Review: Gondola Gondola

“It’s not hawker-style street food, though it does take some creative license on some customary dishes from Vietnam and Thailand with just a hint of Japan. “

We’ve had a love affair with Asian fusion for decades, but our twist on the originals hasn’t always fared well. We’ve all been there. Stodgy Chinese food, Thai-style noodles in boxes swimming in sweet sauce, or worse, greasy deep-fried ice-cream with Ice Magic on top. Our Asian neighbours are still cringing over our crimes against their culinary heritage and I don’t blame them one bit. Today things have changed for the better. Simple ingredients are being prepared using traditional methods. With influences from the street stalls of Indonesia to the Izakaya of Japan, on the corner of Peel Street and Hindley, Gondola Gondola is another eatery helping salvage the reputation of a once dingy side of town. Gondola-Gondola-Review-Adelaide-Restaurant-2016-peel-street-hindley-street-asian-fusion It’s not hawker-style street food, though it does take some creative license on some customary dishes from Vietnam and Thailand with just a hint of Japan. The inside is set up a little hawker-style too, but with an on-trend industrial feel. This is the new hip part of town, after all. The drinks list starts with spiked iced tea cocktails – crazy combinations include chai milk tea laced with bourbon, or a berry oolong with maraschino, violet and a glug of Old Tom gin for good measure. This is followed by a well-priced wine list and a decent array of sake and Asian whiskeys. Gondola-Gondola-Review-Adelaide-Restaurant-2016-peel-street-hindley-street-asian-fusion The flexible pan-Asian menu makes it easy to get adventurous with lots of smaller dishes, and we order with fervour. Steamed chicken and corn dumplings with sweet vinegar sauce set us off, as a generous filling encased by silky dumpling wrappers are eagerly devoured. Daughter-in-law eggs are fried in a hot wok so they are lightly crispy on the outside, with a hot runny yolk inside, topped with tamarind and fried chilli. Deliciously rich, this dish sets the benchmark high for the rest of the meal to come. Gondola-Gondola-Review-Adelaide-Restaurant-2016-peel-street-hindley-street-asian-fusion Gondola’s salty sweet salad is a good example of the chef’s style, a decidedly spicy salad with crisp anchovies, peanuts and green mango all piled atop a crunchy black sesame crisp. Next come generous tender slivers of salmon prepared sashimi-style and coated in a zesty sauce with a beautiful balance of heat and freshness, topped with more of the salty sweet salad and fresh Thai basil for a punch of herbaceous flavour. Gondola-Gondola-Review-Adelaide-Restaurant-2016-peel-street-hindley-street-asian-fusion Master Master is slow-cooked beef ribs in master stock flavoured with lemongrass, star anise and cinnamon. This is a generous serve and not for the faint of heart. A dish of grand proportions in size as well as flavour, the meat closer to the bone is tender though the rest is slightly on the dry side, saved only by the goluptious master stock sauce that resembles a beefed up caramel. Gondola Gondola is a vibrant celebration of Asian cuisine subjected to the best kind of fusion, with a perfect balance of sugar and spice for good measure. Gondola Gondola 1 Peel Street 8123 3877

Adelaide In-depth

Get the latest stories, insights and exclusive giveaways delivered straight to your inbox every week.