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Where's the Best Restaurant in Mawson Lakes?

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by Jonathan Phoon (subscribe)
I love trying new food and new restaurants. My other passions are Origami and Pokémon
Published September 17th 2015
Mawson Lakes is a 'university' town in the north, with one of University of South Australia's (UniSA) campus located right in the town centre. There are numerous eating places in the suburb, most of them located around the town centre. As the outer areas get built up, restaurants and cafes have also started opening up in those locations to cater for the larger population.

My family has fond memories of Boat Deck Café; we used to go there for coffee breaks when we were looking for a house in Mawson Lakes. It is located in a prime location in the town centre, along Mawson Lakes Boulevard, directly opposite a lake. On sunny days, customers can choose to sit at tables by the lake across the road. Food served here is typical of that of most Australian cafes with our favourite being the Boat Deck Bruschetta due to the combination of crisp, smoky bacon with refreshing tomatoes.

Boat Deck Cafe, Boat Deck Bruschetta, Adelaide
Boat Deck Bruschetta

Across the street beside Boat Deck is Darshana's Indian Cuisine. Darshana specialises in Indian cuisine, with some of the dishes being quite unique. Our favourite dish is the Bombay Chicken Masala, an unusual curry that includes scrambled eggs with a gingery taste that is not too strong.

Darshana's Indian Cuisine, Bombay Chicken Masala, Adelaide
Darshana's Bombay Chicken Masala

42nd Street Cafe is located within the new shopping centre which was opened in 2013. The style of the food served here is a bit like a more relaxed version of Boat Deck's. Our current favourite is the Mega Meal, also known as a "Big Breakfast", which is often a feature in Australian cafés that serve breakfast.

42nd Street Cafe, Mega Meal, Adelaide
42nd Street Cafe's Mega Meal

Boat Deck Cafe used to be our favourite restaurant until we discovered Caffe Primo, which is located on Main Street next to UniSA's Minerals and Materials Science Building. We find their prices more reasonable especially when we take the free pancake that comes with every main dinner meal into consideration. This restaurant is much bigger and has a very high ceiling, which gives the place an airy feel. The food here is similar to the dishes prepared at Boat Deck with our favourite being the Chicken Schnitzel with Pepper Sauce. This dish is also our current favourite out of similar dishes we have tried at various restaurants.

Caffe Primo, Chicken Schnitzel with Pepper Sauce, Adelaide
Caffe Primo's Chicken Schnitzel with Pepper Sauce

Across the road from Caffe Primo is Mawson Lakes Hotel, which has a bistro and a Club Bar. Food here is what you would expect from a pub with some of them offered for the low price of $9.90. Our favourites were their curries as their spiciness surprisingly suits Asian taste buds and the Fettuccini Bolognaise.

Club Bar, Fettuccini Bolognaise, Adelaide
Club Bar's Fettuccini Bolognaise

Located on Garden Terrace, the road parallel to Main Street, is a relatively new restaurant called Renno Spice Chinese Restaurant. This is a great place where you can try a good range of Chinese food. We particularly enjoyed the Crispy Skin Stewed Duck with Brine with its tender meat contrasted wonderfully by the crisp skin.

Renno Spice Chinese Restaurant,Crispy Skin Stewed Duck with Brine, Adelaide
Renno Spice's Crispy Skin Stewed Duck with Brine

Our favourite Chinese restaurant at Mawson Lakes is New Century Restaurant. New Century specialises in Eastern Asian cuisine and is one of the places where we can get Ngo Hiang (Fried Pork Rolls). Ngo Hiang had a delicious minced pork filling seasoned with five spice powder that is set off by the crispy bean curd skin that encased the filling.

New Century Restaurant, Ngo Hiang, Fried Pork Rolls, Adelaide
New Century's Ngo Hiang (Fried Pork Rolls)

Apart from all these restaurants, Mawson Lakes also has Nando's (our favourite flame-grilled chicken) and of course the staple fast food restaurants - McDonald's, Hungry Jacks and KFC.
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