heard about SA

A local explorer, venturing out to find ALL of the things in South Australia!

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Bubble Soccer

Bubble Soccer

After listening to friends in Melbourne rave about how much fun they’d been having playing soccer whilst wearing giant, inflatable spheres that enabled them to run headlong into each other at full speed, bounce off and roll around all over the place, I was probably the most excited person in all of SA when I discovered that Adelaide had it’s very own collection of inflatable balls to wear!

Bubble Sports SA bounced their way into the Adelaide scene earlier this year and if you’re lucky enough to have nine or more friends who are just as eager as you are to run around and smash into each other whilst wearing a clear, inflatable ball with an in-built harness then you, my friend, are in luck! It just so happens that I managed to find 10 such people and a few weekends ago we put on our running gear and we headed down to Emmaus School in Woodcroft, ready to have a ball! (see what I did there?)

Chris and Dan are the two friendly and enthusiastic bubble-fanatics who own and run Bubble Sports SA, and they are happy to roll up to any suitable Adelaide metropolitan location that’s convenient for you and set you up with an hour or more of bubble soccer fun. Once you arrive at the location and get the signing of the waiver out of the way (really, what’s going to happen to you in a bubble?), they run you through a safety brief, educate you on the most effective ways of getting yourself into your bubble and then, it’s game on!

Now, most of us playing on this particular day were reasonably fit people but it would be less than honest of me if I didn’t say that most of us were just a little bit tired by half-way through our one hour bubble session. It’s surprising how much harder running is when you can’t move your arms! Not to mention the number of times we had to pick ourselves up off the ground (again, without arms) after the many, many collisions that occurred accidentally/on purpose. Another point of note was that we were also quite blessed with the weather that day. A cool but sunny winter’s day made for perfect conditions for wearing a plastic bubble because, even at 14 degrees, it got very hot and sweaty in there. I don’t know that I would be overly keen on playing on a hot summer’s day… Unless the match were to be held at a beach… Not a bad idea!

Bubble soccer with a group of 30-somethings was an absolute blast, but is equally suitable for children, with Dan and Chris saying they’ve had kids as young as six play. A few of us, me included, pulled up a little sore the next day – turns out we’re not used to playing the part of a crash test dummy – but for the little ‘uns who don’t build up as much speed as, say, a six foot four ex-fire fighter and a gung-ho parkour lover with a black belt in karate, the impacts involved result from a significantly reduced level of momentum and is, not surprisingly, far more gentle than a game involving a group of crazy adults.

If you’re interested in getting your own bubble soccer match up and running, or anything else involving the balls (it doesn’t have to be just soccer – the guys have lots of fun ideas including ‘all over red rover’ and can set up great photo opportunities) - get in touch with Chris and Dan and get the ball rolling!

You can get in touch with Dan and Chris via email (info at bubblesports.com.au) or their web site booking page and work out a date and time that suits you – they’re super flexible!

Anywhere you like so long as Chris and Dan feel the space is safe and suitable. Feel free to get in touch with them and bounce some ideas around.

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Adelaide Chocolate School

Adelaide Chocolate Factory

Show me a face smudged with ganache, lips licked to within an inch of their lives and latex-gloved hands covered in chocolate and I’ll show you someone who has just attended the Adelaide Chocolate School’s truffle making class!

Lucky little me was treated to a surprise two-hour beginners truffle class recently as a belated birthday present from my oh-so-lovely niece and it was such a brilliant way to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon!

Upon arrival at the Adelaide Chocolate School (we’re going to go with ACS from this point forward),  we were taken back into the chocolate making area (where the magic happens) and told to put on our very attractive disposable plastic aprons before diving in. We had heating thingies to melt our chocolate (technical term) and we had a wide range of flavours for the ganache, with everything from peppermint to coffee to lavender to strawberry. We had spatulas and latex gloves, an experienced instructor who told us all the little tips and tricks for making really easy but really good truffles and, most importantly, by the end of it we had hands and bowls equally covered in chocolate that we tried our hardest to lick clean!

By the time our two hours were up we had each made somewhere between 20 and 40 chocolate truffles, depending on how big we each made them. We were given little cellophane gift bags to put them in and brown string to tie them up with so that we could take them home and either present them lovingly to family and friends and show off our mad new truffle making skills or, if we preferred, hoard our new little collection of chocolatey goodness for ourselves and pretend a secret admirer was leaving us truffles on our bedroom pillow every night for a month or so… There’s nothing wrong with either of these options.

The ACS has a whole range of classes, including specialty Easter and Christmas chocolate making classes and kids classes, so there’s something there for everyone as long as you like chocolate! My niece and I had a great time and both give the ACS two chocolate-covered-thumbs up!

The ACS is located at 48 Melbourne Street in North Adelaide. Just follow the scent of melted chocolate to here.

The ACS is contactable Mon-Fri from 9:30am until 2:30pm but run their classes at all different times so it’s best to check out their web site and then get in touch.

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Zen Kitchen

Zen Kitchen

I was in Rundle Mall on a Friday night recently and, just as I was heading back to my car, I decided to go looking for something tasty to take home for dinner as a Friday night no-need-for-dishes treat. Weaving my way back through the Renaissance Arcade, I saw a man headed my way eating a delicious-looking banh mi (is there any other kind?) and I was instantly on high alert! There was a Vietnamese place nearby!

I am a sucker for Vietnamese food so I knew I wouldn’t be going any further that evening when, only a few steps later, the paper lanterns and glowing warmth of Zen Kitchen came into view. Zen Kitchen has a great, casual feel to it. One wall is decorated entirely with drawings of happy people riding bicycles, eating food, cooking and doing various other daily activities, whilst another wall has a huge collection of toy bicycles and cyclo’s hanging all over it. Red and white paper lanterns hang from the ceiling and behind the counter, a myriad of crates and wooden boxes have been constructed into rustic-looking shelves holding bowls and ingredients.

Ordering at the counter, the service I received was warm and friendly, and I barely had a five minute wait before my rice vermicelli noodles with crackling roasted pork was brought out and presented to me in a carry bag along with a fork, chopsticks and the light fish sauce in a separate container for me to pour on once I got home.

Once home, the delicious Vietnamese dish barely had a five minute wait before it was completely demolished and sitting contentedly in my stomach! Ok… Maybe I’m exaggerating when I say five minutes but, lets just say that my glass of wine was somewhat neglected due to how much I was enjoying the meal. The only thing that would have made it better would have perhaps been a double serving of the fish sauce… I love that stuff!

Next time you’re in the Mall and feeling hungry, why not give Zen Kitchen a go?

Monday to Thursday from 10:30am until 4:30pm. Fridays from 10:30am until 8pm. Saturdays from 11am until 3pm.

In the Renaissance Arcade, which is on the northern side of Rundle Mall, roughly about here.

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Mollydooker 2012 Carnival of Love

Mollydooker Carnival of Love


Winter has decided, after much deliberation and ample thinking time, to hit with a vengeance this last week and a bit and in doing so, has created the perfect conditions for curling up somewhere warm and cosy with a special loved one. What better time then, to curl up with and review the Mollydooker 2012 Carnival of Love?!

For the second in our series of wine reviews of the Mollydooker premium range, I decided to get my big brother on board. A huge fan of red wine and always willing to accompany me on various regional adventures to discover new wineries and gourmet experiences, my brother is also an excellent man to have in the kitchen when that kitchen contains all of the ingredients needed for a giant pot of fresh chilli mussels. I’m not going to lie – it could well have been that last point that cinched him the invite to join me in reviewing this particular bottle of wine!

The Carnival of Love, I had been reliably informed, is particularly good friends with fish, white meat, fine red meat, salads and cheeses. I offered to bring the cheeses to the table on the proviso that my brother brought the chilli mussels. The deal was struck. The wine was decanted. The night began!

The 2012 Mollydooker Carnival of Love, which smelled deliciously of blackberries, was scored 95 points by The Wine Advocate and the Wine Spectator alike. As my brother said, there’s “nothing wrong with that!”.

Our first sips of this McLaren Vale shiraz, which clung tenaciously to the glass, tasted deliciously of chocolate with a slight hint of cherries and stewed plums. A suggestion of spicy pepper on its tail made itself more evident the more that we drank. The Mollydooker Team agree and add that creamy notes of vanilla can also be found on the palate of this barrel fermented and matured wine. Cardamon, lavender and anise are other descriptors bandied about by The Wine Advocate and the Wine Spectator but really, what these descriptions and comparisons and similes all add up to is one mind-blowingly delectable wine that feels amazingly smooth and silky in the mouth, is rich and complex in nature and that will drink very well from now, right through to 2025 and beyond (if you can keep it that long).

As we devoured the chilli mussels and wine over the course of the evening, we marvelled at how well they went together and at how the wine, after every mouthful, was consistently elegant. The 2012 Carnival of Love is a delightfully big wine with a nice long finish, but at the same time, it retains a certain delicacy, surprising in such a big wine, and it is in no way overpowering.

If you have a special occasion coming up or just really want to impress someone, then look no further than the Mollydooker 2012 Carnival of Love. Retailing for $75 per bottle, you can obtain your 750ml of pure drinking pleasure from the incredibly good looking Mollydooker Team at the cellar door on Coppermine Road in McLaren Vale, or online right over here. Of course, a special occasion could just be a weekend or a weekday ending in ‘y’, and the someone you want to impress could very well be yourself. Really, when a wine is this good, any excuse will do!

Mollydooker and Heard About SA are working in partnership for this review series, with Mollydooker providing Heard About SA with the bottle of  2012 Carnival of Love discussed in this review.

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Cafe Troppo

Cafe Troppo

Sustainable. Ethical. Local. Environmentally conscious. Earthy. Warm. Delicious. All words that spring to mind when I think of Cafe Troppo, a quirky little cafe located at the bottom of an ecologically designed building on Whitmore Square that has been kicking around now for a couple of years. So it’s not new but, if you’re anything like me and hit up this trendy little cafe when it first opened and then got distracted by all of the other amazing little cafes and coffee shops that opened in the interim and haven’t really been back to give it another go, then it is very much time that you did so.

I enjoyed Cafe Troppo my first time around, back when it first opened in 2012, but like a thing that gets better the longer it’s around, this cafe has only gotten better with age. It’s settled in, has grown into itself and now, with a firm sense of who it is and what it offers, has blossomed into a warm and welcoming spot to enjoy a coffee or brunch, some cake or lunch, or even beer, wine and a pizza if you strike it on the right night (that would be a Thursday night at present, just FYI).

With a firm focus on community and sustainability, you can quite often see Cafe Troppo offering to take your excess home-grown fruit off your hands and they also offer up their organic waste as compost to urban vegetable gardeners. They source their produce locally wherever possible, have their coffee roasted in the Eastern suburbs, their teas blended in the Barossa Valley and local dairy Paris Creek supply them with their biodynamic milk.

Their deliciously unusual and inventive menu changes seasonally, with some aspects of it changing weekly (i.e. the Thursday pizza night menu… again, just FYI) and, with different offerings available on weekends versus week days and with tapas and, quite often, live music available for your oral and aural pleasure on Friday evenings, it’s an ever-exciting place to eat, drink and be light-heartedly jolly.

In the amazing-looking ecological building at 42 Whitmore Square in the CBD.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 7:30am until 4pm.
Thursdays and Fridays from 7:30am until 10pm.
Saturdays and Sundays from 9am until 4pm.


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