Hut & Soul may be new to Adelaide’s CBD but its roots go back further than you’d expect. When Aloysius Yeow and Adrian Li took over the longstanding Pondok Bali restaurant in early 2016, they knew they had a hard task ahead of them.
The existing restaurant was the first Indonesian restaurant in Adelaide, and had been serving up a spicy mix of authentic flavours since 1998.
However, the pair have exceeded all expectations, turning a solely Indonesian venue into a South-East Asian one, all under the name Hut & Soul.
With the new name came new cuisines. Adrian and Aloysius chose to introduce Malaysian and Singaporean flavours to the established Indonesian menu, giving locals even more choice when it came to sampling those punchy Asian culinary combinations.
Snuggled amongst the bustle of Pulteney Street, Hut & Soul is a little more traditional than chic. Having maintained the classic ‘local Asian restaurant’ look from its previous life, it is the perfect destination for all eager to dive into a large, inexpensive South-East Asian feed. The heart and soul of Pondok remains, with the original hut taking pride of place in the dining room. However it is now accompanied by a collection of modern artworks that depict the hectic streets of Asia.
The Hut & Soul menu offers a selection of dishes, ranging from small bites to big bites, as well as the chef’s specials and some sweet nibbles. The smaller bites consist of traditional treats such as crispy spring rolls, Malay puff dumplings and classic chicken satays.
From here, the larger plates move to delicacies you may have come across; hearty beef rendang and fresh-as-ever gado-gado. However, it is the lesser-known dishes that will leave your mouth watering. Temptations like the ‘Dirty Duck’ sees pieces of duck cooked twice, steamed in spices and then deep-fried, leaving you with tender duck meat with crispy skin, accompanied by Hut & Soul’s homemade dirty sauce.
While the flavours of the menu might be international, the wine list is hyper-local – every drop comes from South Australia. A few Asian inspired cocktails complete the drinks offering, ensuring that no-one has to go thirsty.
Hut & Soul have cleverly kept the charm of Pondok Bali but revamped everything else, keeping the heart and soul of the much-loved venue. Packing a punch with every bite, it is sure to become a regular haunt for all those looking to ditch the heels and keep it casual, any night of the week.