Sunday, 3 March 2013

Adelaide Trip - Rigoni's award winning breakfast

It was my last morning in Adelaide after a whirlwind trip for a couple of days (details about the trip are here) and I was really wanting to finish off on a high.  I had spent my days wandering the streets of Adelaide getting reacquainted with the city I grew up in and left as a 22 year old.  There was so much that had not changed at all; walking down Rundle & Hindley Streets was like taking a time machine back twenty years, it was quite freaky.  There were parts of Adelaide that I was super happy had not changed, like the Adelaide Central Markets (c'mon Brisbane, get your act together and get a central market).

While much had stayed the same, there were also many differences and the one that was most notable to me was the introduction of a real laneway culture, similar to that of Melbourne.  There were now lots of cool laneways spread out all over the city and there were great cafes and restaurants that had opened up to fill the spaces.  One such street, now closed off to traffic and filled with cool restaurants, cafes and bars was Leigh Street, just off Hindley Street and it was here that my final meal of my Adelaide trip would take place.

I had been walking up Leigh Street dozens of times in my short stay, it was a great short cut to all of the other restaurants I had visited in Waymouth and Gouger Streets, as well as being a direct rout to the Central Markets!  There was one place that I had spied that was always busy, both at breakfast time and dinner time, so I thought I had to check this one out.  All those people could not be wrong, right?

Rigoni's has been around since 1979 and is considered a bit of an institution in South Australia and can often be seen as a haunt for politicians and well known business and community leaders.  It's very much a modern Italian restaurant and since the closing of Leigh Street to traffic has thrived as an alfresco dining spot.  Breakfast at Rigoni's is only a recent addition, commencing in 200, but it made an almost immediate impact, winning the national Restaurant & Catering award for best breakfast in 2010.  More recently Rigoni's has picked up a coveted Chefs Hat from the Australian Good Food Guide

Knowing all of this I had some pretty high expectations of breakfast.  The Rigoni's breakfast menu is fairly comprehensive with an impressive list of traditional and contemporary offerings.  Again the only thing missing from the menu was a nice selection of smoothies but at least there was a vast array of juices and nectars on offer.  I am not a big juice drinker so I again broke my two year ban on coffee and had an iced coffee with vanilla bean ice cream added.  I will say that it was very nice!

Continuing on with my preference for very simple breakfast, I ordered scrambled eggs, oven roasted mushroom, slow roasted tomato and bacon, which was advertised as hormone and steroid free (I didn't know there was a problem with this, but I am sure it was a healthier option!).  I am going to say right up front that I now know why this place won the award for best breakfast in 2010, this was amazing.  It was the little things that made this so great, the seasoning, the styling and the freshness of the breakfast. It was astounding!

The scrambled eggs were perfect, both light and fluffy and dense and rich at the same time.  The eggs were seasoned so well and tasted so great, I wished there was a bigger plate full of them.  The single large oven roasted mushroom was exquisite, seasoned wonderfully, it had a lovely texture and was full of flavour.  The hormone and steroid free bacon was sublime, with amazing bacon flavour and cooked just right, just a little crispy but not over cooked.  Yum!

The real star of this show was the oven roasted tomatoes!  I don't know what they did to them but they were amazing, with an intense tomato flavour that had to be tasted to be believed.  I think there may have been just a hint of balsamic vinegar included and the seasoning was perfect.  I think it was the cooking style which played a large part in their loveliness and I am definitely going to try to recreate these at home.  Double Yum!

I really loved Rigoni's and was glad that I decided to go there for breakfast.  It was fortuitous that I kept walking by and seeing how busy it was because it didn't really come up on my radar otherwise.  The restaurant was packed at an early time and I had a great seat by the open window inside and was able to do a heap of people watching as I waited for my breakfast to arrive.

Given how busy it was the wait staff did a fabulous job of keeping things moving, I didn't really have to wait too long to be served or for my breakfast to arrive.  It was such a great vibe that I was in no rush to leave, so I spent more time people watching and it was great to see so many people enjoying the alfresco setting and the summer's morning.

I was only a few hours away from flying out of Adelaide and reflected upon my dining odyssey of the last few days.  I had spent a heap of money but in exchange had had some wonderful experiences.  I am not sure when or if I will return to Adelaide, but after my last few days enjoying the sights and sounds, I suspect it might be sooner that rather than later.  Rigoni's is definitely a place that I want to bring SC to and share this wonderful breakfast


This breakfast was superb.  I can easily understand why it won national breakfast of the year in 2010
Alas no Smoothies, but the iced coffee with ice cream was ok
Its been a long time since I have seen sugar this way!  Of course I stayed away from it :)
Busy early but got much busier shortly after.  There were no tables free shortly after this shot

Rigoni's Bistro on Urbanspoon Rigonis Bistro


  1. I think I can add no more to what you said here. I’m amazed at how Rigoni’s kept their tradition of excellence in serving high-quality meals throughout the years. That’s no mean feat, especially for a restaurant that has been continually flocked with patrons. The combination of providing quality service while serving topnotch dishes made Rigoni’s to what they are today, which I think won’t change for a long time. What a great way to spend your last morning in Adelaide indeed!

  2. Thanks Violet, I think so too. Leigh street has changed a lot in the years since I left Adelaide and Rigoni's really fits well into the alfresco culture. Awesome food and a funky little place :)



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