We happened to have just booked a weekend getaway to Adelaide when we saw Africola pop up as #29 on the AFR’s Top 100 Australian restaurants list for 2017 – great timing for us to lock in a dinner reservation while we were in town.
As its name suggests, the restaurant serves up contemporary African cuisine led by a South African chef and co-owner. Everything about this restaurant is infused with an eclectic zing, from the funky decor, to the friendly service and the playful menu that features African inspired flavours.
We started off with their Baba Ganouj – the eggplant dip was smooth and addictive, given an unusual twist with the addition of slivers of tasty smoked ocean trout and a generous smattering of fish roe and fried onions on top. This dish was a total flavour explosion and we mopped it all up with the pita bread.
Baba Ganouj with Smoked Ocean Trout and Finger Lime, $20
The Boston Bay Mussels were plump and delicately infused with the flavours from the broth they had been cooked in (featuring fermented chilli and garlic for a kick), a nice way to round out the starters for our dinner.
Boston Bay Mussels with Fermented Chilli and Garlic, $24
The star of Africola’s menu is their Peri Peri Chicken and for good reason – the chicken has been brined to make it extra juicy and tender, with an addictive peri peri rub all over it with a hint of spice.
Peri Peri Chicken, $26
One of our other mains was the Flank Steak, cooked medium rare to keep the meat succulent and it was served with a salt bacalhau sauce (made from dried and salted cod), some very rich bone marrow and some slightly charred leek.
Flank Steak with Leek and Bacalhau Sauce, $28
We were slightly surprised about the Hummus to Spiced Ground Lamb ratio for this, considering it was a main but it had similar proportions to the Baba Ganouj we had as a starter. Considering that it was also served with more pita bread, we probably didn’t need to order this one as well.
Boom Boom! Hummus with Spiced Ground Lamb, $20
We also indulged in a bottle of McLaren Vale Shiraz from Ministry of Clouds seeing as Adelaide is so close to this famous wine region and were very happy with the silky smoothness of this red wine, which more than lived up to expectations. All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our dinner at Africola – it’s a vibrant restaurant with some truly delicious flavours on their menu, for a fairly reasonable price considering its position on the AFR Australian restaurant rankings.