Need to add a little fresh air and delicious food to your life? Well buckle up, South Australia’s wilderness coast, fizzlingly fresh seafood and wide open spaces are calling you.
Just think of it – fresh sea breezes, open vistas stretching across rolling farmlands to the wide blue sky. OK, that’s enough of that – let’s get to the food.
So, if the fresh breezes have spiked your appetite, head out to the peninsulas and feed yourself a stellar local meal, For more options to add to your itinerary, visit Eat Local SA.
The secret is out
Port Wakefield Hotel
When you’re headed north to Peninsula country, all roads lead through Port Wakefield. Or at least they should. It’s a traditional pit stop for travellers to and from Adelaide, and it would be a mistake not to veer a few hundred metres west of the highway to enjoy the delights of this coastal town, especially if you fancy a top grade pub meal to fuel your journey.
The Port Wakefield Hotel may have been known by various other names over the years, but what hasn’t changed is that this hotel has been a pivotal part of the town since 1848, when the town served the needs of early settlers who were busy building thriving mining, farming and fishing industries.
Great fishing brings a lot of folks to Port Wakefield but we can skip baiting our hooks and just enjoy the end results here. The specials board spills the beans on the seasonal catch, featuring the likes of locally caught King George whiting and garfish, snuggled up in a robe of your choice of seasoned crumbs or crispy batter, and accompanied by those all-important crunchy chips. Really, what else do we need to know? Other than it’s the folks at Austral Meat, known for their expertise in sourcing great local produce, who supply the pub with lamb, beef and chicken. ‘Nuff said. So stroll in for a full on feed and some country hospitality, and you will be revived for your drive in style.
Big flavours among the barley
Barley Stacks Wine
Did you know Minlaton used to be called the barley capital of the world? This area is renowned around the world for the highest quality barley (and the beer it is used to make).
But this part of the world is not just about the brew. The region’s only award-winning winery, Barley Stacks Wines, is right in amongst all that barley, growing, crushing and nurturing their wines to perfection all on the one site. It’s hard work watching all that happen so it’s fortunate they also offer sustenance to visitors in the form of sustaining pizzas and luscious cheese platters laden with Adelaide Hills and Barossa cheeses, including Mt Jagged Cheddar cheese and Barossa Valley Cheese Company’s Camembert.
Along with your selection of Barley Stacks Wines, you can top up your retail therapy basket with a selection of local gourmet favourites such as Grunds Gourmet chutneys, relishes and chilli sauces, YP Lands olive oil and quandong products, and MBC Foods range of salt and pepper products.
The crew at Barley Stacks Wines are getting ready for a ripper Gourmet Day in July by the way. It’s a winter feast laden with local gourmet foods, art and craft displays and music, plus a wine auction with proceeds going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Bounty from the bay
Marion Bay Tavern
Marion Bay is a small town packing big flavour on the Yorke Peninsula. This is the spot to find those azure blue seas of your holiday fantasy. Not to mention the whiting and other fresh seafood of which we all dream on your plate.
Proceed directly to the Marion Bay Tavern and those dreams will become reality. Locally caught King George whiting is given the gentle treatment it deserves, accompanied by a simple tomato salsa and micro herb salad, or if you prefer, it can be battered and fried to deliver SA’s favourite version of fish and chips.
A trio of Marion Bay Seafood cakes showcases local crab, while the show-stopping signature dish, the Marion Oscar, involves a 350g MSA scotch fillet sourced from Barossa Fine Foods, topped with chat potatoes, sautéed Asian greens, and Moreton Bay bug meat. It’s served with a house-made lime dill mayonnaise and drizzled with the house’s own Southern rock lobster and truffle oil. That should tick all the boxes, but just in case you have any other desires, local butchers Stansbury Meats keep the grill packed with fine meats, and the pizza oven fires up at night to pump out a range of pub favourites. Extra prawns and calamari on your pizza? Coming right up!
SA icons on the plate
Coopers Alehouse Wallaroo
Your catalogue of country South Australia destinations cannot be not complete without spending a little time exploring the copper triangle around Wallaroo, Moonta and Kadina. This is our state’s ‘Little Cornwall’ and the home of a festival dedicated to the humble Cornish pasty. Seriously. (And it’s good!).
But our focus is fixed on the sea view from the Cooper Alehouse Wallaroo. At least, it is when we’re not engrossed in the menu, which reads like the cast of a smash hit seafood movie. Star billing goes to Pacific Estate oysters from Stansbury (shucked in house), Spencer Gulf king prawns, Hiramasa kingfish and snapper.
You may spot the less well known local silver whiting emerging from the shadow of its cousin King George to steal the show in a crunchy batter made quintessentially South Australian by the inclusion of Thomas Coopers Artisan Reserve beer. Coopers Sparkling Ale also features with the Alehouse’s award-winning Kinkawooka black mussels from the Spencer Gulf, tricked up with lemon and chilli and served with toasted sour dough bread.
Not feeling fishy? That’s ok too. There’s Hahndorf Gourmet-cured prosciutto adding punch to the house-made dip platter, and their pancetta is simmered with chilli, roasted tomato and fresh basil to create a warming Napolitano pasta sauce. Then there are the wood oven-fired pizzas… The Alehouse has just launched its new menu– check it out!
Decked out with local fare
The Copperclub Golf Club and Community Association
Down Pt Hughes way, the trail leads us to The Copperclub Golf Club and Community Association, a new addition to the Eat Local SA program. If golf is your thing, you should know this is a Greg Norman-designed golf course overlooking South Beach. If food is your thing, you should know the Club has a bar and café called The Deck.
They like the local produce just as much as we do at The Deck, so you will find some local stars ready and waiting. Coffin Bay oysters deliver a briny punch, or consider a stack of Spencer Gulf prawns layered up with smoked salmon, avocado and wakami, served with saffron rice and spiced yoghurt.
The lamb in the lamb backstrap salad hails from Westbrook Farm. It is gently marinated and comes with a jewel-like stash of mixed roasted vegetables, red cabbage, quinoa and bocconcini. If you’re feeling nibble-ish, the Eat Local SA platter at The Deck is bursting with examples of South Australian cheese-making skill, including the delicious work of Udder Delights and Divine Dairy.