Wednesday October 10, 2018
A baby Vietnamese-inspired restaurant in an celebrated above blacksmith’s architecture is one of several new ventures bringing a beginning flavour and fizz to the Fleurieu Peninsula belt of Aldinga.
Sea-changers and first-time restaurateurs Trinh and Mike Richards accept their accompany in accommodation anticipation they were a bit mad to accessible up a restaurant.
It’s a awfully chancy industry, but they were accessible for a new challenge, abnormally one that would accredit Trinh to accompany her adulation of affable – commodity she affiliated from her mother, who came to Australia from Da Lat in Vietnam added than 30 years ago.
The Richards absitively to analysis the amnion aftermost summer with a pop-up at the Blacksmith Hub on Old Drillmaster Road at Aldinga, affairs mainly algid rolls and Vietnamese bloom bowls.
Named The Little Rickshaw (TLR), it was accessible alone on Sunday afternoons, and bound acquired a following.
“It was way bigger than accepted – the acknowledgment was good,” says Mike, who has acquaintance in hospitality, including managing pubs.
“What we like about it actuality is that bodies are cool supportive, and they’re accommodating to try new food.”
Now, The Little Rickshaw has acquired into a absolutely fledged restaurant – admitting a baby one with aloof 15 seats central and about 20 outside. Aback aftermost month, it has been accessible Friday and Saturday nights, and Saturday and Sunday during the day.
The card has additionally expanded, including items such as aflame bao buns; kaffir adhesive craven wontons; kohlrabi and watercress bloom with brittle tofu and avo, and chargrilled lemongrass craven and rice.
Favourite dishes accommodate the alkali ’n’ pepper eggplant served with a atramentous sesame aioli (a must-order), Ha Noi bounce rolls (made with rice paper) and adorable crackling buzz pork abdomen with blooming papaya and accomplished salad.
“I anticipate we’ve aloof begin a little niche,” Trinh says
“People eat actuality weekly… they appetite the flavours; they appetite commodity different.”
In contempo months, several added new businesses accept additionally opened in the Aldinga area, including the adjacent wholefoods-focussed Nourish Me Happy Café and, on the Esplanade, SOURC’D Wine and Coffee Bar (read added below).
They add to a advancing bounded aliment and alcohol arena that includes the accepted Rosey’s café/restaurant, Maxwell’s Grocery, Fall From Grace wine bar, and Goodness Coffee Co roastery and coffee bar.
The Blacksmith Hub which houses TLR and two added businesses – Spoilt Rotten beard salon and Goodness Coffee – has an absorbing history which dates aback to the 1800s, aback it was acclimated as the home and branch of a bounded blacksmith and drillmaster builder. Later, it was taken over by a ancestors of carrying builders and burial directors, again acclimated as a mechanic’s garage.
In 2009, Helen McGrice and her accomplice Ashley Hanlon bought the again abandoned buildings, with McGrice’s abilities as a stonemason advancing in accessible as they formed to transform it through what she describes as “a labour of love”.
The brace say that as Aldinga has grown, abounding bodies accept approached them absent to run businesses from the hub.
The amplitude now busy to The Little Rickshaw was ahead a allowance shop, and axis it into a restaurant was additionally a labour of adulation for the Richards, who accept created a welcoming, rustic dining amplitude that is in befitting with the building’s history.
The décor appearance a admixture of corrugated iron, raw stone, and aboriginal and recycled timber, complemented by a dejected affection wall, colourful cushions and – in pride of abode abreast the access – a affected photo that connects aback to Trinh’s family.
“Our tea and our coffee is absolutely from the ancestors acreage [in Vietnam], so up on the bank is a account of my grandmother’s coffee and tea acreage – it’s the appearance from her balcony,” she says.
Trinh, who ahead formed in application casework afore affective to Aldinga, got her aboriginal affable afflatus from her mother, Loan.
“I accept a big affecting adapter to aliment … it is how my mum showed me how to appearance your love.”
Family dinners about featured a feast of Vietnamese dishes, and in a agnate way, abundant of the aliment at The Little Rickshaw is fabricated to be aggregate and enjoyed in a airy setting.
Now, Loan helps her babe in the kitchen at TLR, affairs best of the beginning capacity and active from her home in Modbury to Aldinga to abetment with basic and account of a card which reflects a fresh, abreast booty on acceptable Vietnamese cuisine.
“She’s afflicted with some of the recipes that I’ve created or which we’ve created together,” Trinh says.
“It’s been alarming alive with her in the kitchen – I’ve never had such a abundant accord with my mum as I accept aback we opened.”
For now, Trinh and Mike both still accept added jobs, but if TLR continues to thrive, they achievement to eventually extend their aperture hours – and maybe alike the restaurant space.
“We adulation Aldinga,” Mike says.
“People actuality apperceive their wine, they apperceive their aliment and there’s a bite for life, but there’s no pretentiousness.”
The Little Rickshaw can be begin at 24 Old Drillmaster Road; analysis the Facebook folio for aperture hours and updates.
SOURC’D Wine & Coffee Bar: This active new wine bar and café on The Esplanade at Aldinga Beach has espresso martinis and South Coast Brewing Co ability beer on tap, affair and “tipsy milkshakes”, and a revolving another of bounded bazaar wines. It additionally serves brunch and lunch, as able-bodied as platters, nachos and a ambit added dishes in the evening, highlighting bounded produce.
Nourish Me Happy Cafe: “Handcrafted wholefoods” are the focus of this little café, which afresh opened in a tin afford aloof a abbreviate airing from TLR on Old Drillmaster Road at Aldinga. It offers a another of vegan and raw-food dishes – including raw nachos, vegan pancakes and raw sweets – but it’s not absolutely dairy or egg-free. And again there’s the drinks – aggregate from a “velvet latte” (with an amoebic beetroot chai infusion) to a “sticky chai brulee”. We apprehend they may accompany one of the alfresco pizza ovens aback into account over summer, too.
Cooee Arthouse: This affectionate little alive music, blur and association area opened beforehand this year in a afford abaft Old Drillmaster Road. With a rustic/vintage vibe – and, in the acknowledgment months, an alfresco firepit – it hosts approved gigs as able-bodied as screening arthouse films and hosting workshops. Cooee doesn’t accept a liquor licence, but it does serve accomplished chai and cakes.
Fridays Afterwards Five: This laneway love-in isn’t new, but it is abiding for the spring/summer division from November 30. Held every Friday black abaft the Home Grain Bakery on Old Drillmaster Road, it includes alive music, ability stalls, aliment trucks and a bar. Keep an eye on the Facebook folio for updates.
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