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November 7, 2023

Niña is Spanish – but not as you expect it

A fun Spanish restaurant tucked away behind the Sofitel has opened, and what they've done with Pedro Ximénez and a certain vegetable has diners raving.

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  • Words: Claudia Dichiera
  • Pictures: Matisse Chambers

Restaurant Niña was filled with grey concrete and fluorescent-vested tradies when CityMag visited in August.


38 Rosina Street, Adelaide 5000
Tuesday: 4pm ’til late
Wed—Fri: 12pm ’til late
Saturday: 4pm ’til late


This time around, CityMag walked into a food lover’s oasis.

The vibes were high, music blasting from the speakers in a lunchtime Niña playlist.

The place is tucked away, yet in the CBD’s heart. Only a minute’s walk from the Solomon Street hospitality goldmine, yet still in residency just behind the Sofitel.

When CityMag sat down in a secluded booth with a custom-made Chloe Lorimer mural adding some cheer, we knew we were in for a good time.

The Chloe Lorimer booth


Owners Jessica Purcell, Brenda Loveday and Leonardo Loureiro have created a modern take on Spanish cuisine.

“We don’t like to call ourselves ‘that Spanish restaurant’,” Leo says.

“It’s that [but] our own twist on Spanish recipes — we really want people to understand that.”

What diners can expect from the menu is a mix of starters, snacks and mains — all designed to share.

“[There is] a tuna ‘nduja with the sardines. We make the nduja in-house which is just a recreation of the Italian version, but instead of the spiced sausage we use the tuna, so that tuna mixed with all those spices make that spread,” Leo says.

“Then we’ve got the mejillones escabeche… pickled mussels with a tarragon aioli.”

The tuna ‘nduja (left) and mejillones escabeche (right). These pictures: Claudia Dichiera.


Having Spanish influences, CityMag knew Patata Bravas would have to feature. But it’s done a-la-Niña.

“The original [Patata Bravas] is just the roast potatoes with a brava sauce and mayo,” Leo says.

“Ours is confit potatoes with mayo, black garlic aioli and green chilli mojo.”


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But the main attraction is… the Brussels sprout. Coated in Valdivieso Manchego, Leo says “this has been [Niña’s] most popular dish so far”.

“It sounds very simple, but the dressing is a Pedro Ximénez — people are loving it right now,” Leo says.

“They were saying it’s like a religion, or it’s crack because it just tastes so damn good you get addicted,” Jessica elaborates.

“Someone said they literally got goosebumps eating it.”

The crack-like Brussels sprout and charred octopus


Leo explained the bigger snacks to us while enthusing over the charred octopus with romesco and picked fennel.

“The same kind of feeling where there’s [a] nice finish with Pedro Ximénez [that’s] sweet, so the smokiness and the sweet just combining really well,” he says.

As CityMag attempted to take photos of the dishes coming through, Leo insists in a cheeky, angry tone: “You guys need to eat now, come on!”

Secret Sangria


Sangria jugs are a must to pair with modern Spanish food, and Jessica gave CityMag a taste of Niña’s secret Sangria recipe – a seamless mix of red wine and fruity touches to make a light and sweet drink.

Despite the Spanish influences, the Niña team reiterates theirs is a modern take on the Mediterranean cuisine.

“I think when you come in, you will see some very traditional dishes on our menu… but it does have our fun little flair on it, our Niña flair,” Jessica says.

“So, it’s Spanish, but not as you expect it.”

Niña is located at 38 Rosina Street, Adelaide and is open on Tuesday from 4pm until late, Wednesday to Friday from 12pm until late, and Saturday from 4pm until late.

Connect with the business on Instagram for reservations and more.

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