How do you distil all of Asia into just one bar/restaurant? The reiteratively named Gondola Gondola gives it a good crack, with fab street-eats and drinks from sake to Sabeco Bia Saigon lager and Japanese whiskey. The fact that Gondola Gondola is on Adelaide’s boozy Peel Street is further enticement: book yourself in for a long night of bar-hopping and refuelling here every few hours with some takeaway. Or grab a table inside: with a bit of luck the slow-cooked pork ribs with honey glaze and Korean sauce will be on the specials board.
An innovative, late-night squeeze-in, Pink Moon Saloon is a spin-off business from Clever Little Taylor, one of Adelaide’s pioneering small bars. Pink Moon is small too – a micro cabin wedged into a 4m-wide alley off Leigh Street. The woody front room is where the booze happens, flowing into a cosy courtyard, with a late-night food shack out the back. Woodfired, slow-cooked meats are their specialty – which you can also purchase at their takeaway deli two doors down.
This glowing yellow-and-black food box is anomalous in downtown Adelaide, lost in no-man’s land between the nocturnal hubbub of Rundle and Hindley Streets. But shuffling between the two (follow the zombie-like crowds), there’s nowhere better for an after-dark snack (try the gui chai tod– crispy chive cakes with dark soy). Takeaway office lunches are also a hit, or sit beneath the chandelier and gilt-framed paintings and slurp into a classic tom yum soup or ahung lay moo curry (Barossa Valley pork with pineapple and ginger). ‘Local, seasonal, sustainable’ is the creed (we’re not sure the Thai beer qualifies, but no one’s complaining).
When the clock ticks towards midnight and Adelaide’s Cinderellas think about calling it quits (or perhaps refuelling before further exploits), San Giorgio comes into its own. Handily positioned amidst Rundle Street’s nocturnal fray, it’s a modest-looking pizzeria that’s been around forever, serving late-night takeaway discs to the midnight masses. Skip the globetrotting ‘traditional’ pizzas (American, Hawaiian, Australian, Mexican et cetera) and go for something from the ‘gourmet’ list: the Gourmet Vegetarian (tomato, mozzarella, sundried tomato, kalamata olives, roast capsicum, artichokes and feta) delivers enough essential vitamins and minerals to negate whatever you’ve been drinking since 6pm.