Peel Street doesn't quite have the charm of its parallel neighbour, Leigh Street; it's home to some classic Adelaide businesses--like the Map Shop--and was the site of Adelaide's brilliant Format Collective, but it still seems a little bit bare. As new ventures start calling it home, this little laneway is springing to life. One of the newest ventures to open is the aptly named Peel Street--a bar and restaurant headed by Jordan Theodoros, Ben McLeod (both previously from Goolwa's Aquacaf) and Martin Corcoran.
The restaurant has a good mix of shared seating and regular tables. It's the type of place you can pop into for a meal or just a casual drink. With exposed brick and wood panelling, Peel Street is reminiscent of places like Press and Udaberri--classy but casual. The large 1950s Bernard Villemot Orangina advertisement--rebranded as 'Peel Street'--brings a burst of colour to the restaurant.
Food comes two ways: on the concrete or on the blackboard. The main menu items are all listed on the large blackboard up on one of the walls. It changes frequently, but you can see a sample menu on their website to get a bit of an idea. They clearly have a knack for seafood, but the menu isn't over-saturated with fish. The running theme is fresh, top quality ingredients.
The tuna crudo with pickled fennel, pink peppercorns and orange was refreshing and light--a great meal for a warm day. The tuna's mild taste and soft texture contrasts with the crunchy, tangy pickled fennel to create a good balance. The menu also features the mulloway pasty from time to time--made famous during Jordan's time down at Aquacaf.
There are sandwiches that you can grab takeaway as well as a range of sweet pastries and biscuits. Try the Portuguese tart with it's light pastry and sweet eggy filling. You'll also find flourless orange cakes, cupcakes and muffins amongst the other cakes and pastries.
If you visit during their early weeks, expect a bit of construction work up above. It can be a little bit distracting while you eat, but hopefully soon it will just be a small blip in the radar. It would be great to see them work on a different menu system. Printed menus aren't too feasible when your menu changes regularly, but it can be hard to get a good look at the blackboard depending on your angle.
Overall Peel Street is a good sign of things to come for the little laneway. The food is a highlight; it will be great to see where they take it in the future. Currently they're open Monday to Friday 7:30am till 5:00pm offering breakfast and lunch, and open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 6:30pm for dinner.