Sometimes you find places that are just you. It's not always the place with the best food, the best atmosphere or the best value for money. But there's something you can't always put your finger on which attracts you to the place. On my recent trip to Adelaide for me that place was Zest.
The reason why Zest speaks to me is because it nails the beachside cafe vibe so well. It's clean, bright, well lit, casual. I could imagine walking up from the beach in thongs, t-shirt and shorts and just sitting at one of the outside tables. Almost everything just screamed to me 'beachside café', with even the slightly slow but friendly service fitting the mood perfectly. The only thing lacking was a view of the beach itself.
The food itself is above average to good rather than great. Hungry Pete went for the Big Breakfast - spinach, tomato, mushroom, bacon and poached eggs on toast. While the bacon was a little less crisp than I prefer it, the eggs were nicely poached and it looked and tasted good.
I went for the 'Hell's Eggs': two eggs with a tomato, capsicum and rosemary salsa, topped with a dash of tobacco sauce. I think this dish normally comes with poached eggs, but just to be a bit different I got mine scrambled. A fair attempt at an interesting idea, but overall a little too sweet and not spicy enough.
As usual I was interested in trying one of the cakes on offer, going with the pear and ginger flan. A good cake, homemade in style and nicely moist although it could have done with a bit more pear and ginger flavour.
This is the sort of place you want as your local: casual, friendly, respectable food at reasonable prices. Nothing fancy or complicated in the food but a relaxing place to sit and soak in the vibe, it's more an everyday visit location than a special occasion place. It's obviously a favourite of the locals too, nearly empty when we arrived early on New Year's morning it was full by the time we left around 9.30. There may be places with better food, faster service or cheaper prices, but I wouldn't enjoy just sitting there, reading my paper and drinking my hot chocolate nearly as much.
Food - 7
Ambience - 8
Service - 7
Price - 7
2 Sussex Street
Glenelg SA 5045
Tel: (08) 8295 3599