An open-access food festival, end-of-vintage wine parties, one of the country’s most lucrative art prizes and the return of the dance-floor – here’s what Broadsheet Adelaide editor Daniela Frangos will be checking out this month.
Taste Australia, again
The 11-day feast that was Tasting Australia might be behind us but there’s still plenty of good eating and drinking to be done around town. Check out the Nido team’s new restaurant and bar Fugazzi, an Italian bistro with a New York accent on Leigh Street. The swanky trattoria in the former Rigoni’s site is riffing on tradition with “Roman Vegemite” fingers, lasagne pizza and a signature pasta stamped with the Fugazzi name. If mornings are more your speed, head to sprawling cafe-roastery Coffee in Common, which opened last month in a Hindmarsh warehouse. Need convincing? It’s slinging breakfast tacos, lobster rolls, house-made doughnuts and coffee roasted just metres from your table.
Put your money where your mouth is
Not literally – that’s not hygienic. But if you’re feeling as powerless as the rest of us about India’s Covid crisis, consider booking a table at Rundle Street restaurant Daughter in Law, which is hosting a “curry for relief” fundraiser dinner on Wednesday May 19. The “unauthentic” Indian eatery, by Indian-born chef and restaurateur Jessi Singh, will serve four appetisers, a thali or round platter with bowls of different curries, and a dessert. Tickets also include pre-dinner cocktails and a glass of cava (Spanish sparkling wine), with additional beer and wine options. And all proceeds will help send desperately needed medical supplies to India.
Something new at your old favourite
Two beloved Adelaide coffee shops have new (albeit familiar) owners. Former Larry & Ladd employees, barista Billy Hogarth and chef Carlos Astudillo, have taken over the Regent Arcade spot, bringing Chilean hotdogs, pulled-pork rolls and a renewed passion for great coffee. While Sibling barista Jimmy Barry is now heading up the Gilles Street favourite, bringing on a new autumn menu (featuring zucchini with whipped ricotta, preserved lemon and almonds; pearl cous cous with muhammara, tahini yogurt, currants, walnuts and pickled chilli; and a brisket bagel with cheddar, mustard pickle, water cress and mayo) and pulling espresso by Coffee in Common.
Food on the fringe
After its inaugural outing was cancelled last year due to you-know-what, Adelaide’s new food festival Adelaide Food Fringe debuts this month bigger and better than before (festival organisers cast the net very, very wide – like Adelaide Fringe, SALA Festival and Umbrella Festival the event is open-access, so anyone can get involved). The result is a packed program of more than 100 events celebrating SA’s dining and drinking culture, including one-off dinners, picnics, exhibitions, cooking classics, booze tastings, food trails and more. (including explorations of migrant and Indigenous food, a vegan food trail, free agnolotti demonstrations, a suckling pig feast, and more.)
Also getting revived this month is Roxie’s and Chateau Apollo’s seasonal wine party, Bright Moments, which connects drinkers with stellar small-batch producers. Sip samples, nurse a glass or take home whole bottles (at cellar-door prices) from Koerner Wine, Delinquente Wine Co, Mazi Wines, Hither & Yon, Alpha Box & Dice, Murdoch Hill and more to be announced. Food will be available from the Roxie’s kitchen all afternoon, and resident DJs will be playing tunes to keep the party going. Further afield, Chardonnay May is happening in the Adelaide Hills all this month, featuring tastings, long table lunches, chardy parties and degustation dinners all dedicated to the oft-misunderstood (but very delicious) white wine variety.
The Ramsay Art Prize – held every two years for contemporary Australian artists under the age of 40 – is one of the country’s most lucrative art prizes. The $100,000 award is presented by the Art Gallery of South Australia, which has just announced the 2021 finalists, including Hoda Afshar, Hayley Millar Baker and locals Kate Bohunnis, Zaachariaha Fielding, Liam Fleming and Solomon Kammer. The winner will be announced on May 21 before a major exhibition at AGSA opening on May 22.
Meanwhile, Sydney artist Sidney McMahon is bringing together moving sculpture, video and sound in their Ace Open exhibition Of sorrow and release. The show, which opens on Friday May 14, explores two key themes: the public sorrow spurred by the climate crisis and the 2019/2020 Australian bushfires, as well as the artist’s personal experience of mourning and celebration in response to their unfolding queer narrative.
And Praxis in Bowden presents three solo shows this month, all opening on Thursday May 13. Relative Weakness, by artist and sailor Edwina Cooper, investigates our human interdependence with water using a decommissioned boat as medium for her installation. Alice Blanch and Hamish Donaldson’s immersive video work As Above (So Below) interrogates the symbiosis between humans and the universe. And Jess Mara’s ethereal paintings in Bundle draw on personal domestic rituals, reflecting the loads we carry in day to day life.
There are plenty of reasons to cut loose (footloose) this month. Now that dancing’s back, Adelaide’s scored two new nightclubs – Anna’s, in the former Bible House and My Lover Cindi, in the old German Club. And Rhino Room’s Nightcall pop party is back after a year-long hiatus. Following its homecoming last month, the dance night is back for round two this weekend. Plus, late-night institution Sugar is hosting a series of parties over the next five weekends for a special fundraiser to keep its doors open amid ongoing Covid restrictions. If you can, donate here.