Upon first entering the website of Oleaceae Restaurant & Café, you will find that the pronunciation of its name is stressed as “Oh-Lee-See-Ya,” and I’m sure we will see ya dining at Oleaceae in no time at all!
This Mediterranean inspired, family-owned restaurant is situated on Gawler Street in Mount Barker and well worth the drive for any city-dwellers currently on the prowl for a new breakfast, lunch or dinner restaurant. We were lucky enough to sample seven stunning dishes and were delighted with each and every one of them!
The first dish to be laid upon the gloriously rustic round wooden table was a 21st-century brunch classic; Smashed Avo. Nevertheless, despite the dish’s common name, the cooks at Oleaceae managed to surprise and delight by serving the smashed avocado on two fantastically authentic falafel. This popular Middle Eastern “fast food” snack was topped with perfectly ripe avocado, hummus, two free-range poached eggs, tomato salsa, soft herbs and sumac. The plentiful serving of hummus presented in a flawless arc upon the plate paired perfectly with the subtle flavours provided by the herbs and sumac, and I have to say that I did indeed go in for seconds!
Continuing with the classics, next up was the Loaded Benny, this café’s take on the traditional Eggs Benedict. Although the usual test of a good Eggs Benedict is the hollandaise sauce (which was lovely), I thought that the bacon stole the show! The chef managed to produce two rashers that were wonderfully thick while still providing the delightful crunch and crackle of just simply well-cooked bacon. Moreover, the avocado was similarly generously portioned, adding a lovely lightness to the dish which can be lacking in the average Eggs Benedict.
Eggs Florentine is a simple dish and as Paulo Coelho once said, “It’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary.” Buttery sauteed baby mushrooms and spinach, two free-range poached eggs, and the frankly charming hollandaise sauce all perched upon a mammoth slice of white toast to succeed in endorsing Coelho’s wise words. I say frankly charming because although subtle, the light notes of Dijon mustard and citrus seemed to truly dance upon the pallet while consuming this breakfast dish.
Our egg frenzy didn’t stop there! As always, we just had to sample the Big Breakkie. “Eggs our way” were fried (sunny side up of course), and accompanied by an unexpectedly lean and stout sausage, copious amounts of mini sauteed mushrooms, more rashers of thick bacon, half a grilled tomato, two adorable hash browns and seasoned with sumac spice. As a hash brown lover, my co-foodie was eager to try these triangular tater-tots and even happier to deliver his verdict; delicious! There was a perfect amount of salt, the thickness of the hash brown was just right and finally, the element’s saltiness appropriately complimented the moistness of the mushrooms and ripe tomato.
We aren’t often surprised here at Adelaide Food Central, but we certainly were today! I can promise you that the Zucchini Fritters served at Oleaceae are unlike any you have ever seen before… The chefs seemed to channel the true origins of the zucchini fritters, or Mücvers as they are called in Turkish, and served us small shallow-fried zucchini balls nestled among a huge herb salad topped with grilled cherry tomatoes, pinenuts, zaatar and tahini dressing. But wait, there’s more! I could never forget the 4 mouth-watering slices of grilled halloumi that simply screamed “eat me!” and truly elevated this dish to the next level.
As an avid lover of food, exercise and overall a balanced lifestyle, I always do my best to nourish my body and so it seemed apt to try The Nourish Granola. Probably one of the best home-made granolas I’ve ever tasted, the mixture of hemp seeds, sesame, dried cranberries, coconut gratings was topped with the choice seasonal fruit of blueberries and strawberries before being doused in thick maple syrup and coconut milk. The balance of flavours in this dish was spot-on and I was suitably impressed with the generosity by which the berries were served. Although my milk pouring skills definitely need work (as seen on Instagram), the flavour combinations in this dish do not! I highly recommend this nutritious bowl to anyone who decides to drop by.
Last but certainly not least was the Strawberries & Cream Pancakes with toasted almonds and strawberry coulis. Despite leaving primary school many years ago, nine-year-old me was undeniably fan-girling over the lighter-than-air triple-stack of perfectly round pancakes layered and topped with berries, whipped cream and a dusting of icing sugar. I loved how the coulis was served beneath the pancakes, allowing each of the elements on the dish to shine in their own right. One moment I had pancakes with maple syrup, the next with icing sugar, and then with berries! Just delightful. These uber-light pancakes were sweet, cute and the perfect way to finish off a wonderful brunch.
Oleaceae Restaurant & Café provided a brunch that was simply delightful, and I can’t wait to visit again. The venues also offer event opportunities, from intimate affairs to larger celebrations and functions, with a capacity of 40 to 100 people. Perhaps this could be your next COVID-friendly birthday party venue or your next breakfast café that will provide the well-deserved reward after a long walk in the river lands close by. Either way, the staff at Oleaceae can’t wait to see you seated in their dining room or outside on the gorgeous terrace. We might just see you there!
Words by EG Mills from E-cup Gastronomy
WHERE: 2 Gawler St, Mount Barker