“We were looking for a place to settle down a little and this seemed like the perfect spot,” says Gang Gang’s Morgen Wynn. She and partner Nina Hadinata are just weeks away from opening their first permanent business – an “all-day deli” on Unley Road – serving their popular burgers plus brunch, coffee, family-made cakes and after-dark events.
Broadsheet first encountered Gang Gang in early 2018 during its residency at the Adelaide Central Market. From there, Wynn and Hadinata took their Asian-leaning, plant-heavy burger concept on the road, making the rounds of Adelaide’s festival and events scene with their sun-yellow food truck, Trailer Swift.
“The truck has been one crazy, crazy ride,” says Wynn. The pressures of pop-up trading – limited prep time, unknown locations and hectic service periods (if you’re doing it right) – schooled the pair in time management, a handy skill to have when you decide to design a venue, from scratch, completely by yourselves.
The 1920s-era site was previously The Mexican Shop, which sold chimineas, Day of the Dead-themed mirrors and other curios. It was something of a local icon – or eyesore, depending on who you’re talking to. Gang Gang’s transformation couldn’t be more drastic. Several coats of white paint were needed to cover the colourful interior walls and street mural (a move that attracted a little push back from some neighbours).
The space is now bright and open, and good use has been made of the brand’s trademark yellow. It’s come together swiftly, over just eight weeks, with a few final touches – a mural, some tiling and more greenery inside and out – still to come.
“Everything we do [in our food truck] is fresh, everything is made that day,” says Wynn. “We plan on doing the same thing here.” Gang Gang is built around satisfaction without the guilt. “When we started at the Central Market that was the main feedback we got,” says Hadinata. “[People said], ‘I can have this burger over and over and it doesn’t make me feel like, blergh’.”
Broadsheet can confirm all the favourites will be available at the new diner: the Cardi B chicken burger with Balinese salsa, avocado, slaw and sweet chilli mayo; the Spice Girl Asian-inspired cheeseburger with a beef patty marinated in soy and garlic and stacked with slaw, pickled ginger and wasabi mayo; and vegan staple Tinie Tempeh with crispy tempeh, beetroot, alfalfa, pickled onion and satay sauce.
The new venue will add brunch to the line-up. Expect more crossover combinations such as bao buns with Chinese chive omelette, bacon, brie and chilli jam. And cheeseburger (or vegan shitake mushroom) dumplings with house-made chilli oil. An avocado and mushroom mashup pairs smashed avo with alfalfa, pickled onion and Goma Shio (salted black sesame) seasoning with sautéed mushrooms, chilli goat’s cheese and rocket on toast.
A selection of grab-and-go sandwiches – including katsu chicken with pickled pink onion and gruyere, and mildly spiced Balinese chicken with Kewpie mayo, cheddar and pickled cucumber – is in the works.
Coffee is by Adelaide micro-roaster Two Fish. “We were the underdogs for so long with our pop-up, and we’ve only been in the business for two years, so we want to work with other like-minded humans who are so passionate about what they do,” Hadinata says.
“We’ve also signed on with another young gun, Sheoak Bakery. She’s just two streets from here.” Sheoak’s Gabi Flohr will provide bread and bespoke pastries to sit alongside some very special family recipes. “My grandma lives just up the road. She’s a scone fiend,” says Hadinata. “And Morgen’s mum’s a really good cook too, [so] we’ll have a rotation.”
Wynn wanted to avoid brand-name soft drinks and is working on a range of “pour-your-own” sodas. Expect flavours such as dragon fruit, lemon and mango.
Hadinata tells us she’s looking forward to a clearer separation between their home and work lives, which, like her twin fridges, have existed side-by-side for the past two years. “I have two fridges at home. One is ours, one is just for sauces.” She says the concept of finally having a spacious commercial kitchen feels very luxurious.
Gang Gang will trade seven days a week (opening hours are still to be confirmed) with Monday nights reserved for special dinner experiences such as “Meatless Mondays” – featuring an all-vegan burger menu – and dedicated vegan ramen and nasi campur nights.
Gang Gang will open on Sunday November 17. Keep an eye on Broadsheet for updates.
69 Unley Road, Parkside