Best Of 2021

Best of 2021: Best New Restaurants in Adelaide

From immersive degustations to sky-high French bistros – you won’t be hard-pressed to find an incredible place to wine and dine in the new year.

Feature image credit: Jack Fenby

As we bid a final farewell to the year that was 2021, we thought here at Glam Adelaide, what better way to celebrate the crazy fun we’ve had this year than by looking back at the incredible ventures and venues that have happened this year.

2021 has been a rollercoaster, and the hospitality industry has shown strength, determination and resilience these last 12 months. Lucky South Australia has been gifted with outstanding restaurants to make memories with family and friends while enjoying incredible dishes and creations. This year, SA’s culinary talent has taken us global, bringing the world’s best and most interesting flavours and techniques to the state.

From immersive degustations to sky-high French bistros and “unauthentic” contemporary Indian – you won’t be hard-pressed to find an incredible place to wine and dine in the new year.

In no particular order, here are incredible places that opened this year:

Aurora

Aurora is the brainchild of Nick and Sophie Dunstone, whose not-for-profit Light Adelaide precinct aims to reinvent the hospitality industry and support South Australia’s creative sector. Heading their flagship restaurant, Aurora, is former d’Arenberg Cube and Leonard’s Mill head chef, Brendan Wessels.

South Africa-born Wessels is introducing custom-built braai with chargrilled vegetables and meats onto the Japanese and Korean influenced menu. With various cultures acting as inspiration, expect to see ample fire-cooked fish, chicken, octopus, broccoli and shallots.

Aurora has two menus, ranging influence from Korea and Japan to the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Australia. Treat yourself to kingfish, with szechuan pepper and green tea cured egg yolk, or pork belly, with onion, mushroom and pancetta.

By purchasing their ingredients from local sources covering the quality and experience of real produce, Aurora aspires to provide an authentic, socially progressive and sustainable movement. 

True to its creative nature, the restaurant, alongside Light Adelaide and The Lab, launched a world-first interactive experience titled Immerse, utilising technology used for the first time in Australia. Aurora hosted 5 and 7 course degustations and a series of augmented reality-enhanced cheese, oyster and charcuterie tastings within a new pop-up bar overlooking Light Square.

Find Aurora at 63 Light Square. Read more about them here.

Eleven

After a year of planning, modifying and a small pandemic that threatened to derail the entire hospitality sector, the doors finally opened at Eleven restaurant in August, almost nine months after the popular open-air bar opened.

The brainchild of the culinary talent Callum Hann and Themis Chryssidis, the duo behind Sprout Cooking, Eleven is the city jungle oasis presenting thoughtfully designed and precisely executed dishes and a meticulously curated wine list.

Serving an array of contemporary Australian dishes, inspired by French techniques, the rotating seasonal menu is elegant, refined and of course, delicious. The kitchen led by Dan Murphy has a strong connection to produce, land and suppliers. A key component of the experience is eleven’s extensive wine list, featuring both local and international wine to take your palate across waters with the huge selection.

From delicate lobster toast, with charred lemon and green chilli, and black Angus beef short rib, with charred corn and radicchio – the menu is equal parts innovative as it is incredible.

The lofty and new dining space features individual tables, banquet seating, booths, chef’s kitchen experience seating and also a gorgeous private dining room that can be sectioned off with a curtain if you’re after a little extra luxury.

Find eleven at 11 Waymouth St, Adelaide. Read more about it here.

Garcon Bleu

A French re-imagined restaurant with classically trained Executive Chef Justin Dingle-Garciyya at the helm – Garcon Bleu is South Australia’s latest gourmet dining destination. Dine amongst the clouds and indulge in fresh seafood at the premier destination situated on level 9 of the new, 5-star Sofitel Hotel.

“Blending flavours of France with South Australian produce,” Garçon Bleu’s dining room boasts an open kitchen, an extensive wine wall, and an up-lit oyster and raw seafood bar. Expansive windows flood the dining room with natural light, stunning patterned timber parquetry lines the floor and a mirrored ceiling and glistening gold surfaces deliver refinement and luxury.  

Garciyya trained under Raymond Blanc at the 2-Michelin starred Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, and is known for his flavoursome food and refined technique, having worked at some of the best international five-star hotels. Sommelier and Mother Vine veteran Trevor Maskell, has created a wine list to reflect relationships in the connection with food pairings, and most importantly, a sense of place. 

Sofitel Adelaide is part of a 32-story mixed-use tower by Palumbo Group, which in addition to being a hotel, will also house one of the tallest residential developments in South Australia. The glass-walled building is set to become a glittering addition to the skyline.

Find Garçon Bleu at 108 Currie Street Level 9 of Sofitel Adelaide. Read more about it here.

Fugazzi Bar & Dining Room

Leigh Street welcomed another restaurant to the ever-popular wining and dining precinct, with culinary powerhouse duo Laura and Max Sharred opening Fugazzi Bar & Dining Room earlier in May.

Opening its doors in the former Rigoni’s Bistro, the Italo-American Bar steps away from the familiar flavours crowds know at Sharred’s Nido – bringing the CBD a high-end menu of small plates, pasta and sides; inspired by the foods Max and Laura grew up eating.

From a Mortadella “Finger Sando”, with pickled shallot and pecorino to Kingfish crudo, with lemon and rocket, the menu is equal parts nostalgic as it is fine dining. Guests can also indulge in blue swimmer crab pasta or a lasagna pizza – as well as an incredible array of wines and spirits.

Fugazzi’s interior boasts a sleek and modern feel with a stone-top bar and checkerboard bar stools in what Laura describes as “modern”, “more sophisticated” and “influenced but not bound by tradition” and accents of red throughout the space give it a rich heritage feel.

Find Fugazzi Bar & Dining Room at 27 Leigh Street. Read more about it here.

Restaurant Botanic

One of Adelaide’s most glamorous restaurants has been given a new lease on life, with Restaurant Botanic re-opening its doors to the public this year after a series of renovations. Taking the helm of the venue, acclaimed Head Chef Justin James, previously at Melbourne’s Vue de Monde, has created a true garden to plate experience that invites guests to immerse themselves in the culinary process, thanks to the new open-plan kitchen. This is where the magic happens – with the Restaurant Botanic team striving to use each ingredient to perfection.

Guests can indulge in two different degustation menus, The Short Path and The Long Trail, with an option for the mouth-watering cuisine to be perfectly paired with South Australian wine from the cellar.

The layout of the popular restaurant has also been re-designed by architect firm Williams Burton Leopardi, paying homage to the original alignment of the heritage building and its surrounds, featuring a vine-covered chandelier in the centre of the iconic rotunda.

Find Restaurant Botanic at Plane Tree Drive Adelaide, SA, 5000. Read more about Restaurant Botanic here.

Daughter In Law

Following acclaim in New York, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Melbourne and Sydney, award-winning chef and restaurateur Jessi Singh opened his newest restaurant in Adelaide this year.

Daughter In Law, draws from Singh’s experience in Melbourne and abroad, delivering a no-frills Australian-Indian bar and grill within a bright, buzzing dining space. The “ever-changing, rule-breaking” menu at Rundle Street’s Daughter In Law will feature dishes such as naan-style pizza, street-style oysters and Padadi Chaat, and dishes from the tandoori including lamb chops, tandoori chicken and jumbo prawns.

Its beverage list is equally as amazing, with sommelier Dheeraj Bhatia curating a drinks menu starring over 200 wines and 200 beers – many of them South Australian. With its colourful fit-out, mouth-watering food and friendly staff the “unauthenic Indian Australian bar” has quickly cemented itself as a must-visit spot at Rundle Street’s East End.

Find Daughter In Law at 290 Rundle Street. Read more here.

HNLY

Ringing true to their ethos,”come for the beach, stay for the food”, HNLY is the sophisticated restaurant serving stunning views and fresh seafood to the Henely locale.

Located upstairs above Estia Greek Restaurant, guests are treated to elevated views of the vibrant square while served the freshest seafood and local produce. Brought to you by the minds behind culinary institutions of George’s on Waymouth, Diaspora Kouzina and Loucas Restaurant – George Kasimatis, Peter Louca and Angela Papas – the trio have collaborated to take seaside dining to the next level.

HNLY offers a Mediterranean menu in line with the European style interior. The food is cooked up by Head Chef Ricardo Plazola from Allegra Dining Room. Whilst the menu has a strong focus on seafood, it’s paired nicely with meat and vegetarian options too. For starters, enjoy Coffin Bay oysters, NZ Ora King salmon with pickled jalapeño and Tasmanian salmon pate with olive crumb. Larger dishes include Port Broughton blue swimmer crab spaghettini and fried cauliflower with ricotta. 

Think balmy summer days ahead, the freshest seafood and an Aperol in hand – HNLY brings your dream European holiday to Henley Square.

Find HNLY seven days a week in Henley Square, Henley Beach SA, above Estia Greek Restaurant. Read more about them here.

Dunfor Noodle Bar

After the roaring success of his pop-up events, Quality Noods, Justin Healy has planted his roots and ramen skills in Hindmarsh Square, opening his brick and mortar store, Dunfor Noodle Bar.

Perfect grabbing a quick bite to eat at lunch or catching up with mates over a steaming bowl of Ramen – Dunfor has quickly become the go-to spot for all things good food and good vibes. It’s the latest addition to join the cool clan of new venues, like LOC Bar and Fire x Soi 38, popping up in the East End.

While the menu may be small, Healy has poured labour of love into Dunfor, offering a rotating menu that showcases the best local produce and seasonal flavours on offer. Currently, there are two noodle dishes (including a vegan option), and three to five small snacks.

Alongside the tasty dishes, Dunfor Noodle Bar is pouring beers on tap and having a $10 corkage fee for BYO bottles from their boozy neighbour Loc Bottle bar.  

You can connect with Dunfor on Instagram. You can read more about Dunfor Noodle Bar here.

Two Pot Screamer

Rundle Street’s newest two-level restaurant and bar, Two-Pot Screamer, brings more than just Australian slang to East End.

The venue invents a new Australian identity balancing nostalgia with contemporary design. Brought to you by emerging hospitality group Penny Hospitality, the new venue takes over the former site of award-winning Orana restaurant and, before that, Universal Wine Bar. It transforms the iconic location and pushes boundaries with a playful combination of bistro and fine dining.

The menu is perfect for sharing as it reinvents nostalgic Australian dishes in a unique way. Star dishes include the Chikko roll with barley, cabbage and curry; yabbies with whipped brown butter and pork snitty with pickles and gravy.

Two-Pot Screamer represents Australian food and culture in a fun and different way while paying homage to 285 Rundle Street’s past venues and pulling 70s cues in its design.

Two-Pot Screamer is located at 285 Rundle Street, Adelaide. You can find out more about Two-Pot Screamers here.

Super Bueno

Transport yourself to Europe at Gouger Street’s wine bar Super Bueno, which has an Italian and Spanish-inspired menu and French-style interior.  One of the latest ventures opened by emerging hospitality group, Penny Hospitality, the wine bar says it strays from the reserved vibe some venues connote – because nothing is more fun than sharing good food and wine with great friends.

Splitting the drinks list between South Australia’s renowned wines and European tipples, the venue and menu transport you to the cool coastline of Italy and Spain, serving up fantastic drops inside their white and striking cobalt blue interior. As for food, indulge in oysters, burrata and pasta – Super Bueno!

With a polished wooden bar, a wine wall that would make any sommelier jealous and easy-going yet mouth-watering food – Super Bueno is the European-inspired go-to for Adelaidian’s searching for a good time and great food.

Find Super Bueno at 13 Gouger Street. Read more about them here.

Honourable Mention

Soi 38

While Soi 38 is quickly cementing itself as a dining institution in the CBD, the popular eatery has re-opened the doors to its Pirie Street venue with a fresh fit-out and menu – making it an almost new venue in 2021!

Formerly on Pulteney Street, which will now house their festival pop-up Fire x Soi 38, Soi 38 is well-known for its modern Thai food dishes and street food delights. While the menu is similar to that of its much-loved predecessor, Soi 38’s new menu is a slightly “elevated” version, made in a new kitchen and drawing inspiration from Executive Chef Terry Intarakhamhaeng’s background. 

His breadth of knowledge allowed the eatery to expand beyond their original concept of solely street food, serving up the likes of wild buffalo tartare, Paeneng kangaroo tail curry, and red duck with lychee and pineapple. The new menu also has classics such as spring rolls and chive cakes, as well as stir-fries, curries, and flavourful salads.

Terry’s background also bleeds into the interior design; The high ceiling of the new Pirie Street location has multiple prayer flags and a setup you’d find at Buddhist temples. 

Find the new Soi 38 location at 74 Pirie Street. Read more about it here.

Consider this our early Christmas gift to you, because you now have an array of incredible new places to check out and support in 2022 – how lucky are we Adelaide.

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