Roaming Gourmet

By Franz Scheurer


I’m always on the lookout for that special bakery, undiscovered winery or organic butcher and I’m always in the mood for a good pie. Roaming the countryside, below are some of my latest discoveries:


Aldgate Bakery

My nose that is responsible for finding this place. Being early for a meeting in the Adelaide Hills I decided to drive around a bit and enjoy the wonderful vistas. It was a perfect autumn day, the car air conditioning off and the windows open, and as I was driving through the tiny village of Aldgate I smelt fresh bread. This is irresistible to me and I parked and followed my nose to the Aldgate Bakery. They only use organic flour and they make wonderful breads, exceptional croissants and fabulous pies and pasties.

Aldgate Bakery

218 Mt. Barker Road

Aldgate SA 5154

Tel.: 08 8370 8155


Aldgate Village Meats

As I walked out of the bakery, slowly digesting and looking in all the shop windows, I noticed this butchery. A large, meticulously clean space, full of first rate meats, innovative, partly prepared ‘make at home’ suggestions and terrific cold cuts and small goods. These guys know how to make a Metwurst! Value for a Sydneysider is exceptional and the range and quality astounding.

Aldgate Village Meats

218 Min Street

Aldgate SA 5154

Tel.: 08 8339 1256


Bridgewater Inn

Right next to the historic Bridgewater Mill of Petaluma fame is an old hotel called Bridgewater Inn. It’s a solid pub with a fantastic garden, right by the side of the creek that powers the old mill next door. The garden is covered with vines and offers shade or semi-shade and the bistro extends out into the greenery. Let me tell you: the bistro is good! Try the Guinness Pie or my favourite, the Pork Wellington. A succulent piece of pork fillet wrapped in buttery, crispy-flaky puff-pastry and served with a dense mushroom sauce full of flavour and umami. The vegetables or the salad (you have the option) are fresh and very crunchy. For $16.50 this is one of the best value meals around and it looks good, smells good and tastes good. Add an ice-cold Cooper’s Pale Ale from the tap and relax!

Bridgewater Inn

387 Mt Barker Road

Bridgewater SA

Tel.: 08 8339 1151


Mt. Lofty House

The grandeur of this sprawling old estate is unmistakable. Built between 1852 and 1858 by pastoralist Arthur Hardy it holds a commanding position overlooking the sprawling Adelaide Hills. Built from sawn freestone and local sandstone it used glass as a dampcourse. The vicious Ash Wednesday bushfires in 1983 destroyed all but the massive stone walls of the property. It took till 1986 for a local architect to restore Mt. Lofty House to its former glory and open it as a boutique hotel. Today it’s surrounded by beautiful gardens and every room oozes old colonial charm. This is an exceptionally comfortable hotel and as it is only 20 minutes by car from the centre of Adelaide worthy of your consideration. They have two restaurants, both serviced by the same kitchen and unless there’s a weeding on (and that’s often), only one of them is open. The menu is fairly classic and as long as you stick to classic dishes you’ll do well. It’s noteworthy that Mt. Lofty House maintains its own organic vegetable and herb garden. Service is friendly and colloquial and dinner feels a bit like eating at your favourite auntie’s place.

Mt. Lofty House Country Estate

Mercure Grand Hotel

74 Mt. Lofty Summit Road

Cravers SA 5152

Tel.: 08 8339 6777


Mongkok Chinese Restaurant

There’s Yum Cha and there’s Yum Cha and then there’s traditional Yum Cha. Mongkok serves really traditional, old-fashioned morsels with an ever-changing menu according to seasons and availability and the food is first rate. The chef believes that all his dishes have been prepared in China for millennia and that nothing is new but that is it important for a chef to spend a lifetime perfecting each dish and that’s exactly what he does. Be adventurous and order many different items but do not miss out on the braised beef belly and the fresh, steamed lobster; they’re superb.

Monkok Chinese Restaurant

81-83 Gouger Street

Adelaide SA 5000

Tel.: 08 8231 9930


Asian Gourmet – Central Market

Asian Gourmet is in the middle of Adelaide’s sprawling Central Market and is known for its fabulous Laksa. The Chinese introduced this dish to Malaysia where it has been embraced by everybody. Laksa means ‘ten thousand’ apparently because of the many ingredients and versions available. All the locals know about the Asian Gourmet’s Laksa and I heartily recommend it, but if you’re a chilli-head like me then I suggest you have the ‘Fried Kway Teow’. Ask for it ‘hot’ and you’ll get a big, steaming plate of succulent noodles with fresh sprouts and slices of the famous Chinese sausage with lots of chilli. It is a stunning dish and will set you back the princely sum of $7.00.

Asian Gourmet – Central Market

Tel.: 08 8231 9657


Johns River General Store

If you’re going north or coming back to Sydney it can be very hard to get a good coffee once you’ve left the urban sprawl. Here’s where Johns River General Store comes to the rescue. Terrific coffee, really good hamburgers and friendly service. If you’re driving through on a Saturday morning it’s worth stopping for the local markets; meet the local producers and buy your fresh vegies or locally made crafts.

Johns River General Store

Pacific Hwy

Johns River NSW 2443

Tel.: 02 6556 5405


Freddo’s Famous Pies

If on the other hand you’re heading north then shortly after Kempsey in a tiny town called Frederickton you can’t miss Freddo’s Famous Pies. The blue and white, ‘mural’ covered shack with the statue of ‘Marylin Monroe in white standing on a grate’, outside, is an institution. They even had to widen the road for the trucks and cars to stop. There are more than 150 types of pies, sausage rolls, pasties and savoury pastries… and all the ones I tried were good. It’s puff pastry addict’s heaven! Make sure you stop and have a pie!

Freddo’s Famous Pies

75 Macleay Street

Frederickton NSW 2440

Tel.: 02 6566 8226