The Olfactory Inn
The glowing front porch is a warm invitation to the stone-walled cottage of the Olfactory Inn, dotted with lavender bushes and framed by grapevines. After an enthusiastic greeting from house dog Edie, you've well and truly arrived in the country.
But apart from its cosy interior, the Olfactory Inn doesn’t have much in common with Strathalbyn’s teahouses and antique shops. Here, fine dining mixes with rural hospitality. Crisp white walls and bouquets of native blooms set the stage for an intriguing culinary experience.
Owners Simon Burr and Lauren Alexander first met working the hospitality rounds in Robe. Later, while she roasted coffee at DeGroot Coffee Co. in Port Elliot, and he worked in Adelaide, the pair created home in between at Strathalbyn. They realised the town lacked a great dining experience, so they did something about it.
Chef Burr (former head chef at Kangaroo Island Sailing) keeps the menu evolving constantly, playfully fusing Australian cuisine with Asian and Mexican techniques. Fresh produce, meat and seafood are sourced locally.
Start with battered zucchini flowers or chicken liver pâté. Main course might be tea-smoked duck with sticky pork buns; or chilli blue swimmer crab linguine. For dessert, Anzac biscuit ice-cream sandwiches; or for stunning visuals, sauternes-style crème caramel served in a real eggshell, lavishly presented atop the arms of a candelabra.
Wine is sourced from various local makers in the Adelaide Hills and Langhorne Creek; and gins from King Island Spirits and Applewood.