When chef de cuisine Gabriele Pezzimenti runs through the list of suppliers at Market & Meander, the ground-floor restaurant of the new Hotel Indigo, which opened on March 1, it sounds more like he’s describing a dinner party with friends.
“At the beginning of the meal we have bread from Gabi [Flohr] and butter from Michael [Wohlstadt],” he says, referring to the owners of South Australian businesses Sheoak Baker and The Dairyman. Apple-fed chickens come from Carey Schultz at Nature’s Chicken, and so on.
The menu is driven by produce rather than any particular cuisine; when Broadsheet visits Pezzimenti is particularly excited about the zucchini flowers. They’re picked in Pooraka at 3am every day for optimum freshness, then stuffed with almond curd, ricotta, mint and lemon, fried in tempura batter and served with romesco and pecorino (“a lot of pecorino!” says Pezzimenti).
Though he’s only been in Adelaide for two years, Pezzimenti (who’s originally from Bergamo in Italy) has thrown himself into the local scene with gusto, and is relishing the opportunity to include so many smaller producers on the menu. Many of his suppliers deliver their produce themselves (thus the first-name basis), while others are literally just down the road at the Central Market.
“For cold-cuts we have a partnership with Lucia’s, so we just call Saskia [Johnson], go down the street and come back with prosciutto,” he grins. “It’s the same for cheeses; we’re working with Valerie [Henbest] from Say Cheese.”
And the local collaborations aren’t restricted to the food. Diners can select one of 24 Dogboy steak knives stored in a roll made from Karmine kangaroo leather, and Jam Factory alumni Caslake & Pedler have created a range of water glasses, bowls and plates for the restaurant
For dessert, Pezzimenti found inspiration at the bottom of the bottle – when he says “we put alcohol in every dessert”, he means it. There’s a cheesecake made with Adelaide Hills Distillery’s 78 Degrees gin, served with coconut ice-cream and anise-myrtle tuile (“it gives you a little bit of happiness when you finish it”). There’s also a Wattleseed Negroni chocolate mousse with salted honeycomb ice-cream. And if you want to skip dessert, that Wattleseed Negroni is one of three bottled cocktails from Adelaide Hills Distillery that’ll be available behind the bar (and in the hotel suites' minibars).
The smoker, parilla grill, giant pasta machine and ice-cream machine in the roomy open kitchen downstairs present a stark contrast to the stripped-back kitchen at Merrymaker, the rooftop bar. That’s because downstairs “the drinks will complement the food. Upstairs, the food complements the drinks.”
Located on the 16th floor at an elevation of 60 metres, Merrymaker is Adelaide’s tallest rooftop bar, and will operate from Wednesday to Saturday. There’s a strong emphasis on seafood in cold dishes – the menu includes Coffin Bay oysters with either finger-lime dressing or green ant granita; sashimi (“I call Clive at Samtass on a daily basis and ask what’s on”); lobster rolls; and house-smoked tuna carpaccio.
Behind the bar you’ll find 25 South Australian gins, including a specially made Neighbourhood Gin from Blend Etiquette. The wine and beer lists also skew heavily local – the house beer is a wooded maibock created by Jeff Goodieson.
With tiles covering the floor and walls, umbrellas over each booth and a breezy pastel palette, the space has an almost Balearic look. (Like all of the hotel’s public spaces, it was designed by Studio-Gram.) More local references abound in the colourful downstairs space, which features banquettes the colour of former SA premier Don Dunstan’s shorts and red brickwork that replicates the arches of nearby Federal Hall.
Artworks from previous Adelaide Festivals and colourful, street-art-inspired murals by local artists (including Tristan Kerr) feature prominently throughout the hotel.
The 145 guest rooms include copper fixtures, contemporary timber furnishings and colourful tessellated rugs. The bathrooms have two-head rainfall showers and premium eco-friendly products by Biology. The hotel also has a 13-metre outdoor infinity pool.
In keeping with the celebration of local artisans, Hotel Indigo will host Meet the Maker events every Friday to help growers, producers and artists showcase their products. Each week will have a slightly different format – the first edition, on March 5, featured cheesemaker Kym Masters from Section 28; distiller Geordan Elliss from Blend Etiquette is up next on March 12.