I was planning to meet a mate I hadn’t seen in a while and we were looking for something healthier than the usual pub schnitzel & beer combination. A friend had mentioned a restaurant, promoting a healthy lifestyle and food, a couple of months earlier; it was Earth’s Kitchen on Pirie St. After looking into the venue I discovered they were offering of a paddock to plate program where they grow, pack and serve produce straight from their Meadows farm with ethically raised, organic meat, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free meals and even sugar-free desserts.
Strolling into the establishment around 12:30pm, the funky venue had a light buzz. Seated right near the front counter it gave me a birds-eye view of the kitchen and service area which was being run two kitchen staff, one floor staff and one taking orders at the register. A steady flow of patrons continued to mosey in and out, filling the establishment to just over half capacity as the lunchtime clock wound on. With meal orders not being taken at the table, the ever-growing line crowded the tables closest to the counter; for those seated in this location this can be quite uncomfortable.
My companion and I agreed on a shared lunch so we could sample a number of plates. With 3 choices each of entree, salad and pizza we ordered the following:
Starter: Grazing Board - warmed olives, pumpkin and zucchini balls in sweet tomato sauce, Barossa valley chorizo, SA cow feta and house baked flat bread
Main: Herb roasted pumpkin salad – Pearl barley, KI lentils & baby spinach finished with spiced yoghurt
Marinated beetroot salad – Tasmanian quinoa, feta, baby spinach, roasted local nuts and mint with mustard and balsamic vinaigrette and sour dough
Tandoori chicken pizza – roasted free-range organic chicken with tandoori sauce, shaved red onion and mozzarella, served with yoghurt and fresh coriander
The grazing board was definitely a wise choice. It had a fantastic assortment of nibbles to get the salivary juices flowing. The zucchini balls were delicate in flavour and amazingly light in consistency. They melted in the mouth and were well complimented by the mild sweetness of the tomato sauce. The chorizo was flavoursome and slightly spicy, which when added to the creaminess of the feta created a sensational contrast of flavour and texture.
With no table water provided during the entree plate, I glanced over the drinks menu to find a refreshing beverage and admired the fact that their operational objective didn’t stop at the sourcing and serving of their food, but was also incorporated into their selection of drinks. From the tea and coffee to soft drinks, ciders beers and wines, they offered certified organic, preservative free, biodynamic and even vegan alternatives; we selected a Pheonix organic ginger beer from New Zealand.
The wait on pizza and salads seemed unusually lengthy at approximately 45 minutes. The pizza’s were lining up on the counter and the single waitress seemed to be over-worked and struggling to keep up with demand. Our entree plates were only cleared when our pizza finally arrived, yet our original cutlery was left behind. The ginger beers arrived not long after, surprisingly accompanied by table water.
Diving into the pizza, the base was crusty on the outside and delicate and fluffy on the inside. The distinct freshness displayed the quality characteristics of handmade dough and can only be described as crusty perfection. The topping, although not abundant, provided proportionately chunky chicken pieces. The mozzarella was measured so not to overpower or create a greasy finish, but the yoghurt was more like mayonnaise and unfortunately detracted from the true tandoori flavour I was hoping for. Despite this slight disappointment it didn’t ruin the exceptional pizza.
Taking short breaks between slices, and almost finishing the whole pizza, we noticed that the salads had still not arrived. With contently stocked stomach’s we considered cancelling the salad when it soon appeared. Thankfully we only ordered a small serve and picked through the two choices. The herb roasted pumpkin salad was quite bland with slightly undercooked pearl barley and yoghurt lacking the spice I would expect to lift such an earthy flavoured dish. The marinated beetroot salad on the other hand offered great flavour with a nutty, tart, sweet and salty mix from the wise choice of coordinated ingredients.
Earth’s Kitchen is certainly on the right track offering customers a healthy, local alternative for lunch. Whether they were unfortunately understaffed due to school holidays or merely not on top of their game, it was evident that they have made a name for themselves amongst the corporate community. Although not quite up to speed, the staff were polite and apologetic for the delays which is always welcomed and appreciated under these circumstances. I will certainly return for a second round to try more of the healthy delights on offer.
Average Menu Pricing
Entree $5.90 - $24.90 (Grazing Board)
Salad $8.90 (side plate) or $16.90 - $18.90 (full serve)
Pizza $16.90 - $21.90
*Specials also available at daily prices
Where: 131 Pirie St, Adelaide, 5000
Trading: Monday to Thursday 7am - 4pm and Friday 7am - 9pm
Contact: (08) 8215 0458