Eat & Drink

Live Out A Fairytale At This Magical Pop-Up Restaurant Inside An Ancient Fig Tree

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A magical pop-up dining destination on Kangaroo Island is drawing punters looking for a side of childlike wonder with their food before it closes in April. This isn’t your average dining experience – you’ll be eating inside a 120-year-old tree. Welcome to Gastronomo’s The Enchanted Fig Tree.

The ancient tree’s enormous gnarled limbs and shimmering leaves make for the perfect fairytale setting to enjoy a beautiful meal, so it’s no surprise Aussies are trying to experience the wonder before it’s all over on April 9.

Make no mistake though, this isn’t a treehouse and you’re not suspended in its canopy. No, this majestic old fig’s twisting branches have formed a collection of natural ‘living rooms’ the past century, each now decorated with table settings ready for you to tuck into this feast of the senses.

 

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Picture this: sunlight filters through the tree’s leaves in streams around you and when there’s a breeze, the leaves rustle creating a magical glitter effect throughout the space. Enid Blyton books and quirky Alice In Wonderland-esque decor are scattered underneath its canopy, twinkling with fairy lights.

It’s like living out a children’s storybook fantasy (or Hook‘s Lost Boys), but with incredible food.

Speaking of food, well-known visiting South Australian chefs Simon Bryant, Duncan Welgemoed and Emma McCaskill are on the pans here, serving up a delicious “handcrafted special menu that includes a hint of local history, a splash of fairy tale, and a sprinkle of the unexpected,” says Gastronomo. It’s inspired by fig mythology as well as Kangaroo Island.

When you arrive to the Snelling’s Beach location, you’ll be met at the verdant entry by an ‘Enchanting’ host who’ll serve you cocktails and canapes. You’ll make your way through and under the twisting canopy to your naturally formed dining room, where you’ll enjoy a menu using fresh seafood, locally-sourced meat and ridiculous desserts flavoured with figs. Wines are from vineyards on Kangaroo Island itself.

Anyone who books a meal at The Enchanted Fig Tree raves about the experience, with ‘amazing’, ‘magical’, ‘unforgettable’ and ‘spectacular’ a common theme among reviews. But don’t expect to know all the details before you go; part of the magic is that guests are encouraged not to post on social media, so everyone can have the same immersive, captivating experience.

The popular pop-up restaurant is also a wonderful way to entice visitors back to Kangaroo Island after it was devastated during the 2020 bushfires. Come for the storybook dining experience and stay for the myriad wonderful experiences KI has to offer.

 

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During January and February, Gastronomo were also running dinners inspired by the southern stars, where “The Enchanted Fig Tree at night turn[ed] into a twinkling wonderland of tiny bud lights by night – adorned with pathways of flickering flame effects and candlelight,” they explain. Definitely one to lock in for next season.

Thankfully, guests can still book in for an enchanting lunch from 12.30 pm Wednesday to Sunday for $135 per person. More info here. And for more incredible dining experiences you must have while in South Australia, check out our round-up.

(Lead image: Duy Dash / South Australian Tourism Commission)