The House of Donkey
188 Sturt St
Adelaide, SA 5000
We drove to Adelaide last weekend for a wedding – a high tea affair which was creative, relaxed and great fun! While we were barely there for a day and a half, I read about The House of Donkey on the way in Frankie magazine (obviously I wasn’t driving) and insisted that we visit.
Side note: while we were on our road trip, we stopped at a small town IGA that had Pana Chocolate on special for $4.69/block… I kinda bought four blocks. Then we stopped again on the way home and I bought an additional five blocks. That stuff is like sexy, fudgy, crack. The “mint” and “nuts” varieties are my favourites.
The café takes up the bottom floor of a two storey terrace house and the three gal pals that got together to make The house of Donkey happen, live upstairs. Pretty rad, right? These ladies are living the dream.
When you enter, you’re greeted by a friendly face, the gorgeous donkey mural pictured above and this chalk board menu. There’s some specials noted at the counter and some sweets on display, too. After finally deciding on the scrambled tofu (there’s a bigger version with all the fixin’s that I didn’t quite have the appetite for), we walked past mismatched second hand furniture to a small but magical courtyard.
I was quickly sold on the cable drum table and milk crate chairs in the far back corner – not only because I’m short and they were an excellent height for me, but also because they were in a nice sunny spot. They also made me nostalgic for a mix of my share housing days and Disney’s “Lady & The Tramp” (I think this came from the short table & gingham table cloth).
Herbs and other edible plants were growing everywhere, drumming a sense of freshness and peace into me. Never underestimate the relaxing power of a beautiful green courtyard!
The coffee was great, but the juice was extra special – we both totally fell for it! From memory I think it was banana, pineapple & orange.
While we waited for our meals (which were surprisingly quick), I found my eyes wandering and noticing all the interesting detail around me. These hanging tea pot plants for example! I thought they were rather brilliant and might steal the idea for my own garden.
The scrambled tofu was light and creamy but filling and the flavour was just so… Wholesome. The pesto was vibrant and fresh, the spinach was raw (yay!) and the tomatoes were really damn sweet and juicy. I accidentally sprayed the table when I tried to cut in to one. Whoops! I was so satisfied with this that I was still talking about it several days later and telling people about it. Actually, I’m kinda wishing I was eating it again right now. It was dreamy.
Click for vegetarian (non-vegan) meal photo. On this note… Does anyone else think that poached eggs look like testicles? People who eat them are clearly total creeps 😉
This adorable donkey was in the centre of our table – an eclectic collection of vintage donkey ornaments can be found throughout the café.
As we left, I couldn’t resist getting some sweets to go – especially since both items were vegan. Plus – I was about to attend a “high tea” where the only vegan-friendly sweets would be fruit… So I convinced myself I *needed* these.
The cupcake was good, but the chocolate macadamia tart was just WOAH. What started as “I’ll just nibble the tip off to sample it and finish it off later because I’m actually really full right now” turned into “GOOD GOD THIS VELVETY AWESOMENESS NEEDS TO BE ALL IN MY MOUTH RIGHT NOW AND I’M NOT SHARING IT”, followed by “omg I just ate that whole slice in 5 seconds flat”. Oh, the shame! The cakes are supplied by local catering company The Vegan Tart.
Get your butt here if you’re in Adelaide. If you don’t love it, why are we even friends?