Bubbles, magic and a top chef meal: The Garden of Unearthly Delights hosts The Garden Feast

The Garden Feast
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The Garden of Unearthly Delights held its first ever The Garden Feast last night. Under a canopy of trees and the bright moon in the evening sky, we sat at long tables in The Usual Suspects Bar with a view of the Spiegeltent in The Garden of Unearthly Delights. This wasn’t just a feast for the tastebuds but also for the eyes and ears with a variety of performances entertaining us throughout the evening.

The Garden Feast

The food and wine

Welcomed with an aniseed flavoured cocktail, we made our way to the tables, discovering the menu for the evening. In this first of two The Garden Feast events, The Garden of Unearthly Delights had asked the chefs from Bar Copains named Best Wine Bar in Time Out Sydney’s Food and Drink Awards 2023 to curate and create the menu. These were Chef partners Morgan McGlone (Sunday, ex-Belle’s Hot Chicken) and Nathan Sasi (founding chef at Nomad, Mercado and Adelaide’s Leigh Street Wine Room).


The entrée was a King George Whiting sandwich, which I’m told was good (allergic to fish), especially the tartare sauce in it. This sandwich is a popular, consistent item on the menu at Bar Copains in Sydney.


I was impressed by the non-fish substitute which was a bed of baba ganoush topped with a curry vegetable compote with some pickled onions on the side. It was served with a large sesame rice cracker. The baba ganoush paired really nicely with the flavours of the curry compote. The sprigs of mint were also a nice, refreshing addition.

The Garden Feast
(c) Matilda Marseillaise

We paired our entrees with a sparkling. With two sparklings from Hesketh wines being on the menu, we opted for the Madeline Alice Vintage Blanc de Noir 2016 which was a delicate, elegant bubbly.


Mains were served on shared plates and bowls with generous servings for everyone. The main was a deliciously tender slow-roasted porchetta with salsa romesco, served with a potato, braised cabbage and comte gratin, and a summer panzanella salad with Woodside goat’s curd.


All the main dishes were delicious but the gratin could have been cheesier and creamier. The panzanella salad was a delicious assortment of lightly dressed cucumber, tomatoes, salad leaves and chunks of toasted bread but was very light on the goat’s curd. Can you tell we love our fromage?


Dessert was a Fig Vacherin, Raspberries and Vanilla Cream, again brought out on shared plates so everyone could serve themselves. It was a substantial meringue on a base of vanilla cream topped with plenty of raspberries and figs. Think of a French pavlova but with the cream underneath rather than on top. We again chose our own wine pairing and opted for the Hesketh Wild at Heart Rosé from the Limestone Coast went really well with the dessert.

The Garden Feast - Vacherin
(c) Matilda Marseillaise

The entertainment

The soundtrack for the evening was provided by a jazz band, jokingly named Doctor Aidan’s Jazz Concoction for the night (they apparently don’t otherwise have a name). The host for the evening was Libby O’Donovan OAM who performed a song with the band when she first took to the stage. In one corner of The Usual Suspects Bar, Jun from Maho Magic Bar juggled cocktail shakers – you may have missed him if you were seated at the tables on the furthest side.


Magician, Ben Hart tested audiences making us wonder whether he had really just fused three rings together without touching them or whether it was our minds that had been changed. You can see him in performing his show HEX in The Garden of Unearthly Delights at 9:15pm nightly from now ‘til 17 March.


The highlight of The Garden Feast performances was the very colourful performance in which J’aiMime (you may recognise her from Blanc de Blanc which was in The Garden of Unearthly Delights for many years) comes out with her head in a gigantic pink bubble. She bops around and seemed to be having a great time as she slowly disappeared into the bubble. It’s perhaps the most unexpected thing to see at a dinner, where we had been entertained by jazz musicians earlier and that’s maybe exactly why it is our highlight of the performances. It’s easy to see why J’aiMime is in demand all around the world for her performances and was selected to showcase her skills at the highly esteemed Mondial du Cirque De Demain in France straight out of university.

The Garden Feast
(c) Matilda Marseillaise

Being held by The Garden of Unearthly Delights, we weren’t sure who the entertainers would be (among the impressive list of artists performing there) and were pleasantly surprised by the variety of entertainment – we’re greedy though, we just wish there were more!


The first Garden Feast was a delicious meal, with intriguing performances in an inviting garden party surround. We are keen to see The Garden Feast continue in many Adelaide Fringes to come and to explore the different flavours and themes they will conjure up.


Matilda Marseillaise was a guest of The Garden of Unearthly Delights


NOTE: Being held twice during Adelaide Fringe 2024, the next edition, on 4 March, will have a different flavour with a feast which will pay homage to shared Māori customs. It will be a collaboration between Rewi Spraggon, Tama Salive, and Rob Elliott. Rewi Spraggon is a Māori carver, musician, chef and Hangi Master; Tama Salive brings his 34 years of experience leading kitchens across NZ to craft Kai Māori flavours. Rob Elliott is a large-scale event producer. You can purchase your tickets for that edition of The Garden Feast (the only other one scheduled for this Adelaide Fringe) via this link 



For more Adelaide Fringe content check out:

Adelaide Fringe 2024: 28 shows with French links

Discover 23 Adelaide Fringe 2024 shows from performers with French training at clown schools


Our reviews

Afrique en Cirque is transportive circus, music and dance at Adelaide Fringe

Cirque Alfonse’s new show Animal is barnyard brilliance

I(CE) (S)CREAM Boléro Femme and The Other Side use dance to explore mental health with two distinct flavours and a sprinkling of humour

In pour taste is so much fun you may find yourself dancing in your seat

Limbo: The Return is better than ever


Our interviews

Cirque Alfonse return to Adelaide Fringe with a new show entitled Animal

Mikael Bres defies gravity and fights his fears in Limbo – The Return

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