You mightn’t expect a restaurant on the ground floor of a modern apartment block on a main road to feel cosy, but Bandit Pizza and Wine manages it. Maybe it’s the low-ish ceiling creating a sense of intimacy, the trattoria-esque curtains or the inviting neighbourhood vibes. Or perhaps it’s the warmth and glow of the woodfired oven, out of which the team’s pumping out loaves of sourdough, arrosticini skewers and Neapolitan-ish pizzas. One thing we know is that the familial setting is one you’ll want to keep returning to, whether you’re a local or visiting from the other side of town.

The latest from the team behind Anchovy Bandit and Bottega Bandito has all the things you know and love about the Bandit brand – beautiful design, excellent food and friendly service – but it’s taking things back to basics. “The idea was to re-centralise the menu around pizza,” says co-owner Alex Bennett. This was the original concept at Anchovy Bandit, which changed shape when executive chef Shane Wilson came on board, bringing fine-dining experience from Hentley Farm, Orana and Bistro Dom.

At the team’s new venue – on Unley Road in Hyde Park – Wilson’s flair is still on show, albeit in a pared-back menu executed by head chef Antonio Pruner. Think SA king prawns with 'nduja butter; sugarloaf cabbage with salumi xo; Boston Bay pork loin chop with bagna cauda and chimichurri; and those aforementioned lamb skewers, drizzled with lamb bearnaise. Plus, the main event: “quirky pizzas”, as Bennett describes it, which might come topped with kipfler potato and kohlrabi kimchi, or lamb ragu. (There’s also a classic formaggio, margherita, and more.)

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The menu will continue to change, depending on what’s in season and what produce Wilson and Pruner feel inspired by, and a lot of it will come from the Barossa, where Wilson lives. The food offering is short but sweet, leaving more time for you to consider the extensive wine list.

“This has been our first opportunity as a group to showcase the stuff that’s been collecting in our cellar for four or five years,” says Bennett. It's clear the wine shares equal billing with the pizza. Bottles line the walls the whole way around, and two wine fridges with handwritten labels house the best of them. There’s a substantial offering of Australian and Italian varieties, plus “some really special bottles that won’t stick around – once they’re gone, they’re gone”. Some of it’s on the exxy side (a bottle of Krug champagne, for example), but it’s not intimidating. Bandit’s just as happy for you to come in for a glass of house vino.

Outside of wine there’s a selection of four pre-batched cocktails, made by James Coppe, head bar manager at Anchovy; plus a simple beer list featuring Coopers, Peroni and a couple of crafties. (At Bandit, “wine’s where it’s at,” says Bennett.)

The timeless space, designed by New Zealand-based design agency Ctrl Space, has a similar set-up to Anchovy Bandit, with bar seating on one side, and a dining room on the other. Enormous windows let in a lovely amount of natural light, illuminating the green-accented bar, bar seating and corduroy-covered banquette seats. Old-school-style Strega and Aperol posters by Divide Agency (who did all the branding) adorn the walls; shelves are stacked with glass and ceramic knick-knacks and ceramic-potted plants; and the plates and wineglasses are adorned with a cheeky cartoon bear motif that also appears on the label of the house wine, which staff helped bottle with The Stoke Wines from Kangaroo Island.

Bandit Pizza and Wine
248 Unley Rd, Hyde Park

Hours:
Tue to Sun 5pm–11pm

banditpizzawine.com
@banditpizzaandwine