Adelaide: food out


Chianti Classico  is still my favourite breakfast place in Adelaide. Sophisticated menu, impeccable service. However, there are many great sounding places that we didn’t get to this time. Unlike other trips we stayed in our own place and sitting in one’s backyard eating breakfast under the shade of a vine has its attractions.

Ichitaro is is a world-class Japanese restaurant on King William St Hyde Park. Its lunch menu on Fridays and Saturdays is plain unbelievable value and its evening offerings are masterly in taste and presentation, whilst remaining excellent value too. Whereas we will be able to go to London for good breakfasts when we are back in Geneva, nothing will replace Ichitaro.

Mrs Q Gouger St. Good Asian fusion, nice surrounds, overly attentive waiters ( large place, we were early), generous serves, will be back.

Vietnamese Laundry We dropped in for a quick lunch the other day, tried the salads, a really nice heat to them, excellent value at $12 or so per serve.

Lucky Lupitas  We almost didn’t get here, it’s up towards the North end of O’Connell’s St and we had to walk past the enticing smells from a Greek restaurant to get there. We managed, but only just. Just a quick meal, but it was darn good – Manny said it would hold its own in California which prides itself on its Mexican. I can only compare it with the dire Mexican interpretation that New Mexico inflicts upon unsuspecting tourists. No wonder the Mexicans want to build a wall.

Katsumoto is a simple cafe in Gays Arcade, it does cheap unpretentious lunches. We can’t go past the eel and the eggplant to date.

Larry and Ladd There will be a moment in your life when you need a toasted cheese sandwich that very moment and I can only wish, even upon my enemies, that they find Larry and Ladd close to hand. Their plain toasted sandwich is practically life-saving.

Naturally we tried out some of the places close to us. In no particular order:

Sublime East Ave. Everybody should live on a short street with a cafe at the end of it!

Carnevale East Ave. Even closer than Sublime. You can get freshly ground coffee/beans to take home, as well as all the usual things onsite.

The Middle Store Winston Ave. Sort of Lebanesey, nice!

Dear Daisy  Leah Street. Cute, and like the others named above, all nice places to hang out.

Bar Fifty 8 Brand new, a couple of us grabbed coffee there on our way back from lunch at the Rice Bar and it was declared excellent. It has a good look about it and we look forward to lunch there some time.

Pickle in the Middle I just love this breakfast dish and haven’t yet managed to get past it: Breakfast greens 16 Poached egg, shredded kale, Asian greens, snow peas, whole oat kernels and lentil sprouts, toasted seeds, watermelon radish, orange. If you ask me it sounds weird at best, but honestly? It’s fantastic!!

By Blackbird Still haven’t been here – it has a dark look from the street which somehow puts me off – but a friend brought their cakes around recently and they are stunning. In the posh cake French style Manny thought they were at least as good as anything he’s had in Geneva. We are going to have to bite the bullet and go there one day.

A small intro to the next two. One of the things that makes Adelaide special is non-licensed cafes that open at night, generally specialising in dessert. The atmosphere is totally different from places that serve grog. Long may they thrive!

Eggless Cafe Famous doesn’t begin to describe this place. We had to go three times before we joined a queue small enough that we could actually get in when it opened! The first time I swear it was about minus 2 degrees, strong wind, rain, we got there a few minutes after opening time and yet the best we could do is put our name on the waiting list and try coming back in 45 minutes. Which we did not do. Instead we went to….

Spats Cafe  A blast to the past if ever there was one. Seventies written all over it. We love it and to have both this and Eggless Cafe (which is so very different from Spats) within a short walk of each other is very lucky for us. Spats isn’t quite as crowded as Eggless, but it’s close. You can book.

I can see there are many eating out experiences we’ll be leaving for our next visit, this one coming to a close soon. I pray that Adelaide doesn’t end up like Melbourne with too many cafes and not enough anything elses. For now, it has a great balance and more on that next post.


2015 Australian visit part II: Best breakfast

Best breakfast in Melbourne

Miss Jackson: Jackson St, St Kilda West

I was crestfallen to discover it has changed hands not so long ago, but a very good cafe has been taken to new heights. We spent a month in Melbourne and sampled the entire menu of Miss Jackson’s less one dish.

Impeccable standards, creative ideas, excellent coffee and more to the point, since it is not to be taken for granted, the best tea, all made it our place of choice in an area where choice is rampant. The staff turned down the music when asked on the only day it seemed to compete with conversation.

This is how good Miss Jackson is: they do brussel sprouts for breakfast. And you see that on the menu and naturally you go elsewhere. To the French toast which is made inhouse, the amazing Indian roti breakfast, the housemade baked beans , the – you get the drift. But as you work your way through the menu eventually you are at that point. You’ve eaten a dozen perfect breakfasts at Miss Jackson. The staff keep telling you how good the brussel sprouts are. Oh my. They are SO right. The brussel sprouts are brilliant.

Honourable mentions for breakfast

The Duchess of Spotswood

If I lived over that side of town, I think this would make up for being so very far from Miss J. A sophisticated English menu executed with care AND they let me have a toasted sandwich off the kiddies’ menu – yeah, as well as a proper breakfast.

The Auction Rooms

Maybe the same is to be said for this North Melbourne institution. Hang out with youngsters and you pick up their habits, I guess. We queued to get into this place with my nephew. I sat there in a line thinking so much for principles. Once we started eating I had to admit that breaking a principle may sometimes be the best thing one can do with it.


Nothing’s changed here, it packs them in for breakfast with good reason.

Best breakfast in Adelaide

Chianti Classico wins my vote. An exquisite highend menu delivers what it promises. It has by far the best toast we had while away – their own ciabatta is superb. It’s also most expensive, but I am happy to pay extra for a cloth serviette, no (or quiet) music, and the extra-special service.

Others we regularly go to when in Adelaide have remained good without starring are Mother’s Milk and Rosey’s on Unley Road. Adding to the scene there is Pickle in the Middle, more or less across the road from Rosey’s. Their breakfast menu put me off a bit – scary healthy.

Manny, for example, had this:

Breakfast greens 15
Poached egg, shredded kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, snow peas, brown rice + red quinoa, pickled chilli lime vinaigrette (GF, V; available Vgn)

But why would I not trust a place competing in an area where that must be tough? It was really good. If we’d gone back I would have been trying it.

Normally we do a bit of travelling afield to try new breakfast places in Adelaide, but this time we didn’t manage. We did step inside The Loose Caboose on a Sunday morning, but there was a queue and we had a train to catch. The only other new place we tried was Bar Nine on Glen Osmond Road, you could walk right by without noticing it – and we did. Yet when you get inside it’s a bit like St Ali in South Melbourne: packed to the rafters. We found the food a bit disappointing here: it looks better written down than in the delivery. But I’d be willing to try it again, all the same. And the presentation of tea is truly weird. One way or another they didn’t charge me for my tea, but despite that concession, I wouldn’t order it again.