All photos Credit Africa
Most people would agree that the best dining experience isn’t always about fancy foods with unrecognizable ingredients served with spume this and micro that, in a presentation so complex that you don’t know where to start. Having a good time with good friends and sharing good food is often what moves us the most. Africula is arguably the most exciting restaurant in Adelaide whose recipe consists of all of the above with no ban forbidden from serving up some good cooking either.
Africa It is located on the trendy East Terrace of Adelaide, between a row of bars, restaurants and eateries. It would be easy to spot because it would be the liveliest place, with tables full of guests along the sidewalk and inside too. You’ll also hear music before you can smell the food, the pulsing beats of a mix of pop and salsa and high-energy dance that makes you want to move it around as you make your way to your table.
And the high-octane atmosphere doesn’t end there. The restaurant, like food and a cult of personality, owner and executive chef Duncan Welgemoed, is bright, bold and bold. The interiors scream for attention with walls dotted with rusty Andy Warhol-esque artwork and Stranger Things. The open kitchen provides a cooking stage where chefs move in rhythmic rhythm to pots sizzling, blazing and serving. It’s nothing more than a dining party where the waitresses seem to really enjoy working there and laugh at their cheeky jokes with the guests in between their efficient presentation of a stream of courses.
Afrikola is one of the most popular restaurants in Australia. Mainly because of the cuisine but also because of what it introduced to the culinary flair of the country. Afrikola added a layer to the look of rich Australian food culture, created on top of indigenous ‘toca’ influences with a deluge of immigrant fare from Europe, Asia and Latin, and with Africula, African cuisine full of flavour. It’s not easy to get a table at Africula, and for good reason. Foodies enter where they can match the African-inspired dishes of grilled vegetables, sizzling smoked meats, and decadent breads with a rich menu of flavors that changes seasonally if not every week based on what is freshest, ethically grown and available.
The mind and strength behind Afrikola are South African culinary maestro Duncan Wilgumud. Today he is a driving force and a major influence on Australian cuisine with a loyal following of pioneers, chefs he trained and weekend kitchen champions who try their hand at his dishes from one of the bestselling cookbooks. It’s an overnight sensation created by decades of toil in some of the world’s best kitchens. Duncan earned his first Michelin star at a bistro in the village of Oxfordshire, UK, which opened the doors to established positions with UK culinary kings at Gordon Ramsay’s, Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, and eventually Fat Duck under Heston. Blumenthal. Not bad pedigree that allowed his culinary worldview to take shape under a sky full of Michelin stars.
Today Duncan is Australia’s adopted son, kitchen god, and celebrity chef as he regularly appears in newspapers and magazines as well as on TV shows as a celebrity judge. However, his foundation was much stricter. He takes his DNA from his father who was a Swiss chef as well as culinary influences from growing up in Johannesburg. His most valuable recipe for himself and his patrons is the Peri Peri Chicken. Forget about the cute peri-peri chicken chain restaurant from this awful franchise. This is sub-ocean the way it’s supposed to be, hot, spicy, and a taste you’ll think of while driving home – it really is that good. This is his father’s secret recipe that delights his lucky guests.
The saying goes that if you have a big mouth, it is better to be able to support it. It so happened that Afrikola and their famous chef covered this. This is seriously fun food at a fixed price and you can choose starters, side, main and dessert from the extensive menu. After a quick survey by the waitresses of dietary restrictions and levels of craving for spices from a pentagonal fire to moderate, the food whirlwind begins. Dishes are made for sharing so that the couple receives eight courses to mix and starch along the way. What diners will love equally with the ambiance and service is the in-your-face flavour.
Each dish is a party in your mouth full of complexity that ranges from crunchy to smooth, salty to picante to sweet. The menu offers satisfying palates, but the highlights are the tea sandwiches, the fried chicken skin on white bread with peri-peri sauce, as well as the Boston Bay mussels with chili and garlic. For starters, the aforementioned Peri-Peri chicken is simply more than delicious. Duncan also places great emphasis on how and where to source the ingredients for each dish and requires sustainable and ethical local producers. The wine list follows that with a healthy list of small local organic producers.
Great food doesn’t always mean gourmet or fine dining. Africa It has carved its own place as the king of exciting, fun and delicious food. Bold cooking and exuberant ambiance are just a few of the reasons why Afrikola is at the top of every menu in Australia as well as why you might have to get queued up to experience a meal that is nothing short of fun on a plate.