If you’re looking to escape reality for an evening and enjoy a multi-course feast with a side of whimsy, this living restaurant might do it.
Kangaroo Island’s iconic Enchanted Fig Tree has been closed since fires hit the property in 2018. Fortunately the restaurant’s eponymous 150-year-old fig tree was spared and a new wilderness dining experience is blossoming.
* At the time of writing, activities and places mentioned in this guide are at varying stages of recovery from COVID-19. Please check government and business websites for specific details on opening times and any restrictions before you travel.
This December, the restaurant will open for the first time in two years with a series of events hosted by the team at Gastronomo and some of South Australia’s top chefs.
Diners are promised a feast of the senses, a touch of theatre and some surprises along the way. There’ll be cocktails and canapes on entry, before guests venture through the leafy entrance to the restaurant. The tables are set beneath the boughs of the ancient fig tree for just 45 guests due to the truly unique seating arrangements. The branches of the tree sweep to the ground to create small ‘dining rooms’ for an intimate experience under the green canopy.
The ever changing menu has a fantastical theme influenced by the sea, land and earth. They call it, ‘a magical journey of meandering dishes and tastes that are designed around the location, seasonal produce and whatever inspires our chef Nathan Parker for that month.’
The restaurant also serves a selection of 100% Kangaroo Island premium wines, gins and local craft beers curated by one of Australia’s leading wine critics, Nick Stock.
But the best bit of the experience might be the restaurant’s hard stance on technology - it’s a phone free zone.
“To give you the best possible dining experience, we invite you to dine in the moment without your phone and share your thoughts and experience with the people you are with, not with people who are not there.”
Sounds fair to us!
Kangaroo Island is off the coast of Cape Jervis, a 90 minute drive from Adelaide. Packed with natural beauty and a thriving food scene, it’s a great place to escape and unwind. A third of the island is dedicated to nature reserves, protecting Kangaroo Island’s endangered native wildlife. Half the island burned in January’s bushfires but the resilient locals are ready to welcome back visitors from the mainland.
The Enchanted Fig Tree opens on December 11 and dining experiences start at $135 per person.