Words by Anna Howard
Some may say Adelaide's dining scene is bit of a wallflower; outclassed by hip and edgy Melbourne and overshadowed by talk of the town Hobart. But no longer. Adelaide has reinvented itself as a world-class foodie hotspot with a world of options for the discerning executive. Whether you're welcoming (schmoozing) out of town business associates or looking to brainstorm with the team, here are the best places to break bread.
Andre's Cucina & Polenta Bar
94 Frome St, Adelaide
Image courtesy Andre's Cucina & Polenta Bar
Andre Ursini would rather not be remembered as that former Masterchef contestant, but for the sophisticated, convivial atmosphere of his famed restaurant. Fun, interactive and engaging, Andre's authentic Italian menu is designed for sharing – perfect for team bonding. Don't be deterred by its polenta bar label; this Adelaide institution offers so much more than the name implies. From Carpaccio and grazing boards to fresh pasta and the signature polenta variations, all you have to do is arrive hungry and let the chefs do what they do best – feed you!
The Daniel O’Connell
165 Tynte St, North Adelaide
These days, pubs are no stranger to fine food and The Daniel O'Connell is no exception. With a wee Irish influence, new owners have transformed this historic pub into a true culinary destination with an adventurous nose-to-tail approach. Of course, if you don't fancy snacking on anything too daring, you'll still find all the classics such as steak with all the trimmings, as well as a stellar South Australian wine list. Now that's good 'craic'.
132 Gouger St, Adelaide
Image courtesty Concubine
There's nothing like a good Chinese banquet to bring people together. But you won't find any honey chicken here. Upmarket Concubine, reminiscent of a 1930s Shanghai salon, fuses classic flavours with praiseworthy South Australian produce, including Barossa free-range chicken. Up the experience by booking the private Secret Room with a banquet menu and look forward to dish after drool worthy dish. They also do a mean takeaway too if you ever find yourself stuck late at the office.
95 Gouger St, Adelaide
With Chef Ayhan Erkoc at the helm (his resume includes a stint at Copenhagen's Noma), you can expect world-class 'experiential eating' at sexy and sophisticated Celsius. Chef Erkoc is known to forage for ingredients himself in parklands, and roots, tendrils, weeds and flowers feature across many seemingly simple, yet complex dishes. Celsius is modern Australian cuisine at its finest, yet has a price tag that won't empty the expense account.
285 Rundel Street, Adelaide
Image courtesy Orana
This small Rundle Street dining room is the brainchild of Scottish-born chef Jock Zonfrillo. This award-winning newcomer is making waves in Adelaide and beyond thanks to his clever use of native ingredients. Think emu, mulberry and mountain pepper, as well as bunya nut, buffalo curd, beetroot, black garlic and saltbush. Tasting menus are the name of the game here and at $155 a head for dinner (not including wine); you best save Orana for when you really need to get that deal over the line.
Kenji Modern Japanese
Shop 5, 242 Hutt St, Adelaide
It's not the playful decor that have diners flocking to this award-winning restaurant, it's chef Kenji's traditional, yet innovative menu. Not to mention, it's the only place in town where you'll get a side of thrills with your sushi. Kenji is one of only a handful of chefs in Australia with a license to serve the notorious puffer fish. Put your team to the test with this delicacy, choose unconventional flavours such as squid with eggplant and pickled cherry, or stick to age-old classics which include textbook crispy tempura. Humorous staff, a Japanese sake list and global line-up of wines will enhance your evening.