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The closure of the Brickworks Markets was a crushing blow to many small businesses in Adelaide's western suburbs. After a long and drawn out process the West Torrens Council allowed the Brickworks Market redevelopment to proceed with the construction of a new supermarket complex.
But one business was to grow phoenix-like from the ashes of the Brickworks. After active encouragement from their former customers, the Grill House Cafe has opened a new Adelaide restaurant in Fulham Gardens to satisfy a hunger for the genuine East European flavours of Bosnian food. It's probably the only place in Adelaide to find this cuisine other than at the Burek Lounge.
Before I go further I should warn vegetarians that Bosnian food is well known for its prominent meat content, although the Grill House Cafe does include a fresh Greek style salad with many menu options.
The restaurant menu contains a good mix of take-away food commonly available in South Australia, but we were immediately drawn to the more traditional Bosnian food offerings including cevapi (chevapchichi) and pljeskavica (a type of burger with a spiced meat patty served in lepinja).
We started with a mixed grill to share, which included cevapi, beef and chicken shishkebabs, scotch fillet steak, sausages, chips and a salad of crisp lettuce, tomato, cucumber, capsicum, olives, and feta cheese. My friend's son had a nicely patterned babyccino while we enjoyed soft drinks (the cafe is not licensed).
While we ate I watched a steady stream of customers arrive and order, mostly to dine in. I'm guessing that many of the customers are also Bosnian, as a number were speaking a foreign language. The cafe is clean light and airy, and comfortably laid out to enjoy our meal. We were offered a choice of sour cream or tomato sauce with the meal, and I thought the sour cream complemented the meat well.
For me eating alone the mixed grill would have too much, but it worked out well as a shared dish. I thought the highlight of the plate was the fillet steak - it was tender, juicy and had been deliciously spiced. I eat fillet steak quite often and have rarely spiced it, but will try adding some in future.
The shishkebabs and sausages were tasty and tender, although we felt that the cevapi were a little salty. Perhaps a little slip on the day, but it was more than compensated for with a complementary serve of hot lepinja fresh from the oven!
The Grill House Cafe roasts a lamb on the spit regularly, and we were just in time to be treated to a fresh serve. After fighting with my companion for the crispiest piece of skin, we found the flesh to be succulent and tender. You just have to love roast lamb, and at $12 for 300 gram of lamb, chips and salad, I can easily see this dish fitting in the list of Top 12 Tasty Cheap Eats in Adelaide.
While our stomachs were slowly adjusting to new limits, we were pressed to try a zucchini burek. I grow zucchinis at home and use them regularly in my cooking, but the zucchini burek opened my eyes to a new scrumptious way of consuming them.
The burek is made with light flaky puff pastry, and allows the subtle zucchini flavour to come out without being overpowered. My companion was so impressed that she will return just to get more of these moreish bureks - although apparently they sell out quickly.
There are six flavours of burek available, and I managed to fit in a small taste of the meat burek which was equally good. The only other place that I have eaten a burek is at the Burek Lounge at Woodville, and I felt that their pastry was a little heavier than at Grill House Cafe. However both places offer excellent value for money.
At this point I could not consume a crumb more, but my dining companion was pressed to take away some cakes and desserts. As is traditional, these are quite sweet as many people prefer. A yummy banana cake was made rather like a Swiss roll, with real banana slices buried in a custard filling. A chocolate layered sponge cake with dessicated coconut was also a favourite - with delicate chocolate icing who could resist it?
Whether you have a need for savoury or sweet food, the Grill House Cafe has something scrumptious for you. The staff were friendly and helpful, the prices are great, and the meals are large. It may not be the perfect place for vegetarians, but for anyone else it is definitely worth a look.
Find the Grill House Cafe on Facebook - there are lots of updates and photos to tempt you to swing by.
The Grill House Cafe provided free food for this article.