Adelaide’s newest South-East Asian restaurant, Gondola Gondola, has landed on the corner of Peel St and Hindley Street as of last Thursday evening. The city’s socialites will now have a new venue to add to their weekend schedules thanks to entrepreneurs and couple Annie Liang and Tuoi Tran.
Behind the bar’s launch is a heart-warming story that comes from hard work, dedication and a strong family background. Owner Tuoi Tran, who admits he was quite rebellious as a young child, had realised his passion for fresh food after growing up on a farm.
“I love food – I’m the harshest critic when I go to restaurants.”
Evidently grateful for where his origins have landed him today, Tuoi says he was encouraged by his family to grow up, study hard and be someone, along with immense support from fiancé (now wife) Annie.
“My fiancé… without her, I wouldn’t be the man I am today.”
The self-starter notes that his parents originally worked on a farm for Italian immigrants and were so poor they had to smuggle food from the farms to feed themselves. Dismissing the idea of becoming a doctor or pharmacist, Tuoi instead found his appreciation for flavours and food in a cooking class before injecting these passions into business. After a gruelling three months on waiting for the lease to be approved and a number of competing businesses who fought for the bar’s new location, finally came the birth of Gondola Gondola. With a focus on fresh recipes derived from home cooking, the bar takes on a ‘fast, fresh and comes straight from the farm’ approach.
The menu includes a range of mouth-watering delicacies inspired by traditional Vietnamese flavours with a modern, South-East Asian twist including Vietnamese Pancakes, Marinated Pork Mince Skewers, Seared Scallops and Coconut Milk Mussels. Our favourite dish was the Young Tiger, which are deliciously tender prawns fried in young green rice flakes. The prawns come with the head attached, and if you’re game enough, you’re meant to eat the entire thing! Another dish we loved was the Sharing Plate, which is a dish where you make your own cold rolls with the provided ingredients of rice paper, sugar cane prawn, grilled pork skewers and various other accompaniments!
Gondola’s cocktail list is entirely original and recreates a few classics with an Asian twist. Their version of an espresso martini, the Cà Phê Cocktail takes influences from typical asian coffee, using condensed milk rather than carton milk and is much sweeter than a traditional espresso martini. Another unique ingredient Gondola use is fresh sugar cane juice made in-house to create a cocktail called District 1, which is similar to an old fashioned.
The stylish restaurant-goers of Adelaide can now enjoy high quality Asian cuisine and refreshing beverages in a beautifully oriental-inspired setting.
You can head to Gondola Gondola from 12:00pm on weekdays and 5:00pm on Saturdays.