Best restaurant openings in Adelaide in 2021



After a calm start to the year, the second half of 2021 offered us exceptional openings and reopenings. From instant classics pushing the boundaries and redefining the way we eat, to captivating neighborhood joints that keep locals coming back time and time again, it’s safe to say that Adelaide’s food scene has improved.

And while restaurants remain under immense pressure – still facing capacity restrictions and widespread staff shortages – we raise a glass to everyone who helps advance the hospitality industry and the conversations within it. unfold.

In alphabetical order, here are our most memorable dining experiences this year.


Okay, yeah, this place is technically opening today. But Michelin-starred chef Jake Kellie’s winning formula, plus thoughtful open fire cooking and drinks in a space designed by Studio-Gram for 160 people, adds up to one of Australia’s hottest new restaurants. Beyond Kellie and her team of young gunslingers, the MVP of the kitchen is her open fire installation that features custom double wood-burning ovens, a smoke box, elevation grates, an open hearth and a small cauldron-type fryer. From which come potato pancakes fried in beef fat and crowned with caviar; collars of grilled trevally in a sticky malt vinegar glaze; and an outrageously jiggly brown buttercream pie. Alcohol consumption keeps pace with the kitchen, whether you’re talking cocktails via bar manager Vanessa Rech – modified modern classics like Clover clubs and penicillins, for example – or the wine list overseen by Bhatia Dheeraj. , a former head sommelier at Penfold’s Magill Estate.


This fine-dining CBD restaurant is part of Light, a non-profit organization that also houses the Little Mission Cafe and The Lab performance space. And that could very well provide a solution to the shortage of hospitality workers: the restaurant also serves as a training ground for people looking to work in the industry and declared fair working conditions for staff, salary every hour. South African chef Brendan Wessels (formerly Cube d’Arenberg restaurant) leads the kitchen team, grilling meats and vegetables on a bespoke braai for a la carte and tasting menus. Influences range from Korea and Japan (think miso and nori, ponzu marinade, or seafood with yuzu) to the Middle East (bulgur), the Mediterranean (peperonata and semolina gnocchi) and in Australia (barramundi and salty). Wessels has found suppliers who align with Aurora’s ethics; There are certain principles that suppliers must adhere to before the restaurant works with them, covering product quality, location and working practices. The vegetables are sourced from farmers such as grow-to-order supplier K&R Produce.

Dunfor noodle bar

For those who have spent their fair share of Sunday nights at Loc or Exeter, Justin Healy’s ramen doesn’t need to be introduced: Orana’s former chef serves soup in his Quality pop-ups Noods for a year. Earlier this month, it opened a permanent location on Hindmarsh Square a few doors down from Loc. For Healy, his food is a vehicle for showcasing quality products from ethical and regenerating local producers. He sources ingredients from Nomad Farms (pasture-raised chicken), Ngeringa (biodynamically grown vegetables), The Dairyman (heirloom milk-fed pork) and Small World Bakery (rye and whole wheat flour for noodles). For now, there are two types of ramen (shio or shoyu) and a few snacks and sides, including a beef tartare, a potato salad and a po ‘boy with fried oysters. When the liquor license is finally issued (this week), there will be two draft beers from Bridge Road Brewers (one pale and one lager) and BYO bottles from Loc.

Eleven Restaurant

The long-awaited fine-dining restaurant of Themis Chryssidis and Callum Hann (who also run the Sprout Cooking School, Lou’s Place and an outdoor cafe bar also called Eleven) opened at 11 Waymouth Street in July. Despite the name, the biggest numbers at Eleven are 13 and 17. That’s the number of dishes that hit the table for the restaurant’s two tastings. Both start with a caramelized onion milk bun served with chicken fat butter and chicken skin salt made from Nature’s Chicken’s apple-fed nuggets. The bread even has its own drink pairing, a 2017 Sauternes Premier Cru Château Rieussec. The wine list includes French options ranging from Champagne to Chablis, as well as more parochial accords from South Australia. The cuisine also merges Australian cuisine and French techniques under the watchful eye of Chef Dan Murphy. Think crispy, pan-seared Murray White Cod served with steamed open mussels, winter vegetables and a creamy white butter sauce. Also, bite-sized agnolotti stuffed with Adelaide Hills goat cheese and cream of leek, served with roasted onion broth.

Fugazzi bar and dining room

There is more than a touch of New York, New York (up to Sinatra playing above) at this nostalgic Italian-American restaurant from the Nido team. The Big Apple informs everything from the lavish furnishings by designers Studio-Gram – all in marble, brass, and striking red accents – to the name, taken from the American-Italian slang word “fugazi,” which means fake or fake. The venue, which sits on the site of the old Rigoni, is on a mission to keep the business lunch alive, attracting patrons dressed with its mix of old-fashioned grandeur and cuisine that is sure to please everyone. Chef-owners Laura and Max Sharrad took inspiration from their recent trips to Italy to create an expansive menu ranging from ‘lasagna pizza’ to fun snacks (‘Roman Vegemite’ fingers and mini mortadella sandwiches) to larger ones. plates of pasta and protein. wood grill. Tip: if you ride alone or in pairs, opt for a seat at the benchmark marble bar.

Moon Bar & Resto

The nightlife of The Parade has finally made its way further east with this cozy neighborhood wine bar created by a team of hospitality professionals including Sam Worrall-Thompson (Fine and Fettle, Community), Toby Porter ( ex-d’Arenberg) and Tony Bales (ex-Salon de la lune rose). The former Saha site was remodeled by interior designer Georgie Shepherd, who transformed the bright interior into a stylish evening destination with dark blue woods, terrazzo benches, mustard bar stools, and brown tiles. And it has proven its worth with the locals, who fill the bar night after night. The impressive menu of dishes brings this place to our list of restaurants, with plates to share that go beyond the usual bar snacks to take the form of cacio e pepe with pecorino and truffle; excellent Wagyu katsu sandos; barramundi soldiers and Goolwa peeing wood-grilled with XO butter. The wine list favors affordable local produce from producers such as Murdoch Hill, SC Pannell, Aphelion, and Porter’s Mazi Wines.


In Japanese, yuiitsu muni means “one and only one”. That’s an apt description for Muni, an elegant natural wine bar and restaurant that opened in Willunga in October. Located on the city’s historic High Street, surrounded by a pub, general store, butcher and bakery, it is unlike anything else in the area. But the same sense of community and regional hospitality that you will find in nearby places is alive and well here. The menu is made with local produce, largely sourced from the Willunga Farmer’s Market or from nearby vendors, and is inspired by Taiwanese flavors, courtesy of expatriate chef-owners Mug Chen and Chia Wu. Think pickled cucumber with vinegar Jauma Farm, Szechuan pepper and shrimp chili oil; wood-ear mushrooms with soy sauce, garlic vinegar and basil; Cold Taipei noodles topped with sesame sauce; and pork neck skewers served with golden kimchi. The food is supported by low intervention local wines as well as international drops selected by Japan-based trading and importer partner Lulie Kaori Tanaka (Cross Wines).

Botanical Restaurant

For years, the dated interior of this former teahouse was out of step with the beautiful gardens it calls home and the budding food on the plate. With the appointment of new executive chef Justin James (ex-Vue de Monde) at the start of the year, the gourmet restaurant has turned a new leaf. After a complete renovation, the renamed Botanic restaurant features a 12-seat chef’s table overlooking the new open kitchen and fireplace, and a refreshed dining area. The open fire touches every dish in one way or another, from a smoked celeriac and apple tea that opens the way, to a sorbet with smoked milk and native basil. Guests choose between two menus – the short trail or the long trail – which can feature fermented chili chestnuts and lemon myrtle from the garden. And scones with duck fat, 30-day cultured butter and “clam jam”. Another impressive addition is the temperance menu of non-alcoholics, including kombucha, infused juices, garden teas, and mocktails. Your wallet will be much lighter after this, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a more memorable dining experience in Adelaide.

Self 38

After months of waiting and prolonged delays, Soi 38 finally opened the door to its new home on Pirie Street in June. Despite the new location, there is a strong sense of familiarity. The long, narrow room along an alleyway mirrors the original Pulteney Street. There is also the same friendly and comfortable team. And chef Terry Intarakhamhaeng’s killer regional Thai cuisine remains (now available to view from the top spots). But there is a new level of sophistication and maturity that comes from years of constant evolution. The food delves deeper into Thailand’s various regional cuisines, using game meats such as venison (grilled and served with nam jim and tomato paste) and wild buffalo (served as a tartare), as well. only local products like kangaroo tail (in a red Penang curry), chestnut (served with pork belly and vermicelli) and pee (with chili crab oil), and it reminds us why Intarakhamhaeng is one of our best.

the scenic

Norton Summit’s long-running Scenic Hotel was quietly reinvented by a group of hospo professionals (including Son of Dot’s Jay Marinis and Golden Boy’s Enoch Yates) late last year. While they preferred to keep the news a secret at the time, the news spread like wildfire. No wonder, with a perfect recipe for gorgeous views, gracious staff, lo-fi wines from the Son of Dot stable and some of the best (and most thoughtful) pub food in and around town. – we’re talking roo schnitzels, Ortiz anchovy soldiers with green sauce and a playful steak tartare served in a packet of Smith crisps. Add to that a downright enchanting backdrop of string lights and crackling fireplaces and it’s the ultimate vantage point to watch the sun sink below the horizon, when the city lights start to twinkle. Another reason to visit: This group can throw a party, whether it’s a passata-making day, a ute-boot wine show, or an organic and biodynamic food festival.



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