Orana, which means “welcome” in some Aboriginal languages, opened quietly in an elegant upstairs dining space in central Adelaide in 2013. In just five years, the 10-table restaurant has gone on to win two coveted hats (Australia’s equivalent of Michelin stars) and was named Gourmet Traveller’s Restaurant of the Year in 2017.
Chef Jock Zonfrillo’s dinner tasting menu involves a staggering 18 to 20 dishes and is an unbridled celebration of native Australian ingredients and its Indigenous peoples’ mastery of them. This palate-pushing food is always evolving. Take, for example, an exquisite salad of kohlrabi pickled in pandan and gubinge (also called the Kakadu plum) which comes with a quandong (known as the native peach), earthy wood sorrel and burrata foam. The dish could be modified the following week to include elderflower, Dorrigo pepper and lemon myrtle instead, depending on what can be sourced from the bush larder.
The Orana Foundation is now a fully operating not-for-profit organisation, supporting communities to promote native Australian foods, as well as providing skills training and employment. In late 2016, the foundation received a AU$1.25m grant from the state government of South Australia; recently, it also partnered with the University of Adelaide on a two-year scientific research project that will build a database of 50,000 or so native Australian ingredients. The foundation hopes that this will provide the breeding ground for a scalable, sustainable native food production and export industry run by Indigenous communities.
1/285 Rundle St, Adelaide