Adelaide in February 2007

Things I Like About Adelaide (not necessarily in order)

1. The Central Markets

A transaction over bread

They’re so much fun! In Tegan’s words, they’re a foodie’s heaven. The fruit and vegetables there were so good and quite cheap. For example, some of the best looking vine-ripened tomatoes we’ve ever seen were only $4.99 a kilo, and really good-looking bananas were only $1.99 a kilo – a very unusual sight of late. The fish shop was quite good and reasonably priced, there’s a shop that sells nothing but mushrooms, there was a very good cheese shop, good coffee, excellent delicatessens, a good camera shop (in a food market?! very odd, but fun, nonetheless), a little Russian food shop – well, I could go on…

We went there twice on Saturday – once in the morning and then came back about 45 minutes before they closed. The end of day rush was quite an experience: all the sellers trying to offload their remaining produce so we snapped up some real bargains. The markets always had quite a bustle about them, but at closing time there was such frenetic energy – it was great! We still want to go back and rent a house in Adelaide for a couple of weeks and just go to the markets every couple of days for fresh produce and cook for ourselves (and whichever friends we can convince to come with us).

2. The Barossa Valley

Wines We Bought

Not so much in Adelaide itself, but it’s just out of town. We bought some great olive oils from Truro, which is just at the edge of the Barossa – but of course, the main thing is the wine. We went to three vineyards there:

  • Wolf Blass – this was the best wine tasting we’ve ever done. We figured we had tasted most of their normal bottle-sop variety wines (red label and yellow label) before, so paid about $10 to just taste their premium gold, grey and black label reds. Ohhhhh – they were so good – they really put a smile on our faces. The 2004 Grey Label Shiraz was truly wonderful for $35, but their $140 a bottle black label blend was something else altogether: in Tegan’s words, it was so good and smooth that you’d almost be afraid to have it with food. We’re now thinking about having a bottle of it over an afternoon with a great block of dark chocolate on our next wedding anniversary.
  • Penfolds – very disappointing. We didn’t really like anything we tasted there. There was one good chardonnay, but chardonnay isn’t really my thing, particularly at $75 per bottle.
  • St Halletts – this place was marvellous. A wonderful little winery. Everything was good, and a couple of the reds were very, very good – particularly their shiraz and spanish-inspired ones. We bought a few bottles.

3. The Big Day Out

Of course, this is why we went to Adelaide this time (we couldn’t make it to an East Coast show this year). What was good about going in Adelaide, compared to Sydney, was that the lesser number of people meant that it was easier to get close to the front.
Muse, Little Birdy and the Violent Femmes were particular highlights – we had such a good time there and took a few photos we’re quite proud of.

4. the greedy goose
We wanted to have one nice dinner out and this place was only a few blocks from our hotel. We didn’t realise when we went in that it was the winning restaurant of My Restaurant Rules season 2, but don’t hold that against it. The staff were friendly, the food was delicious, the service was excellent. We were very glad that we skipped the tasting menu (degustation) because the main dish of pan-fried duck breast with duck confit, which wasn’t on the tasting menu, was our pick of the night. The dessert was also quite unusual – it involved a whole tomato, poached with cardamon and sugar, served chilled with vanilla bean ice-cream. The maître d’ was also very nice and gave us each a complimentary glass of the fortified wine they had matched to this dish on the tasting menu; and since we only ordered one dessert to share, it was even more unusual to be given a glass of wine each. I’m not normally a fan of desserts, but this one was very, very tasty.

5. Dublin pale ale
This was a house beer at the Dublin Hotel in Glenelg. Neither Tegan nor I are typically fans of this style of beer, but it was quite good and very refreshing on such a hot day. The menu at the hotel also looked very good – but we left that for next time.

Things I Don’t Like About Adelaide

  • There were very many very terrible drivers on the roads.
  • They call a schooner a pint – it’s very confusing when you’re ordering in a pub and they ask if you want a pint, but then give you something smaller.


And then there’s things I’m indifferent about, such as Glenelg beach: really, why do people rave about it? It’s boring and not a particularly nice beach – kind of like Brighton le Sands in Botany Bay in Sydney. I guess people in Adelaide like it because it’s all they’ve got.

Home again

All in all on the trip, we did about 26 hours of driving, just short of 2500km with an average fuel consumption of about 9.5L per 100km.

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