Short A haven for those looking to escape the hot Adelaide summers, or for so-called leaf peepers out to watch a rare Australian display of autumnal arboreal colour, the Adelaide Hills are a destination for those looking to unwind away from the city. And it’s here in the regional centre of Stirling, along Mount Barker Road, that one find Tranquilo, a restaurant offering modern Australian cuisine with a touch of Mediterranean colour and flavour. Tranquilo is also popular among locals for its good coffee and as a site for languorous breakfasts and brunches, and if you’re looking for an oasis of calm, we advise you plan ahead and book (don’t worry, it’s stress-free).
Tranquilo’s part-owner and head chef Steve Golding is lucky that the Adelaide Hills are able to furnish his kitchen with so much produce, sourced locally, meaning that Tranquilo’s menu of Mediterranean-inflected modern Australian dishes can live up to expectations when it comes to the flavour and colour typical of this kind of cuisine. And Tranquilo keeps it seasonal, offering four core menus throughout the year. At the time of writing, this popular restaurant was offering its winter menu, but instead of kowtowing to typical winter stodge you can see how Tranquilo maintains a sunkissed aspect throughout Stirling’s famously wet winter months.
And so it’s perfectly natural to start your meal at Tranquilo with some pinchos, Spanish-style skewers of marinated lamb marinated chargrilled and served with a saffron-infused aioli, or a generous tapas plate laden with Mediterranean delicacies. For the main course you can go true blue Australian with a kangaroo fillet or a Coopers Pale Ale beer-battered fillet of flathead. Or, return yet again to sunnier climes and indulge in the seafood tasting plate, loaded with oysters Kilpatrick, salt and pepper squid, and pescado Buñuelo. Unsurprisingly, Tranquilo’s proprietor has hand-selected a range of fantastic domestic and international wines to accompany your meal, an enviable list of boutique and craft beers, top (and bottom) shelf spirits, and even a list of coffees whose stylistic scope would make Adelaide’s best barista’s rethink their understanding. Find Tranquilo’s little slice of paradise down Mount Barker Road, just after the roundabout as you enter Stirling from the freeway, and be sure to book – especially for al fresco dining in the warmer months.