Located in the east of Adelaide’s Market Quarter and situated at the point where the pavement widens, Wild Nectre looks out onto bustling Victoria Square Tarndanyangga – it’s one of a few cafés and bars to have tables and chairs outside. In the warmer months, the area becomes packed with sun worshippers and lovers of a balmy eve, and though it’s less crowded during the months when the sun isn’t as strong and the wind is brisk, people do still brave the outdoors, settling under the heat lamps.
Wild Nectre opened in March 2019 with the promise of doing it all. It operates seamlessly as a coffee spot, a breakfast place, a lunchtime haunt, dinner venue and wine and cocktail bar, making it a rare all-day venue that can accommodate no matter when you arrive.
We visited the eatery on a Friday during lunchtime. It was chilly, but not enough to deter a group of office workers from sitting outside as scooters, trams and shoppers trundled past on their way to Rundle Mall. Inside, couples and small groups were catching up, their conversations mingling with the sound of some seriously laid-back beats.
Oversized light fixtures hang above the equally oversized bar, where you order and pay before grabbing one of the ten or so tables. When we were there, the service was efficient and attentive, with lively banter between customers and staff. Wild Nectre’s specials board hints at a chef whose focus is on giving local produce some seriously slow love. The dishes on offer when we visited included a creamy mushroom soup served with Vienna bread, lamb shoulder slow-braised with red wine stock then pulled and pressed, and a pasta dish of slow-braised rabbit served with pea risotto.
If the specials aren’t striking your fancy, the regular menu has a nice selection of affordable dishes, including salt and pepper squid, schnitzel made with either chicken or beef, and the oh-so-healthy-sounding “body cleanser” salad (fresh chilli, quinoa, parsley, cherry tomatoes, kale, Spanish onion and shredded carrot, dressed with light olive oil) that, had it not been so chilly, we’d like to think we would have ordered. Instead, the grilled chicken wrap with lettuce, tomato, bacon, cheese and aioli, and served with chips (crunchy, herby and salty) was too tempting to resist.
Without being pigeonholed, Wild Nectre is an excellent option for any time, day through to night.
193 Victoria Square, SA 5000
0431 189 095
Tuesday to Thursday: 7 am–8 pm
Friday: 7am –10pm
Saturday and Sunday: Closed