I will only write about places that I've had a great experience. There are so many local heroes around Adelaide and I want to try and share them all.
Published February 14th 2016
Lovely Local Cafe With A Master Chef Celeb
For all the wonderful things I had heard about The Middle Store, everyone seemed to forget to mention, that at the helm of the kitchen is Rose Adam - Master Chef 2015 Top 10 Finalist. Whilst Rose handles the kitchen, her two siblings Haefa and George look after the front of house. Even without the Master Chef hype, the cafe deserves a mention - the food, service, atmosphere and coffee is always fantastic.
The siblings were kind enough to sit down with me and have a chat about the cafe.
Sitting down with the trio, my first assumption was that the store came about from Master Chef, but that's not the case; Haefa and George had been planning to open a family business for the last few years and Master Chef was never actually on the cards for Rose. Whether Master Chef happened or not, The Middle Store would still be operating - it was just quite serendipitous the way it happened; Haefa and George had been applying for store fronts that just kept falling through, then finally they got the news that they had been accepted for the shop front they now occupy on Winston Ave, and this happened about 2-3 days after Rose's elimination.
The Cabinet Is Always Filled With Delicious Sweet & Savoury Options
With the new year came a new menu; this is the third menu for The Middle Store which sees some returning favourites and some new twists. From bagels to Manoushè (Lebanese flat bread pizza) to salads, there is a wide selection, and nothing resembling the stereotypical kebab. A few days a week Rose is supported in the kitchen by their Mum, who taught Rose her traditional recipes and who in turn loves to learn modern recipes from Rose.
Everything on the menu is either made inhouse or sourced locally. There is a real focus on fresh ingredients and supporting local, they use Fleurieu milk, the eggs are fresh from their Uncles private farm, the fruit and veg is from 'Adelaide Fresh-Morphett Vale' who support local SA farmers. Even down to the coffee beans - while coffee beans are not grown in Aus, it was important to the siblings to find a coffee roaster who roasted here in SA, hence they chose 'Coffee Barun' who had already been on their radar due to the quality coffee they offered.
On my last visit I had been put in charge of choosing some takeaways so I opted for the 'Beetroot Humus Bagel' which consists of a lightly toasted bagel, house beetroot humus, sautéed mushrooms and feta cheese.
This was amazing. For years I always thought I didn't like humus because I had only every tried supermarket bought, but I have since been converted after trying traditional home made recipes and this is one of the best humus I have ever eaten.
Since we had takeaways we didn't photograph the meals so thank you to @adelaidefoodcentral and The Middle Store for the bagel photos.
Photo via @adelaidefoodcentral
My friend had the labne, avacado and Zatar bagel (which I tried) and was also fantastic, the quality of the ingredients really shone through.
I have also tried the 'Manoushè'. Manoushè is a traditional Lebanese street food, it looks similar to a thin pizza base and is topped with Zatar which is a traditional herb mix.
It's evident that alot of love and attention to detail has been put into the cafés appearance. The siblings put a lot of effort into making the space their own, refurbishing the beautiful blue chairs and the effort put into creating the front counter; the front counter which was made by George and a friend, took about 3 weeks to handcraft out of Tasmanian Oak.
The whole interior is blanketed in a beautiful natural light that streams in from the wide front windows.
There is a real sense of community in the cafe, regular customers are almost like extended family. The cafe is also family and kid friendly. The seating arrangement sees the tables and chairs spaced out nicely, there is enough room for prams to sit next to your table while not encroaching onto others. They have high chairs and coloured pencils and they are happy to accommodate kids tastes like cutting a ham and cheese croissant in half for two to share.
Then there's the drinks fridge, Referencing the famous Aussie movie 'The Castle', where Michael Caton's character Darryl Kerrigan sends all his most prized possessions "straight to the pool room", I was told that very sentimental items are sent 'straight to the fridge'.
The reference came up when they told me the story of the three pennies on display. They have a customer, an older gentleman, who during the war would collect pennies for good luck, he felt so moved by the warm atmosphere in the cafe that he brought in three pennies, one for each sibling in the hope the pennies would bring them luck in their venture.
The fridge is also decorated in fridge magnets that customers have brought back from their holidays, postcards [also from customers], kids drawings and newspaper clippings. There really is such a beautiful community vibe.
I'm guessing it's because it's in the middle of a row of shops. The coffee is very good and it's always full of light. I like that the tables are spaced out so there's room for my son to sit on the floor and play with his cars without getting in the way.