After leaving the beautiful metropolitan Brisbane, I ended up in Adelaide, South Australia. The energy here is much different than Brisbane, with a smaller city feel and colder weather. South Australia boasts some of the most popular Australian Wine regions such as the Barossa and Yarra Valleys. I didn’t have much time to explore Adelaide so most of my meals came from exploring the famous Central Market.
If you ever find yourself in this city, be sure to take advantage of the FREE connector bus. Also take note, that most places close early. (Click here to check out the Wildlife park I went to to meet this Koala)
Adelaide Free Metro Services
“Route 98A and 98C link the city and North Adelaide every 30 minutes, seven days a week and routes 99A and 99C link the main city destinations every 30 minutes on weekdays. Together routes 98 and 99 provide a coordinated 15-minute frequency on weekdays from North Terrace to Hutt Street, Hurtle Square, Whitmore Square, China Town, Central Market and Victoria Square.
The service runs from early in the morning until 7.15pm daily, with extra services running on Friday until 9.15pm.
The buses are air conditioned and wheelchair and pram friendly”
China Town Adelaide
Between Grote and Gouger street lies the Central Markets of Adelaide. This is a stellar collection of markets, local producers, and restaurants that make up some of the best food in the city. On Moonta street you’ll find two Guardian Fu Dogs and an arch welcoming you into China Town Adelaide.
I was thoroughly impressed by the restaurants. I shouldn’t be surprised that South East Asian food is so good in Australia, seeing as how the continents are close in proximity. To be honest, you’re getting so much more than just Chinese food and I wanted to highlight some restaurants on Moonta street that aren’t Chinese.
**note: There are less sandwiches in this post. Don’t Judge me.
I consider Dumplings and the like to be a cousin to sandwiches. We can discuss it later if you disagree, your life will change immensely. Gyoza Gyoza was the first place that caught my eye when I walked onto Moonta Street. They have a whole variety of small dishes (all of which cost $6.80 AUD) to choose from ranging from the traditional to modern fusion. I wanted to try all of their sliders, but how can I go to a place called “Gyoza Gyoza” and not order dumplings?
Soft shell crab mini burgers
- Fried soft shell crab
- Kewpie mayo
- Spring mix
- Mini sesame bun
I had a choice of three different mini burgers: Crab, Lobster, or calamari. I had to debate on whether or not I wanted soft shell crab or lobster, but I’m happy that I went with the soft shell crab. The fried batter adds an interesting texture that works really well the sweet kewpie mayonnaise. It all came together nicely with the bun, because it was a little dry and needed something to counter balance that. For the Gyoza, I ordered Wagyu beef with red onion and mince garlic with pork. One set was pan fried and the other was steamed, honestly, they were some of the best that I have had. Plus you can mix your own dipping sauce at the table! it’s a win win and Gyoza Gyoza… (Sorry).
(Click the thumbnails to see larger sizes)
On the outskirts of China Town there is a Vietnamese sandwich shop that shares it’s space with a coffee shop. I stopped here several times to pick up a quick bite before I would get on my bus. It’s open fillings station allows you to customize your Banh Mi as the cook makes it. Their sandwich selection isn’t something that I normally see in Southern California, so I was immediately intrigued. Looking for something none traditional? Try the chicken Karage sandwich, with batter fried japanese style chicken. Don’t want meat? they have a tofu and Shiitake mushroom sandwich. I went with the lemon grass chicken.
Lemon Grass Chicken Banh Mi
- Lemon Grass marinated chicken
- house pickled carrot
- Spring onion
- Garlic Aioli
When I first saw garlic aioli on the ingredients list, a noticable scowl came across my face. It caught me a bit off guard but it was much more subtle than I expected. The house pickled carrots are less briny than what I’ve had before, but it worked nicely with the big flavors of the lemon grass chicken. It tasted a bit heavy on soy sauce (or something similar) but the vegetables helped.
Nordburger sits in a small alleyway of China Town, a small bastion of American influence in the Asian culinary district. As a native Californian and red blooded American, I’m always intrigued by how other countries interpret a hamburger. It seems to be a dish that transcends culture (probably because of McDonald’s) so it stands to reason that you can find an upscale burger anywhere in the world. Locally owned and inspired by American eateries, Nordburger has some exceptional ground beef cooked nicely on a flat iron grill. There is a beautiful texture as the outer edges of the meat is lightly carmelized and crispy. It’ll scratch that burger itch if you have it.
My best days in Adelaide ended with either coffee and Tim Tams or Churros and hot chocolate. Dessert isn’t something that I eat often, but there is a sense of accomplishment attached to ending the day with something decadent.
Churros have always had a special place in my heart. They evoke some fond memories of my childhood when they’re covered in cinnamon sugar; At San Churro, the churros and hot chocolate brought me back to the first time I went to Spain. It was one of the best places to sit and wind down after a long day of walking around the Cleland Wildlife reserve. I wrote in my notebook, dipped my churro into Spanish Caramel and frothed hot chocolate, and felt good about life.
Adelaide Central Market
Right next to China Town is the Adelaide Central Market where you can find some of the city’s best food. I really enjoy walking around Farmer’s Markets (I must be getting old) because there are so many interesting things to try. This is a must for any foodie in Adelaide with over 70 traders under one roof and a myriad of flavors from all over South Australia. It’s worth noting that the hours can be difficult for you night owls out there, so plan an early day if you want to visit:
Sunday and Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 7AM – 5:30PM
Wednesday – Thursday: 9AM – 5:30PM
Friday: 7AM – 9PM
Saturday: 7AM – 3PM
(Click on the thumbnails to see the photos in a larger size)
Adelaide was an excellent way to end my trip through Australia. Brisbane’s big city energy was a perfect beginning to another life changing journey and Adelaide was the small artisanal dessert. The city is a culinary treasure, with enough local wine and food to keep any gourmand happy and on the brink of food coma for days. Be sure to take advantage of the public transportation, the money you save can go to more food.