New eatery Pickle in the Middle is entering a competitive breakfast and lunch market on Unley Road, but its back-to-basics approach to food and strong aesthetic are already setting it apart.
Getting into a pickle
Since Karah Hogarth ran a pop-up shop in the Central Market last year, CityMag has eagerly been awaiting the opening of Pickle in the Middle – her permanent venture.
Visit Pickle in the Middle at 134 Unley Road, Unley and check-in on them at their Facebook page.
Yesterday, the Unley Road café welcomed the public for the first time and we were finally offered respite from the dreams of perfect toasted sandwiches that had haunted us since we sampled them at that Market stall. A much expanded menu greets customers in the Enoki-designed shopfront, but each item harks back to the idea of simple, good food.
“Our approach to food is very back to basics and ‘anti-chefy’ in some ways,” says Karah. “We are aiming to try and produce as much in-house as possible through techniques that are really the province of home cooks from way back – pickling, preserving, baking, and using lots of fresh, unadulterated produce.”
“Our menu is plant-centric because this is really the only sustainable way forward but it’s also a fantastic creative space to occupy – there are so many ingredients we’re looking forward to highlighting, not just in our food but also our drinks, which are all made in-house – we don’t carry any bottled drinks. We’re hoping Adelaide gets on board with our obsession with shrubs (the pickles of the beverage world) and a couple of other options from left field, like our turmeric tonic and cascara soda.”
Originally from a writing – not hospitality – background, Karah says she is attracted to the immediacy of the food world where she can “make an impact on someone’s day in the space of a few minutes”.
The design of the shop certainly helps in this pursuit, with a light and airy atmosphere coupled with fun patterning bringing a brightness to the whole experience. To achieve this, Karah worked with local agency Enoki on the shop interior, her logo and packaging for her pickle products.
“The visual identity and the fit-out are very clean and the patterns that feature throughout are abstractions of some staple foods – grains, leaves, etc,” says Karah.
“I think of the bright colours in our identity like the acidic notes in our pickles – they’re the high notes that complement rather than overwhelm. The use of simple and salvaged materials in our fit-out also matches the anti-indulgent philosophy behind the menu.”
With chefs Adam Robinson and Jeneen Greer on board in the kitchen, and Karah keeping people happy front-of-house, CityMag is sure that Pickle in the Middle will become a staple in the routine of many enthusiastic brunch-goers.