Adelaide's got great Thai and Indian food, and here are a few places really worth trying!
Adelaide's got great Thai and Indian food, and here are a few places really worth trying! Reviews
Jun 27, 2007
If you like Asian food and you're going to Adelaide - the capital city of South Australia - then you're in luck. The city, which boasts one of the largest per capita Asian populations in the country, also houses some of the finest Asian fare you'll get in the country. Betetr still, much of it is far cheaper than what you'll get in Sydney or Melbourne. I should mention that most of the places I sampled were in either the main downtown area, or in either North Adelaide or Glenelg, so I don't consider this to be an exhaustive list, by any means - just a few options I think are really worthwhile!
The most obvious Asian food stop in Adelaide is in the center of downtown, where Adelaide's Chinatown is located (which, I'm told, is the largest in Australia, although I'm not sure if that's true, or just civic pride talking). Not only are there vendors and hole-in-the-wall restaurants here, such as Korean and Chinese cafes, but there are also several Asian grocers in the vicinity. Gouger Street, which forms the southern "border" of the main Chinatown complex, is also home to a wide variety of restaurants, many of which are Asian or fusion fare.
For those who prefer Thai (or Malaysian) food, Adelaide has a great selection of really good places to try out. A word of warning to Americans, though: this stuff is real Thai, and when y0ou ask for "mild", you get what we would call medium, or even hot, in some places. Our idea of "spicy" doesn't really seem to apply here, so be careful if you don't like spicy food! That said, there are a lot of good places to try, and there are things that even sensitive eaters can find without a problem. The Rundle Mall has no shortage of options, and my personal favorite is on the Eastern end of Rundle; the place is called, appropraitely enough, Chopstix on Rundle. I was most impressed by their Seafood Phad Thai, which had not only shrimp and scallops, but also mussels, clams and other shellfish. They also gave you a lot of noodles and seafood for about $7; I ended up taking food home more than once in the city, and this place certainly was one of those times!
Although there are dozens of other good Thai/Malaysian/fusion places to try, I found that the best I had in the whole city was a small Malaysian place called A Taste of Spice. Their menu has both traditional Malaysian fare and some interesting modern takes on the classics of that region. I love Phad Thai (as you can probably guess from my earlier mention), and theirs is a little unusual - they at a hint of tomato paste, which makes the sauce a touch sweeter and more complex, and I personally loved it. I also really enjyoed their Singapore noodles - essentially curried noodles, for those you don't know of them - which are very nicely balanced between spicy and sweet as well. If you can only go to one Asian place in Adelaide, you can't go wrong with this one.
Indian food is not quite as common as Thai in Adelaide, so far as I saw, but is also excellent and very much worth sampling. Since I was staying in North Adelaide, we had take-out from Harvest of India, on O'Connell Street, several times, and their Chicken Korma and their Tikka Masala were quite good, as was their Naan. However, the best place I found in Adelaide, Indian Brasserie, was on Gouger, like A Taste of Spice (in fact, they're about a block away from each other). Indian Brasserie has a lot of what you'd expect from an Indian restaurant - good curries and the classics of Indian cooking, like Vindaloo and Tandoor dishes. It's also got a few very good vegetarian options, liek an excellent Palak Paneer, which is good - having traveled with people with dietary restrictions, I have more than once suggested Indian as a decent way to accomodate everyone, and Indian Brasserie is a very good example of why this often works.
I realize that this is a fairly short list, but hopefully these places are helpful to anyhone heading to Adelaide. The food, like the city itself, are often overlooked, but are really worth giving a chance. I hope that this review is helpful, and if desired, I'll happily put up a few more notes about the city and its dining, because Adelaide is one of my favorite places!
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