Olea, Adelaide

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country right now: Olea, Adelaide.

More than a few bob have been spent converting historic CBD building Electra House into a three-level bar, restaurant and event space, yet it's the clever, simple vegetable dishes and salads that are the stars of the show. At Olea, Spanish chef Alfonso Ales has been charged with designing a modern Greek menu with a few contemporary Mediterranean twists. His carte is led by a 10-hour braised lamb shoulder with tzatziki as the centrepiece of several dishes designed to share. The gemista, an entrée of peeled and poached tomatoes stuffed with seasoned rice, coated in kefalotyri cheese foam and seasoned with strong mint and dill, might be even more impressive still, while the clever salad built around wedges of char-grilled watermelon takes on an almost meaty textural chew, with haloumi, mint and baby cucumber.

Olea, level 1, Electra House, 131 King William St, Adelaide, SA, (08) 7123 4055

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