Spotlight Series: Agatha’s
Spotlight Series – Agatha’s
Quisine’s Spotlight Series takes an inside look at the food and beverage industry by speaking with the folks who know it best – restaurant owners, chefs and managers. Join us as we get the inside scoop on Agatha’s.
With over 20 years of experience in the industry, it’s safe to say Agatha’s knows a thing or two about great food and fantastic customer service. The atmosphere and decor at Agatha’s is laid-back and relaxed, and the dishes on offer are pretty spectacular. Open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch, if you’re in Port Noarlunga in Adelaide, you really would be missing out if you pass this place up.
Considering its appearance on our list of ‘Quandoo’s Top 100 Restaurants in Australia 2018’, we’re pretty sure that Agatha’s is already held in high regard by most Adelaide locals. With this in mind, we reached out to the team at Agatha’s with a few questions that we feel will help diners get a better insight into the inner workings of the Adelaide venue. Read on to find out more!
How did Agatha’s get its name?
Agatha’s got its name from the original owner; it was her nickname so she decided to go with that, some 25 years ago.
What was the inspiration for Agatha’s?
The inspiration for Agatha’s from when I took it over in 2011 was to continue growing the great name it already had and to turn it into a consistently busy cafe. We have since renovated the place, keeping it up to date with the latest trends to stay fresh.
What’s your favourite Agatha’s story?
My favourite story about Agatha’s is to do with the jetty pylons. There was a big storm in 1987 that destroyed the last 15m of the jetty. The jetty pylons that now run through the middle of Agatha’s seating area are some of the pylons that were from that storm.
If you could pick what customers say about your restaurant, what would you want them to talk about?
The obvious choice would be to talk about our great food and fabulous service, but we would also like them to talk about how we support our community through various channels, and our continued pursuit to reduce our carbon footprint through recycling, composting, and changing takeaway packaging to bioproducts.
Did you set out to have a restaurant in Port Noarlunga, or did it just happen that way?
I didn’t intend to have a cafe in Port Noarlunga, but I was always looking to get one down south. I have grown up in this area since coming over from England as a nine-year-old, so I was very familiar with this side of Adelaide and knew that the potential for growth was high.
What’s the weirdest compliment the restaurant has ever gotten?
We did a big renovation about three years ago in which we extended the roof out so we could include all of the seating and make better use of the space all year round. This renovation included two new toilets, and for the first six months, the thing most people complimented us on was how lovely our toilets were – not that we had a beautiful new and spacious cafe!
Who is the most famous person you’ve ever had in the restaurant?
It really depends on who you believe is famous. We have had a lot of sports stars including AFL stars Tex Walker, Rory Sloane, Caleb Daniel and Mitch Robinson. Ryan Kitto is also a regular from soccer team Adelaide United. We have also had visits from TV stars like John Jarratt and Erik Thomson. We have even had Australian astronaut Andy Thomas in. So as I said, it really depends on who people class as famous.
What’s your favourite dish on the menu, past and/or present?
Currently, I would say the Chicken Fajita Bowl (Mexican chicken, capsicum, mushrooms, onion, sour cream, avocado, black beans, corn, salsa, coriander, fresh lime, and a crispy tortilla). With regards to a meal in the past, I would have to say the barramundi (coconut- and cashew-crusted barramundi, on a salad of avocado, mango, beetroot and feta with a citrus aioli).
What first drew you to Quandoo?
We were looking to improve our booking system as we felt we were getting a lot busier, and we felt Quandoo was the best thing for our needs to move our business forward.
What would you say is the key to Agatha’s success?
I got brought up believing in strong family values and that you should welcome people into your life with open arms, so I try to implement that into the business. This starts with the staff; they are and always will be the reason this business is successful. We make sure we look after them so that they believe they are a part of the business, not just someone working for it. This, in turn, helps to create a place where the customer feels comfortable and welcome. If the customer feels this way, then they will always want to come back rather than go somewhere else. Lastly, we are always looking to improve and stay ahead of the curve.