It’s hard to imagine a more perfect setting for a relaxed restaurant specialising in dishes containing Goolwa cockles, than behind the sand dunes overlooking the beach where they can be harvested. The Kuti shack is at the end of Beach Road at Goolwa Beach and sits between the new Goolwa Surf Life Saving Club and the popular surf beach. If you’re planning a holiday to the Fleurieu Peninsula region of South Australia, you will want to add the Kuti Shack to your list of places to try if you want the best views and seafood experiences on the coast.
The rear wall of Kuti Shack features a mural artwork by indigenous artist Cedric Varcoe called ‘Dreaming of our Lands and waters’. This colourful Ngarrindjeri story, depicts the coastline and Coorong area and is enhanced by the timber slat walls that wrap around the sides of the building. Kuti Shack is proving to be a very popular stop for locals and holiday makers to visit, so it pays to book, but you are welcome to just walk in with tables and umbrellas for outdoor dining too. The main dining space is a little weatherboard timber shack with screen windows that can be opened up to get that full beautiful sea breeze and fresh air. The ambiance and location are what makes this such a special place to dine. You can feel comfortable eating here even if you’ve just strolled off the beach.
Kuti Shack is a joint project between the Ngarrindjeri people and the Goolwa Pipi Co. who sustainably collect cockles (also known as Pipi and in Ngarrindjeri language Kuti) at Goolwa Beach. Three top chefs who have all worked at some of the best restaurants in South Australia are responsible for featuring this small mollusc in a variety of new and interesting dishes. I have to admit to being biased for using the humble cockle as bait rather than food but putting that thought aside if you’re ever going to give them a go, Kuti Shack is the place to do it!
The menu has a variety of mouth watering seafood options and if you’re lucky enough to be dining in a group, a great way to be able to taste everything on offer and cure the ‘I can’t decide’ syndrome is to grab a few entrees for sharing. We shared prawn sliders, tuna sashimi, fish tacos and Pipis in XO sauce for starters and all were exceptional in flavour. For mains there were choices of Mulloway wings, fish and chips, fish tacos, bouillabaisse and salt bush squid all served with crisp, fresh and perfectly matched salads.
If you are interested in cooking pippis for yourself, you can buy ready to serve packs in some supermarkets and from Kuti Shack and for recipes, the Goolwa Pipi Co. website has some from a few of Australia’s top chefs to get you started, including this following one that we tried at Kuti Shack. Goolwa pipis in XO sauce An ample selection of South Australian wines and craft beers are also on the menu at Kuti Shack, many from the local region of the Fleurieu Peninsula.
The opening hours for Kuti Shack are 8am – 4.30pm Fridays to Mondays with dinners available on Fridays and Saturdays. Since opening in December 2019, Kuti Shack has been an absolute winner with a steady stream of very satisfied customers thanks to the fresh and innovative food. Add it to your must visit list!Cheers