This was a double bill I couldn’t pass up – Jimmy Shu, renowned chef of Hanuman Restaurant fame teaming up with Adelaide’s newest hot Sunday morning meeting place, The Market Shed on Holland Street. “Jimmy Shu at the Market Shed” on Sunday April 6 was a free event organised by the Adelaide Food and Wine Festival. It featured Jimmy using organic produce from the market to demonstrate dishes from his Indian Thai fusion inspired repertoire. Judging from the crowd’s response to the ebullient star of the show, Jimmy looks set to become one of Adelaide’s most popular chefs.
The Market Shed in Holland Street opened its doors on 17 November 2013. The brainchild of the Kaitatzis family (Marilyn, Peter and son Jonathon), it’s situated behind the Kaitatzis owned IGA supermarket in Gilbert Street on a site that used to house a motor engineering business. Inspired by a desire to provide organic alternatives to available supermarket stock, the Kaitatzis family were assisted in their venture by Zannie Flanagan, of Willunga and Adelaide Showgrounds market fame, who now runs the Mother & Sons bakery stall at the Market Shed.
It’s a fresh-faced addition to Adelaide’s market scene, and with its emphasis on organic, sustainable, vegetarian and local, it attracts lots of eco-conscious foodies. But if this sounds like aged hippies, think again. On the Sunday morning I was there, it was buzzing with a palpable vibe of this is the place to be seen. For a start, the space is light and airy, whitewashed walls, exposed brick and a lofty ceiling giving it a funky warehouse feel. Mild mannered carpark on weekdays, it undergoes a Superman like transformation every Sunday when hundreds of shoppers converge to stock up on goodies or grab a seat in the decked areas or around the wood fired pizza oven for breakfast or brunch.
Starting off with around 20 stalls, in the space of only a few months the market’s become incredibly popular and although it was too bustling with people to count, I’d guess there were around 30 or so stalls there last Sunday. As well as fresh produce, there’s everything you could possibly think of in organic spices, nuts and seeds, grains, legumes, organic meats, local biodynamic milks and cheeses, gluten and dairy free foods, coffees, teas and even nut milk. Producers represented include the Productive Garden Co, OzHarvest SA, Veggie Velo, Francesco’s Cicchetti, Smooth Revolution, The Walnut Bar, Beach Organics, Bona Food, and the list goes on.
There is a mouth watering range of food and beverage offerings, from peppermint hot chocolate from the Coffee Pedlar, to arancini balls and wood fired organic pizzas from Little Orange Arancini. And if, as is likely, you over-indulge in eating, drinking or shopping and staggering back to the car seems too challenging, there’s even a rickshaw on hand to transport you back in comfort. For a taste of what’s it like, have a look at Channel 7’s SA Life video.
What: The Market Shed
Where: Holland Street, Adelaide (enter from King William or Gilbert Streets)
When: Every Sunday 9.00am to 3.00pm
You can become a member of the market for $20, which includes a burlap market bag, e-newsletters, weekly door prizes, invitations to friends’ events and free tasting boards. Visit the Market Shed or email email@example.com for more info.
To celebrate the six month anniversary of its opening, the Market Shed will be hosting a shared dinner in partnership with The Productive Garden Co. and OzHarvest SA on May 17, which will showcase local producers and stallholders and also raise funds for OzHarvest’s food rescue service.
It was in this lively atmosphere that Jimmy Shu set up his wok last Sunday and cooked up, if not a storm, a heady aroma of deliciousness that had hungry spectators flocking to listen, learn and taste. Not only did he share the secrets behind three beautiful Indian inspired dishes (Potato Masala, Red Lentils with Spinach and Eggplant Pacchadi), he entertained with anecdotes about his childhood and upbringing in Sri Lanka, advice about how to choose the very best herbs and spices and some of the secrets of his success as a chef. Among many fascinating facts, we learned the best way to learn to toss onions like a pro is to practice out in the garden with sand.
He’s definitely not one of your super-ego chefs and in his restaurants can just as likely be found washing the dishes as swanning around front of house. Indeed the more mundane aspect of kitchen duty, he said, gives him the opportunity to see how much food is coming back and then find out why.
Jimmy Shu’s new Hanuman Adelaide restaurant opened quietly in January this year at the Chifley on South Terrace and, simiarly to his flagship Hanuman Darwin restaurant which has been going strong for 24 years, offers a mix of Indian, Thai and Nonya cuisine. He’s very much a hands-on chef, as was clear from his demonstration, where he kept the audience enthralled for a couple of hours, talking, instructing and joking non-stop, all the while chopping, stirring, tossing and plating up in a blur of motion. And as for his food, even eaten out of a paper bowl with a wooden fork, it had as much flair, pizzazz and liveliness as the man himself, so I for one will be booking a table at the restaurant soon.
What: Hanuman Restaurant
Where: 226 South Terrace, Adelaide
by Anne Green