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Home > Adelaide > Food and Wine | Restaurants
by Jon Cocks (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in the Adelaide Hills.
Published February 26th 2019
'Balaboosta' in Yiddish, is the 'mistress of the house', an ideal mother, housewife and homemaker. Add an 'l' and it gives its name to a moderately priced, family-friendly Mediterranean-Middle Eastern fusion-style eatery, with a custom-made wood-fire oven, in which 90% of the food is made from scratch, including pizza, pasta, mezza and sweets.

Ballaboosta is situated at 284 Halifax Street, a stone's throw east of Hutt Street. Like the comfy kitchen of a natural cook, the tables spill through an airy dining room into a spacious outdoor area. It might be a well-guarded secret amongst Halifax St residents, but I find it my duty to blab to the public at large. Check it out.

This place makes a pizza so similar to its Neapolitan origins that my wife and I had flashbacks of our dreamy sojourns in Sorrento, Venice and Florence. Thin bases with authentic tart tomato sauce on our Napoletana and Inferno pizzas were covered respectively in mozzarella and largely fresh produce, including cherry tomatoes and fragrant basil. Most pizza tastes are covered by the seven styles on offer.

My wife and I will return, as the soul food on offer almost had me abort my normal pizza-centric course, something akin to the Titanic steering around the iceberg. Soul food served with salad and wood-fired pita bread include wood-fired chicken skewers, marinated in yoghurt, lemon, garlic and spices, specialty lemon-marinated fish, wood-fired lamb mince skewers with onion, parsley and spices and spice-infused fasoulia bean and chicken stew, just to name a few. Conventional breakfasts and a number of Mediterranean-style alternatives are served until 5 pm.

In addition, there are dips, like hommus, zaatar (wild thyme, sesame seeds and sumac infused with extra virgin olive oil), baba ghanouj and labneh, street mezze, like spiced rice wine vine leaves, falafel, spinach and feta triangles, and more. Google the menu and check the soups, salads, dessert and a pretty decent wine list my favourite kind of list one comprised entirely of 100% seasonal, hand-crafted, independent-owned wineries. My wife and I enjoyed a Kuitpo Forest pinot noir blend from Spider Bill Wines, an ideal match for the savoury notes of our pizza.

Four and a half stars for value and service.

For bookings, phone: (08) 8232 1853 or email

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Why? Fabulous fusion food
When: see website for opening hours
Where: 289 Halifax St, Adelaide
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