Can you hear it? It’s the gentle pitter patter of determined feet in search of the kind of coffee that has the ability to transform your life.
Or perhaps a delicate morsel to keep you going through the dog days of January (and the last weeks of the school holidays). Naturally, a morsel made with locally produced ingredients is our preferred option and, happily, there are many cafes scattered across the state who agree.
So, we say happy new year and thank goodness for those stalwarts of sustenance – our local cafés – for keeping the caffeine up and kickstarting a sumptuous new year. Mine’s a flat white, no sugar, thanks. You too can discover more local producer-loving cafes.
A word to the wise
The Howling Owl
You don’t have to be a night owl to graze at The Howling Owl. Café by day and cocktail bar by night, the signature dish of this gem is their range of grazing boards, featuring 100% locally sourced produce from cheese to smallgoods and everywhere in between. Remember this one when Mad March hits – it’s right in the heart of town and ideal for before or after show sustenance.
A Howling Owl cheese board for two includes Limestone Coast Cheese Company’s Lady Musgrave Brie, aged Cheddar and Jacky White Camembert, La Vera’s Adelaide Blue and Woodside Cheese Wrights’ goat’s milk Chevre. All that plus Willabrand glazed figs, muscatels, quince paste, and fresh apples and pears in season will have any cheesaholic purring. Then there’s the Pate Board, starring Barossa Fine Foods Duck and Walnut Pate, served with toasted ciabatta and lavosh and those all important snappy little cornichons, or the Dukkah Board which features a selection of South Australian olives and Bald Hill Olive Grove extra virgin olive oil. And there are house-made soups and sandwiches too.
Meanwhile, D’Angelo’s espresso coffee and Tweedvale Milk will keep beanmeisters happy. (Um, we also should mention that the Owl has another attraction under its wing – when it comes to cocktails, this is gin central, including the glorious small batch gins from our very own Kangaroo Island Spirits. Now that’s sounds like a party!)
Living la vida local
It’s all about the Limestone Coast at No. 4 in Robe. That parochial pride is fair enough too, given Robe is one of South Australia’s favourite seaside destinations. This region brings together all the goodness of produce grown and raised on limestone-fed rich pastures and swimming in those sparkling seas.
So, where else to go for a brunch fix of the local Robe Dairy creamy Jersey yoghurt, showcased in No. 4’s house-made muesli full of dried fruit, honey and nutty goodness and accompanied by a rhubarb compote? Happy Eco Pasture free range chooks supply the eggs for everything from a steak sandwich made with Coorong Angus striploin, fried onions, tomato, greens and aioli, to the show-stopping No. 4 Fry Up of eggs any which way, plus Bortelli bacon, Pinkerton’s pork and fennel sausage, house beans, potato hash, and slow roasted tomatoes on sourdough.
Come dinner time, pipis from Goolwa PipiCo star in the house version of a con vongole, with a sauce of white wine, olive oil, chilli, garlic and parsley – it’s seaside living in a bowl. Rowallan provide the marinated olives and olive oil, Robarra barramundi is farmed just a few kilometres away, and Humbugz from Kingston supply the honey that you’ll find drizzled over the Earl Grey tea-infused panna cotta served with a passionfruit coulis that is accompanied by fresh berries and rich chocolate ganache. Then there’s the coffee. It’s their very own blend, and available to take home too.
Happy, healthy new year
If ever one feels a need for a January detox but can’t because .. well, because it sounds too much like missing out, then Nature’s Providore is the answer. Organic, local and clean eating are the watchwords here. Also beautiful. And yum.
There’s too much fun going on in this café kitchen… just about every day there’s something fresh, pretty and new to try. High summer is welcome on the Nature’s Providore seasonal tasting board, with a list of producers that reads like the cast of an Oscar-winning food movie: house made roast Aldna Farm capsicum roulade with a balsamic glaze, Patlin Gardens’ basil and local walnuts with Woodside Cheese Wrights’ goats chevre, and warmed Patlin Garden’s olives marinated with fennel and chilli, roast pumpkin and squash frittata accompanied by house made semi dried tomatoes and harissa, toasted Mylor bakery ciabatta, herbed B.-d. Farm Paris Creek butter, beetroot pickled McGwerriton eggs, fermented Patlin Gardens watermelon radish, babaganash, and Woodside Cheese Wrights’ goats curd with chlorophyll oil.
B.-d. Farm Paris Creek’s fetta adds creaminess as well as tang to a raw zuchinni noodle salad with heirloom cherry tomatoes grown at Aldna Farm, house-made basil pesto and semi-dried tomatoes, with a thoughtful vegan option featuring cashew cheese. Or what about brunch including a serve of nitrate-free San Jose bacon and slow cooked scrambled McGwerriton eggs?
Grab a house-made organic medicine ball (choose from antioxidant, supergrass, turmeric, or superfood and orange cacao coconut rough) with your Coffee Barun coffee to go. No New Year’s resolutions about healthy eating will be endangered by a meal here. Phew.
A serve of retail therapy
Once a grocery, but now a dining hot spot in North Adelaide, The Store is also a restaurant where you can take your ease with your Coffee World coffee outside in the sunshine or inside in a comfortable booth. A little wander round these streets could inspire the eclectic artist in anyone, but before we go all arty, we need a proper feed.
Lazy breakfast is a specialty here, with Rohde’s free range eggs served every which way. For something a little different, try them poached and served with pretty-in-pink beetroot ricotta, sauteed spinach and house made dukkah, or fried in the One Hander – with bacon, confit onion and cheese on an English muffin. If you are channelling your inner sticky fingered soul, then Rustico Bakery sourdough toast with a selection of jams and spreads from Douglasdale is always a great way to ease into the day.
Later in the day, the Coopers Pale Ale battered garfish with salad and chips is always a favourite, and picking your way through a Store Share Plate, with a selection of house marinated olives, Nino’s cured meats, salt and pepper squid, arancini balls, pickled octopus, bell peppers, spicy chicken strips and house-made dip would be a great way to while away an hour with good friends. For something a little meatier,the Murray Bridge-sourced Greek lamb salad of char-grilled backstrap with a feisty Greek salad full of fresh basil and perfectly ripe cherry tomatoes could fit the bill for a summery meal.