We needed to travel out past Stirling, in the Adelaide hills for a birthday party for one of my daughter’s little friends. I’d heard good stories about this place and wanted to check out what they had to offer. Stirling is known for having an organic market and some good cafes but there wasn’t enough to piqué my interest until I heard about this place.
Locavore specialises in serving locally made food on the principle of the 100 mile diet and that everything served is grown or produced from within a 100 mile radius. Now South Australia is known for its food but at the same time, we are also known for sending the best of our produce interstate or overseas as we receive premium prices for these goods so it was to be interesting to see what was on offer.
First of all was the fish and chips for my daughter Charlotte. Typically kids menus are made up of junk and in fancier restaurants, fancier junk. I was expecting crumbed, formed junk but instead was delighted to see a beautiful Coorong mullet beautifully grilled with hand made locally grown chunky cut potato chips served to my daughter. She ate it and loved every mouthful. In this instance, there was nothing more to be said. It was just perfect.
Coorong mullet and chips
Next came my starter, the chicken terrine with bacon and chutney. The terrine itself was somewhat chunky almost in the style of a french country style pate with nice ‘herbal’ undertones which was texturally contrasted by the pine nuts and the nice salty bacon on the outside. The chutney provided a nice sweet and sour counterpoint to the savoury terrine and the dish as a whole really hit the spot.
Kanmantoo chicken terrine with Kanmantoo smokey bacon, St Agnes brandy, pine nuts and bush tomato chutney
My wife, as someone who famously ‘doesn’t eat pork’ with the exception of all cured pork products and pork crackle, I was somewhat bemused that she ordered the pork belly however, I was really excited that she did as this is exactly the sort of dish that I love. Like the terrine the classic combination of sweet and sour cabbage (sauerkraut) with apples and the savoury porky belly meat was music to my tastebuds. The crackle (and lets face it, who doesn’t love crackle) was superb and my wife and I fought over it until it disappeared…all of it!
Salted Coorong Berkshire pork belly on a bed of Granny Smith and red cabbage sauerkraut
This was my wife’s next dish and whilst as good as any other salt and pepper squid, it was not a knockout. The lemon myrtle was not overly evident but the squid was tender without the slightest hint of chewiness so often evident in such a dish. Lovely, yes but I will try something else next time.
Salt & pepper lemon myrtle squid with lemon myrtle infused sweet chilli sauce
My next dish was the Wagyu burger, made from SA produced pure blood Wagyu from Mayura station, this dish really makes an appearance. Served on a wooden cutting board in a rustic yet homely manner, the meat was rich and soft and perfectly paired with the beetroot and horseradish sauce. The chunky cut chips again made an appearance and again were vastly appreciated by both myself and my daughter.
Wagyu Loca-burger and chips, 100% Wagyu burger with salad, cheese, Locavore roast beetroot & horseradish sauce + tomato chutney
Finally was something to share between myself and my wife. Both of us love bouillabaisse and ALWAYS try it when it is on the menu and therefore shared this between us. Whilst the tomato and a citrus component were somewhat overpowering the overall balance of this dish, it was a wonderful soup, the seafood was perfectly cooked and it was wonderful to know that we were actually eating locally caught seafood, which ironically is a rarity in a state with such a large seafood industry.
Seafood bouillabaisse, SA prawn, squid, line fish and Pt Lincoln mussels with white wine, garlic tomato + herb served with crusty bread
After this, we were done, the soup had removed our ability to eat dessert and our daughter had a birthday party to attend. Similarly, they had a perfectly acceptable wine list that we were unable to sample due to driving. Perhaps on our next visit…
Overall, Locavore is a compelling offer. It is lovely to know you are eating food that is locally produced and in some cases organic and preferentially sourced from family businesses and simply by eating wonderful food in a scenic setting, you are able to actively support the local food industry. It is a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon and would recommend it to anyone wanting to go ‘tootling’ up the freeway.
49 Mount Barker Road
Stirling SA 5152
Telephone: (08) 8339 4416
Breakfast Sat – Sun
Lunch Tues – Sun
Dinner Tues – Sat