28 July 2012

Nanna Hot Bake - Adelaide, South Australia

No visit to the Adelaide Central Market is complete without a stop at Nanna Hot Bake. This is a family run business that has been serving up delicious, warm buns since 1989 (23 years and counting!). They're located at the Chinatown end of the markets near the souvenir shops. The signage has a classic 90s look and I hope they never change it.

Nanna Hot Bake

Steamy buns, fresh out of the oven. So inviting!

Nanna's Buns

The most popular item seems to be the Nanna Hot Dog ($1.80). Over the years I've witnessed several large orders being picked up involving white cake boxes filled with Nanna Hot Dogs. This is a beautiful sight indeed. If you need more than about 10, it's probably best to pre-order.

Nanna Hot Dog ($1.80)

The Coconut Swirl is sweet, buttery and moist with plenty of coconut inside. Protip: Unravel the layers as you eat.

Coconut Swirl ($2)

The Butter Sugar Bun ($1.80) is a light fluffy bun with a sinful pocket of melted butter and sugar in the middle.

closer look at a Butter Sugar Bun

Darren's favourite is the Custard Polo ($1.80). This bun has a dense yellow custard inside and a slightly crunchy top.

Custard Polo Bun ($1.80)

There are plenty more sweet and savory items on the menu such as the Coconut Tart or Sweet Egg Tart ($1.60), BBQ Pork Bun ($1.80), Chicken Hotpot Bun ($1.80), and the list goes on. The buns are best served warm. If yours have cooled, just ask them to warm them up for you in the microwave.


Nanna's is an Adelaide small business that serves up buns with a homemade look, taste, and feel that warm your heart as well as your belly. Next time you're at the Adelaide Central Markets, grab a Nanna's or two for some perfect on-the-go shopping fuel.

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16 July 2012

Cocolat - Adelaide, South Australia

If you haven't been to Cocolat on Rundle Street before, you must try their award winning gelato. If you love Ferrero Rocher, go for the Cocolat Rocher gelato, which was named Champion in the 2011 Australia Grand Dairy Awards and claimed Gold in the 2010 South Australia Dairy Awards. The full list of flavours is available on their website. The shop has an adequate number of tables, but it usually gets quite busy after 7pm so it's best to arrive early if you want to avoid the crowds.

inside Cocolat

When it comes to blocks of chocolate, one of my favourites would have to be Cadbury's Top Deck - milk chocolate with creamy white chocolate on top. I had never experienced a block of Top Deck chocolate before coming to Australia and I fell in love with the stuff at first square. At Cocolat, you can order your Top Deck in liquid form as a hot chocolate. The Cocolat hot chocolates are generally quite milky, but I enjoy the combination of the white chocolate and milk chocolate flavours in the Top Deck so it's my pick from the drinks menu.

Top Deck Hot Chocolate

In terms of desserts, you have an entire display case to choose from full of cakes, muffins, cupcakes, and handmade chocolate truffles. If you can't decide, I strongly recommend the Peanut Butter Brownie for only $5.50. It's a dense peanut buttery base with a fluffy chocolate top. If you love Reese's and/or peanut butter with chocolate, you're going to love this one. It comes with some melted swirled chocolate and whipped cream on the plate, but a cup of creamy French Vanilla gelato (winner of Gold in the 2010 South Australia Dairy Awards) compliments the brownie perfectly!

Peanut Butter Brownie & Vanilla Gelati

Cocolat on Urbanspoon

02 July 2012

Pearl's Diner - Adelaide, South Australia

The Burger Theory guys, Rob Dean and Dan Mendelson, have opened their first brick and mortar location in a small group of neighbourhood shops behind the Payneham Pool in Felixstow. Pearl's Diner, named after the Burger Theory truck Pearl, opened for the first time on 6 June 2012.  (hooray!)

Pearl's Diner

Opening hours are very limited so you'll need to check Facebook or Twitter to plan your visit. If the church pew waiting area is empty when you arrive, you might be lucky enough to snag a table straight away. They don't take bookings so it's first come, first served.

waiting area

We arrived early in the service, which allowed us to avoid the queue. The Pearl's menu consists of burgers & fries, omelettes, fried chicken & coleslaw, chili & cornbread, waffles, milkshakes and coffee. Once you've carefully made your selections and made a mental note of your table number, head up to the front counter to place your order and pay.

got a table

On our first visit, we went with a tested favourite - a #1 Burger (lettuce, tomato, American cheese & truck sauce) with fries, $13. It's a really good burger and it's nice to be able to eat it indoors and on a proper plate.

#1 Burger & Fries ($13)

Another bonus for the burger experience at Pearl's is that you can add a milkshake to your order. Choices are Vanilla, Chocolate or Coffee, $6 each. We chose Chocolate and it was thick with a good chocolate flavour. A silver milkshake mixer cup instead of the glass would really top off the experience.

Chocolate Milkshake ($6)

The Belgian waffles (from La Waffle) have a great, full flavour. I went with the maple syrup and vanilla ice cream option ($8), but you can also get your waffle with icing sugar or cinnamon sugar ($5) or Belgian chocolate, berries and vanilla ice cream ($10). The vanilla ice cream was full of vanilla bean flavour and very moreish.

Belgian Waffle w/maple syrup & vanilla bean ice cream ($8)

Hiding under the Sides list at the bottom of the menu is this Pork Bun ($7). It's a Breadtop bun filled with 14-hour smoked Berkshire pork in a tomato BBQ sauce. This is a must try if you're a fan of BBQ pork, but be warned that it is a small snack size serve and not a meal in itself.

Pork Bun ($7)

We're lucky to have this food venue in the suburbs of Adelaide because there's nothing else like it around. I look forward to watching the evolution of Pearl's Diner in the future. I would love to see some vinyl & booth seating and some biscuits & cream gravy on the menu one day. Serving sizes are small here, but this could be a good thing as it would be very easy to overeat since it all tastes so good. Quality ingredients and classic American flavours are what will keep me coming back.

Pearl's Diner on Urbanspoon