Current Issue #479

2019 in review:
Restaurants of South Australia

My Grandma Ben
Sia Duff

From buzzing new openings to much-loved suburban secrets, our writers spent the past 12 months eating and drinking their way across South Australia. Here are the highlights from our Food and Drink pages in 2019.

Jessie Spiby
Sia Duff
Jessie Spiby at My Grandma Ben

My Grandma Ben

“The community of stalls, shops and eateries at Plant 4 in Bowden seem to have one thing in common. They care. Words like sustainable, ethical, biodegradable, re-useable, re-claimable and recyclable are all prevalent on signage and menus. One of these menus belongs to My Grandma Ben, inspired by a lady named Betty who lived by these resourceful and often frugal guidelines. There’s a message behind every one of Jessie Spiby’s dishes, and when there’s not, there’s a reason for that, too. Almost everything is made in-house, with equal consideration given to maximising flavour while minimising waste.”

– Paul Wood

Full story

Restaurant Review:
My Grandma Ben


Sia Duff
Herringbone

Herringbone

“White beans are blended into a puree that is enjoyably seasoned and topped with slightly charred, crispy and utterly delightful fried brussels sprouts that have me forgetting childhood traumas caused by this innocent little vegetable. Slivers of toasted garlic have our attention and both are combined with unblended white beans for a little more texture. A light pesto added to the mix has us greedily piling this tasty fare on top of crunchy fried bread and leads to polite yet insincere conversation about who is taking the last bite. (It’s me, of course; I’m getting the bill.)”

– Paul Wood

Full story

Restaurant Review: Herringbone


Pho Ba Ria 2
Sia Duff
Pho Ba Ria 2

Pho Ba Ria 2

“One of the best local bowls of beef noodle soup is found at Hanson Road’s Pho Ba Ria 2, which this month celebrates 10 years in the hands of the Phan family. Over that time, they have turned the Hanson Road eatery into a go-to destination for anyone wanting a bowl of steaming hot pho or other Vietnamese staples such as broken rice or crispy quail.”

– David Knight

Full story

Suburban Secrets:
Pho Ba Ria 2

Soi 38
Sia Duff
Soi 38

Soi38

“Pan-fried chive cakes are little green pillows of pleasure that are soaked in a aromatic dipping sauce. A simple delight with light onion flavour, nice seasoning and only a hint of grease. We are warned to slice the sago peanut dumplings in half before eating and it’s good advice as these slightly sweet, chewy morsels are certainly a mouthful. Coconut cream is the central flavour in another simple sample of Thai dishes that do not have to try too hard to please.”

– Paul Wood

Full story

Restaurant Review:
Soi38


Gather & Graze
Sia Duff

Gather & Graze

“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.”

– Paul Wood

Full story

Restaurant Review: Gather & Graze

82 Thai
Sia Duff
82 Thai Eatery

82 Thai Eatery

“Husband and wife team June Sukho and Theewin Chuajuk have found the optimum middle-ground with their menu, which appeals to a diverse cross-section of local diners as well as those with a spicy South East Asian-friendly palate. It’s Thai at its most approachable.”

– David Knight

Full story

Suburban Secrets:
82 Thai Eatery


Singapore House
Sia Duff
Singapore House

Singapore House

“For the most part, things at Singapore House have remained the same. It’s a consistent go-to, an eclectic mix of design influenced by Singapore’s melting pot culture. Owners Hailey and Montie Waraich head up the front of house and kitchen respectively. Always on the go, these two have been driving the restaurant through the best part of the last decade with gusto. Their customers return again and again, and it’s little wonder why.”

– Paul Wood

Full story

Restaurant Review: Singapore House


Minestra
Sia Duff
Minestra

Minestra

“That titular mix of spinach, cannellini beans and whatever is in season can be found alongside other southern Italian staples like pasta e fagioli or polpette – rissoles of meat, potato and eggplant served with the essential side of chilli oil diners can drizzle to their own taste (waiting staff will cheerfully report the intensity of the week’s chilli like it’s the weather). For more standard breakfast and lunch fare, toasties with pancetta, peperonata or ‘nduja, a Calabrese pork spread, are also regulars on the blackboard.”

– Walter Marsh

Full story

Suburban Secrets: Minestra

The Golden Wattle’s fritz and sauce sanga
Sia Duff
The Golden Wattle

The Golden Wattle

“The spaghetti bolognese hot pocket is not quite a pizza pocket in the traditional sense but I’m yanked straight back to primary school. And just like those days, I inevitably burn the roof of my mouth on the piping-hot filling after digging in a bit too keenly.”

– Tomas Telegramma

Full story

Restaurant Review:
The Golden Wattle


Orso Kensington
Sia Duff
Orso

Orso

“Orso’s menu includes steak – not just any old beef but the award-winning Jack’s Creek branded wagyu. The cut served is rump cap with a marbling score of 9+ the highest grade for flavour and a favourite cut with chefs. The beef was crusty on the outside and extremely juicy with a deep, rich, savoury flavour.”

– Kylie Fleming

Full story

Restaurant Review:
Orso


Sia Duff
Nido

Nido

“No meal at Nido should be without gnocco fritto. After all, who would not order a hunk of deep-fried dough described by their waitress as the love of her life? Steam billows out as I tear it in half. Fresh out the fryer, it’s notably crisper and more golden than one I had here a few months ago, and the salt is so liberal it’s visible (in a good way). Inside, things are fluffy AF without compromising on chew. “

– Tomas Telegramma

Full story

Restaurant Review: Nido


Black Dog Gallery, Tusmore
Sia Duff
Black Dog Gallery

Black Dog Gallery

“Unexpected moments of culinary fusion might keep Abe’s Instagram followers intrigued, but it’s the consistently structured, seasonally updated menu that keeps the small restaurant full day and night. A choose-your-own adventure ramen menu ensures local noodle-lovers are slurping with satisfaction, the miso soup is always abundant, and Abe’s selection of plant-based plates inspired by shōjin ryōri traditions leave even the smuggest eastern suburbs vegan humbled – this writer included.”

– Walter Marsh

Full story

Suburban Secrets:
Black Dog Gallery

Sparkke at the Whitmore
Sia Duff
Sparkke at the Whitmore

Sparkke at the Whitmore

“A second starter of smoked hiramasa kingfish looks deceptively simple but wows the palate. The sweet, clean, silky kingfish smoked over native gum has a dressing you could slurp by the spoonful. It’s made with turmeric, which adds a sunny colour and background earthiness. Fingerlime delivers an intense citrus hit with black salt flecks and crispy curry leaves to finish.”

Full story

Restaurant Review:
Sparkke at the Whitmore


Michael and Trinh Richards of The Little Rickshaw
Sia Duff
Michael and Trinh Richards of The Little Rickshaw

The Little Rickshaw

“The menu is easy to navigate, with Vietnamese favourite split into small and large share plates. When the salt ‘n’ pepper eggplant arrives, it’s clear why it’s a favourite. Thin strips of eggplant so soft they’re almost liquefied are encased in a cocoon of crunchy golden batter and the contrast in texture is immensely satisfying. The oily vegetable is slightly sweet and there’s a hint of spice to the batter that makes the chips disappear dangerously quickly.”

– Alexis Buxton-Collins

Full story

Restaurant Review:
The Little Rickshaw

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