the chaos of camp, no emails – and it’s quiet. There’s a lot to be said for silence.”


  4. South Australia Undercover with Scott Hicks

    Many of my favourite haunts are on the Fleurieu, including our own vineyard Yacca Paddock where I’m building a hide in the bush for my grandson Isaac.

    It’s a folly, which, like Rome, may never be finished – just across the valley from Geoff Hardy’s K1 winery with Bernadette on the cellar door.

    At Port Elliot you want for nothing. One of the great bookshops is Sara’s South Sea Books, where the aromas of fresh print and coffee form a blend that ought to be illegal it’s so intoxicating.

    When we’re relaxing at our beach house, I look no further than Flying Fish at Horseshoe Bay for fish and chips (though the Stirling Hotel in the Adelaide Hills is a good rival, where we have a family dinner most weeks).

    My morning bike ride takes me along the coast to the welcoming reward of Bombora Cafe on the beach at Goolwa, where Kerry and I may linger over a great breakfast or dinner at Olaf’s gem of a location.

    Much of my pleasure around the city also happens on my bike, a carbon-framed marvel, light as a snakeskin.

    Often I drop in to Hey Jupiter for Christophe’s baked eggs or unsurpassable sandwiches. Inside, you’re in Paris - outside it’s Ebenezer Place, crammed with other essential delights that I like to browse such as Treadly’s very individual bike store.

    For gelati, I do a weekly ‘Tour de Cibo’ on our bikes with Artie, another I’m proud to have call me Grandpa.

    My bike is kept in great shape by Peter Giessauf at International Cycles in Stepney, when he’s not busy attending to champions on the real Tour.

    For takeaway, I can’t go past the construction kit for pho soup from Café Saba, with bouquets of basil and coriander, chilli and slivers of rare beef to add to the broth.

    Eating out with family, friends and colleagues is always a pleasure at The Pot on King William Road.

    It succeeds at the seemingly impossible:  a snug and comfortable atmosphere powered by vibrant, youthful energy, with a great kitchen and excellent service.

    It transforms from sophisticated night dining to airy, fresh breakfast with doors folded back, newspapers and more coffee.

    For casual drinks and an excellent bar menu, I get together with friends at The Apothecary on Hindley Street … for medicinal purposes only, of course.

    Cinema outings tend not to involve the bike so much, but I devour the offerings of Palace/Nova (very civilised, with their ‘Epic’ glass of wine designed to get you and your thirst through Lawrence of Arabia.)  Then there’s the fabulous Mercury with Glenys Rowe’s brilliant programming.



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