I walk around Adelaide with a camera and a tripod.
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Published August 27th 2019
Swords of Victuals
To walk through Hahndorf's main street is to tread a fine line between culture and frivolity, history and schmaltz. Moving and merging past streams of phone and camera-toting tourists, there's a curious interplay between tradition carrying forward and scattered relics of South Australian history.
To one side, a candle maker, leather smith, sweet shop and bakery. To the other, heritage buildings, jouncy accordion tunes, chirping cuckoo clocks and bratwurst in a roll. The King's Table is less Bavarian schtick as it is a touch of playful mediaeval japery.
The smell hits first from streets away; the aroma of charcoal roasted meat and vegetables from a grill, wisely positioned outside. Cuts of steak, pork and chicken sizzle and steam on rotating skewers (not unlike a certain Korean Barbecue), oil and juices crackling as they disappear in plumes of smoke off glowing coals, the clouds of superheated vapours basting slowly rotating morsels of meaty deliciousness. Alongside, seafood similarly crisps outside over embers.
Inside, the decor is rustic and mediaeval inspired. Wood tables. Leather chairs. Burlap covering and softening lights on a ceiling that otherwise would be reminiscent of a classroom - square tiles and fluorescent tubes. Goblets with a worn appearance. A barrel covering a beer tap.
The food is perhaps best described as much as one would expect from slow-cooked or deep-fried meats finished on a charcoal rotisserie. Chicken wings are juicy, flavoursome and with a delicious smoky char.
Charcoal Roasted Chicken Wings with Spring Onion Salad
Chicken on a skewer/sword is similarly succulent, being first wrapped around a sausage then being itself wrapped by bacon in a mignon type affair. The scotch fillet is similar, here being stuffed, instead, with chorizo sausage, imparting the fillet with welcome heat and spiciness. Pork belly is sticky, sweet, salty and chewy with less of a smoky component. It's heavily caramelised to a pork jerky-candied consistency.
If you're in the town, following your nose down Hahndorf's main street, and keen for an alternative to usual German inspired fare, it's impossible to miss this cozy corner by the IGA, where a cheerful charcoal grillardin imparts a delicious char and smokiness to generous servings of craveable food.