heard about SA

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


Wined Bar

Wined Bar

The National Wine Centre will have been open for 14 years this coming October, but it was only a few months ago that I discovered the Wined Bar within.

With 120 different wines able to be tasted, Wined Bar enables you to sample each of South Australia’s wine regions without leaving the Adelaide CBD, and if that wasn’t incentive enough, the whole thing also works in a very unique way that turns wine tasting into somewhat of an interactive game! Each wine is displayed in a sealed case, assisting with temperature control, from which extends a short, silver tube. Above each wine you will see three prices – a price for a tasting, a price for a half glass of wine and then a price for a full glass. After handing in either your driver’s licence or credit card to one of the super-friendly bar staff, you will be given a tab-card that you then use to access each of the wines around the room. You can meander around, decide on what you would like to taste or quaff, then you insert your card, choose your measurement of wine, have it charged to your tab, put your glass to your lips and voila! You are in the Coonawarra! As I learned, this self-serve ability, whilst fun and unusual, can result in a fairly sizeable tab being racked up rather quickly – a glass of a delightful riesling over here, a sip of a delicious buttery chardonnay over there… a cheeky taste of the $120-per-glass Penfolds Grange…!

The bar staff at Wined Bar are well versed in the wines available and are always more than happy to offer you guidance or answer any questions you might have about the wine or the region from which it comes – if they don’t know the answer, they will find out for you. They will also quite happily bring you food, as Wined Bar offers a seasonal menu and are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day of the week – mind you, breakfast is slightly limited on week days so just be aware of that one.

With views over the Botanic Gardens and only a short walk through parklands from the East End, Wined Bar is certainly a novel way to enjoy some great South Australian wine.

On the corner of Botanic and Hackney Roads, right here.

Open weekdays from 8am until 9pm, Saturdays from 9am until 9pm and Sundays from 9am until 7pm – these folks work hard! The only days they’re not open are Christmas and Boxing Day, New Years Day and Good Friday. Otherwise, go your hardest! Responsibly, of course.

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Cherry Darlings Bakehouse

Cherry Darlings Bakehouse

Not long after making the decision to transition to a plant-based diet, I discovered that a brand new vegan bakery had just opened – excited much?! I had seriously only just been lamenting to friends that I would miss visiting bakeries and not having ready access to pies and pastries and sweet bakery items because coming across those without dairy or eggs is nigh on impossible. But voila! Cherry Darlings Bakehouse is here!

The first time I walked through the glass door to the colourful interior of Cherry Darlings, I was pleasantly overwhelmed by the choice available to me in the pie oven.  Satay pies and curry pies and vegetable pies and shepherd’s-style pies and pasties and all of the things! There were so many items to choose from, I couldn’t even make a choice and I deferred to the lovely lad behind the counter and requested that he choose something for me (I may have done this on a couple of occasions now).

Then I moved across to the cakes and sweet-pastries counter and again was confronted with a huge range to choose from! Cupcakes and custard tarts and brownies and slices… I desperately wanted to try a slice of their turkish delight cheesecake (I’m a fiend for anything turkish delight) but, being short on actual physical in-my-hand cash and with them not yet (at that stage) having their EFTPOS machine up and running, I had to forgo the cheesecake and suffer my way through a delicious, chocolately, can-I-have-more brownie instead. Dem feels, right? (A happy side-note is that I did, later, make it back to Cherry Darlings armed with a more plentiful supply of cash and I did manage to get myself a slice of the turkish delight cheesecake – no surprises here – it was indeed delightful!)

But Cherry Darlings don’t just stop at their baked goods. There are milk shakes and banana splits, soda floats and sundaes – it’s your one stop shop for a delicious vegan bakery lunch where you won’t have to miss out on a single thing! And it’s not just for vegans and vegetarians either – don’t let the fact that there are no meat, egg or dairy dishes available trick you into thinking you won’t also enjoy their wares. Owners Tim and Sharleen have been catering to Adelaide vegans for quite some time and are passionate about creating recipes that are both cruelty free and delicious – I’ve even heard sworn carnivores comment on how good their food is! So give it a go – and if you get stuck with one of those brownies… half your luck!

Right near tram stop #4 at 5 Aroha Terrace in Forrestville. Ding ding!

You can get your hands on some Cherry Darlings goodness from 9:30am until 4:30pm, Tuesday through Saturday.

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Jarmer’s Kitchen

Jarmer's Kitchen

The relatively new kid in my town (it’s not *that* new anymore but, for all my good intentions I’ve only *just* been able to check it out) is Jarmer’s Kitchen and already I feel like I’ll be heading back there some time soon.

The décor in Jarmer’s hasn’t changed remarkably from the ‘venue formally known as Plant 13′ – some of which I’m grateful for because I *love* the lighting in this place – but it is different enough to give it a fresh, reinvigorated feel and you can see that Chris has certainly put his stamp on the place, brightening it up and reviving it with a crisp, white palette.

The team working at Jarmer’s were friendly and prompt – all except for the accidental loss of our order of a pot of green tea to go with our lunch, which was apparently enjoyed instead by one of the team members as the request had been confused with that of another table and was treated as a double-up. After laughing about the incident though, our pot of tea arrived with smiles and apologies to accompany our dessert – no harm no foul.

But I mentioned lunch right? I’ve never before experienced a Jarmer meal and I have to say I was quite impressed. My lovely lunch date put her faith in a serve of duck croquettes, which were apparently delicious, whilst I headed mouth-first into a bowl of house-made potato gnocchi with mushrooms and creamy porcini sauce and I swear, I hoped to never re-emerge! It was that good. We also shared a grilled haloumi salad, which on it’s own was enough for me to go back for again and is quite possibly the only reason I did choose to come out of my oh-so-dreamy gnoc-coma.

After a tasty dessert of bread and butter pudding (and of course, our refreshing green tea!), my date and I headed outside to play totem-tennis in the sun. For what better way to finish off lunch than with a free game of totem-tennis? Perfect.

Jarmer’s Kitchen is at 18 Park Terrace in Bowden - easily accessible by car, tram, train, bus OR casual stroll through Bonython Park! How lovely!

Open Monday to Friday from 7:30am and on weekends from 8am for breakfast, Jarmer’s Kitchen serves lunch every single day as well and then is also open for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday until 10pm.

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Vego And Loven It

Vego and Loven It

I’m not really of the bohemian persuasion, nor would you consider me someone with hippy tendencies, however I do love vegetarian food and Vego and Loven It (which could be described by both aforementioned descriptors) has been on my ‘to try’ list for quite some time now. Tucked quietly through a small yellow doorway on Rundle Street, this unassuming little vegetarian cafe is at the top of a very well worn and narrow staircase. With lilac walls and an eclectic array of mosaics, pictures, ceramics and other random decorations, Vego and Loven It resembles the house-wares section of a Salvo’s store, but with a homey and welcoming feel… And food!

The menu for Vego and Loven It consists of a collection of pieces of paper written on by texta-equiped hand and stuck up onto a purple board. It lists items such as burgers, wraps, soups, smoothies and teas for your delighted consumption. Not able to resist the temptation of a tasty vegetarian burger, I headed straight for the Bali Burger and there has not been a single moment in my life since that I have regretted that decision.

The burger came out almost as soon as I’d ordered and was so large and full of goodness that I could barely get it in my mouth! Although it didn’t quite feel right, I realised quickly (when I knew I should) that I just had to give in to the size of the meal and, after only one bite, switched from my hands to a knife and fork. Teeming with lettuce and carrot and all sorts of other healthful, tasty vegetables and sauces, the burger was delicious and, because it was so dang healthy, didn’t leave me with the sleepy, sluggish feeling one can get after a less wholesome meal.

The cafe had a steady stream of people coming and going, but was still relaxed enough that the divine-bringer-of-food was able to take my order promptly and help me out with the bill at the end of my visit without any delay, all with a smile on her face. The bill, incidentally, didn’t come to much, with change from a $40 note (if there were such a thing) for two people to eat quite substantially and share a pot of peppermint tea.

Whether you are vego or not, I would recommend a visit to Vego and Loven It – the burgers are delicious, it’s a bit unusual, and you’ll come away feeling great!

Upstairs on level 1 at 240 Rundle Street in Adelaide.

Weekdays from 10am until 4pm.

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Mollydooker 2012 Blue Eyed Boy

Mollydooker 2012 Blue Eyed Boy

With a much-loved friend relocating interstate whose eyes, although he debates it, closely resemble a pale blue sky, I thought there was no better occasion for pulling out my 2012 bottle of Mollydooker Blue Eyed Boy than for our last dinner together before his big move.

A dark and richly coloured shiraz, the Blue Eyed Boy is made from fruit grown in both McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek (exactly half each) and is barrel fermented and matured in 100% American Oak. This wine sings a sweet song of berries and cinnamon, with a hint of paprika, to your olfactory senses however, the initial delicacy of the aroma keeps the deep creaminess of your first sip a complete (and pleasant) surprise. Now, I don’t discriminate against any wine but I do have a particular soft spot for fortified wines and one of the things I really enjoyed about this bottle was the way in which the creaminess and viscosity of the wine reminded me, ever so slightly, of a fortified. Delicious.

After several mouthfuls of the Blue Eyed Boy, much lip-smacking and a little pondering, my blue eyed friend commented that although the wine had a slight sweetness upfront, that sweetness then gave way to allow the pleasant plummy and berry flavours of the fruit to come through. He also admired the flavour imparted to the wine from the oak barrels in which it had rested, agreeing that this was a likely contributor to the slight smokiness of the wine which, being a fan of a good peaty Scotch, was one of the first things I noticed about this bottle. Spicy and full-bodied, I admired the satisfyingly savoury aftertaste the wine left in my mouth and, not one to love you and leave you, the way in which this shiraz lingers on your palate is pretty much the vino equivalent of spooning. It’s definitely a keeper.

Whilst we were very happily drinking our bottle of Blue Eyed Boy in the middle of winter and imagining ourselves curled up in front of a fire with, perhaps, some chocolates on hand, my blue eyed friend also felt that the fruitiness of the wine would lend itself to being drunk quite happily in the spring time. I think I would have to agree, but I feel – purely for the sake of my integrity as a writer – that I couldn’t comment on that fully until we have actually tried this for ourselves… We may have to give another bottle a go in autumn as well, and perhaps summer… One can never be too careful.

If you’re up for seeing how the 2012 Mollydooker Blue Eyed Boy fares in all seasons, your very own bottle of this tasty shiraz will set you back $45 (don’t forget, you’ll need at least four!) and can be obtained directly from the amazing team at Mollydooker over on Coppermine Road in McLaren Vale or online right about here.

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


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