Heart-warming meals, home grown regional produce and a strong Fleurieu feel.
Sounds like you’ve got yourself a table at The Salopian Inn.
Hidden on a corner just out of the town of McLaren Vale, The Salopian Inn is a 1850’s building turned restaurant, serving beautiful lunches and equally as impressive dinners and desserts. The interior holds the rustic charm that once was the cottage, with white washed walls, exposed beams and fireplaces dotted throughout keeping your toes warm in the Wintery months. There’s pops of colour from modern and indigenous artworks in each room, plenty of eclectic furniture and lighting so moody and warm you’ll want to pinch them to take home.
I have visited the Salopian a few times now and on every occasion I’ve been very happy with the service, the food and of course- the drinks list. As well as a wine list boasting pages of wines from the Fleurieu Peninsula, the Salopian Inn has a gorgeous cellar with an array of wines collecting dust on the shelves- I totally recommend dusting them off and giving a bottle a crack.
In terms of other drinks, this restaurant is known for stocking a local selection of beers and cider, and more importantly, gin. Their list boasts over 200 types of gin, showcasing everything from South Australian gins to beauties imported from overseas and all over Australia. Its seriously a gin lover’s paradise.
When it comes to food the Salopian Inn keeps the region in mind, with plenty of the fruit, vegetables and herbs use in their meals coming fresh from the Fleurieu Peninsula and from their kitchen garden. The menu covers everyone from the vegetarian to the gluten intolerant, and is seasonally based- so keeping ultimate freshness in mind.
We’ve tried a few dishes now and we keep coming back to slowly eat (and drink) our way through the menu. On the first occasion my partner and I came for a long lunch and chose the Beef Shepherds Pie and the Potato Gnocchi. For liquids we had McLaren Vale Orchards Apple cider and a Prancing Pony beer- both personal favourites of ours.
Prior to receiving our mains, we received complementary Laucke Flour Sour Dough bread with Paris Creek Bio-Dynamic butter with sea salt. I am a ridiculous fan of carbs so I devoured by roll, desperately wanting another. It was so light and fresh and the butter was super creamy.
For mains I devoured the Potato Gnocchi with Mushroom Ragu, Basil & Parmesan. My friend ordered this a month prior so I knew it was going to be a winner. There were so many mushrooms on the plate and they were so buttery and well-seasoned- I’m not a huge mushroom fan but these tasted really meaty and tied in perfectly with the Parmesan. There was a generous serving of the gnocchi, which was super light and fluffy- some of the best gnocchi I have had (and that includes in Italy).
The other half ordered the the Beef Shepherds pie with Brussel sprouts and Caramelised Onions. His disappeared in a matter of minutes even though it was huge. The filling was rich and full of chucks of grass fed locally sourced beef and a rich gravy. The potato was creamy and the pastry- so crispy. On the side we had Hand Cut Blue Moon Potato Chips with Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise. Honestly I could have eaten a main of these bad boys. So ridiculously good, with just the right amount of crunch.
For desserts we shared the Chocolate Soufflé with Pistachio Toffee, Coffee Caramel & Vanilla Ice-Cream. It came out as pretty as a picture and was a chocolate lovers dream. The soufflé was big and bouncy and so light. It had a smooth chocolate flavour which was not too overpowering and went perfectly with the Vanilla bean ice-cream. The crumb was crunchy and sweet and was possibly licked off the plate, as was the glass full of the sticky chocolate sauce.
Every time we have visited this little gem we haven’t been able to fault a thing, so we will be back again to eat our way through the menu (maybe twice over). I think the ‘feed me’ option for $80.00 is on the cards for next time.
You can find The Salopian Inn on the corner of Main Road and McMurtrie Road, McLaren Vale.