Adelaide’s International Food Scene

Adelaides International Food Scene Global Flavors at Your Doorstep

South Australia’s capital is home to world-famous chefs serving game-changing cuisines in their stunning Adelaide restaurants. Tyson Peterson and Jacqueline Siao approach innovation in their kitchens on sensory, functional and creative levels – configuring and synthesizing diverse threads of culinary knowledge and heritage.

Parwana Afghan Kitchen reflects the ethnic diversity of modern Adelaide in its homespun space hung with vintage family photos and Afghan treasures. Tuck into eggplant curry and fried dumplings topped with garlic yoghurt.

1. Africola

The food scene in Adelaide is a fascinating mix of good value eateries serving explosive flavours and high-class dining rooms that showcase the best local ingredients. The city’s multiculturalism is reflected in its culinary offerings, with restaurants that represent almost every cuisine you can imagine. From homemade pasta to Afghani spices, these Adelaide’s international restaurants will spice up your meals from brunch to dinner.

South African chef Duncan Welgemoed has created a buzzy restaurant that puts a modern spin on African cuisine. You might be surprised by some of the menu items (like a spit-roasted kid basted in goat’s milk, and barbecued salmon coated with beer and apricot jam), but you won’t leave disappointed.

Africola isn’t the only one of Adelaide’s international restaurants that’s getting attention on a national scale. The city’s gastronomic credentials were confirmed when it had seven eateries make the list of Australia’s Hot 50 Restaurants 2015.

Another foodie highlight is Press Food and Wine, a restaurant that puts a gourmet spin on traditional Neapolitan pizzas with ingredients from within 100 miles of the venue. The restaurant has a single core philosophy, to create artisanal dishes from ingredients that are locally-sourced.

In the same neighborhood, you’ll find Parwana Afghan Kitchen, which reflects the city’s ethnic diversity. The small, homey restaurant serves dishes that reflect its owner’s family heritage. You’ll find photos of the family on the walls and Afghan treasures in the interior design. Some of the standout dishes include cauliflower steak covered in tahini sauce, whole roasted Tandoori corn with curry butter, and fried dumplings stuffed with chives and served with garlic yoghurt. The restaurant also has a slick bar where you can enjoy cocktails and drinks.

2. Magill Estate

Located in the spiritual home of Penfolds wine, this sleek and dramatically designed dining room has taken on the challenge of offering an experience that matches the prestigious expectations attached to the revered brand name. It delivers, whether you’re enjoying the brunch menu with smoked trout rillettes and wood-grilled kipfler potatoes, or a glass of the opulent Grange alongside pork tail and mustard in a white chocolate mousse.

Like Tyson Peterson at Salt Lake City’s Mar Muntanya and Jacqueline Siao at Adelaide, both chefs are using their restaurants as platforms for cultivating a hybrid sense of culinary heritage. They also share the view that innovation in restaurant kitchens should be a process of progressively gratifying results and consistent replication.

Siao and Peterson have a lot in common – their kitchens are both rooted in family tradition and the tenacity to keep going no matter what. But they’re also taking risks with their menus. Both are showcasing a new breed of cooking in their restaurants, one that’s more about the texture and synthesis of flavors rather than a heavy-handed fusion of cuisines.

Less than a 15-minute drive from the city centre, Magill Estate offers a day trip that’s both a distillation of South Australian history and a delicious sample of local food culture. The cellar door is open for a range of tastings and there’s the option to indulge in a long, lingering lunch at Magill Estate Kitchen or enjoy a quick tasting plate of wine following a tour. Gift vouchers are available for purchase at the counter. The restaurant is also open for breakfast and dinner. A range of vegetarian and gluten-free dishes are also available.

3. Restaurant Botanic

Just over a year after its opening, Restaurant Botanic was awarded Australia’s restaurant of the year by Gourmet Traveller and put Adelaide on the world map of destination dining. Located in the city’s botanical garden, head chef Justin James combines ingredients from the restaurant’s surrounds with more exotic botanic plants to create a menu that unfolds over at least four hours. The Michigan born cook, who worked in some of America’s finest restaurants before a stint at Vue de Monde in Melbourne, wants diners to approach the restaurant with an appreciation for the experience as well as the food.

The Adelaide CBD is home to a number of international food pockets, including Waymouth Street, the east end of Rundle Street, Ebenezer Place/Vardon Avenue, Peel Street and Leigh Street. With each one showcasing its own cuisine and offering up something different to the others, this diversity is an important part of what makes Adelaide’s culinary scene so exciting.

At the heart of it all is the swanky European Press on Waymouth Street, which sits alongside long-time lunch favourite Georges and newcomer iTL Italian Kitchen. Here, marble and timber refine a rustic former print factory for an elegant space that serves up dishes like homemade halloumi with mallee roo and pan-fried seaweed with sesame oil and gia vi, along with wines from across the country.

Also in the mix is a number of restaurants that celebrate their home countries, including MasterChef Australia winner Sashi Cheliah’s homage to Singaporean culture at Gaja by Sashi. The restaurant serves up bold flavours, with curries and satays featuring heavily on the menu, in a casual party atmosphere that plays loud music.

4. Etica

While the city of Adelaide is renowned for its excellent wine, it also has a burgeoning international cuisine scene. From Indian restaurants like Andre’s Cucina and Georges on Waymouth to casual cafes serving Vietnamese, Thai or Italian fare, you’ll find a wide variety of global dishes at a range of price points throughout the city.

The latest food trend to hit Adelaide is vegan fine dining. Perched above Etica, a pizzeria that specializes in vegetarian and vegan pizza, is Allegra Dining Room, led by chef Elliot Vials. Using seasonal and local produce, the menu is wholly plant-based with inventive cooking techniques that would please even the most dedicated carnivores.

A former dry cleaner is now one of the city’s hottest drinking dens, where a cosy and cleverly designed natural wine bar serves up world-class vino alongside plates by a chef with Michelin star cred. The restaurant’s menu ranges from a reimagined take on Middle Eastern cuisine to Parisian classics and what might be Australia’s first pizza restaurant, while the extended degustation is surprisingly affordable.

A stroll down The Parade in Norwood is a must, as this is where you’ll find all the city’s best Italian cafes spilling out onto the footpath. It’s a great place to spend a few hours sipping coffee and reading books, with plenty of places to stop for lunch along the way. Magill Road, meanwhile, has cool restaurants and a couple of good bars, as well as a handful of gorgeous gourmet bakeries and small goods stores that sell everything from fresh pasta to hand-pressed olive oil. A little further out is McLaren Vale, home to some of Australia’s most famous vineyards.

5. Parwana

With a nod to the city’s heritage, this family-run cafe combines authentic flavours and ingredients with modern techniques. The result is a menu that’s both hearty and healthy, from the warm lamb and chicken tagine with prunes and almonds to the wholesome couscous bowls and fluffy Afghan pancakes layered with honey, strawberries and walnuts.

A definite must-try for the coffee and cake lovers, this cute little bakery offers a wide selection of sweet treats including Kitchener buns (doughnuts split and filled with fruit jam and whipped cream), baklava, house-made ice cream, milk dumplings and sticky orange and almond syrup cakes. Chef Fatema, who has a pastry-chef background, takes great care with the desserts, making sure they’re beautifully presented and packed full of rich and satisfying flavors.

Tucked away in a former print factory on Waymouth Street, this seriously stylish restaurant upped the bar for contemporary Australian cuisine when it opened in 2015. Marble, timber and brass refine a rustic space, with chef Tom Tilbury serving up creative seasonal dishes with Asian and Middle Eastern influences.

Siao’s exploration of various diasporas informs the restaurant on multiple levels, with the warm cauliflower soup a cousin to vichyssoise featuring white truffle, d’Anjou poached pear and spiced pecans, and the sea and grits dish merging New Orleans with Salt Lake City flavors via tempura shrimp, kaffir lime and cilantro tasting notes and a rice ragout of caramelised carrots, sultanas and pistachios.

With restaurants in Melbourne, Byron Bay and now Adelaide, the self-proclaimed culinary king has done it again with this vibrant pink and navy eatery that’s made for the ‘gram. It’s not just about the food at Daughter In Law though – the entire restaurant experience is one to be treasured, from the tucked away location in a historic church to the insta-ready pink and blue interior design.