The pop-up cocktail bar, kitchen and beer garden is fast gaining popularity with KI locals and visitors to the stunning Emu Bay beach, one of the island’s most popular swimming spots.
The vintage-inspired food van is one of Kangaroo Island’s first licensed food trucks, joining a growing fleet of pop up vendors helping to push the region’s profile for being one of the state’s leading food and wine destinations.
Mini De Lights serves bite-sized street food, coffee, cocktails and desserts. Its summer menu includes honey popcorn chicken with spicy slaw, prawn, ginger and carrot balls with wasabi mayo, as well as all-day breakfast granola, zucchini fritters, and eggs Benedict with prosciutto.
Em says sourcing local produce, beer, wine and spirits is essential to the small business which rolled onto the food truck scene in February this year.
“I’ve been using local cheese and family farms down the road supply the pork and lamb, we use Fleurieu Milk and our coffee is from a local coffee roaster,” she says.
“Our cocktails are made from Kangaroo Island Spirits, and we have False Cape Wines, The Islander Estate, Bay of Shoals and Kangaroo Island Brewery beers on offer.
“As local businesses, we try to promote one another, that is our bread and butter. If you don’t have local support you’re standing on your own. We are all passionate about the region and we want to see each other succeed.”
Mini De Lights joins a small fleet of other food trucks operating at various events and locations across the island, and Em says they each have a knack for creative thinking and a passion for food.
The arrival of the Mini De Lights food truck marks the first time in more than a decade that swimmers have been able to access food and beverages at Emu Bay, with a nearby kiosk closing some time ago.
“Emu Bay is a beautiful beach, 70% of the houses are holiday rentals so it’s full of people in the holiday periods, but there is nothing here on the beach front,” Em says.
“The pop-up concept was always an idea I’d loved because there are no boundaries and you can play around with what you serve and how you serve it.”
Mini De Lights has also popped up at local businesses and catered for special events. From December 1 and throughout summer it will open seven days a week at Emu Bay from 7am–7pm.
Originally from Adelaide, Em has spent most of her working life in hospitality in Australia and overseas.
She spent time in New Zealand and London before returning to Adelaide and heading for Kangaroo Island, taking on the role of restaurant manager at Southern Ocean Lodge.
It was during her time at the luxurious boutique hotel that she fell in love with the island’s produce, and also met a local stone mason, who is now her partner.
She says Kangaroo Island is growing its reputation as a premier food and wine destination and that locals and visitors are “spoilt for choice” with culinary offerings and landscapes to explore.
“It’s taken some time for Kangaroo Island to have its time in the light, and it’s just starting to get there,” she says.
“It’s almost like a hidden treasure, we have so much to showcase, the coastlines, the wildlife, once you cast your eye around there is so much choice, we are spoilt rotten.
“The island’s charm is that it’s untouched. It’s simple, yet so beautiful.”
Header photo courtesy of The Islander.