There’s something so relaxing about eating at the pub, isn’t there? Great food, a nice drop, no fuss. It’s a recipe for good times. Given South Australia’s brewing and distilling industries got cracking when the first British settlement here was barely more than a toddler, it’s no surprise our state has lots to offer.
Welcome to Mad March in beautiful, festival-fevered Adelaide. Yes, it’s crazy busy and yes, it’s easier to book a cab than pray for a carpark, but oh, what a city this is when she has her festival frock on. Hunker down with that espresso martini, people, we’ve got some serious eating to do.
A river life is a good life – just ask anyone who spends their time soaking up the serenity lounging on a houseboat deck, or tucking into a plate graced with river-fed produce while watching the local wildlife do … whatever it is local wildlife likes to do.
If the region known as the Limestone Coast isn’t very familiar to you, here’s a name I bet you do know. Coonawarra. That extraordinarily tiny strip of terra rossa soil that pumps out those extraordinarily huge red wines. Are you with me? Right, well the food is also rather amazing.
If I had to pick two words to sum up the Eyre Peninsula, those words would be spectacular and friendly. Spectacular scenery and spectacular seafood is the reason they call Eyre Peninsula; Australia’s Seafood Frontier, and they’ve just picked up a gold award from SA Tourism to prove it.
As the song lyric says, I do like to be beside the seaside, and Yorke Peninsula has seasides and seafoods for all tastes, plus other great produce, from olive oil to fantastic local snags, olives, lamb and more. Yorke Peninsula is the source of seafood so fresh it makes chefs interstate and overseas weak with envy.
The Flinders Ranges attract many visitors to South Australia, all set to walk, climb and drive through these world-renowned ancient lands. Since this sort of behaviour can lead to a pretty healthy appetite, it’s fortunate the food folk of this region are up to the challenge.
I think of Kangaroo Island as a gigantic ‘farm stay’ style paradise, combining the laid-back pace of island life with that special breed of ingenuity and commitment distance brings. I invite you to ponder that thought while you sample the amazing range of produce here.
The Barossa started life with its name misspelt on the birth certificate. That second ‘s’ was never meant to be there. Instead, there should have been a second ‘r’ as in ‘Barrosa’. Not to worry, mere clerical concerns could never overshadow what South Australians now hold dear as a food-lover’s haven.
There’s a lot of talk about the mighty River Murray and who am I to go against the tide? The water is flowing and so is the hospitality in this luscious landscape. The Riverland is country South Australia on show. It’s the land of real pub grub and our finest export produce.
The Fleurieu could be the one exception to my rule that, if you can’t say it properly, you can’t go there. You can sort of mutter it under your breath, but that would be cheating. Practice with me: “Flu-ree-oh”. Got it? Now we can go visit to taste the richness of the local produce firsthand.
It’s time to go up country, people. The Clare Valley is an easy 90 minute drive from Adelaide and it’s a haven for a food-loving soul in need of some R&R. Yes, you can do it in a day, but why would you? When a long weekend comes calling, this is the place to be.
Come walk with me in the leafy Adelaide Hills. I’m having a little break from the weather down on the plains, 20 minutes’ drive (and a world) away. The Hills are alive as we visit Haus Café + Bar + Kitchen, The White House, Woodside Cheese Wrights, Walk the Talk Kitchen, Harrisville Orchards and Udder Delights.
Trying to capture eating local in Adelaide in a few paragraphs is like trying to pick up the raw egg that hit the floor during one of your more cheffy moments. It’s a slippery little sucker. Our plate-licking adventures take us to some of Adelaide’s most interesting foodie haunts. Enjoy!