By Simone Mundy
The key to my heart is through my stomach, but the key to my soul is through my feet. So when I have a night out that starts with great food and ends with cutting up the d-floor, it’s something to write home about.
Over the summer I’ve been revisiting Leigh Street staple Casablabla, and finally made it to one of their Wednesday Salsa Nights. My gal-pal and I kicked off the night by grabbing a little table and ordering a share plate. We chatted about our salsa lesson expectations over a glass of wine while the venue gradually filled with a cross-section of people, who I didn’t realise at the time, would all soon be dancing in every available area of the club.
Our share plate arrived and it was quite simply, amazing – seriously one of the best I’ve ever had. Every item its own delectable delight – no space fillers on this platter. It had the perfect amount of assorted morsels including lamb cutlets, prawns, chorizo croquettes and moreish saganaki (FRIED CHEESE!!!).
We polished off the platter and decided it would be a good idea to stretch our legs before shaking our booty’s. We ventured out to the beer garden for another drink to help loosen our inhibitions and it wasn’t long before we heard DJ Hugo Salcedo’s voice come over the speakers. We hot-footed it back inside, my friend asking me “do you think it’s on?” with me answering, “Oh, it’s on!”
It was like someone flicked a switch. In the short amount of time we were outside all the tables had been cleared, the music turned up a few notches and salsa dancing had begun. The lessons involved DJ Hugo on the mic briefly explaining the steps and counting before the more experienced dancers were happy to show us newbies how it’s done. And that was one thing that really surprised me, not just the informality of it all, but the fact that the patrons are the teachers – there was this instant feeling of community where all are welcome and everyone joins in – no experience necessary.
Salsa dancing is done with a partner and we all swapped around at the end of each song. My list of partners, all patient gentleman who didn’t mind getting their toes stepped on, included a Brazilian student, a (silver fox) man old enough to be my father and most notably, a guy that can only be described as the Spanish Jake Gylenhall (starts fanning her flushed cheeks). Spanish Jake threw me into so many spins, turns and dips with such confidence that I didn’t even have time to be self-conscious about a possible wardrobe malfunction. Hot night, strapless bra, you know what I mean. Thank you girls for staying where you should!
At this point the vibes were strong but I needed a cold drink and a quick breather after Spanish Jake, so I grabbed my friend and strutted to the bar with a heightened sense of self-confidence. Breath caught and thirst quenched we were ready for round 2, taking note this time of how some of the ladies were moving their hips and shaking what their Mamma’s gave them. I must say there’s something truly beautiful about watching good dancers, the hypnotic way strangers can move in time with rhythm and instinct is infectious, I can’t help joining in.
I left Casablabla with no guilt over excess food or drink knowing full well I’d burnt off every calorie on the dancefloor. As far as exercise is concerned, it was way more fun than getting yelled at in a Body Pump class!
There’s a reason why Casablabla is still considered one of the best party venues in Adelaide and it’s because they’ve got all the right ingredients: Great food and drinks, gorgeous beer garden, unique décor, welcoming staff and friendly patrons. Be sure to check out Tuesday’s Paella night, Thursday’s Gourmet Pizza night or Tapas share platters on Wednesdays. They change the menu up seasonally– and the chefs make every ingredient dance in your mouth. I also love the amazing line-up of live bands and DJs every Friday and Saturday night to take those dance moves to the next level! In fact one of the DJ’s on Saturday nights is an all-time favourite of mine. All the best from around the world in a little Adelaide laneway – no passport required! 😉
Love Simone x
If you’re looking for something fun to do with the girls, check out our Top 5 Classy Girls Weekends Away.