What better to do on a Saturday night than tour the hidden treasures that Adelaide has to offer? We were treated to a guided tour from The Adelaide Bar Boys last weekend in support of their upcoming Adelaide Fringe dates.
The Adelaide Bar Boys are Nathan Peters and Branden Kentish, two mates who after four months in Europe had the idea for their business after all their friends and family kept asking them where to go out to eat/drink. They wanted to show Adelaide’s secret hidden bars in their true glory, and allow people to discover more things to do at night in Adelaide.
“It was bizarre. We thought we could show everyone better bars and better drinks on offer in Adelaide. Let’s give it a crack at home and see where it takes us. A lot of luck and meetings later and here we are.” Said Nathan on the Adelaide Bar Boy’s beginnings.
Our tour started at the East End of the city on Rundle Street. What we thought about Rundle Street was completely changed. This busy street filled with dessert bars and quirky shops transformed into a metropolis of hidden bars and surprising drinks.
The first bar we visited was one that we had never heard of but were delighted to meet. We were treated to an apple bourbon cocktail made with fresh granny smith apples. The drink was fresh and slightly sour, we loved the tanginess from the apple and the punch of the bourbon. The bright green colour of the drink fit perfectly with the look and taste of summer. Crispy fried chicken and potatoes accompanied the drink and were absolutely delectable.
We then headed to our second bar where we enjoyed a passionfruit gimlet, a sour but sweet gin-based drink that was laced with passionfruit and basil. This bar was still on Rundle Street and we were again surprised with what was on offer. With our drinks we enjoyed a platter of creamy hummus, vegan mushroom pâté and crusty bread. That all went down a treat!
For our third bar we headed down Rundle Mall to a bar underground. To get into this bar, we had to push on a seemingly harmless fireplace that turned to reveal a cozy and inviting space. It was like something straight out of a wizarding world, we were enamored with the magical entrance. We sat down to a huge platter of cold meats, cheeses, meatballs, Arancini balls and more. Along with our feast we sipped on the bar’s special drink, Rose Lips Cherry Kiss. This cocktail is made with rosewater and spices. Warming to the palette, we loved this drink for it’s gorgeous pastel pink colour and spicy undertones.
After Rundle Mall, we again went underground to another bar below Gilbert Place. Again with a secret door, this bar was moody and inviting. We watched the bar employees make our fantastic drinks, which were a fresh take on a Pisco Daisy. This drink was bourbon-based and had a sharp kick of citrus. This tour is great for sampling different spirits and alcohols, the boys really do try and incorporate as many tastes and experiences as possible.
Second to last, we went to a French-inspired bar on Waymouth Street. The bar was again underground in a decorated rustic cellar, complete with cozy booths, candles and couches. All of the drinks at this bar has a French movie star theme as well as there being French cuisine on the menu. We had a blood orange spritz with dishes of escargot with garlic butter, cheesy meatballs and a vegetarian tomato pizza. The drink went down very easily, it was fruity and sweet, just how we like it! The food was plentiful and delicious, we just kept going back for more and more.
The final bar we visited was a historical experience within itself. With our last drink being a rich espresso martini, we were guided through the underground tunnels of the Treasury. The tunnels were beautiful to explore, decorated with twinkling fairy lights. We were also shown the room where the bill to allow women to vote in South Australia was passed in 1894, with South Australia being the first state to allow women to vote. Personally, this was my favourite place to visit as I am a self-professed history addict!
Thank you so much to Nathan and Branden for being fantastic hosts! We loved exploring Adelaide’s secret bars and really getting to know our city. The Adelaide Bar Boys are hosting many Fringe shows this year ready for you to experience. To book, head to their website: www.adelaidebarboys.com.au.
Words by Kitty Barr