Mekko Market & Cafe

Mekko Market and Café located on Prospect Road is a lovely contemporary café with a second hand clothing market.

Only been open for four months, Mekko offers the perfect brunch and dinner location, with a cute and cosy décor to make you feel at home. Mekko is also home to a vintage clothing market, where locals can rent out the space as their own shop front.

Co-Owner, Marjukka Wilson, is originally from Finland and wanted to bring this Finnish tradition and introduce a Market café concept to the people of Adelaide; even linking this to their name, with Mekko meaning ‘lady’s dress’ in Scandinavian.

“What we wanted to do is have a café and clothing market together. We wanted to bring this recycling side to the city.”

“We thought we’d try the concept here to see if it worked and it’s taken off very quickly,” she said.

Mekko not only sells second-hand items but also offers plenty of food options in their café restaurant, including a brunch menu, a salad bar, and a dinner menu, and a dessert and burger menu.

We were lucky enough to try out their new menu, which includes westernised dishes with a Scandinavian twist.

The Cheeky Beef was served with a sweet potato pure, brussel sprouts, almonds, a chorizo crumb, ice plant and a sherry vinegar dressing. The slow braised beef cheek was beautifully soft and tender and melted in your mouth. It was cooked perfectly. The Sherry vinegar dressing was a lovely and thick with a salty taste that balanced well with the creamy sweet potato pure. The textured crunch of the sliced almonds and the soft pure with the sticky dressing is a lovely balance. The brussel sprouts were cooked well and were full of flavour, again pairing well with the sherry vinegar dressing. Overall a delicious balance of flavours and a perfect way to start our tasting.

The 18hr Lamb Shank, with a sweet potato mash, jus, dutch carrots and pea shoots was cooked perfectly. The delicious slow cooked shank fell off the bone and was paired wonderfully with the wine based jus. The strong flavours of the jus gave a slight sweet tang, coating the deep earthy tones of the lamb. The smooth, creamy sweet potato mash was a lovely additive to the soft meat while the dutch carrots added a lovely crunchy texture to the dish. Overall, a wonderful balance of flavours and textures in this warm and hearty meal.

The Chicken Curry was made with tender, juicy chicken pieces, a spinach and sweet potato curry base, spiced coconut, puffed rice and lentils. The different textures of the crunchy puffed rice and the soft potato pieces were balanced well. The curry was mild in spice; not too spicy that it burned the tongue but still held a slight warm heat in the mouth that satisfied the tastebuds. The chicken curry was packed with flavour, which all balanced well to create a delicious dish.

The Mekko Burger was made with 200grams of pure Black Angus mince, cheddar, gherkin, confit garlic mayonnaise, baby cos lettuce, and my favourite bacon jam. Delicious. Served on a toasted brioche bun and with a serve of shoestring fries, this burger was packed with flavour. The tender patty was cooked well and paired nicely with the sweet tang of the bacon jam and the strong kick of cheddar. The burger was made with lovely fresh ingredients and it showed in the quality and taste. For an extra five dollars you can also add bacon to this burger for extra meaty goodness.

The Creamy Chicken Linguini was served with bacon, cherry tomatoes, rocket and a topping of Parmesan cheese. The smooth and creamy pasta was paired well with the salty tones of the bacon and the sweet pop of the cherry tomatoes. The chicken was tender and juicy and the linguini was cooked perfectly. The pasta soaked up the lovely creamy sauce and while the kick of the sharp Parmesan tied the whole dish together, creating a lovely balance of savoury, salty and sweet.

The Mushroom Risotto was made with Swiss brown mushrooms, Portobello mushrooms and onion garlic, topped with Parmesan cheese. The risotto was full of earthy flavours from the mushrooms and paired nicely with the soft creamy risotto. There was a generous amount of mushrooms and overall was a filling and hearty meal. The tang of the Parmesan cheese tied the flavours together, balancing the savoury earthy flavours.

For dessert we had the American Dream. The American style pancakes were served with Kanmantoo smoked bacon, mixed berry maple and a sweet cream cheese. The fluffy thick cakes were sweet and soaked up the lovely, generous amount of the berry maple. This sweet and tangy sauce paired well with the soft and creamy sweet cream cheese. The sweetness of the dish was balanced with the savoury salty bacon. The textures of the creamy cheese, the dense pancakes and the soft and tangy berries were lovely and overall had a good balance of sweet and savoury.

We also indulged on the French Kiss. The French toast was served with caramelised banana, a banana mascarpone, berries and a hazelnut crumble. The French toast was sweet and fluffy with the added caramelised tang of the banana. Crunchy, earthy flavours came from the roasted hazelnuts that helped balance the sweet flavours of the bananas. The fresh strawberries gave a sweet tang that added another level of freshness to the overall dish.

Overall, all the dishes were very pretty and had a lovely mixture and balance of flavours; full of fresh and local ingredients.

Co-Owner, Marjukka Wilson is proud of what they have brought to Adelaide and hopes that more people can get involved with Mekko.

“We make little changes to the menu all the time. If we see that something is not working we are going to change it straight away.”

“Every three-four months we will change the menu so it is always fresh for people,” she said.

Ms Wilson also hopes to introduce more traditional Scandinavian dishes to the next menu.

“We also have some ideas to bring some Scandinavian things to this new menu as well as our next one in three months,” she said.

The sixty-seat café offers indoor and outdoor dining and with plenty variety and many vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options available, there is guaranteed to be something to satisfy everyone’s tastebuds.

Mekko also offers a ‘Saturday night Fever’ night where you can shop till you drop, – or at least till 6pm – and then enjoy a lovely delicious meal in their restaurant afterwards.

At the Mekko market you can find anything from clothes and shoes to handbags, scarves and jewellery.

The Mekko market has a wonderful rental rack system, so you, the local public, can rent out a rack for just $69 or $99 for a family rack, to sell your pre-loved clothes, shoes and accessories. You don’t even have to be there to sell your items; the staff at Mekko will sort it all out and work as your shopfront. Just come back in store to pick up your unsold items and the profits at the end of your rental period.

Mekko also has a lovely array of artwork on their walls to be sold as well.

Mekko gives guests a small taste of Finnish and Scandinavian culture, so why not pop in today and see and taste it for yourself? You are sure to have a lovely time.

Words by Cyndal King

WHERE: 89 Prospect Rd, Prospect


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