The Lakes Hotel, West Lakes

Interview conducted by Fatema Sitabkhan (with thanks to Mercy Me Marketing)
Interviewees: Trent & Melissa Fahey
Photos by Fatema Sitabkhan

West Lakes may have been a part of Adelaide that I hadn’t visited in my 8 years of living in Adelaide, but when I was drawn to this beautiful suburb the other week to check out The Lakes Hotel (formerly known as the Lakes Resort Hotel), it’s safe to say that I may have just fallen in love with the waterfront! With a stunning view of the waterfront, along with a fresh and modern twist to their space, the The Lakes Hotel has outdone themselves with fittings that accentuate the nautical theme of the Hotel and balancing its outlook with a theme of minimalism and simplicity.

Along with offering options of accommodation, events, and functions, the Hotel also boasts of 4 areas for wining & dining – 2 of which are restaurants (Knots Kitchen + Crusoes), 1 bar space (The Lakes Hotel Bar), and 1 cafe space (Mr. Neptunes Café).

With so many areas to explore and being surrounded by the gorgeous views of the Lakefront, I was curious to learn how this new look of The Lakes Hotel became a reality. So, I was fortunate enough to score an e-interview with co-owners Trent & Melissa Fahey – read our exchange below:

Tema: Can you please tell me a bit about yourself, Melissa & Trent?
Trent: The Lakes Hotel is a family-owned and operated business. My mother and father (Judy and Greg Fahey) have owned the Hotel for over 20 years now. My brother (Jason) is the financial controller and I’m the operations manager. I’m now a 4th Generation Publican. Mel is involved in the Creative & Construction side of our businesses.

Tema; I am quite new to this location (West Lakes) and have only recently learned about Lakes Hotel as a business – in a nutshell, what should a first time customer know about it?
Trent: There is so much more to the Lakes Hotel than you would expect from a hotel. Generally, people comment on the size of the hotel – it isn’t your average suburban pub and are secondly amazed by the view.


Tema: What made you decide to revamp / renovate the space? Can you give me some examples of how the space looks different (compared to its previous appearance)?
Trent: It is an exciting time for the West! With the development of Henley Square, WEST and redeveloped Westfield, the timing was right for us. We completely opened up the main food and beverage area to embrace the amazing lake views and natural light. We created different outlets within this area for different styling, feels and occasions.
Knots Kitchen (formerly the hotel bistro) has a transformed entrance. We now have a lounge area, where customers can enjoy lake views and a double-sided fireplace.
All new booth seating in the sports bar area with a bespoke wall mural.
A 5m Full HD Screen complimented by state of the art sound ceiling system creates directional noise control to avoid noise travel from one side of the bar to the other during sports games.


Tema: What are the key components of your space and what makes each space truly distinct and unique?
Trent: All new Mr Neptunes Café embraces coffee culture with aromatic beans, fresh squeeze juices and delicious patisseries in a setting of fireplace, and rattan lounge chairs overlooking the lake.
Knots Kitchen is a complete rebrand and is equipped with a new menu. Double tiered seating arrangement allows customers to take full advantage of lake views, and an extensive, diverse menu that features flaming woks on display. This ensures that there is something tasty for everyone.
Lakes Hotel Bar consists of two sides. Lakeside with waterfront booths and oak high tables are perfect spots to unwind over our local Gins, which are complemented with fruits and botanicals. The other side features an impressive 5m Full HD Screen, sound ceiling noise control and array of different seating options.


Tema: Who the head chef? Can you tell me a bit about their background?
Trent: Head Chef Nigel Rich worked in Hong Kong, before returning the D’Arry’s Verandah and Elbow Room McLaren Vale. He has an amazing arsenal of cooking skills, with a special focus on house-made quality local ingredients. He is backed up by Sous Chef Keigo Teranishi and together, they have created a diverse menu that brings together the art of Australian cooking, along with influences from Hong Kong and Japan. The result is spectacular.


Tema: What dish(es) would you say rank among the most popular here at Lakes Hotel?
Trent: Nourish Bowl has been really popular over summer for vegan and healthy conscious. Other favourites include the crab sandwiches, rump steak with olive tapenade, and house-made Gnocchi.

Nourish bowl
Crab sandwiches

Tema: What dish(es) would you say rank among the most recommended here at Lakes Hotel?
Trent: For variety, order a tasting platter with a bottle of wine, while sitting on the sun deck and looking over the water.

Tema: What do you think was one of the biggest challenges of (re)-setting up your business?
Trent: The biggest challenge is constantly evolving. South Australians are spoilt for choice with local produce, wines, craft beers and gins. This high standard of quality forces everyone in the industry to be at the top of their game to meet their customers’ expectations.

Tema: What do you hope for your customers to experience from visiting (and supporting) Lakes Hotel?
Trent: Being a family-run hotel, I really want everyone to be greeted with a smile and feel like a regular. During their time at The Lakes, we really want our customers to forget the outside world and feel like they are on a relaxing getaway.

Tema: Let’s dive into the many other services you offer – accommodation, functions, and events – can you briefly explain how it all works?
Trent: We have 72 Suites; each with balcony and lake views. There are also facilities, such as an indoor pool and spa, that guests are welcome to enjoy during their stay here. We offer 7 diverse function spaces that can be tailored to specific customer needs – from food and beverage booth packages in the bar, private rooms for birthday or celebrations, conference rooms, right through to complete wedding weekend experiences with ceremony + receptions + honeymoon suites.

Tema: What would you classify as being a ‘wholesome’ experience from visiting Lakes Hotel?
Trent: It really depends what you’re looking for. We are lucky to have a variety of spaces and offerings. It can range from anything, such as staying in a studio spa suite, indulging in amazing food and local Gins, wines and beers, or a coffee with a view while catching up with a close one.


Tema: What are some notable SA brands that your customers can experience at the restaurant and at the bar?
Trent: There are so many to list! Mismatch Brewing, all the local Gins (Lyre Bird, Ounce, Never Never and 78 degree), and wines from Barossa, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Clare and Kangaroo Island. We really have a little something from all regions of SA, which is always great to see so many South Australians giving it a go and being at the top of their game.


Tema: What is it about being a South Australian / local brand that makes it all the more special?
Trent: Growing up, we were always compared to eastern states or the rest of the world. There is no doubt that SA has a small population and there are two degrees of separation between people, which really makes it more special when you see real people give it a go and see them succeed in producing world standard products. It is so good to be a part of a real revolution in SA and see all South Australians become so proud of the amazing products our state is producing! 

141 Brebner Drive,
West Lakes SA 5021

Official website

Social media
Facebook // Instagram

The Greek on Halifax

Words and photos by Fatema Sitabkhan


Adorned with nostalgic photos of the family through the generations, The Greek on Halifax has become a reputable name along the Southern end of the Adelaide CBD.

Having recently undergone a massive revamp and completing 15 years of successful business, the fine folk at The Greek had me over, with a group of other influential people from the media industry. Each room within this quaint fine-dining restaurant offers customers with an interesting and unique perspective on viewing items. Ceilings are decorated in wine corks from bottles that were served at the restaurant, while others present with a more abstract view through upturned chairs. There’s always a surprise in every corner here!

We were treated to a luncheon, which was complemented by the hospitality of the staff members and owners of this family-operated business. Recipes of the items on the menu bring together influences from the family’s ancestry from the islands of Rhodes and Kastellorizo, as well as neighbouring Cyprus.


Starting off with the 4 Island Dips, we munched on pita that was served with:

  • Skordalia – potato, garlic & lemon, served with pita
  • Pantzarosalata – beetroot, coriander, cumin & yoghurt, served with pita
  • Tzatziki – yoghurt, cucumber & garlic, served with pita
  • Taramasalata – fish roe, served with pita

Easy on the palate, satisfying as an appetizer, and a great conversation starter with the rest of the table!

Next up, we tried the Krokettes – zucchini and cheese croquettes served alongside Skordalia dip. A brilliant balance between crunchy and soft, the croquettes are fluffy in texture and can be enjoyed just as much without the dip.

The Sikotakia is a dish that is deceivingly scrumptious, despite the nature of the dish. Comprising of pan-fried chicken livers that are served with sautéed onions & wine, and served with grilled village bread, the dish had a great mix of sweet and sour.

The Saganaki Kefalograviera is a dish that cheese lovers will not be able to look past! Pan-fried Cypriot cheese, roasted cherry tomatoes, lemon & olive oil provided my tastebuds with freshness from the tomatoes, citrusy tang from the lemon, and a sense of bitey flavour from the cheese.

The Kalamari Tiganito comes with lightly fried calamari, served with a chickpea, capsicum, red onion & parsley salad. You have been warned: you will want to order more than 1 plate – the calamari had a crispy outer layer and had firm meat within that basically melted in my mouth with the 1st bite.

The Moreton Bay bugs were served with a herb, garlic, cucumber, mesculin & red onion salad. It was an interesting dish to get my head and hands around, the well-prepared meat was juicy and had a subtle smoky flavour, coupled with the fresh spices that the meat was cooked in.

The Paithakia is the perfect dish to end your dining experience at The Greek on! Served with a generous serving of chargrilled marinated lamb cutlets with couscous, the lamb cutlets presented with strong yet complementary flavours that gave the succulent meat just the right level of tang!

Special thanks to Mercy Me Marketing for the invite, to Markus Hamence for hosting us, and to the team at The Greek on Halifax for their hospitality.

75-79 Halifax Street, Adelaide SA 5000

Opening hours
Lunch: Mon – Sun 12pm – 3pm
Dinner: Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs/Sun 6pm-9pm  // Fri-Sat 6pm-10pm

Social media
Facebook // Instagram

The Howling Owl, Vaughan Place

Words and photos by Fatema Sitabkhan

Formerly residing by the area decorated by the likes of Rhino Room and Urban Cow Studio, The Howling Owl has found a new home by the Nova East End Cinemas, relocating opposite to the Elephant Pub. And the new space is looking bigger and better than its predecessor.


Originally running as a business since 2012, The Howling Owl is what some might refer to as the holy Gin-filled grail, where customers can find over 120 kinds of local, national, and international brands of Gin – 25% of which are South Australian.


The new space extends over 2 levels and brings together elements of a cafe, a bar, and an art gallery. The space is illuminated by lots of natural lighting and the decor presents with a rustic yet modern outlook.

Taking pride in supporting locally sourced produce, The Howling Owl offers a mouth watering platter of delicious, South Australian cheese; including those from the Limestone Coast + Adelaide Hills and dips from the Fleurieu Peninsula + Barossa Valley.

Of course, those with an inkling for other kinds of alcohol can enjoy from a colorful selection of whisky, beer, and wine. The café vibe emanates with top quality coffee provided by D’Angelo.

During my most recent visit with a friend, we simply could not look past the Gin Bible and decided to try Gin Board 2, which came with 150ml tasters from:

  • No. 3 (London)
  • 36 Short (Adelaide)
  • Applewood (Adelaide Hills)
  • Tanqueray 10 (London)

Starting with the No. 3 being mild and subtle and working your way through to Tanqueray 10, which presented with a bitey and intense taste, the accompaniments in the form of garnishes created a party for the tastebuds! Best shared with friends, but no harm in enjoying the Board alone either!


The new space boasts of a relaxing and refreshing atmosphere. Coupled with incredibly hospitable staff, a decent selection of spirits, beer, wine, and coffee, and a hard-to-look-past array of desserts on offer, The Howling Owl is your ideal location to have a catch up with friends next time you’re out in town and looking to add to your cinema experience!
10 Vaughan Place, Adelaide SA 5000

Opening hours
Mon – Tues: 830am – 9pm
Wed – Thurs: 830am – 11pm
Fri: 830am – 3am
Sat: 12pm – 3pm
Sun: Special functions / events with prior booking

Social media
Facebook // Instagram

Folklore Cafe, Port Adelaide

Words & photos by Fatema Sitabkhan

One of Port Adelaide’s most successful Renew Adelaide projects is the Folklore Cafe, which is a quaint little cafe that is situated along the waterfront. What appears to be ‘just another shed’ on the outside, presents with an open and inviting space within.


Natural light illuminates the indoor seating of the cafe, which is decorated in beautiful mixes of retro and vintage accessories, mismatched furniture that seems to fit right in perfectly, and a menu that is bound to capture the attention of anyone and everyone.

The outdoor seating is family-friendly and offers choices that can be enjoyed by people on dates or families with kids, through their arrangement and style of outdoor furniture that strategically provides a calming view of the ocean. Glistening waters act as the perfect backdrop as customers feast on freshly prepared meals by the friendly staff who work there.

Owned and managed by Anika Harvey, Folklore Cafe is the product of a lifelong dream:

“Running a cafe had always been a dream of mine. I originally opened the space with 3 other businesses and over time they moved on and I expanded. I’ve always wanted somewhere that provides a seasonal and locally sourced menu. I am also a big believer in having a healthy supportive and inclusive environment.”

With the transition to the warmer and brighter seasons, Anika has created a list of options that brilliantly capture the colors and vibes of Spring and boasts of well-loved Modern Australian cuisine. Anika takes pride in sourcing her fruit and vegetables “from The People’s Market, which is all SA-sourced and non-sprayed” and her other products are also sourced from SA-based producers.

Among the newest additions to the menu, I was fortunate to try the following:

  • Waffles with fresh berries, strips of Turkish Delights, pistachio ice cream, Persian floss and lemon curd
  • Salmon eggs with smoked salmon on sourdough, poached eggs, beetroot hollandaise, avocado whip, sesame, lemon & herbs

Both dishes were kindly provided to me for sampling purposes and after having demolished the two dishes to my heart’s content, I can safely say that each dish will (no doubt) put you in a happy mood. With a combination of bright colours, coupled with a zesty and delightful mix of ingredients, each meal is not only appealing to the eyes, but also does wonders for the palate. 

As Anika mentioned, “I create all of the menus. I usually put a new menu out for a few weeks, get feedback and tweak it [accordingly].” Having visited the Folklore around 3-4 times in the last couple of months, it is best to say that the menu is ever so dynamic and there is always something new and exciting to look forward to.

The price range is fairly decent ($6 – $10 for the kids menu, $10 – $20 for the adults menu), given the high quality of the food and the picturesque view and stunning weather that accompanies the experience of dining at The Folklore Cafe, so next time you’re out and about by the Port, make sure you stop by for a wholesome feed!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Annexe, Hart’s Mill, Mundy St, Port Adelaide

Opening hours
Wed – Sun: 8am – 4pm

Social media
Facebook // Instagram

The Pot, Hyde Park (SA)

Words and photos by Fatema “Tema” Sitabkhan

A couple of weekends ago, I had the fine opportunity of visiting The Pot in Hyde Park with a fellow foodie. Now, I’ll admit – I hadn’t really heard of the place prior to this day, primarily because I haven’t ventured out to Hyde Park enough. Luckily though, I’ve found reasons to change that!

Taking pride and branding themselves as a “neighbourhood restaurant”, The Pot aims to be the locals’ go-to, where customers can enjoy a beautiful blend of Asian and Australian cuisines that works in so many wonderful ways, through so many wonderful dishes.

Upon walking in, my initial reaction was “Well, this is fancy!” – but don’t let that intimidate you, because you’ll be treated to seriously scrumptious food that is prepared fresh by Head Chef Emma McCaskill and served to your table by friendly and hospitable staff. Even though I had never visited The Pot prior to this, I felt like I was in the comfort of my own home. I felt welcome and well taken care of.

The only downside that I see is that the price range for most of the dishes and drinks at The Pot is a bit too expensive, while living on a student budget. However, it is nice to have had a taste of The Pot and save going there for special occasions!

For those looking to experience the many tastes that The Pot has on offer, there is a monthly event – Last Friday of the Month Lunch – which is a 4-course degustation that is matched with wines at $95 per person, so grab a couple of friends and celebrate the end of the week and month with a feast at The Pot!

160 King William Road, Hyde Park, SA

Opening hours
Tuesday – Friday : 12pm till late
Saturday & Sunday : 9am till late
Monday : Closed

08 8373 2044

Social media
Facebook // Instagram // official website

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Inside Morocco, Magill

Inside Morocco is Stepney’s newest spot that offers services of a restaurant, an events space, and a store with lots of Moroccan-inspired items that are available for purchase.

Authenticity is at its prime here, where you can feel like you’re one step closer towards visiting the mystical land of Morocco. The hospitality is welcoming, the food is exquisite and delicious, and you simply cannot leave without trying their traditional mint tea.

149 Magill Road, Stepney SA 5069

Opening hours
Tues – Fri: 9am until 4pm
Sat – Sun: 8am until 6pm

Special events
Open for 10 or more by appointment for private dinner

(08) 8132 1414

Social media
Facebook // Instagram // official website

This slideshow requires JavaScript.