With spring in full bloom, it’s the perfect time to head up to the Hills on the weekend to frolic in the sunshine. With sunshine-induced frolicking comes the need for good food, and that’s where Akoma & Co. comes in.
Akoma sits in the much-loved and well-visited town of Stirling, serving up breakfast, coffee, and lunch, as well as a new special bookings-only dinner option, which we checked out on Thursday night.
Previously the Seasonal Garden Café, the café is a favourite of Hill’s locals and city dwellers alike, and regulars will be delighted with the new menu on offer at Akoma.
The new name, Akoma, means “the heart”, which is the perfect label for a café such as this one. There is a very everyone-knows-everyone vibe present, something that is not uncommon in a place like the Adelaide Hills.
We sat next to a woman and regular who visits the café daily because she loves every dish they serve, and the staff knew everyone else in there by name. But rest assured that owner and head chef Magdalena Robinson, Maggie to most people, will make you feel at home whether it’s your first visit or your fiftieth visit to the café.
Serving up everything from zucchini and corn fritters, to vegan nachos, to a seriously incredible skordalia and veg sandwich, Akoma’s new menu, great coffee, and delicious cakes will keep people rolling through the door as always.
But it’s Akoma’s new dinner offering that really sets it apart from the Seasonal Garden Cafés in Hahndorf and Stirling, as well as the other cafes in the area. We enjoyed a decadent three-course meal that really showcased Maggie’s experience working in some of Adelaide’s best kitchens, including Africola and Maximillian’s.
Our first courses included mouth-watering Mushroom Arancini served with house spinach and garlic dip, and an Italian-style Bruschetta, featuring fresh tomato, red onion, basil, Danish feta, and a balsamic glaze on a rustic sourdough baguette.
We followed that up with slow-cooked Osso Bucco served on a creamy mashed potato and topped with pecorino and as well as house-made Linguine with pesto, pine nuts, Italian Parmigano Reggiano and pecorino. Both were delicious, hearty meals with an expert balance of great flavours.
Topping off our evening was some melt-in-your-mouth house-made Apple and Rhubarb Crumble with a vanilla bean ice cream, which felt like it was Grandma’s secret recipe. We also tried the Akoma Affogato with local Espresso and hazelnut syrup, served on vanilla bean ice cream. Drool.
As well as serving up amazing food, the staff are happy to cater to your dietary needs without a grumble. Whether your vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, or dairy-free, they’ll make sure there’s something on the menu for you – and if there isn’t, they’ll make it up.
So, when you’re looking for somewhere to go and enjoy good food, good, company, and good vibes, check out the homey and hearty Akoma & Co.
Words and Images by Liberty Petersen
WHERE: Shop 2, 3/5 Mount Barker Rd, Stirling