Australia’s pre-eminent eating and drinking festival, Tasting Australia returned to Adelaide from April 5-14 to showcase a smorgasbord of unexpected treats to please all palates.
With more than 160 events across 12 regions, and more than 70 Michelin-starred and award-winning chefs from around the world, Tasting Australia transformed Adelaide and its regions into a truly spectacular grazing table. The event has concluded on a high with a record number of attendees, making it the most popular in the event’s history.
Gastrology loved spending the weekend in Adelaide to enjoy a bit of what Adelaide sand the festival had to offer.
12 pm – Check in to Hilton Adelaide
Located in the heart of Adelaide, Hilton Adelaide is the perfect place to stay and enjoy the city’s entertainment, dining and shopping scene.
The Central Market, Chinatown and Gouger Street are a mere hop and a skip away.
1 pm – Lunch at La La La Osteria
Imbuing a seductive vibe that Italians bring so well, La La La adds Italian flair to Adelaide’s thriving bar and restaurant playground. A dining room, with dark tones, wood and splashes of velvet, La La La delights with classic Italian flavours made with Australian ingredients in a modern setting. The venue is one that embraces fine food, but maintains a relaxed neighbourhood restaurant vibe. Read more here.
8 pm - Dinner at 2KW
Located along bustling King William Street 2KW is a stunning rooftop restaurant, bar and function space that immediately transports you to a world of old school luxury, combined with a dash of the ultra-modern.
The moody colour scheme and lighting create an ambience of subdued elegance. A wonderful contrast is provided by the bright vistas of the Adelaide city skyline.
With Head Chef Trent Lymn at the helm, the menu is a wonderfully modern Australian drawing from influences around the globe whilst celebrating local produce. The resulting flavour combinations, whilst unashamedly avant-garde, work. Each course was well thought out, wonderfully balanced and interesting. Lymn’s years of experience in Europe (including owning his own café-restaurant in Argentina) is clear as each course is presented with elegance and finesse. Read more here.
9 am – Meet the grower - taste the region - Eat the street
Meet the grower - Taste the region - Eat the street was one of the many amazing Tasting Australia events on offer. Ticketholders met in the Adelaide CBD at 9am and were whisked away to the Fleurieu by Chook’s. We then enjoyed a guided tour and tastings at the iconic Willunga Farmers Market. Held every Saturday in the Willunga Town Square, more than 80 farmers and artisan food producers come together at the Willunga Farmers Market to sell their fresh, local and seasonal produce. It was truly lovely to meet all the different producers and growers and to enjoy a wonderful breakfast at the market.
The day concluded with a decadent 3 course lunch with wine at Penny's Hill Winery overlooking the vineyards. Chef Tom Boden spoiled us with a stunning menu including hummus with smoked paprika and sumac crackers as well as a scrumptious whole roasted and smoked chicken.
7 pm - Dinner at Coal Cellar + Grill
Coal Cellar + Grill at Hilton Adelaide highlights the best of South Australia's produce with a team of talented chefs offering a mouth-watering menu that praises and reflects the beauty of South Australian produce within the dishes.
Incorporating a mixture of materials with natural timbers, leather, marble, granite and other rich textures, Coal Cellar + Grill showcases a contemporary eatery and lounge. Exposed concrete pillars and ceilings and large open spaces with bespoke furniture reflect contemporary design with raw, simple lines.
The charcoal grill is the restaurant's key focus, both its form and function, complimented by an extensive 3000 bottle cellar that houses over 500 varieties from Australia and world-wide regions. Read more here.
12.30 pm – Teste di Nebbiolo - East End Cellars Masterclass
After a hearty buffet breakfast at Hilton Adelaide, our tummies were sufficiently padded for what was to come. Another fabulous Tasting Australia event, Teste di Nebbiolo was one of the many East End Cellars Masterclasses held at the Town Square which calls out to all Nebbiolo lovers. From the Langhe to Lenswood, we took a deep dive into the famous fog (or nebbia in Italian) from which this great grape takes its name. We loved tasting our way through some of the greatest nebbiolo wines from South Australia’s Adelaide Hills alongside a selection of star names from the hills of Barolo and Barbaresco in Italy. Lead by Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine Winemaker of the Year and Tasting Australia ambassador Steve Pannell (S.C. Pannell Wines) we discovered the many faceted delights of this ethereal and captivating grape.
2pm - Lunch at Town Square
Based at Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga, Town Square was the perfect place to explore, enjoy, gather and graze throughout the festival. Adelaide locals and visitors rub shoulders with the crème de la crème of Tasting Australia's best talent, from chefs to winemakers and local producers.
The main stage was pumping with live music and speaker sessions throughout the week and there was something to suit everyone’s tastebuds. Think melt in your mouth briskets, flammekueche (flatbread), bombe alaska ice cream and even FruChocs soft serves. (FYI - we’d never heard of FruChocs either but it’s a deliciously South Australian thing and consist of a cube of dried apricot and peach paste, coated in milk chocolate - originally made from excess fruit from the Riverland and Barossa Valley!).