Native Australian produce and dining is growing in popularity both in restaurants and shops. Here’s our guide on where to dine and buy native in Adelaide.
For many of us, native Australian foods are overlooked as an everyday source. Farmers work tirelessly to produce fruit, vegetables and grains that were never meant to grow here so that Australians can enjoy the familiarity of their migrant pasts.
Before British invasion, Indigenous Australians were living sustainably off around 6000 different native plants, grain and meat, most of which you won’t find in a typical supermarket today.
Thankfully, native ingredients are becoming more prevalent on menus, in marketplaces and online. Read on to for where to find and eat native in Adelaide.
An obvious first choice for a locally foraged meal at a more weekday-friendly location than its sister upstairs, Orana. Blackwood offers a selection of dishes using native ingredients that are primarily handpicked.
On Sundays, the doors even open for all-day brunch with options such as smoked pumpkin and warrigal greens or riberry semolina porridge, alongside eggs on toast. restaurantblackwood.com
A new project by Laura Cassai and partner Max Sharrad, two former chefs at Restaurant Orana, is taking place at the Adelaide Central Market.
With monthly dinners available, the pair are serving nostalgic foods with a “wild Australian” flair. Foraged items are the main focus with natives an obvious choice. facebook.com/kitchenselva
The Farm Shed in Hahndorf
Offering a full Australian tapas menu, there are no shortage of options to warm the local palate. Finger limes, lemon myrtle, quandong, bush tomato, wattleseed and saltbush are a handful of seasonings featured.
For carnivores, there are emu and kangaroo options and everything is served up in a cosy converted shearing shed.
Red Ochre Grill
Start your meal here with bread and lemon myrtle butter, move on to kangaroo tail and loin with Davidson pear and plum chutney, and finish with a blood lime tart.
This iconic restaurant on the Torrens has been at the forefront of normalising native Australian ingredients since the early ‘90s.
Their head chef at opening, Andrew Fielke, is also a co-founder at Australian Native Food Industries Limited which works in the development of native food consumption. redochre.com.au
The older sister to Restaurant Blackwood, Orana is smaller in size but richer in experience. The menu is centred on celebrity chef Jock Zonfrillo’s flair for foraging and living from the land.
The bespoke venue has even earned it a hat in the 2016 Australian Good Food Guide. restaurantorana.com.au
The Henry Austin
Hiding in the historic building that once was known as Chesser Cellar is a restored space with a formal dining area and informal basement bar.
In yum-cha style, the wait-staff present each table with dishes heavily featuring Australian native ingredients. True to its old name, there’s a cellar full of wine to wash down a meal.
The flexible nature of the space means you can either pop in for a quick lunch or celebrate a milestone in classy company. thehenryaustin.com.au
TO BRING HOME
Feast Fine Foods owner Richard Gunner is the man to query for all things meat. With his recent partnership with the Motlop family, Gunner has turned Something Wild – his game meats stall, into Australia’s first Indigenous-owned native greens, game and traditional meat stockist.
Don’t be afraid of the unknown, knowledgeable staff can answer any queries on preparation and offer recipe suggestions.
Jagger Fine Foods
Though the stall is mostly renowned for its homemade dips by the kilo, there is a small retail section that features a number of Australian native products.
Things like dried herbs and salts that aren’t found elsewhere in the markets are on display. For the less adventurous there are jams and pre-prepared sauces. adelaidecentralmarket.com.au/traders/jagger-fine-foods/
This wonderland of international foods doesn’t forget what’s closest to home. There’s a large section in the first aisle dedicated to native products and spices.
A range of kangaroo cuts can be found in the meat aisle and when in season, items like finger limes appear in fresh produce. adelaidesfinest.com.au
Offering educational tours, recipe advice and a large range of products, the destination is worth the 90-minute drive.
The farm features a tasting tour which shows guests the growing of native plants as well as processing and drying of fruit like quandong and bush tomato.
All products are available for sampling in their raw state and can be purchased from the farm shop. footesidefarm.com
A new modern label is joining the movement toward Australian native foods.
Their philosophy focuses on the true meaning of local produce by utilising native meats and spices seasonally.
Photos: courtesy featured businesses, Camellia Aebischer