Kangaroo Island Source - The source for good food

Kangaroo Island Source - 90 Cape Willoughby Road, Penneshaw, Kangaroo Island

Written by Tom - check out our other vegan blogs here.

Let me start at the beginning (a good place to start, Mum told me). Mark had asked me to take five days off work to go on a surprise holiday. This was nothing unusual, he has done it before and knows I love nothing more than a surprise. For those that know me, you'll know what happens next. For those who don't, the following 5 days included Mark flying a plane, getting engaged, our best mates flying in from Sydney, drinking a '96 and '97 Grange, lunch at Star of Greece, a night in Port Willunga and then 4 days on Kangaroo Island at a luxury beach house.

Pumpkin soup with coriander pesto and sweet potato crisps - Source, Kangaroo Island
Pumpkin soup with coriander pesto and sweet potato crisps

Fides Lodge - Kangaroo Iland
Fides Lodge
On our last night, Kate from Kangaroo Island Source came to our accommodation and cooked us a seven course vegan degustation made from locally sourced ingredients (if not found on KI, Kate sources ingredients from mainland SA). As she was unpacking, we were chatting about life on the island and generally shooting the breeze. By the time our first course was served, we were all well acquainted and it felt more like a family dinner than being cooked for.

First up was pumpkin soup. The soup was thick and creamy with a subtle peppery flavour, it had a nice sweetness to it. Once I stirred in the coriander pesto, it had an instant freshness mixed with the nutty flavour of the cashews. The sweet potato crisps stayed crispy and added texture.

Next up, we were served green mango, carrot and kimchi. This delivered an awesome freshness with the crisp carrot and subtly sweet mango. The spice and tang from the kimchi cut through with less of a punch and more like a love tap - totally balanced and left me wanting another serve.

Green mango, carrot and kimchi - Source, Kangaroo Island
Green mango, carrot and kimchi
We were embarking on the mains and I could smell the pumpkin cooking in the oven behind me. When this course was delivered to the table, we oohh'd and aahh'd like there were fireworks. It took all my strength not to channel my Nana and say "what a lovely spread, dear" but I managed it.

The pumpkin had a lovely roasted flavour and we all know pumpkin and hummus are best mates. The pomegranate made this dish and the beetroot was just tangy enough to cut through the heaviness of the hummus. We were all totally wrapped and satisfied by this course.

Roasted pumpkin, hummus, pomegranate and beetroot - Source, Kangaroo Island
Roasted pumpkin, hummus, pomegranate and beetroot
Our next main course was gnocchi. I've attempted making gnocchi in the past but without egg, I've always failed. I asked Kate how she made such deliciously light gnocchi with no egg and the secret is not crossing the line between the potato being too sloppy but adding enough flour for it to bind. Kate also said she portions and freezes her gnocchi before cooking it - this helps hold it together during the cooking process. I'm going to give it a shot and hopefully I'll come up with something half as good as this.

The gnocchi was coated in a thick layer of rich tomato sauce and topped with pesto and fried basil leaves. A light almond cream brought the dish together and balanced out the sharp flavour of the sauce. I can't remember ever enjoying pasta this much.

Gnocchi in a rich tomato sauce with fried basil - Source, Kangaroo Island
Gnocchi in a rich tomato sauce with fried basil
Vietnamese tofu was our next course and Kate warned us that the hot sauce was really hot. Kate makes her own range of sauces so I took her advice and used it with caution. The tofu was spicy and full of flavour. The enoki mushrooms brought an earthy flavour and great texture to the dish. The tiny amount of hot sauce I used completed each mouthful - again, we were all raving about this one, even the non vegans!
Vietnamese tofu with enoki and the hottest sauce on the planet - Source, Kangaroo Island
Vietnamese tofu with enoki and the hottest sauce on the planet
To cleanse our palates before dessert, Kate whipped up a raspberry sorbet. Nice and cold with a few chunks of raspberry, this sorbet was clean and fresh. Just what we needed after the previous five courses!

Raspberry sorbet - Source, Kangaroo Island
Raspberry sorbet
I'm always a little concerned when I go out and order dessert. Usually, I'm served a variation of fruit salad and to be frank, I'm over fruit salad! When I saw Kate putting these together, I could hardly wait to get stuck in. The biscuit layers were made from dates and the middle layer from avocado and cacao. 100% raw and totally delicious - this is my kind of dessert!

Raw chocolate s'more filled with chocolate mousse - Source, Kangaroo Island
Raw chocolate s'more filled with chocolate mousse
At the end of the degustation, we were all more than satisfied but not so full that we couldn't move. For that reason, we all commented that it was different to most degustations and we were able to appreciate each course without thinking of how full we were becoming. Maybe it's because it was vegan? Maybe it's Kate's experience and talent? Next time you're on Kangaroo Island, I recommend you head to Source for catering, a cooking school or just to browse Kate's range of products, you won't be disappointed.


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