Between Gepps Cross and Darlington, it can still take only 20 minutes to get most places (outside of peak hours) but many of us Adelaideans still tend to hover locally.
It’s rare, say, to drive across town for a just a coffee and the ever-present friand. Even if it’s really good.
Nevertheless, I found myself in the far east recently, in Payneham South, and a delightful back-street café/shop, Five Little Figs.
My friend Alison works at Magill and Five Little Figs was chosen because it was accessible in her lunch break and away from busy Norwood. Her son Ned goes to nearby Trinity Gardens Primary and she was keen to try something recently opened in the neighbourhood.
Five Little Figs is owned by longtime Adelaide chef Michelle Campbell.
Her most recent past has been as co-owner of the award-winning Kinderchef, running cooking courses for children started well-before Junior Masterchef. She may have catered an event you attended or you may know one of her previous restaurants, The Table, in Stirling, and originally Brown Dog Café, Goodwood. She also has been guest chef for many SA food producing companies such as Menz (Fruchocs) and Beerenberg.
To describe the food at Five Little Figs as simple, seasonal and hearty is underplaying Campbell’s skill: it’s also clever, thoughtful and bursting with flavours.
There are generous bowls of soup with crusty bread, creative salads, gourmet baguettes, pot pies – daily specials are marked on a blackboard.
The eye candy is the sweeties in the lovely curved glass display cabinet.
Save room for a big slice of a cake, flan or pie, a prettily decorated cake.
Vegans, vegetarians and coeliacs are all catered for.
Alison remarked that Five Little Figs reminded her of the café/shop E for Ethel, in Melbourne St. Don’t know it – out of my patch too.
Given Michelle’s recent background, Five Little Figs is very kid friendly. There's also a small retail space with children's clothing and boutique-y gardening items.
Oh, and they do breakfast 8.30am-11.30am, lunch 12-2.30pm, coffee and cake all day to 4pm.
I’ve visited twice now and left both times having enjoyed my back-street sojourn.
Have you made a back-street suburban discovery? Share it with Talking Adelaide.
Five Little Figs, corner Ashbrook Ave and Devitt Ave, Payneham South.