IT’S an almost inevitable progression that the most successful food trucks will sooner or later be forced to find bricks and mortar premises due to popular demand.
So it was for the team behind the Low & Slow American BBQ food truck, who saw the steady renaissance of Port Adelaide as a popular visitor destination as their perfect opportunity. Located in an old hardware supply store just a short walk from the Port River, Low & Slow has been on fire since it moved from its red-hot food truck. The tiny kitchen is built around two jet black Yoder smokers imported from Kansas City, although the savoury flavours on much of the menu are more Texas style than the sweeter northern flavours favoured in Missouri.
The go-to dish is the meltingly tender beef brisket, seasoned with salt and pepper before being smoked in the Yoder for 18 hours over a blend of oak and hickory American hardwoods. Almost as popular are the sticky-glazed pork ribs, dusted with brown sugar and celery salt, and fall-off-the-bone tender. Other meaty options include smoked chicken wings with blue cheese sauce and a pile of pulled pork. Can’t decide – then take the mixed platter to share. Sides of blue cheese sauce and corn bread emphasise that this is definitely not slimming food, though a crunchy apple and cabbage slaw, and cavalo nero “collard greens” compensate a little.
There are plenty of interesting beer options to go with the meal, plus a great range of bourbon, and a large roll of paper towels helps with the clean-up. Low & Slow, 17 Commercial Rd, Port Adelaide. Open for lunch Friday and Sunday, dinner Wednesday to Sunday; phone 0402 589 722.
The Adelaide Hills has an increasing number of top level restaurants, led by Hardy’s Restaurant at Mt Lofty House, which offers high-end fine dining, with great views over the famed Piccadilly Valley wine district below. More affordable, but still with great views and impressive contemporary cooking is the Pike & Joyce cellar door restaurant not so far away at Lenswood.
At nearly 600m, with all the bifold doors thrown open to include a massive deck fronting this stunning, contemporary cellar door restaurant, you have a birds-eye view of the steep vineyards that provided the glass of gruner veltliner on your table. As much as possible is very local or house-made; from the bread and hand-churned butter to the Joyson apples served with the cheese.
The menu changes weekly, always fresh, light and stylish, with dishes such as pancetta-wrapped rabbit loin with baby heritage carrots, leaves and flowers, or pan-fried garfish in a bowl with steamed mussels and baby calamari in a hot, spicy broth topped with more leafy bits, all super gorgeous and delicious.
To make the offering all the more attractive the wine list, featuring Pike & Joyce wines made by Clare winemaker Neil Pike, is at the neighbouring cellar door prices. Pike & Joyce, 730 Mawson Rd, Lenswood. Open for lunch Thursday to Sunday, cellar door platters daily; phone (08) 8389 8102.
Back in the city, dining al fresco on an autumn day often means fresh air that includes traffic fumes, plus a lot of vehicle noise, but that’s not a problem when you’re a majestic eight stories above the traffic lights as you can be at 2KW.
With virtually no street presence you may have to search for the entrance, and it’s a slightly convoluted path to the top, via two lifts, but when you get there you have the choice of a rooftop garden and a restaurant that provides a flexible range of intimate dining spaces. These range from a communal table to window seats, shaded outdoor cabanas and a garden terrace – with intimate views of Government House across the road and on to the Torrens precinct and Adelaide Oval. For casual diners, especially on the terrace, there’s a substantial bar menu – don’t miss the excellent, locally made Italian salumi – but the main a la carte menu is served in all locations. Head chef Daniel Lawrence keeps it fresh and Mediterranean with smaller plates like spicy fried eggplant with buttermilk tahini, walnuts and pomegranate, or a barely seared beef carpaccio with saltbush chimichurri, samphire and artichoke.
Among the larger dishes nothing beats the braised baby squid from Port Willunga with grilled white morcilla, white beans and a sweet sherry reduction, though as the weather cools some may prefer dishes such as the lamb shoulder, sourced from the northern Flinders, with lemon and mint infused caramel. There’s a Josper oven out the back that adds a great dimension to the meat dishes.
An especially welcome feature is that as well as having an extensive wine list, there’s an enticing list of around 30 wines by the glass. 2KW, 2 King William St, Adelaide. Open for lunch and dinner daily; phone (08) 8212 5511.