Topiary is a restaurant nestled into the pretty green gully of Newman's Nursery. The nursery has been part of Tea Tree Gully since forever and the idea of a little restaurant showcasing food and wine grown and made from scratch within this niche micro-climate was a good one. We've wanted to eat here for a long time and finally booked a table for lunch.
Is this place serving art or food? It must be a tricky thing to balance.
We booked a table for two on the veranda to enjoy the beautiful weather and things began well. The menu is delightfully small but filled with complicated sounding dishes and very local. The well designed drinks list is a celebration of all the amazing beers, wines, spirits, and ciders that Adelaide is becoming justifiably well known for. Admirably, it's focused on producers within a few kilometres of the restaurant.
The same goes for the food. What the kitchen does with locally grown and foraged produce has rightly earned Topiary a reputation for 'wow factor', innovation, and its ability to remind us of everything that is wonderful in our local area. We opted for the Foragers Menu which is a feed-me type menu featuring a selection of snacks, plates, and accompaniments decided by the kitchen. The menu is subject to seasonal changes so I'll just leave you with a selection of photos from our experience.
Sourdough bread, whipped dripping and butter with delicious olives
It's been difficult for me to word this review as I don't want to discourage readers from trying Topiary. The food is simply amazing – it's art on a plate. But the servings are so small that they're almost a meme. We were looking forward to dessert and had plenty of room for it but sadly, for Topiary and us, we ran out of time. If you have time to wait for art, then go for it.
Topiary is worth a try because the dishes are interesting. Just don't be in a rush and don't expect big serves. Bookings are recommended and you can do that here. They're open for breakfast and lunch seven days and dinner on Friday nights.
Those of us that know the Topiary at Newman's Nursery from the recent past loved it for their wonderful, local, breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea (famous for their secret recipe scones, delicious cakes etc). Always busy - a favourite stop over to include in a leisurely drive up into (or return from) the Adelaide Hills, or when visiting the nursery. It is sorely missed by many. It's incarnation into it's present form has resulted in many (most?) of it's past customers 'trying it once'. The common opinion appears to be that this particular venue is much more suited to it's original 'Topiary Teahouse' format which would be universally welcomed back. It doesn't appear to be 'the right spot' for the type of dining now offered? I would very much welcome the opinion of others.