1918 Bistro and Grill
94 Murray St, Tanunda, South Australia
08 8563 0405
Walk up the stone pathway, through a small but perfectly formed alfresco verandah, and you’ll come across the foundation stone of this stunning historic house, with the year 1918 chiselled into it. The owners’ reverence for the building’s history and that of Barossa Valley food and wine seeps into every aspect of their offering.
The building has housed an impressive array of culinary entrepreneurs. Barossa’s first bistro grill opened here in 1992 by intrepid locals – in a bid to complement the surrounding wine region. Current owners, Tanya and Sid King, arrived as guests but the venue instantly captured their imagination. Seventeen years later, the King family took the leap to purchase the restaurant and added their personal stamp to 1918.
1918 sources most of its produce from within South Australia, and where possible from the Barossa Valley. With cheese, olives, cold cuts, bread and wine from the Barossa area, teamed up with seafood from the Spencer Gulf and Southern Ocean and Murraylands lamb, you can be sure your meal hasn’t travelled far to get to your plate. The herbs and vegetables have travelled even less – being sourced from their very own garden.
Head Chef, Tristran Steele, has had a globe-hopping career, starting out in Adelaide before moving to the UK for six years and working in high-end restaurants across Western Europe. He brings his experience home with him, and combines this with the abundance of rich, local produce available in the area.
You’d be foolish not to start with freshly baked bread served with house made parmesan oil. The impressive entrée menu is impossible to pick from – if you have to choose just two, try the caramelised pork with betel leaves, peanuts, kimchi and an Asian herb salad, or the stunning beef carpaccio with beef tartare, pickled shallots, shaved parmesan and mustard dressing.
The main and dessert menus are the show stoppers. Packed with fresh, happy- farmed poultry and meats, and classic, seasonal dishes, every item is worth sampling. From a classic beef cheek, braised in local Barossa beer and served with baby bok choy, baby leeks and a fresh herb salad, to lighter options such as angel hair pasta with smoked chicken, cherry tomatoes, peas and truffle – there’s something for everyone.
If you still have room left, the dessert menu is locally revered. Just look at the plates coming out of the kitchen if you wonder why. Try the Baileys and scorched almond ice cream with a white chocolate brownie crumb and caramel fudge sauce, or a raspberry and pomegranate brûlée with poached apple and pomegranate salsa, mojito sorbet and crostoli.
The team at 1918 takes pride in its heritage – not just that of the building, but also in that of the surrounding wine country, farmland and local produce. They combine these in an elegant yet accessible and friendly setting, with a delectable seasonal menu that has a much deserved local following.