There’s a famous quote by the late, great and inspirational Anthony Bourdain that goes:
“Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonalds? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.”
His words, much like the story of his life, have graced many a writer’s column, used to provoke thought.
Because what is travelling without trying new things? Including the various culinary offerings simmering away in every nation’s distinct culture?
Instagram has undoubtedly helped travellers explore new flavours because now they can get dozens of likes for trying something delicious. Beyond the viral sensation of #foodie – which has received over 98.7 million posts – sampling new dishes, sweet treats and curious delicacies exposes us to cultures in a way that just visiting museums can’t.
As many seasoned travellers may already know, the Asia-Pacific is home to some of the world’s most iconic flavours, from China’s fiery hotpots and Malaysia’s classic nasi lemak to Japan’s silky ramen and Vietnam’s crunchy banh mi. Lest we forget, there’s a whole other side to the region’s dining culture that’s waiting to be discovered in South Australia.
Adelaide, its capital, is brimming with charm, history, natural beauty and a freshness not observed anywhere else in Australia.
But the true magic of this region is revealed when you delve into its culinary offerings. South Australia truly is the land of legends when it comes to vibrant food scenes, from culture-rich Adelaide to the verdant Adelaide Hills, and the hidden gems in Barossa to the bountiful Eyre Peninsula.
The region is a smorgasbord of world-renowned chefs reimaging Australia’s dining scene, innovatively designed restaurants and the most delicious fresh produce. It’s also home to some uber-trendy and historically significant markets, not to mention the best alfresco-dining spots in Australia.
If you’re tempted by the prospect of sampling freshly caught oysters from Coffin Bay, dining riverside at 1847 Chateau Yaldara or picking up fresh produce from Adelaide Central Market for a sensational picnic, but you’re not sure where to begin, browse through our list of five reasons why we think you absolutely must follow your taste buds on a culinary journey through South Australia.
It’s often said that Mother Nature did some of her best and tastiest work in the ocean, and South Australia happens to be home to a magnificent variety of seafood.
Travellers can embark on a journey of seafood-discovery in the Eyre Peninsula, whether it’s velvety scarlet tuna from Port Lincoln or plucking the freshest oysters from their briny beds in Ceduna, and all the divine abalone, prawns, crab and lobster in between, you won’t need to cast a line far to find a feast.
1802 Oyster Bar and The Fresh Fish Place are the best places to try a fresh catch if you’re not up for adorning a pair of waders and farming them yourself. Situated in the renowned Port Lincoln, both restaurants offer a laid-back atmosphere overlooking pristine waters and provide seafood fanatics with extensive sea-to-plate menus.
Produce markets have long been the focal point of towns and cities. They offer small producers’ exposure to a wide audience and often tell fascinating stories of family-owned enterprises.
And Adelaide Central Market is no different. The market began nearly 120 years ago and has been a purveyor of the freshest produce ever since. Just an hour or two spent at this foodie hub, eating local cold-cuts and cheeses, fresh bread, creamy dairy products and heavenly desserts among other delights, will leave you understanding why Adelaide is the culinary capital of South Australia.
Equally, the Adelaide Farmers’ Market showcases some of the best, lowest food mile produce that Adelaide has to offer. With everything from the finest seasonal fruits to artisan loaves, this market is frequented by locals in-the-know and visitors alike.
Your foodie heaven doesn’t need to stop when you leave South Australia as you can learn how to take all the tastes home with a plethora of master chef classes.
If you enjoy a melt-in-your-mouth fromage, head to Udder Delights cheese cellar for a fun cheesemaking workshop.
Then there’s the award winning Adelaide-based Sticky Rice Cooking School with flavours that span nations, from Morocco to Spain and Japan to Indonesia. Learn how to pound your own curry pastes, blend the perfect concoction of spices and make the silkiest ramen.
Cooking classes let you take home an extra special souvenir, one which you might even share with loved ones, if they’re lucky.
If you simply can’t make up your mind on where to try South Australia’s most delightful culinary affair, you should journey on one of the many foodie road trips.
The iconic Adelaide Hills: 3 Day Foodie Itinerary is a great way to see the best that South Australia has to offer. The tour begins in the rolling hills and lush valleys of the Adelaide Hills where travellers can gaze upon thousands of fruitful grape vines before strolling around the 19th century Mount Lofty Botanic Garden and settling into a decadent dinner at Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant.
The second day entices tourers through a multitude of stunning wineries and reveals a beautiful hidden lunch spot as Lost in a Forest which serves up thin and crispy wood fire pizzas.
Onto the third day and into the charming, story-book pretty town of Hahndorf, Australia’s old surviving German settlement. Making your way around town, stop off at the Seasonal Garden Café to sample locally-grown produce turned into fantastic dishes, then head out for an afternoon treat in one of the many bakeries dotted around town.
If South Australia’s culinary scene has got you searching for airfares, you’ll be happy to know that Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines both fly directly to Adelaide from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore respectively. So, get booking your Adelaidean foodie getaway today and scroll through a wealth of destination information on South Australia’s official tourism website.