If you ever noticed a little truck parked inside a shop on O’Connell Street that looks like a beach hut in a tropical wonderland, you have found Beach Bum. Brought to you by the same group behind Cliché, Mexican Society of Chinatown, Lucky Lupitas, Gin Long Canteen and Tony Tomatoes, you can expect a certain standard here. Adelaide hasn’t had many encounters with Hawaiian food, if any at all. It is a cuisine I understood as tropical ingredients with Japanese influence but didn’t know what tastes to expect. The decor is pretty much natural wood furnishings and exposed brick with a splash of colour in the middle, ie. the bright blue vans. It’s all it needs really, casual and relaxed just like the beach.
We decided to head there for dinner one night to catch up with old colleagues I haven’t seen in ages. Thanks to Facebook we reconnected through our craze for food, good food and too much food. Reading the menu was quite exciting for me. I love seeing new types of dishes, loads of fresh ingredients and fresh flavours. Also rice. There is rice. But I will get to that later.
Typically we wanted to try as many dishes as possible so for some Aloha starters we shared Tropical Duck Sushi, Soft Shell Crab, Japanese Fried Eggplant and Pork Belly. The duck sushi isn’t quite like the roll you would normally expect. It’s more of an open sushi with nori (seaweed) wrapped duck, shallot, chive, candied ginger, pawpaw (papaya), basil and a tamarind ginger dressing. The flavours were there though it would’ve been nice to have more duck. They might have also got a bit too carried away with the rice vinegar. Eggplant was delicious topped with crispy kale and an umami packed miso paste that wasn’t overpowering.
The Pork Belly dish came with a watermelon salad with fresh jalapenos, coriander, cucumber and coconut chips. It was an interesting combination I never would’ve thought to have. Just because it was on the menu we had to try the fried Soft Shell Crab with pineapple. The dishes here are designed for sharing and they do come out as they are prepared. Generally all served at room temperature but it didn’t really matter as most dishes involved tropical fruit and fresh herbs so it kind of worked.
About rice, I’ve been hearing so much about Poké bowls I just had to try one. I went for a Tuna Poké Bowl while my friend went for salmon. It reminded me of chirashi which is basically a bowl of rice topped with mixed raw seafood and vegetables. I can definitely see the Japanese influence here. My Tuna Poké Bowl came with very fresh sliced tuna, seaweed salad, edamame beans, cucumber, pawpaw (papaya), spring onions, furikake and rice. It was enjoyable and interesting to eat with different textures. Not to mention the combination of flavours giving you everything from sweet to salty to tangy. Meanwhile Mr Foodie went for a Wagyu Beef Burger with tabasco mayo, green chilli sweet relish and teriyaki sauce served with pickled pepper and fries. The beef patty had such a smooth texture. Taste? Very good. Our friend also had the Seared Tuna Burger which doesn’t seem to be on the menu currently but apparently tasted really good. Please bring it back so I can try some, pretty please?
While we didn’t explore the drinks menu on this occasion, the shaved ice cocktails headed for neighbouring tables sure looked amazing. Their menu changes seasonally to reflect fresh produce. This also means you can return multiple times and still discover something new. Personally I’d love to try the Coconut Chicken Salad, Coffee Beef Salad, Salmon Ceviche and Luau Pork Belly. Maybe a Tropicana Mango for dessert too. Anyway, never knew what Hawaiian food was but I think I love it!
47 O’Connell Street
North Adelaide SA
08 8361 8714