The culinary landscape in Adelaide, Australia reflects a growing appreciation for Indigenous culture. The cuisine, enriched by approximately 6,000 native foods consumed by Australia’s Indigenous people for over 65,000 years, has seen a recent resurgence across the nation. They are now gaining prominence for their nutritional value, sustainability, and flavor. Here are the venues in Adelaide that will ensure you experience the Indigenous culinary scene at its best.
Red Ochre Barrell & Grill
Red Ochre, nestled by the Torrens River in Adelaide, has been championing uniquely Australian foods for 24 years. Executive chef Ray Mauger showcases gourmet dishes made with native proteins, such as grilled kangaroo, fried crocodile fish cakes, and pan-roasted barramundi. Diners even receive an illustrated guide to 20 common bush tucker ingredients. Embodying Indigenous heritage, the quandong-flavored grilled kangaroo and the lemon myrtle panna cotta will captivate your taste buds.
In the Clare Valley region of Adelaide, Bush DeVine offers a deep dive into local farming. Chef Thomas Erkelenz crafts dishes like sweet-spicy pepper berry soba noodles with pork cracklings and karkalla succulents, all sourced from his on-site garden and regional foragers. The dining experience unfolds against a backdrop of pastures and is a celebration of Indigenous ingredients connecting with nature.
Located within the Adelaide Botanic Garden, Restaurant Botanic presents a four-hour, 29-course tasting menu featuring over 30 native ingredients. Executive chef Justin James orchestrates an avant-garde culinary experience, pairing emu meat with sunrise limes and Coffin Bay oysters with fermented desert-lime pulp and green ants. The presentation’s drama amplifies the umami profile and serves as a journey into the world of Indigenous botanicals.
At the Adelaide Central Market, Something Wild stands as an Aboriginal-owned haven for bush tucker. Founded by Daniel Motlop, the stall sources directly from Indigenous vendors, offering bush teas, spices, wild-harvested produce, and unique products like lemon-myrtle tarts. This culinary treasure trove carries forward the spirit of Indigenous traditions and sustenance.
The po’boy is one of the most popular and iconic Southern dishes, hailing from New Orleans. Though you’ll find endless variations in other states, very few can beat this classic New Orleans-style oyster po’boy. Here’s how to whip up this beauty in your kitchen.
Ingredients (4-5 Servings):
For the Remoulade Sauce
● Mayonnaise, 1½ cups
● Heavy cream, 1/3 cup
● Creole mustard, ¼ cup
● Green onions, thinly sliced, 3 tablespoons
● Paprika, 1 tablespoon
● Cajun seasoning, 2 teaspoons
● Horseradish, 2 teaspoons
● Garlic powder, 1 teaspoon
● Louisiana hot sauce, 1 teaspoon
● Sweet pickle relish, 1 teaspoon
For the Oysters
● Self-rising cornmeal mix, 1 cup
● All-purpose flour, 1 cup
● Cajun seasoning, 1 tablespoon
● Kosher salt, 1½ teaspoons or to taste
● Black pepper, freshly ground, 1½ teaspoons
● Canola or vegetable oil for frying, 2-3 quarts
● Oysters in liquid, freshly shucked, ½ gallon or about 40
● French bread
● Shredded lettuce
● Sliced white onions
● Sliced red tomatoes
● Dill pickles
Making the Remoulade Sauce
● Add all the remoulade sauce ingredients to a small bowl and stir until combined. Set it aside. You’ll need only half of the sauce for this recipe. So, you can either halve the ingredient amounts or store the rest of the sauce in an airtight container, storable for up to a week in the fridge.
Preparing the Cornmeal Breading
● Combine flour, cornmeal mix, salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning in a shallow bowl. Whisk well to mix everything. Adjust the amount of salt based on the saltiness of your oysters and the Cajun seasoning.
Frying the Oysters
● Line a sheet pan with paper towels.
● Add the oil for frying to a Dutch oven or a large, deep cast-iron pot. The oil level should reach 2-3 inches up the side. Also, leave 2-3 inches of space above the oil surface to prevent boiling over.
● Dredge and prepare the oysters. Remove the shucked oysters from their liquid and briefly deep fry them. Then add them to the prepared breading and toss well to coat evenly. Move them aside on a clean plate. Repeat in batches.
● Heat the oil to 375oF over medium-high heat. Carefully lower several cornmeal-crusted oysters into the hot oil using a slotted or spider spoon. Don’t crowd the pot and work in batches. Fry for 3-4 minutes during each batch until the oysters turn crisp and golden brown. Then remove the fried oysters from the oil, drain them, and place them on the lined baking sheet.
Assembling the Po’Boy Sandwiches
● Split the French bread in two and generously spread the remoulade sauce on each half. Add adequate fried oysters and a few pickles on one side and sliced tomatoes, sliced onions, and shredded lettuce on the other half of each bread. Serve the po’ boy immediately.