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Adelaide, a Relatively Unknown Little Gem

Adelaide may not be the first city that comes to mind when thinking of a trip to Australia, but if you are interested in food and drink, it is well worth a visit.

The bartender at Clever Little Tailor.

The bartender at Clever Little Tailor.

Rice snack infused with seaweed at Magill Estate.

Rice snack infused with seaweed at Magill Estate.

Taking a plane to Adelaide from Sydney takes a little longer than Arlanda - Kastrup and is well worth a trip. My first stop is Penfold's Magill Estate; one of the oldest of their vineyards and also the smallest, but it has two restaurants that serve fantastic food daily.

The more humble Magill Estate Kitchen, where the food is rural and rustic, a fantastic chicken liver pate is a great start and their own made gnocchi with taleggio cheese and pears a fantastic continuation. All of course made to pair well with their countless wines on the glass.

Their other restaurant, Magill Estate Restaurant, focuses more on fine dining and in the kitchen we find Scott Huggins cooking great food. Scott has long experience of many top restaurants around the world such as Iggy's and Tippling club in Singapore and Ryugin and Narisawa in Tokyo. The meal at Magill Estate Restaurant will be most memorable when it includes a piece of local wagyu along with a Penfold’s Grange from 1977. The food is incredibly well-prepared and most of the raw materials are grown locally.

“The restaurants are open to the public and sitting in the middle of the vineyard and eating is a fantastic experience”

That Scott might be one of the most pleasant and welcoming chefs you will ever meet does not make the experience worse. To continue on the wine route, a visit to the small vineyard Unico Zelo is well worth the short journey up into the Adelaide Hills, and to Gumeracha, not only because nature is incredibly beautiful here but the wines and spirits that Brendan and Laura Carter make are innovative and consistently very good.

If you love gin then the one they make themselves at Applewood distillery is well worth taking home with you; however, my favorite is their Okar which is a version of Aperol made on native herbs and berries. Brendan and his wife specialize in Italian wine varieties such as Fiano, Nebbiolo and Dolcetto.

Back to the food, don't miss these most talked-about restaurants in Adelaide!

 

Clever Little Tailor

With their cocktails and an impressive wine list with wines from the Adelaide Hills and other exciting parts of Australia, the bar impresses greatly, the drinks are well thought out and the atmosphere is the good kind of busy but lovely.

Clever Little Tailor.

Clever Little Tailor.

Jock Zonfrillo from Orana.

Jock Zonfrillo from Orana.

Snacks at Orana.

Snacks at Orana.

 

Orana

Orana is run by Jock Zonfrillo, a chef who has a long relationship with Australia even though he is from Scotland. The restaurant is on the second floor and you have to know that it is there to realize that the small staircase leads up to the restaurant itself, the sign is almost invisible. Once inside the restaurant, there are light colors on the wall that dominate together with wooden details and delicious murals.

“The Orana Foundation has created an almost magical contact with the aborigines”

This relationship stretches from utilizing their knowledge of the native raw materials, to create an organization where they can benefit from these skills economically as well. The dinner was nothing if not inspiring and Jock's passion catches on and after a conversation with him you understand that he is passionate about what he does.

 

Peel Street

On a small street in the middle of Adelaide, there is a myriad of bars and restaurants, including Peel Street, perhaps my most appealing visit to a restaurant for a long time. Sitting in the bar you get your money’s worth, with a kitchen dominated by love for things that are a bit more robust and very generous portions. The chefs Jordan Theodoros and Martin Corcoran have long and solid experience and it feels a bit like you are at home with your friend's mother who just wants to feed you as much as she can.

Their wine list reflects much of what Australia stands for today, young winemakers and natural wines, but also more traditional. I can't get enough of my salad with crispy pork and chili and the toasted bread with various fixings.

Chicken salad with chili, coconut, peanuts and crispy shallots at Peel St.

Chicken salad with chili, coconut, peanuts and crispy shallots at Peel St.

Peel St restaurant.

Peel St restaurant.

Restauranteur Ben with friends at Peel St.

Restauranteur Ben with friends at Peel St.

Magill Estate.

Magill Estate.

ARTICLE CREATORS
Photographer
Cooking, Gourmet travel
Simon studied hospitality in Australia before cooking in Europe and Melbourne. He took his cooking to a career in food styling for advertising and editorial. 
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Writer
Gourmet travel
Writer, thinker, eater, podcaster, traveler and mom.
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