Entering the new eatery tucked away on the almost undetectable Peel Street, we are warned of the falling roof by our host who greets us warmly at the door.
In unison we all duck and look up hesitantly thinking we are about to die without even having our last supper. A very quickly re-phrased, “Sorry, I just mean there are workers upstairs and every now and then a small amount of dust or particles may fall”, she explains hesitantly.
I am certain by now that work will have finished at 9 Peel Street, but just to be on the safe side, maybe take your hard hat. The modish one room eatery has minimal dressing.
Exposed brick, reclaimed wood, a concrete bar and a big back wall painted in blackboard paint sets the scene with the only natural light shining in from a huge window situated at the front looking onto Peel Street. You can sit at the bar in the window and watch the bustle on the street. Mind you the only bustle right now is hard hats and high visibility vests, a vision of productivity and curiosity as the near entirety of the street’s windows are covered in black curtains and ‘opening soon’ signs.
Peel Street is set to be the next Leigh Street with many bars and eats. We are greeted by Lisa, our rather delightful waitress for the duration of our meal, who points out the menu scrawled (daily of course) in white chalk on the back wall. To be as sustainable as possible there are no printed menus. The menu looks inviting and I struggle to choose one dish.
Fortunately I am dining with my three compadres Girl About Town, Mr Market and DC. I suggest we should just get one of everything? They all pause, look at the super big blackboard and ask if I am being serious? At that moment Lisa overhears my suggestion and politely interrupts suggesting perhaps we not get that much food, even if we are ravenous.
That is enough food for the small construction site of hungry builders who reside outside. We stick to four dishes to share. I am relieved. They are very big plates. Their motto for all food, whether from the concrete (the bar) at breakfast or the board, is ‘fresh simple delicious’. The ingredients are fantastic: colourful, fresh and light with a Middle Eastern twist, of which I am very fond and don’t find as often as I would like in Adelaide.
My only concern (apart from the ceiling falling in) was that two of the elements were a little similar, as each dish finished with a substantial hit of coriander and chilli. If we had not shared those four dishes, the same finishing flavour would not have been so obvious. I recommend having one plate each.
You won’t be disappointed, as the meals are robust without leaving you feeling sluggish due to the fabulous array of produce. The dishes were executed in a nonchalant manner that was perfectly apt for the menu.
I have since been back twice and to my relief the roof is no longer falling in and the herb and spice police must have paid a visit as that same-same feeling I had last time did not at all pay me a mouth kick during either visit.
I made friends with some utterly fabulous fried spatchcock and fried chicken, southern style, served at room temperature with not a morsel of coriander or chilli in sight.
9 Peel St
Monday to Friday (7.30am to 5pm), dinners
Thursday to Saturday from 6.30pm