Mother’s Day: SA’s top chefs share their favourite family eating spots

Mother’s Day is approaching on Sunday, May 12 – a chance to spoil the greatest women in our lives. What a better way to show your appreciation by treating Mum to a meal out at one of South Australia’s dining establishments – and supporting local jobs and producers along the way! Brand SA News contributor Vanessa Keys hunted down some of our state’s top’s chefs to discover where they’ll be taking their family this Mother’s Day.

Georgie Rogers is head chef at East End Cellars.

“Mum and I love driving out to regional restaurants and making a day of it. The Lane at Hahndorf is a favourite – the view is spectacular and Jimmy’s (head chef James Brinklow) food is always a delight.

We also go to Mum’s local pub The Kentish a lot – their smoky paprika hummus with ground lamb is amazing. For brunch, I recommend the scrambled eggs at Hey Jupiter. They’re light and creamy – definitely the best in Adelaide.”

Georgie Rogers of East End Cellars.

Nikkita Wood is the pastry chef and manager at Comida. She also runs catering business A Place at the Table.

“I prefer to stay home on Mother’s Day and avoid the crowds. I usually do a brunch spread with Mum’s favourite goodies from the Adelaide Central Market – Fleurieu Milk yoghurt, KI honey, fruit from House of Organics, pastries from Dough, Brillat-Savarin triple cream from Smelly Cheese, plus my homemade granola and jams.

As a family, we love Sukhumvit Soi 38 on Pulteney Street – the flavours are incredible and the dishes great for sharing. For Sunday lunch, we head up to Terroir Auburn in the Clare Valley. Dan and Annika have taken over the café next door to the restaurant and the food is top notch.”

Comida pastry chef and manager Nikkita Wood, right, with her mother and sister.

Jeffrey Trotter is head chef at the Hagen Arms, and Five O’Clock Somewhere.

“One of our favourites for brunch is Pane e Latte. Order the breakfast carbonara – the baked spaghetti gives it the perfect crunch – and the paccheri al ragu di polpo, which is hands down the best octopus ragu in Adelaide, if not Australia.

For dinner, we love Parwana – they have three menus that they rotate throughout the week. Bring your own wine – their BYO charge goes to the homeless. And for Sunday lunch, Casa Carboni in Angaston is a must. (Owners) Matteo and Fiona make you feel like family, and everything is prepared fresh with produce from the Barossa markets. You feel like you’re in a tiny Italian village.”

Jeffrey Trotter of the Hagen Arms pub in Echunga.

Jodie Zerna is head chef at My Grandma Ben.

“This Mother’s Day I’ll be cooking at My Grandma Ben and hopefully giving all the mothers a day off! We don’t dine out a lot as a family – we tend to have barbecues and bring a plate to share – but when I visit my sister in Christies Beach, we always get fish, chips and tabouli at Champion Takeaway. Ask for the fresh flake – they catch it themselves.

For a cheap lunch, we head to Pho Minh in Mansfield Park – order the pho with oxtail, tripe and tendon. And for brunch, the spicy ramen at Black Dog Gallery in Tusmore is a must (and great for a hangover).

If we’re feeling fancier, we head down to Salopian Inn in McLaren Vale for local SA seafood and something green from their kitchen garden.”

Jodie, right, with her mum and sister.

Luke and Anthony Savas run Pan & Vine.

“We usually spend Mother’s Day at Yiayia and Papou’s (grandparents) house. Mum will serve her signature dish – Moroccan chicken – with Yiayia’s homemade apricot jam marinade.

When we go out, we head to Shobosho and order the roast leek and the kingfish sashimi with yuzu dressing. For brunch, we love the Exchange Specialty Coffee – the Wallace sandwich with avocado, pancetta and chipotle mayo is an institution.”

The Savas brothers of Pan & Vine in Kent Town.

Caitlin Duff runs Sibling café.

“Sibling’s open on Mother’s Day, so we’ll spend the morning there and then head to Mum’s for afternoon tea – this is a special one as it’s my first as a new mum.

For Sunday lunch, our go-to is Fino at Seppeltsfield. There’s eight of us siblings and partners all with varying preferences and they never skip a beat in accommodating us all.

As a family, we go to Goodness Coffee Co in Aldinga every single day (sometimes twice) because their coffee is so good. And we love to drop into My Grandma Ben at Plant 4 Bowden when we visit The Lost Loaf to pick up our bread order. Order the roo stack – it’s delicious and ethical.”

Nathaniel Morse and Caitlin Duff at Sibling café.

Kane Pollard is head chef at Topiary.

“For a relaxed family meal, we head to the Stanley Bridge Tavern. They have a great wine list and tasty small plates – the hummus and wedges with house chilli jam are both great.

For brunch, we love Acacia at Henley Beach. Do the tasting menu – (chef) Duane does an incredible job of piecing flavours together that push you a little out of your comfort zone. We also recently had breakfast at C.R.E.A.M, which was pretty impressive. The donut breakfast sandwich felt a little wrong but so incredibly right at the same time. I had it with a side of buttermilk fried chicken – delicious.”

Kane Pollard, left, of Topiary in Tea Tree Gully.

Feature image: The Lane, Adelaide Hills, SATC.

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Café with a cause at Kangaroo Island Airport

Airline passengers touching down at one of South Australia’s most popular tourist destinations are now able to get their caffeine fix after a disability service organisation established its first social enterprise at the Kangaroo Island airport.

Not-for-profit organisation Mobo Group strengthened its presence in the state’s regions this week when it opened a café at the newly upgraded Kangaroo Island Kingscote Airport, providing employment opportunities for locals living with a disability.

The yet-to-be-named café is currently serving hot beverages and small treats to visitors flying in and out of the the island, giving Mobo employees a chance to build social and vocational skills.

CEO of Mobo Group Andrew Ramsey says he is looking forward to witnessing the many benefits the café will create for employees, patrons and Kangaroo Island’s tourism industry.

Airline passengers order coffee at the newly opened café run by the Mobo Group at the Kangaroo Island Kingscote Airport.

Not only will Mobo employees be provided with employment, they will have the chance to receive barista training, develop their social skills through engaging with customers and will also become tourist ambassadors for the region.

“This new café will enable people living with a disability to be the best that they can be, by giving them the opportunity for sustained employment within the community as well as employment-related support,” he says.

“The café is our first business enterprise on Kangaroo Island and we really look forward to being an even greater part of the community and helping to support the tourism trade and those transiting through the airport.”

Although the airport café is the organisation’s first social enterprise on the island, Mobo Group is long delivered youth services, alcohol and drug programs and run the local Centrelink agency.

The new café complements the recently upgraded Kingscote airport.

“We hope that this will be the first of a number of social enterprises which can be developed on the island, building on the support that we already provide to Kangaroo Island residents living with a disability,” Andrew says.

Kangaroo Island Council CEO Andrew Boardman says the café will be a welcome addition to the airport, which recently underwent a multi-million dollar upgrade.

The State and Federal government funded the works, with the council also developing the project.

“The opportunity to leverage council infrastructure to create opportunities for all in our community is a key thrust in the design of the new facilities, and the council is looking forward to this initiative being the start of great things to come in this area,” Mr Boardman says.

Mobo Group employee Bec Davis restocks the beverages. Bec, along with fellow employees Carmel and Julie, were instrumental in bringing the café to fruition.

Mobo Group supports more than 200 people with disabilities in finding employment and engaging in employment-related support services across metropolitan and regional SA.

The organisation was formed from the merger of two disability enterprises, Hands On SA and Finding Workable Solutions and has a presence in regional areas of Berri, Brinkley, Goolwa, Totness, Mt Barker and Victor Harbor.

Mobo runs a number of business enterprises across the state in document destruction, firewood, food packaging, garden maintenance, mailing campaigns, packaging and processing services, product assembly, print finishing, sewing services and salvage shops.

It is a registered provider of NDIS services, and supports people with disabilities in finding a job, transitioning from school to work, accessing alcohol and drug awareness, and youth services.

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Coffee lover? Where to find the best brew in SA

It seems simple; roasted beans, ground and brewed, milk frothed and poured into a mug cradled between two hands.

But it can also go so wrong. Too bitter, burnt milk, a cranky barista and you have a combination of coffee sins that is sure to (almost) ruin a morning.

But with more cafés adopting a choose local ethos by using South Australian dairy milk and locally roasted coffee beans, coming across a dud brew is almost hard to do.

Brand SA News has set out on the ultimate coffee quest – to find the best coffee shops in the land, the friendliest baristas in the burbs and the types of cafés that truly make you feel at home.

From regional coffee hotspots to trendy metro hideaways, we’ve searched the state with the help of fellow caffeine fiends and our pool of regional journalists, to find the best spots across the state for good coffee.

But this list is just scratching the surface, so if there’s a coffee shop we’ve missed, hit Brand South Australia up on social media using the #ichoosesa hashtag and spill your caffeine secrets.

Metropolitan Adelaide

The Meat & Cheese Club, King William Street.

Exactly what a hole in the wall should be, this coffee and sandwich shop is a new kid on the block.

Owner Damian Vasilevski is a solid I Choose SA supporter, frothing Paris Creek Milk for the coffees (which are always hot) and using Udder Delights Cheese and Barossa Fine Foods smallgoods for menu items.

Meat and Cheese Club owner Damian Vasilevski and Adelaide Lord Mayor Martin Haese, who visited the coffee spot earlier this year. Photo: Facebook.

La Moka, Peel Street.

A solid CBD favourite, La Moka is not only a perfect spot to soak up laneway vibes, but more importantly, this yellow-doored café makes good coffee. Every time. After dark on weekends those lattes can turn into espresso martinis!

Bond & Lane Canteen, Colonel Light Gardens.

They grind from 7am weekdays. Having a cuppa or a meal here is homely and comfy, and the owners are big I Choose SA supporters, so you know you’re supporting local.

The cake cabinet will leave you drooling.

Two Sparrows Coffee & Kitchen, Forestville.

A must-visit for the latte art itself.

Barista Brian’s creation’s will leave you highly impressed and almost unwilling to touch your coffee in fear of ruining the masterpiece.

Mind blown. Photo: Instagram, @his.names.sparky

Adelaide Hills

The Organic Market and Café, Stirling.

An old Hills favourite that’s been around for decades.

Makes consistently good coffee, which can be enjoyed in a quiet corner or outside among the trees and many four-legged friends.

The menu is healthy, homely and nutritious, with chock-a-bloc salads for summer and hearty soups for winter.

The Good Pantry, Gumeracha.

This café uses locally roasted coffee and serves all day brekkie, soups, dips platters, and local juices. It also doubles as a little art and crafts gallery.

Limestone Coast

Metro Bakery & Café, Mt Gambier.

One of Mt Gambier’s most popular spots, the Metro Bakery not only knows how to bake a good pie and pastie, but their coffee is on the mark too.

Presto Eatery, Mt Gambier.

Located in a refreshed heritage building in Mt Gambier town’s centre, this café is exactly what a good coffee lover needs in a rural town.

Coffee is roasted by local roaster Bricks and Mortar Coffee. Relax with a cuppa inside or chill out the front and watch Mt Gambier life go by.

Presto Eatery Mt Gambier. Photo: Instagram @prestoeatery.

Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island

Cactus, Kingscote – KI

A fairly new addition to Kangaroo Island, this cosy café is popular with tourists and locals, so be sure to rock up early.

Pair a coffee made from custom roasted beans by Rio Coffee Adelaide with a sneaky sweet treat and soak up the sun on the blue and white deck.

3 Monkeys Fine Foods, Willunga.

These guys are taking a break and returning in September, but they’re worth the short wait.

The coffee is just how you’ll want it to be and you can sip your fix while browsing through gifts, homewares and gourmet goodies.

McLaren Vale

Mullygrub, McLaren Vale.

This café which also exists in food truck form is known for its simple dishes made from scratch.

Their coffee is also on the mark, with milk by the Fleurieu Milk Company.

Dal Mare Coffee, McLaren Vale.

Too early to sip on a red? This wine region is also well known for its boutique coffee shops scattered around the place.

A corrugated iron shed that is the Dal Mare Coffee headquarters is an unsuspecting caffeine haven, but these guys know their stuff.

Roasting their own beans, the main focus of the business is wholesales, but you can also spot them roadside through the travelling Short Black Caravan.

The Short Black Caravan on the side of the road is a welcome sight when you’re craving coffee on the go! Photo: Facebook.

Barossa Valley

Barossa Farmers Market

Grab a coffee and take a wander through the fresh produce stalls offering goodies from one of the state’s most renowned  food and wine regions.

Coffee wise, local roaster artisan Bean Addiction will take care of you. Their actual shopfront in Nuriootpa is closed for renovations, reopening this month.

Yorke and Mid North

Red Hot Shot, Clare.

Jodi Weckert is the lady in the little red van, pulling up at businesses and giving locals their caffeine fix.

Passersby have also been known to give a wave or a toot as they see her on the road, signalling the need for a coffee fix!

Watervale General Store, Watervale.

This quirky store is run by well known local foodies, Louise and Neil Haines and is renowned for its quality coffee.

The store has a big focus on local produce and is a good spot to pick up a few traditional or gourmet groceries.

Coffee Barn Gelateria, Moonta.

We may be luring you here just for the ice cream… but the coffee is good too!

In summer, move fast though because lines will creep out the door.

Finding this Yorke Peninsula gem is half the fun. Turn off the highway and head off the beaten track.

Far North

Bluebush Café, Port Augusta.

Good coffee is possible in the outback.

Located within the stunning Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden, the Bluebush Café’s setting alone is worth the visit.

It’s peaceful and serene dining before a stunning backdrop of the Flinders Ranges.

The Bluebush Café overlooks stunning views of the Flinders Ranges and outback flora. Photo courtesy of AALBG.

Murray and Mallee

Arrosto, Renmark.

This multi-award winning boutique coffee roaster will put a spring in your step. They service many cafés in the region.

Renmark-based Arrosto Coffee has recently collaborated with Glossop winery’s 919 Wines to create a coffee liqueur, The Firewater.

Made from Scratch, Waikerie.

Described as “Waikerie’s little health oasis”, this Riverland gem is hugely popular with locals.

Coffee is by the above Renmark boutique roaster, Arrosto. The café’s interior pays close attention to small, homely details such as locally grown flowers on the table, put together by Riverland business Daisy and Ginger.

Eyre Peninsula

Boston Bean Coffee Co, Port Lincoln.

EP locals Brian and Sue Scott run this award-winning speciality coffee roasting business that recently opened a coffee bar and roastery on Mortlock Terrace.

Born from a desire to lift coffee standards in regional areas, Boston Bean is all about the local game and are also supporters of environmentally friendly coffee cups.

Hitting Port Lincoln in summer? Try the cold brew over ice with a splash of milk.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Lattes and pastries in Tailem Bend? You betcha

Quality coffee, freshly-baked lemon meringue tarts and almond croissants are not usually associated with a truck stop town like Tailem Bend.

The rural service town – 100km southeast of Adelaide and often referred to as the gateway to Melbourne – is more known for its service stations and semi-trailers.

But recently Tailem Bend has been growing into its new identity, largely due to the opening of the $110m Bend Motorsport Park, set to revive the local economy by boosting employment and visitation to the town.

Small business owners Amy and Neil Chinsami are also contributing to the changing face of the sleepy railway town, thanks to the popularity of their popular main street coffee shop, The Little Local Co.

It’s almost impossible to walk out of Little Local Co without a baked treat.

“We have customers who say they had never been to the main street before now, and others who say they didn’t even know there was a main street,” says Amy, who grew up in the small Aboriginal community of Raukkan.

“People are now turning off the highway to have a coffee and locals say they have been waiting for somewhere you can just sit with a good coffee and cake.

“It’s made an impact on the community.”

The Little Local Co opened in late 2017, but has already built a strong following and sound reputation for quality coffee and delectable sweet treats.

The coffee shop’s popularity has prompted Amy and Neil to prepare for the opening of their second Little Local Co establishment, The Kitchen, along Princes Highway.

Amy cooks many of the baked goods herself, and sources other treats from local bakeries.

The pair are expecting to open The Kitchen’s doors in August and say the café will specialise in fresh and local meals, inspired by their Aboriginal and Fijian backgrounds.

“The Kitchen will be the only café on the highway,” says Amy, who draws inspiration from her community, Raukkan, considered to be the heart of Ngarrindjeri land.

“We infuse wattle seed from the Coorong and Raukkan area in our cold brew,” she says.

“It’s something that is part of my community and my land and I want to expose others to these new flavours.”

Neil is Fijian/Indian with the handcrafted chocolates on offer incorporating Fijian brown sugar and cacao.

The Little Local Co’s coffee shop is well known for its baked goods and coffee, from local premium roaster Cirelli.

The lemon meringue bombs are a hit with customers.

Amy’s own lemon meringue bombs just about fly off the counter, as do a range of other sweet treats such as orange almond cakes and chocolate brownies.

Amy and Neil began their Little Local Co journey as a small catering company and pop-up coffee cart, making appearances at events and local footy matches.

“We had both loved food and coffee and had always dreamed of having our own café one day,” Amy says.

“It took a few years of planning and researching and having a look at potential places in Murray Bridge, but nothing suited us.

“Then we were driving through Tailem Bend’s main street one day and saw a tiny shopfront. We just knew it would be an amazing space for a coffee shop.”

Amy says there is more to Tailem Bend than meets the eye.

“I think people do just see it as a place that you pass by when you’re wanting to get to somewhere else. But if you come into the heart of the community … there are no empty shops in the main street and I think that’s really great.

“There is so much happening in Tailem Bend.”

Header photo courtesy of Glenn Power.

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From corner café to brunch institution: the Argo story

It’s not hard to judge the success of Daniel Milky’s hugely popular Argo on the Parade by seeing the lineup of eager smashed avocado enthusiasts snaked out the door.

Same goes for Victoria Square’s Argo on the Square, a weekday hotspot crawling with diners wanting their quinoa or falafel fix.

Argo and Co owner Daniel says his family’s cafés may have served Hollywood royalty including Hilary Swank and Adelaide’s own Teresa Palmer, but it’s the everyday people of SA who really spark his interest when placing their coffee orders.

Argo and Co owner Daniel Milky is at home behind the coffee machine.

“People come into the shop and talk about all sorts of things, they might be having a problem or something that’s really working for them and I love being in that position, connecting with people,” he says.

“Once you get involved and start mingling, people genuinely care about you.”

Both Argo cafés fall under Daniel and his family’s business Argo and Co, which also includes Nev’s Supa Deli at St Agnes, specialty coffee roaster Monastery Coffee and Juice Bureau, also on The Parade.

Daniel is also a partner in barbershop The Fellow Barber, and is an online coach and co-founder of The Business Therapist of Evolve East End co-working venue.

Overall, Argo and Co employs about 130 South Australians.


It’s a family affair, with the Milky clan – of Lebanese heritage – all involved in the business “in some way or another”.

Daniel grew up with six sisters and one brother and spent most of his childhood running around the family’s delis and snack bars.

“Anyone who is in business knows how incredibly difficult it is to run a business with family, they’re your biggest asset and your biggest liability at the same time,” he says.

“I can’t do what I do without my family because at the end of the day if something needs to be done I can trust that it’s going to happen and there’s no second guessing.”

The Argo phenomenon began in 2010 shortly after Argo on the Parade opened.


Argo Delicatessen has existed in its place for decades, with the Milky family involved in the popular deli in years gone by.

Daniel had achieved a degree in health sciences and a Masters in accounting, but upon finding out the old Argo deli was up for sale once more, he made an offer and signed a deal within hours.

“It was one of those things that happened, it wasn’t a conscious thought that occurred,” he says.

“Going through all my university education was a lot of work and then saying I’m going to go back to hospitality, it was like five or six years of uni going down the drain.”

The career change paid off, as the Norwood café quickly built a loyal following of coffee lovers and health conscious diners, sparking the need for another Argo in Victoria Square.


Now there’s rarely a time during the day when the coffee machine isn’t grinding or the smoothie blender not roaring.

Like most South Australians who are behind small to medium enterprises, Daniel has always had his finger on the political pulse.

Daniel describes the new Liberal Government’s proposed payroll tax cut for small businesses as a “boost of confidence”.

Under the plan, the payroll tax threshold would be lifted from $600,000 to $1.5m.

“I think we’re (currently) paying around $80,000–$90,000 a year in payroll tax,” Daniel says.

“It affects small business in a huge way, because that’s money that we cannot afford to go and invest in new equipment, new staff or expansions because you have to account for this deficit.”


Further growth is on the horizon for Argo and Co, with aspirations for an Argo Wholefoods store to launch this year, a few doors up from Argo on the Parade.

The smaller café will aim to provide healthy and reasonably priced meals for families.

Daniel is also working on an Argo gym concept, allowing fitness gurus a chance to enjoy healthy fare before or after their workouts.

The concept will launch in September or October in Adelaide’s southern suburbs.

“We pride ourselves on being ahead of the curve in what’s offered in this space, especially this healthy eating, breakfast and brunch space, and not just offering the same old,” Daniel says.

“If you want to find something a bit different, you’re more likely to find it with us.”

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Fancy a quandong pie at an outback café?

An itch for adventure was all it took for the Banfield family to swap city life in Melbourne for a popular bush bakery in Outback South Australia.

Peter and Mary-Lee Banfield settled in the town of Copley, 6km north of Leigh Creek, over a year ago to run the small but productive Copley Bush Bakery and Quandong Café.

The small settlement is mostly recognised for the bush bakery and its use of the crimson-red native fruit, grown in arid areas of Australia and known for its high Vitamin C value and tart flesh.

The bush bakery and quandong café is run by Peter and Mary-Lee Banfield, right, and their son James and his partner Hannah.

But the Banfields – who settled in Copley along with their son James and his partner Hannah – have big boots to fill when cooking the ‘wild peach’.

The bakery’s previous owners held the reigns for the past 25 years, over which thousands of tourists and travellers flocked to try a quandong pie with a dollop of cream.

“The previous owners gave us their recipe book and they continue to help and support us,” says Mary-Lee.

“The main reason that people come to the bush bakery is because they were told about the quandong pies and have to try them.”

In peak tourist season from late March to October, the Bush Bakery and Quandong Café churns out up to 500 quandong pies per day.

The bush bakery sells up to 500 quandong pies a day in the peak tourist season.

The quandongs are collected by local Aboriginal women who pick the cherry-sized sized fruit from trees in the area.

The pickings are then sold to the Banfields and made into the famous quandong pies, in addition to jams, sauces and chutneys.

In busier times of the year the café also whips up quandong ice cream and cheesecake.

“Some people are cautious of the pies because they’ve never heard of quandongs,” says Mary-Lee.

“But I’ve only had two people not like them.

“They’re like a big cherry and taste a lot like rhubarb when they’re cooked.”

Quandong sauces and chutneys are also available at the café.

The bush bakery and quandong café also cooks up an all-day breakfast, pies (including the much-loved chunky steak and pepper pie) and pasties.

According to the 2016 Census, Copley is home to 72 people. It features the Copley Pub, a general store, mechanical workshop, and caravan park in which the quandong café is located.

So what would persuade the Banfields to adopt the blistering summers and never ending horizons of remote SA?

It began when Peter was travelling to the Far North to work in the mining industry when he convinced Mary-Lee to visit.

“He always said to me, ‘come and see where I work’,” Mary-Lee says.

“So on Boxing Day in 41C heat we went and I loved it.”

One would be foolish to travel along The Outback Highway without stopping at Copley and sampling a Quandong delight.

The pair fell for the outback’s tranquility and laid back lifestyle, so much so they bought a house in Copley and frequented the small town as a holiday destination.

“The opportunity came up for us to run the bakery … it took a year to decide but we knew we wanted a lifestyle change and were looking for adventure,” Mary-Lee says.

“It’s relaxed and slow paced – after living in the city, life is very simple.

“The scenery is spectacular and the weather is fantastic compared to gloomy old Melbourne.

“Every day is a perfect blue sky.”

Mary-Lee says the café offers a “relaxed and friendly atmosphere” and a place of comfort for travellers needing to refuel.

“My philosophy is that if you live in the middle of nowhere you can still get beautiful, fresh food,” she adds.

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