It’s oddly fitting that when Broadsheet chats to Nina Hadinata, co-owner of 99 Gang Social and recently opened bar and diner Thirsty Tiger, both Hadinata and the team are operating on just a few hours of sleep. “We were open until 2am last night – people wouldn’t go home,” she says with a laugh. “I think we’re running on two hours of sleep, maybe. My head’s a bit fuzzy.”
Last night’s party crowd is exactly the type of audience that Thirsty Tiger’s new tongue-in-cheek “recovery brunch” will cater to. This is perhaps best exemplified by the hearty steak and egg dish they’re serving up: a Wagyu rump, served with a café de Paris butter, fries and an egg, sunny side up. “The steak and eggs, I would say that’s something you don’t really see [in Adelaide],” says Hadinata. “But it’s a combo that’s unmatched – especially if you’re feeling a little bit seedy.”
But it’s not just those waking with tired eyes who’ll enjoy the new breakfast offering. After all, walking into the place just feels fun. The fit-out – designed by Thirsty Tiger co-owner and Hadinata’s wife, Morgen Wynn-Hadinata – is an eclectic mix of disco, jungle and tropical themes. Think terrazzo meets chequerboard, or greenery meets glitter. A mural by local artist Alexandra Bellas pulls everything together, featuring pyramids, palm trees, mountains, the sun, and – of course – tigers. “It’s a little bit of a party vibe,” says Hadinata. “But it’s not just for recovery. You can come with your mum, your dad, and have brunch.” When the time feels right, the team plans to extend the brunch offering to Saturday, too (it’s currently only available on Sundays).
Save 20% when you buy two or more Broadsheet books. Order now to make sure they arrive in time for Christmas.SHOP NOW
To eat, there are cheeseburgers; soft poached eggs with spinach, bacon and dill ranch; a mushroom dish served with melted gruyere in sourdough with salsa roja; and French toast topped with pandan custard, brown-sugar boba and stone fruit. But the star of the show is a modern Australian favourite. “I feel so basic when I say this – cos in actual fact, I don’t really like smashed avo – but the smashed avo that we do is really, really good,” says Hadinata. “We drizzle our hot honey on it. It’s delicious.”
A short but sweet cocktail list rounds out the menu, including mimosas and a Bloody Tiger: wasabi-infused vodka with tomato juice, Worcestershire, lemon juice, chilli and celery bitters.
The inventive menu speaks to Hadinata’s extensive travels, cherry-picking the best things she’s discovered across the globe. “Before I was in food, I was in entertainment. I would book DJs, and I got to travel a lot. So I think a lot of where my love for food came from was from travelling,” she explains. “I think my palate just knows [what works together] … I used to live in LA, so I think that heavily played on the burger part, and then I’m half Indonesian, so there’s a lot of Asian elements through the menu. But the menu upstairs is honestly just fun. We just wanted to have fun with it and do something a little different.”
Upstairs at 99 Gang Social
99 Hindley Street, Adelaide