LINDES LANE, Adelaide
Finding Lindes Lane was a great discovery. It describes itself as a café, wine bar and lounge and you’ll find it in Lindes Lane that runs off Rundle Mall, right next to the famous Rundle Street Mall’s Mall’s Balls. It’s small, it’s casual, and chef James McRae is serving up fabulous food. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed my meal.
Growing up in a food oriented family in Adelaide, James, inspired by his mother and brother, learned to cook from a young age. His foray into hospitality included work as a barman, barista and manager but in the end he could deny his passion for cooking no longer, and became a chef. His cooking is influenced by many different cuisines, his favourites including South East Asian, Japanese, Mediterranean and Italian. Focusing on the sort of food that he likes to eat, he’s worked up a menu at Lindes Lane that is simple food cooked well and big on flavour – designed to keep people coming back for more.
I don’t eat Nachos of the Mexican variety – I have a real aversion to corn chips. So when James told me I must try his signature dish of Tuna Nachos, I was a little hesitant. But I decided to trust him and went with it and I’m so glad I did. The dish is Asian Sashimi Tuna Nachos with Sriracha Mayo and Wasabi. There’s not a corn chip in sight and in their place are light, delicate and golden wonton wrapper chips. These are accompanied by a good quantity of raw tuna topped with Sriracha Mayo and a coriander garnish, and an avocado puree with the perfect amount of wasabi. It’s a great dish, and worth heading to Lindes Lane for on its own!
The Adobo Chicken Salad with Feta, Dukkah and Brown Rice had good flavours too – It’s a take on the Latin Adobo dish. It’s a nice combination of tasty chicken, creamy Persian feta, nuts and chipotle. And then the pork cheeks – the beautiful Balsamic and Honey Braised Pork Cheeks with Puy Lentils and Rocket. I loved these so much. A dish like this is easy to get wrong, but these were oh so right! Such a well-balanced dish – not too sweet, not too salty and the right touch of vinegar. They were tender and nice and sticky with caramelised edges. The pork went really well with the chewy texture of the lentils and the slight bitterness of the rocket. The only trouble with this dish? I needed more of it!
Lindes Lane is a great find – tucked away in the laneway, you might easily walk straight past it. They do breakfast and have an all-day menu. Give this place a try. I, for one, am looking forward to trying more of James McRae’s food.
[Please note that since this review was written, James McRae is no longer the chef at Lindes Lane.]