This King William Road eatery and catering studio is proof that some food accounts on Instagram are worth following.
We all love a good cheese platter and for the past few years the lauded grazing table has been a conversation starter at many an event or party. The old cheddar and kabana on Tupperware will no longer cut it as guest expectations have increased thanks to Instagram posts that turn tables of food into culinary art. Personally, I consider arranging cheese platters the peak of my artistic ability but that’s not saying much.
Realising I was on the verge of obsession, I started the process of unfollowing several accounts that did nought but make me envious and hungry as I scrolled. But hovering over @gatherandgraze.co I couldn’t bring myself to unfollow.
Over time, I noticed a change. Between platters and tables filled with delicious treats I could see perfectly filtered photos of meals, drinks, healthy bites and coffee. It turns out that like many successful mobile vendors, Gather & Graze had gone bricks and mortar. I had to visit.
In a shopfront at the beginning of King William Road in Unley, the Gather & Graze interior is like a breath of fresh air. Light and bright with a simplistic and slightly outdoorsy feel, white wood panelled walls feature local artworks and sparsely positioned greenery. The only exception is one wall covered in small slips of paper that turn out to be customer coffee cards, because who wants to carry those around?
Open for brunch and lunch, convenience and simplicity flow through a menu that reads as good as it eventually looks, but the dishes are more than just pretty pictures. In an unusual combination, sweetcorn is blended with okra to form some outstanding fritters, which are topped with avocado, shredded green mango, kaffir lime and grapefruit. This is a dish of balance, a theme that follows with the dishes to come.
Chicken larb features Asian greens (nicely dressed), bean shoots (usually detested but in this case perfectly acceptable), a generous helping of lightly-baked cashews and fried shallots that are blended with Thai herbs. The accompanying nuoc cham sauce initially packs a spice punch but is quickly soothed by sweetness. Vermicelli adds bulk and a stack of (concerningly) uniform lettuce cups are provided to help you build Gather & Graze’s take on san choy bow.
With each bite more delicious than the last, the grilled Korean beef dish’s star protein must have been soaked in a tenderising marinade for days. Slivers of tender beef sit atop tofu surrounded by a showcase of the food pyramid’s best and brightest: chopped broccolini, edamame and a range of pickles that includes ginger two ways, which are piled together with some lightly spiced kimchi.
Finely diced nashi pear adds crunch and delicate sweetness with umami introduced via a generous scattering of white and black sesame seeds. Then there’s added miso for a savoury edge, topped off with a fried egg that remains wobbly in the centre but crispy outside. Like the others, this dish proves that behind the bright colours and applied filters, there is some serious fusion Asian cooking going on in the kitchen.
Gather & Graze is like an Instagramed grazing table, but with the bonus of actual flavour.