There’s something exuberant about dining at plush, New York-inspired brasserie Sean’s Kitchen. Seasonal produce and private dining rooms all housed in one of Adelaide’s finest historic buildings.
Food lovers are big fans of this hatted Adelaide restaurant – three consecutive chef’s hats to be exact – and it’s easy to see why. Sean’s Kitchen provides a unique dining experience from the moment you arrive at the historic building. It’s not an experience just enjoyed by food connoisseurs either, the restaurant specialises in simple, honest food, made with fresh South Australian produce, and offers everything from Sean’s steak tartare and confit duck leg, to burgers served with house pickles, chipotle mayo and duck fat chips.
We spent an afternoon at a sun-drenched window seat, and from the moment we were led to our table by the attentive maître d the laid-back vibe of this place was clear. Railway lamps, which overhang the central booth-style tables, together with an assortment of subway tiles pay homage to the historic space that is part of Adelaide’s 161-year-old railway station, in which the restaurant is housed. A well-stocked wine bar and open kitchen complete the downstairs area, while upstairs a more private mezzanine area with dimmed lighting is the perfect spot for an intimate dinner.
We were hungry, and keen to try the freshly shucked South Australian oysters to start. It was our lucky day – as part of the Oyster Festival the kitchen were offering a special menu and southern fried oyster tacos caught our eye. Crispy and served with oyster mayo, celeriac and parsley, and wrapped in a warm taco wrap, they were hard to go past. The Waldorf ‘Moderne’ a la Sean poached corn-fed chicken salad was next. Served on crisp cos lettuce and sprinkled with finely sliced apple, celery and smoked almonds it’s a light starter – although the generous serve makes it large enough to eat as a main, especially at lunchtime. My dining partner opted for something a bit heartier, tackling the delicious crab linguine. South Australian blue swimmer crab, parsley, chilli and chives in a lemon beurre blanc sauce, perfectly paired with a Main & Cherry Sauvignon Blanc from the Adelaide Hills.
If you’re after a red meat fix there’s plenty of that on offer too. Meat in every cut served with the traditional favourites – red wine jus, green peppercorn and more – as well as a range of cured meats from the restaurant’s prized collection, on display in glass-fronted fridges in between the ground level and the mezzanine.
It’s the mix of comfort foods and fine dining that makes this multi-million-dollar restaurant such a hit, and it’s right at home on a street that is steeped in history, yet at the same time experiencing a contemporary urban overhaul.