Adelaide, South Australia’s capital city, is known as the recycling capital of Australia and the city of churches. For incentive groups, however, there are two much more enticing and appetising facts – the city has the most restaurants per capita than any other city in the country and it also produces around 70% of the country’s wine. Foodie enthusiasts will be spoilt for choice with the city’s upmarket dining options and the wine experiences on offer. Ten representatives from UK agencies and myself were lucky enough to get a taste of some of these during Dreamtime 2015, Tourism Australia’s business events showcase, hosted in Adelaide from 6-9 December.
Orana: Raspberries with green ants, kangaroo crackling, Kangaroo Island scallops, magpie goose and damper bread cooked on hot coals are just some of the dishes on offer at Orana, located on Rundle Street, which opened just over two years ago. The restaurant – styled like an elegant dining room, can comfortably seat groups of up to 35 on round tables or up to 20 on one long table. Scottish-born chef Jock Zonfrillo takes diners on an immersive journey based on native, indigenous Australian ingredients, with the look of every dish as impressive as the flavours. The green ants were a particular favourite, providing a crunchy contrast to the sweetened raspberries.
Africola: The design of Africola is worth a visit alone. The brainchild of chef Duncan Welgemoed, who previously worked with Heston Blumenthal and Raymond Blanc in the UK, Africola is located in former pub on the corner of East and North Terraces. The setting has colour and lots of it, alongside quirky décor, and there are a range of different seating options, including a bar area, dining booths and tables. In total, the restaurant can seat groups of between 100 to 110. The South-African inspired menu has won rave reviews since the place opened last November.
The Star of Greece: Located in Port Willunga, around 40 minutes by car from the city centre, in the Mclaren Vale area (home to some of Adelaide’s finest wineries), Star of Greece offers stunning coastal views and caters for up to 80 seated or 100 for cocktails. Groups can dine on dishes including Kangaroo Island King George Whiting, Coorong Angus Beef eye fillet and Kangaroo Island salt and pepper squid.
Penfolds Magill Estate: The iconic Penfolds winery, which dates back more than 150 years, is steeped in history, culture and wine and is just a 20-minute drive from the centre of Adelaide. This summer, it unveiled a new cellar door and restaurant – the Magill Estate Kitchen, a sister offering and a more affordable option to the existing Magill Estate Restaurant. The Kitchen concept seats up to 60 and groups of up to 20 can also enjoy wine tastings, tours and a private dinner in the cellar. The Cellar Door area features private and open plan spaces dedicated to wine education and wine tastings.