Showcasing the best South Australian food and beverage producers is firmly on the menu for The Guardsman’s new Head Chef, Luke Brabin, following a successful career running some of the finest venues across China and Australia.
February 2020 sees Adelaide Railway Station’s former Great Dining Hall transform into The Guardsman – a bar and dining hall celebrating the best of South Australia.
Mr Brabin joined the team, alongside new Venue Manager, Allirra Chaunut, in November and is busily planning a delicious menu of SA favourites, which he describes as ‘fresh, local, flavoursome and unpretentious’.
Starting his career as an apprentice with Adelaide Icon Cheong Liew at The Grange, Mr Brabin moved to Melbourne to open The Maze with Gordon Ramsey, followed by a stint as Head Chef at Melbourne icon The Botanical.
He then moved overseas and ran five-star restaurants in Shanghai, China and Japan before returning home to Adelaide as Executive Chef at The Feathers in Burnside.
The menu will use almost all South Australian suppliers and produce, with signature dishes including Mayura Station Beef Brisket and Shiraz Pie, Robarra Baby Barramundi served with Asian flavours, and some of South Australia’s finest seafood including Fleurieu Peninsula squid, Spencer Gulf prawns and Port Broughton Crab.
Desserts inspired by South Australian food icons include the ‘Berliner’ and The Guardsman’s take on the FruChoc.
Mr Brabin said it was this commitment to source local producers and the venue’s unique offering which attracted him to the new role.
“There is nothing quite like this in Adelaide and I’m proud that we are working with our amazing South Australian food and beverage producers to showcase our State and create a unique tourism experience,” he said.
“It’s a place where people can come together and I have no doubt that it will bring people back to the city and become ‘Adelaide’s Bar’, as well as creating a unique experience for interstate and international tourists.”
Now underway, the renovation pays tribute to its railway heritage as well as the venue’s reputation as a dining hall and original details, such as the jarrah flooring has been kept.
Long dining tables and intimate leather booths throughout allow for 250 seats within the restaurant and a total capacity of 400.
The grand central bar and open kitchen showcases some of South Australia’s well-known food and beverage producers.
Beer suppliers include Coopers, Pirate Life, Mismatch and spirits such as 23rd Street Distillery and Adelaide Hills Distillery will be available.
The wine room – a private intimate 12-seater bar which will be available to privately hire – will house a series of ongoing wine events from the likes of Bird in Hand, Penfolds and Wirra Wirra, all of which will be available on pour in the bar.
Adelaide Casino General Manager of Marketing Greg Stirling says The Guardsman is a very special project that will revitalise a building full of heritage for the benefit of all South Australians.
“It’s a unique opportunity to develop a part of the railway station that has not been used for many years and create a place where stories can again be shared and made,” he said.
Leading local architects and interior designers Studio Gram spearheaded The Guardsman’s design with the brand identity and signage developed by Tristan Kerr of Uppercase Studio.
Originally opened in 1928, the hall has been used as a storage area for more than a decade and will now be brought back to its former glory with a $6 million investment by SkyCity, which includes full restoration of its heritage features.
The Guardsman will officially open in January 2020.