When you go out for lunch this summer, go all out. With regional produce and creativity in the kitchen, these regional restaurants are well worth the trip.
10 Destination eateries around SA
The Lane Vineyard
This Hahndorf cellar door and restaurant celebrates the rich connection between quality local produce and wines. The Lane’s restaurant, headed by chef Tom Robinson, offers not just a meal but an experience. Settle down for the ultimate indulgence – the Chefs Table – a three-hour journey with dishes made from local, seasonal produce. You’ll also pick up some tips on food and wine matching, cooking techniques and culinary inspirations behind the dishes. Another option is the Provenance seven-course lunch, made from produce either grown on the estate or sourced from local farmers, growers and suppliers. A five-course lunch hand-selected and created by the kitchen team is also on offer, as is the smaller three-course lunch. While you’re there, be sure to select a bottle or two of The Lane’s wines to take home.
With community and sustainability at its heart, the Uraidla Hotel shows respect to the town’s market gardening history, incorporating many artefacts into the interiors. The menu is extensive, offering classic pub grub such as chicken schnitties, parmis, fish and chips and burgers alongside more sophisticated fare including slow-cooked lamb shoulder, delicious salads, and crayfish. The hotel owners are also behind the establishment of the Uraidla Republic Cafe, Bakery and Brewery next door, so make an afternoon of it by staying for lunch, followed by coffee and cake.
The Crafers Hotel was resurrected with a significant renovation in 2014 that has paved the way for the hotel winning multiple awards, including twice being adjudged the state’s best hotel. More recently, the wine room has been renovated to showcase a 10,500-bottle collection representing the best of Australian wine. New Head Chef Jamie Laing is passionate about providing a balance of pub classics and French bistro fare, while the hotel boasts a refined offering of newly-refurbished standard and deluxe accommodation.
The Salopian Inn
Set in an 1850s homestead, the Salopian Inn in McLaren Vale offers a regional dining experience not to forget. The kitchen, headed by well-known chef and owner Karena Armstrong, makes the food all from scratch and takes great pride in cooking only with local and seasonal produce. Much of the fruit, vegetables and herbs used in the kitchen are grown in Karena’s organic garden at home. Meat, fish and poultry are sourced from regions in SA and cooked into hearty dishes bursting with fresh flavours. The Salopian Inn also has generous wine, spirit, beer and cocktail offerings. Wine lovers will enjoy wandering down to the cellar to select their own bottle.
This seafood restaurant on the beachfront overlooking the jetty at Port Noarlunga produces contemporary Australian and Portuguese-inspired dishes. Hortas Restaurant sources the best local ingredients for its menu, which largely features seafood from all over Australia. Seafood lovers can’t go past the seafood platter for two, featuring SA blue swimmer crab, Moreton Bay bugs, Kinkawooka mussels, NT barramundi, SA king prawns, Port Lincoln oysters, and Tasmanian smoked salmon. Hortas is a great spot to enjoy a meal on the balcony watching the sunset or a storm over the ocean.
Three75 Bar + Kitchen @ The Louise
Cutlery is optional at The Louise’s newest eatery and after perusing the delightfully unfussy menu, you’ll see why. The three75 team aim to put the fun back into food. Led by executive chef Kyle Johns, the menu features tasty modern riffs on classic Australian favourites such as prawn cocktails, barbecue corn and fried chicken burgers. Perched at the bar, with an Orchard Sour gin cocktail and sweeping views of the Barossa Valley before you, comfort food never tasted so good. Open from Friday to Monday only.
O’Leary Walker Wines Restaurant
A dreamy setting on top of the hill overlooking Watervale vineyards, this contemporary restaurant offers lunches that reflect seasonal ingredients from across SA. Be tempted by house-made duck pate (infused with their own vintage shiraz) to start, try hand-cut spinach linguini for your entree and finish with slow-cooked pork belly. Or select a “feed me” option for a three-course seasonal menu. Divine platters are also on offer from the cheese option with Berry’s Creek Tarwin Blue, French double cream brie with local truffle honey, and fig and onion jam, to a grazing option with shaved prosciutto, Barossa chorizo, sweet potato dip, pickles and house-made artisan sourdough bread, grissini and lavosh.
Enchanted Fig Tree
Dine within a 120-year-old fig tree and enjoy the magical experience of this special venue. Guests begin the culinary journey with a welcome cocktail by Kangaroo Island Spirits (KIS) before venturing through the entrance and underneath the boughs of the tree. Diners are seated under dappled light to enjoy a selection of dishes cooked from fresh local produce and complemented by Kangaroo Island and South Australian wines, craft beers and gins. The Enchanted Fig Tree is run by Nick Hannaford’s Gastronomo venture, which also holds select events titled “The Feast” at a secret venue on the island. Guests are surrounded by flickering candlelight as they enjoy foods from the land and sea, cooked among fire and on the coals. The Feasts are held from September 16 to November 29, while The Enchanted Fig Tree is open from December 16 to April 4, 2022.
Mayura Station is a world record-breaker when it comes to the quality of its highly marbled 100 per cent full-blood Japanese Wagyu, and you can sample it at the property’s exclusive Tasting Room located on the outskirts of Millicent. Gather a group of good friends and book a seat at the Chef’s Table to see how different cuts of the highly-marbled delicacy are prepared during a three or four-course interactive meal at this boutique cellar door for steak.
The Line & Label Restaurant
A jewel in the peninsula’s culinary crown, where chef Jonathan Sweet continues to create sumptuous grazing platters and delectable dinners in beautiful surroundings showcasing earthy stone and handcrafted wood. Crowd favourites wasabi prawns or ocean jacket snouts with pickled chilli, typhoon garlic and sriracha are back on the menu after the restaurant closed during COVID restrictions. Be sure to book a table either inside or on the deck with glimpses of the bay or views over the vineyards. The restaurant and cellar door offer tastings of premium Peter Teakle wines, made from grapes crushed on site and overseen by chief winemaker Liz Heidenreich.
This information was first published in SALIFE FOOD+WINE+TRAVEL 2021
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