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Royal Croquet Club gets creative with its cuisine

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The Royal Croquet Club will introduce a range of new food offerings at its Pinky Flat Fringe hub this year, including a Pizzateca Discoteca and an ‘immersive’ riverbank dining experience.

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After ongoing wrangling over its operation in Victoria Square during recent years, the popular Fringe hub agreed to move this year to the new site on the northern bank of the Torrens, between the Riverbank Footbridge and Morphett Street Bridge.

Stuart Duckworth from The Social Creative (the group behind the RCC) told InDaily the move was an exciting opportunity.

“It’s actually a bit of a dream of an activation … we think it’s going to be our best year yet.”

Amid the 36 shows on offer, Duckworth says there will be new food areas and stalls, with a focus on a smaller number of vendors offering “great food” rather than “the short fast food grab”.

Among them will be Pizzateca Discoteca, presented by McLaren Vale-based restaurant Pizzateca, which will serve up its traditional Italian-style pizzas alongside laidback, old-school disco tunes played by Adelaide DJs.

“The whole idea is that it’s a bit more of a party in a food precinct – 12-inch pizzas and 12-inch vinyl records,” Duckworth says.

“It will transcend from daytime trade to potentially more of a dance party at night … there will be a precinct around it complete with disco ball and turntables. It will add a bit more interest to the food.”

royal croquet club gets creative

Poké Me will be at the Royal Croquet Club, serving poke bowls with fresh fish, vegetables, beans and other ingredients.

Another key initiative is “Utopian State”, a dining and entertainment space on the water’s edge. Details are still being finalised, but Duckworth envisages it will open on the weekends, serving restaurant-quality food – both cocktail food and sit-down meals – in a relaxed setting with wine matches and entertainment by RCC Fringe artists.

Utopian State is being curated by musician Surahn Sidhu (formerly of Empire of the Sun and a performer at last year’s WOMADelaide), with assistance from wine writer Nick Stock. Duckworth says Andre Ursini (the owner of Andre’s Cucina, who also has a presence at the RCC with his Mangia Mangia food stall) is likely be involved.

“The core identity of it is an immersive dining experience – not something too unobtainable or expensive, but an experience of food, music and entertainment all in one hit … it will encapsulate the riverbank and different aspects of the performing arts.”

royal croquet club gets creative

Slo Moe’s smoked meat.

Other new stalls at the RCC will be operated by Adelaide’s Slo Moe Smokery, serving up meats smoked over Australian Iron Bark and American Bourbon Whiskey Oak; Melbourne-based Poké Me, which offers a menu of Japanese-inspired Hawaiian poke bowls, and Forage Supply Co, which sells food made from freshly foraged produce.

And at the opposite end of the dining spectrum from Utopian State, says Duckworth, will be “Schnitty on a Stick” – an idea of The Happy Motel’s Jordan Jeavons. It’s exactly what the name says: a schnitzel served on a stick with a variety of topping options and, of course, chips on the side.

“Jordan is renowned for doing some really interesting stuff with food and his take with this one is a bit more light-hearted and playful.

“It’s poking fun at the idea of going too complicated with a festival offering but also [is inspired by] the fact that everyone likes a schnitty.”

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