For accomplished chef Sean Connolly, the chance to open a restaurant in Adelaide was an opportunity too good to miss. With several successful venues to his name spanning New Zealand and the east coast of Australia, Connolly saw Adelaide as a city with a dynamic restaurant scene in a state that also happens to have some of the country’s best produce.
Born in West Yorkshire, Sean grew up cooking in his grandmother Esther’s kitchen, where he quickly learned how food brings people together. He started a chef’s apprenticeship at 13, before completing a stint aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) at 18. He arrived in Australia in 1988 and settled in Sydney, starting at the Astral in Star City Casino as Executive Chef and earning several Chef Hats along the way. In 2011 he opened The Grill by Sean Connolly at SKYCITY Auckland and a year later, established The Morrison in Sydney.
In 2014 Sean’s Kitchen opened, taking the idea of a New York brasserie and giving it the Sean Connolly treatment, creating a relaxed atmosphere with simple and honest food, paired with an extensive wine menu and cocktail list. A hospitality finalist in the Belle Magazine 2015 Interior Design awards, the space boasts heritage high vaulted ceilings, leadlights, brass detail, wooden benches and streetlamp style lighting.
The open kitchen features an impressive 4.9-metre Molteni oven and allows diners to view the action as the talented team of chefs work quickly and calmly.
At the heart of Sean’s philosophy is a respect for fresh produce, leading him to work closely with some of the state’s award-winning producers and artisans including Richard Gunner’s Feast! Fine Foods, Saskia Beer’s Farm Produce, San José Smallgoods and Boulangerie 113. Seafood is all locally sourced, with king prawns coming from the Spencer Gulf, pristine oysters from Coffin Bay, angel oysters from Smoky Bay, and Hiramasa kingfish, Kinkawooka mussels, and tuna all coming from Port Lincoln.
Start your culinary adventure with something from the Finger & Fork section, such as a soft shell crab sandwich or a lobster roll, paired simply with lemon and crème fraiche to allow the fresh lobster to hero the dish. From the ‘Fire Pit’ comes Sean’s signature 1kg lamb shoulder, best ordered with Sean’s legendary duck fat chips and Grandma’s carrots. Raw & Ocean Shelf features scampi crudo served with chilli, lime and baby coriander, or you can indulge in a seafood platter for two, featuring South Australian king prawns, raw scampi, king crab legs and Pacific oysters.
Much of the menu is easily shared, so it’s not uncommon to see tables packed with a feast of different dishes. No experience at Sean’s is complete without a serve of Mac & Cheese or the New York Cheesecake.