I guess you’re basking in tapas, cerveza and all things Catalan at the moment? Got to find a time to come visit Barcelona soon.
While you are indulging in Michelin star restaurants by the dozen, we’ve been exploring the best that Adelaide has to offer.
A very brief visit to Adelaide for Sarah and Anthony’s wedding, we had a little time outside the formal festivities.
Now we’d heard stories about a mysterious place known as Africola. The rumours were that the food was on the money and the place was hitting the mark in every other aspect. But, this is Adelaide. A place where the list of the top 10 places to have breakfast in Adelaide include more than a few places which are more than an hour’s drive out of town (e.g. in the country). So, I was sceptical.
I flew in early evening and was whisked into the big-smoke by Julia. Our aim was to try and get a table at the most in-demand place in Adelaide without a booking. Something you simply wouldn’t try in Melbourne, London, Dubai, Port Moresby…well, most any place in the world.
Rolling in right on the dot of 6pm and we were seated by 6:00:05pm. Game on!
The menu is difficult to navigate, but the oh-so-hipster wait staff suggested the chef’s tasting menu. Who were we to argue? Matching wine? Alas, Julia was driving (I have an injured wing, so can’t drive).
Africola is premised on South African food. So, to start, kingfish ceviche? Followed by a bowl of clams in a biriyani broth? Maybe it is the influence of so many cultures coming through? Hey, it was good. Could have had another bowl and been well pleased…some bread or naan please!?
Charred baby leeks. Did I mention I really don’t like leeks? But these were served with some pork sausage, like chorizo and some delectable white anchovies. Bless. We did need a steak knife to cut the leeks though.
And…meat. So much meat. Smoked, bbq’d beef short ribs and some bbq’d peri-peri chicken served with an array of pickles, a salad of endives and bitter leaves and a bowl of hearty, tangy polenta with fermented tomatoes. No, that wasn’t an accident. The tomatoes were meant to be fermented and I, for one was pretty happy about it.
At this point I could barely sit on the bar stool (which weighed more than me). But there was dessert to come. Chocolatey, minty, curdy, a good finish to the meal…but ended my glass of wine in a single bite.
The wine list is obscure, but short. Clearly the wines are designed to match the menu and the staff were pretty happy to help point in the right direction.
As is typical with Adelaide, it’s hard to charge much (people won’t come), so the whole thing was pretty reasonable.
Would I recommend you go there? Heck-yeah…but only if are already going to be in Adelaide. My tip, bring an appetite. This is not a place with modest helpings.
When we left the place was heaving. Good on them. Adelaide needs places like this to excite more innovation.
Looking forward to the scoop on Barcelona…in manageable portions.