Review: Botanic Gardens Restaurant

A kitchen garden can be a chef’s secret weapon. Seasons set the tone of menus, which change as the last fruits fall or when new sprouts bloom, and the Botanic Gardens Restaurant’s garden takes fresh and local to another level.

Paul Baker’s garden would make Stephanie Alexander mint-green with envy. The Botanic Gardens Restaurant’s Head Chef forages, helped by a team of gardeners and kitchen staff, from acres upon acres of our city’s wondrous Botanic Gardens. His new backyard is a forager’s dream and between the natural sweep of trees, shrubs and native sprigs are specially planted gardens of fruits and vegetables that accommodate the fare of his restaurant’s menu.

On first look, the restaurant appears like an everyday garden rotunda; a forest-green exterior helps the structure blend in with its environment, and walls of glass reflect the surrounding foliage; a chameleon in the trees, if you will. Contrasting the greenery is a stark interior. Everything is white, complete with freshly painted columns and trellises that detail abstract high-tea settings from days gone by.

But you won’t find any doilies or cucumber sandwiches here. The salty fresh-baked bread, with squid ink and a blackened leek crust, is toned-down with lashings of house-made cultured butter. More please. An amuse bouche showcases the kitchen garden, with freshly picked just-ripe tomatoes and candied radishes providing zing and crunch to get the tastebuds moving. One bite is hardly enough, but the main event is on its way.

The menu’s entrée selection seems too much of a good thing. Though tempted by the prospects of seared hiramasa kingfish or Savannah Farm nomadic chicken galantine with shitake mushrooms, pistachios, cumquat and fennel, we settle on beetroot-cured salmon with flavour-packed dollops of fennel mousse.

The dish’s height is provided by shards of salmon crackling, a sliver of radish and crispy fennel chips, alongside a pork terrine plate with an herbaceous taste, topped with fresh pea tendrils and devoured in minutes. A glass of Geoff Hardy K1 Grüner Veltliner is a match made in the Garden of Eden, with notes of orange and a fruity finish harmonising each mouthful of these divine little starters.

Slow-cooked duck with slivers of citrus is a discreet adaption of a classic combination (with the nutty flavour of toasted pumpkin seeds and torn mint leaves on top). Strips of partially caramelised pumpkin, and a sweet dollop of carrot and nut-brown butter puree, has a pleasant equipoise against a sticky masterstock mixed in the base. Strips of Coorong Angus beef, cooked medium and served with inappropriately delicious short ribs in licorice root, are atop the creamiest of potato boulangere (literally translated as “potatoes from the Baker” – thanks, Chef), accompanied by beetroot emulsion, caramelised garlic and slices of hardly-cooked mushroom.

There are only three desserts on the menu and picking just one is like choosing your favourite child – impossible. The pear tarte tatin, made with careme puff pastry, misses the cut on this visit, but the chocolate delice is a delectable substitute, with earl grey chocolate jelly and a slice of dehydrated orange (propped up by a splotch of mousse and a texturally bewildering freeze-dried mandarin segment). I rarely use the word ‘yum’ but there is no other word to describe the chocolate delice.

A dessert of slightly tart rhubarb is poached in rosewater and forms beautifully in a pile of elements including whipped white chocolate, granola and delightfully chewy meringues. The lightly grilled petals make this the prettiest of desserts, as a papery texture contrasts the other elements and lessens the sweetness to an unimpeachable balance. 

The Botanic Gardens Restaurant displays an almost seamless transition between garden and plate. One I’ll certainly visit again when the season changes.

Botanic Gardens Restaurant
Lunch: Tuesday to Sunday from 12pm
Breakfast: Saturday and Sunday,
8.30am to 11am

botanicgardensrestaurant.com.au

 

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The Adelaide Review

Brix and Mortar

With two new ventures, Cork Wine Cafe owners Michelle and Travis Tausend now have every point of the wine industry covered when it comes to boutique biodynamic wines.

In late October, Michelle and Travis launched their online wine store Brix, which, like their Gouger Street wine cafe Cork, focusses on sustainable wines from small producers from South Australia and beyond. Aside from Brix, the couple has entered the wine importing game, forming Høst with former Adelaidean James Spreadbury (NOMA’s restaurant manager) to import small European wines to Australia. These ventures along with Cork – and Travis’ own wine label TT Wines – mean the Tausends are now a one-stop shop when it comes to boutique wines in South Australia and Australia.

With Brix, the couple taste and approve all the wines they sell. Michelle writes the tasting notes while Travis takes the bottle shots. If they don’t like it, they don’t sell it.

“We 100 percent believe in every single wine on there,” Travis says.

“You have to do that. I don’t know another way. We 100 percent believe in the people [the winemakers] and what they’re trying to do. It becomes easy after that. You get a feeling in your gut and you go, ‘Let’s put this wine on because it’s delicious and these people have got a great story to tell’.”

The couple plans to run their Gouger St wine cafe Cork and their online store Brix side-by-side.

“There hasn’t been too much thought whether one would be the focus over the other,” Travis says.

“We just want more people to drink delicious wines. Cork only has 30-odd seats available at any give time, there’s a limited amount of people that can taste these sorts of wine. So, we thought, ‘Let’s offer them online, so people can drink them in their homes’. There are differences to the lists. There are some things you can get here [Cork] that you can’t get online, so one’s not taking away from the other.”

Brix focuses on small producers who make wines that fall under the grey area of sustainable or natural wines (basically wines with minimal intervention), as well as sherries and tonic syrups. Local wine labels sold through Brix include Ochota Barrels, Switch Wines, Jauma, Frederick Stevenson and this year’s Hot 100 SA Wines winner The Gentle Folk.

“We’ve got a lot of people who order from here because a lot of our wines are South Australian, as we know the producers well,” Michelle says.

“We work with them a lot; we go and visit them and they come and drink here [Cork], so we have started off a bit South Australian-heavy and I think that’s why we’ve got a lot of local people who are buying from us because they want to support local.”

“Some of the most exciting wines in Australia are coming out of South Australia right now,”

Travis says. “Our whole thing is to find small producers who are doing exciting things, and it just so happens that a lot of them are in this state right now. Things like the Hot 100 proved that with Gareth [Belton, The Gentle Folk] winning [the Hot 100], but beyond that you’ve got Anton van Klopper from Lucy Margaux, you’ve got Ochota Barrels, you’ve got James Erskine [Jauma], Vanessa Altmann [Switch Wines] - you can just reel the names off. We’re an online store but we have the access to meet all these guys and get allocations that maybe other places can’t get. That’s a good thingfor these guys to get exposure throughout Australia.”

Could an online venture such as Brix happened five years ago?

“A few things have happened that have allowed it to come about,” Travis says. “The small producer movement, in terms of natural wine, across the world has been pretty prolific in the last 18 months, and Paris before then. People are savvier in terms of what they choose to drink. They are aware of what’s in beverages as much as food. So that’s all helped. People are also getting more comfortable with internet purchases.”

To get the best wines from overseas to match the quality of their local wines, they occasionally visit producers in South Africa and France and they have close relationships with selected importers.

“The importers are quite small,” Michelle says.

“They don’t have huge portfolios. They are not taking over the world, they are just bringing over a few people they believe in and we are just buying the wines and passing on their stories.”

Then there’s Høst, their wine importing business with James Spreadbury, who works at Copenhagen’s NOMA (which reclaimed the top spot in this year’s annual The World’s 50 Best Restaurants).

“At the moment we’ve got two producers - Alexandre Jouveaux and Andrea Calek. Both of these producers have never been imported and are exclusively imported by us. These wines are super rare, even in France, and are very difficult to come by. We just thought, ‘Well, we buy a lot from importers, let’s just import some ourselves’, which, may I say, renders you completely broke for a long period of time but we are getting there, so it’s exciting. We’ve got another new producer coming on the next shipment and anther two coming on the shipment after that. It’s exciting to import and not only have the wines in your bar, but also available on your online store and selling to restaurants around Australia.”

“We’re doing every point,” Michelle says.

“Travis makes it. We import it. We retail it and we sell it at the bar. It’s great fun.”

brixwinestore.com.au
corkwinecafe.com.au
hostwineimports.com.au

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The Adelaide Review

Christmas Market in Victoria Square by Dirty Girl Kitchen

Rebecca Sullivan, founder of Dirty Girl Kitchen and Granny Skills, has prepared a mighty market for this Christmas/New Year period. In partnership with The Market Shed, Victoria Square will come alive over Friday, December 12 and Saturday, December 13.

The Dirty Girl Kitchen Artisan Christmas Markets will feature food, arts and crafts, and entertainment.

The pop-up event is mostly free, with music, decoration-making and gingerbread classes, and cooking demonstrations all costing punters zilch.

Other parts of the event, such as the bring-a-plate potluck shared feast on Saturday, are practically free. 

Food & drink

Richard Gunner and Feast Fine Foods will be cooking up gourmet kangaroo and crocodile hotdogs; the Passionate Foodie will serve salt-n-pepper squid; Orana’s Joshua Picken will set up a pop-up stall. Vegetarians will be pleased to see Wild Thymes, while carnivores can salivate over Low & Slow American BBQ.

The Market Shed – cooking-stage partner for the market – will be bringing along some stallholder friends, such as The Tea Catcher, Francesco’s Cicchetti, Nurish. Delish & Nutrish, and Raw Life. These stalls will operate for both days, but The Rose & Radish Garden Farm will be Friday only, and Bona Food on Saturday only.

As for drinks, Scott Wines, Fall From Grace, Paracombe Perry and Mismatch Brewery will be keeping adult thirsts quenched. The Gentle Folk, this year's winners of The Adelaide Review Hot 100 SA Wines, will be stepping back from the wine and presenting a cider bar. Non-alcoholic beverages will be looked after by Nurish raw juice, Mischief cold brew and Combi Coffee.

Finally, dessert is on Loca Pops and Evercream Gelato.

Gifts & goodies

After you’ve stuffed yourself silly, the market has plenty of eye treats and gift ideas to tempt. “Nana’s Cupboard” will be open, filled with vintage kitchenware to peruse; Closet Collective will look after your needs for vintage threads.

Aside from ready-made gifts from local creatives, visitors are welcome to join in a number of DIY workshops. Some sessions, such as gingerbread- and decoration-making, are for children. Adults can pick up some Granny Skills with DIY jam and pickling workshops.

Stallholders include:

Aldna Farm
Babycakes
Beckle and Olive
Beth Newton Designs
Chocoholics
Colour This
Dirty Girl Kitchen
Dragon’s Blood
Fine and Dandy
Fresh Ginger
Friends with Benefits
Gracious Sweets
Honey Lady
Jan Designs
Newa Decor
Perrymans Bakery
Pretty by Pip
Round Window Design
Steven ter Horst Chocolatier
Taronga Orchard
Wheatons Store (pork)

dirtygirlkitchen.com

Follow the Facebook event for updates
 

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The Adelaide Review

Food For Thought: Christmas Indulgence

It is a time of year that is ruled by traditions and most are second nature, but when you start to look at the history behind these treasured rituals, you start to discover just how special this time of year really is.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are rumoured to have started Stir-Up Sunday - the annual stirring of the family Christmas pudding signified the last Sunday before the beginning of the Advent Calendar (now better known as the count down to chaos!) Originally from very humble beginnings, the first versions of Christmas cakes were a mixture of meat and spices, enabling privileged households to prepare and preserve food ahead of time for the big feast on the 25th.

Each stir of the batter on this Sunday was meet with a wish from family members and for a further security of prosperity, a coin added to the centre of the pudding. The lucky recipient thought to receive wealth and good health for the year ahead.

Boiling of the cake was an obvious attempt to extend the life of the pudding, that and the addition of copious amounts of alcohol. The extended shelf-life also allowed the transportation throughout the British colonies and is possibly why we have a Christmas cake or pudding, in one form or another, on our tables for the big feast on the 25th.

@annabelleats

Christmas Recipes

Raspberry, Limoncello and Panettone Trifle

I have to confess, I have only ever made jelly from scratch once and it was last Christmas. It was a disaster and I had no desire to try it again until I was given this recipe from an amazing Adelaide pastry chef. Once you taste it made from scratch, you will never look at packet jelly again - promise!

Ingredients:
• 250g mascarpone
• 4 tablespoons icing sugar
• 600ml whipping cream
• 500g panettone
• Limoncello
• Fresh raspberries

Raspberry Jelly Ingredients:
• 550g caster sugar
• 1L water
• 1 orange - juiced
• 1 lemon - juiced
• 750g raspberries (frozen or fresh)
• 30g leaf gelatine
 

Method:
The night before:
1. Bring the caster sugar, water and citrus juice to a boil.
2. Add the raspberries and simmer for five minutes.
3. Blitz and pass through a fine sieve.
4. Measure out 1.5 litres of the raspberry liquid and keep warm over a low heat while you soak the gelatine.
5. Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water until soft.
6. Add the gelatine to the raspberry liquid and stir until it has dissolved completely (do not boil once the gelatine has been added).
7. Strain the liquid into the base of a large trifle bowl and leave to set overnight in the refrigerator.
8. Whip the icing sugar and mascarpone until soft.
9. Add the cream and whip until soft peaks form.
10. Place a layer of the cream mixture over the top of the set raspberry jelly.
11. Slice the panettone into discs and then quarters. Puzzle the slices to form one even layer on top of the cream.
12. Generously splash with limoncello.
13. Repeat the process and finish with remaining whipped cream and garnish with raspberries.

Gingerbread, Poached Pear and Nutmeg Custard Trifle

This trifle is ridiculously easy and equally delicious, perfect if you are time-poor but still want to fill the trifle void.

Ingredients:
• 500ml milk
• 200ml cream
• 1 vanilla pod - split lengthways
• 4 egg yolks
• 45g caster sugar
• 1 tablespoon cornflour
• Whole nutmeg
• 500g gingerbread - thickly sliced
• 4 poached pears - peel and poach in sugar syrup with a cinnamon stick until tender
• Cognac or rum
• Caster sugar for the brûlée top

Method:
1. Bring the milk, cream and vanilla pod to a simmer for four to five minutes.
2. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
3. Whisk the egg yolks, cornflour and sugar until pale and thick.
4. Pour the hot milk and cream over the egg yolks, whisking continuously.
5. Return the mixture to the saucepan on medium heat.
6. Stir continuously until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
7. Remove the vanilla pod and grate a pinch of fresh nutmeg into the custard.
8. Leave to cool before assembling the trifle.
9. Tightly pack slices of gingerbread over the base of the serving dish.
10. Generously splash with cognac or rum.
11. Cut the poached pears into eighths and remove the core, place over the gingerbread in one layer.
12. Pour a layer of custard until the pears are completely submerged.
13. Repeat the process and leave to set in the refrigerator overnight or for at least three hours.
14. Optional embellishment - sprinkle the top with a generous layer of caster sugar and, using a blowtorch, caramelise until dark and toffee-like.


Christmas Cake and Whipped Chestnut Cream

The spare Christmas cake always in my pantry was the inspiration for this recipe, well, that and a love for French chestnut cream!

Ingredients:
• 500g Christmas cake
• Cognac or sherry
• 300g plum or cherry jam
• Block of dark chocolate
• 250g sweetened chestnut cream
• 600ml whipping cream

Method:
1. Slice the Christmas cake into 1 cm slices and place in a fan pattern around the base of a shallow serving bowl.
2. Generously splash with cognac or sherry.
3. Spread the jam over the top of the sliced cake (you can thin the jam slightly with some water from the kettle, if needed).
4. Whip the chestnut cream for three minutes to loosen, add the whipping cream and whip to soft peaks.
5. Spoon the whipped chestnut cream over the cake base.
6. Grate dark chocolate over to garnish and leave to set in the fridge for three to four hours.

 

 

 

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The Adelaide Review

South Australian finalists shine in 2014 Young Gun of Wine Awards

Since 2007, the Young Guns of Wine Awards have recognised outstanding contributions from Australia's emerging class of winemakers. This year, seven out of the 12 finalists come from South Australia. 

Including last year's win - Taras Ochota, Ochota Barrels - and this year's nominations, South Australia has consistently been well-represented in the shortlists.

The 2014 list acknowledges what The Adelaide Review recently examined: the extraordinary wine talent emerging from Basket Range. This year's Hot 100 SA Wines winner, Gareth Belton of The Gentle Folk, is a finalist alongside Brendon Keys of BK Wines (the winemaker behind Lofty Valley Wines' 2013 Hot 100 SA Wines-winning drop).

Murdoch Hill rounds out the Adelaide Hills residents, while representatives from the Barossa include Sami-Odi, Shobbrook and Tom Foolery WinesMinistry of Clouds, with their wine sourced from all around SA and even Tasmania, is the final local listing. 

Nick Stock, Chief Judge of the awards, explains, "The mission of this award is to pull together an inspired group of younger Australian winemakers that are forging ahead at speed within the greater ranks and to inspire them and others to greatness. These guys and girls are singled out for their leadership, their vision, their talent and their influence on the cutting edge of the industry, an influence that has steadily grown each year, along with the challenge of thrashing out the list of finalists and selecting the eventual winner."

Along with the top gong - Young Gun of Wine - the awards also include accolades for People's Choice, Best New Act and Winemaker’s Choice.

The winners will be announced on Saturday, December 6, after a free wine tasting at Prince Wine Store, South Melbourne. Wines purchased at this event will determine the winner of People's Choice.

younggunsofwine.com/

Finalists of the 2014 Young Guns of Wine Awards

Brendon Keys, BK Wines
Josephine Perry, Dormilona
Gareth Belton, Gentle Folk
Bernice Ong & Julian Forwood, Ministry of Clouds
Michael Downer, Murdoch Hill
Anna Pooley, Pooley Wines
Fraser McKinley, Sami Odi
Adrian Santolin, Santolin
Dylan McMahon, Seville Estate
Tom Shobbrook, Shobbrook Wines
Rory Lane, The Story Wines
Ben Chipman, Tom Foolery

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The Adelaide Review

The Gentle Folk Touch

Remarkably, with only his second vintage The Gentle Folk’s Gareth Belton took out this year’s Hot 100 SA Wines.

Belton originally moved to Adelaide from Melbourne to complete his PhD at the University of Adelaide in seaweed and taxonomy. He made the jump from wine lover to winemaker after helping fellow Basket Range winemakers James Erskine (Jauma), Alex Schulkin (The Other Right) and Anton van Klopper (Domaine Lucci/Lucy Margaux).

“Lots of people around need help and Taras, Anton and James are probably the guys I’ve worked with the most,” Belton says.

“Well, not work with, I’d just go and annoy them and ask lots of questions; read, taste lots of wine and talk to people. 

“Once I’d helped those guys out for a bit I thought, ‘I think I can do it’,” he continues.

“We started slowly; first it was one barrel, then three barrels and then 20 barrels. Hopefully next year it will be 40 barrels, so we’re not throwing all the eggs in one basket. It gets a bit worrying some nights and it’s like, `What the hell are we doing?’ Some people think we’re mad but it’s not rocket science at all, it’s just making wine and trusting your palate - that’s the biggest thing. There’s so much science behind winemaking, and because that’s my background, it’s kind of hard to ignore that but you get there when you go, ‘I’m going to trust my palate’.”

Belton, who used to be involved with the infamous Basket Range vegetable garden, Holler Patch, does not have a winemaking degree, but his science education helps.

“If you knew nothing, and didn’t have a science background, and didn’t understand how things fermented, then you probably wouldn’t want to go and start making wine. If you know what’s going on then you can do it. Most of these guys [Basket Range winemakers] are like, ‘School was great, learnt a lot but don’t really use any of that anymore’. Now that we know what is going on we just trust our palates.”

After helping James Erskine and others in 2011, Belton decided to make wine on his own the following vintage.

“We weren’t going to do anything but we made a wine - a couple of barrels of it - and it just tasted good. I thought that maybe I could sell it because I’m not going to be able to drink three barrels of wine. It started from there. In the beginning it was like, ‘What are we doing?’ But we just decided we’d do it and then it worked out well and people loved the wine and we just thought we’d push through to the next year and carry on again.”

Belton, who moved to Basket Range with his wife Rainbo earlier this year, says the biggest step was not the actual making of the wine but getting to work in and understand the vineyards.

“That’s always been really important and it has always been my thing – doing things from scratch and that includes vineyards. So we’ve got that little block down there now [points to some vineyards down the hill from his Basket Range home] and then 10 acres in Forest Range.”

Four Gentle Folk drops made this year’s Hot 100 with his Blossoms 2014 judged the hottest South Australian wine of 2014. Only 66 dozen of the winning wine was made. The springtime wine is a drop that The Gentle Folk, on their website, describe as making one “feel they are running through the lush meadows of the Adelaide Hills”.

The Gentle Folk’s Pinot & Pinot 2014 won the Hot 100’s TAFE SA Dreamers and Believers Award (for wines that push the boundaries), while Gnomes 2014 and Cabernet & Franc Rose 2014 also made the Hot 100. Belton says that Blossoms was the wine he was most worried about.

“When I was bottling that wine I thought, ‘This wine is weird and I don’t know what’s going on here’. It was totally different to what I was expecting and I put it in a bottle and charged nothing for it because it was my biggest wine, in terms of the one that I had the most volume of, and I thought, ‘Shit, I’m going to have to really try to get rid of this’. And everyone just loved it. I’ve started loving it now - it took me a while.”

gentlefolk.com.au

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The Adelaide Review

Range Life

Cushioned in the Adelaide Hills is one of this state’s best-kept secrets – Basket Range, a small town encircled by hills, which is home to a talented group of winemakers shaking things up.

The last three winners of The Adelaide Review’s annual Hot 100 SA Wines competition either live or make their wines in Basket Range. Brendon Keys (of BK Wines) is a resident of Basket Range and made the 2013 winning wine for Lofty Valley Wines (Steeped Pinot Noir); Anton van Klopper, 2012’s victorious winemaker, lives and makes wine in Basket Range, as does this year’s winner, Gareth Belton of The Gentle Folk, who moved to the area earlier this year. 

Established in 1853, Basket Range, until recently, was best known for its rows of fruit orchards and the Basket Range Sandstone company. But a young crew of vintners have put the small town on the map thanks to their adventurous winemaking. They weren’t the first winemakers in the area; Basket Range Wines, for example, has been going since 1980, but over the last few years this group has spearheaded the so-called natural winemaking movement. These include Jauma, Ochota Barrels, Domaine Lucci/Lucy Margaux, BK Wines and The Gentle Folk. These small wineries are causing major ripples in the industry; aside from winning Hot 100s, Ochota Barrels’ Taras Ochota was named the Young Gun of Wine last year and Best New Winery in Australia by Fairfax’s Good Wine Guide in 2013.

According to Africola Executive Chef Duncan Welgemoed, who has been supporting the Basket Range winemakers for years, what makes this group special is that they are all “non-conformists living literally next door to each other, out of each other’s pockets, living and breathing their craft”.

“They have all found their voice within their wine and have built up a strong community that embraces it. That community is about love and above all else, the love of winemaking,” Welgemoed says.

It would be easy to dismiss the Basket Range crew as the ‘turn on, tune in, drop out’ hippies in the Hills. But most of this group have a science and/or academic background. Belton is completing his PhD in seaweed and taxonomy; Ochota and van Klopper both have Oenology degrees (wine science) while Erskine got his honours in Agricultural Science. Importantly, they aren’t in this game to make a quick buck and, as Welgemoed says, they are in it for the love of winemaking. Ochota, a winemaker who, due to the buzz surrounding his wine, could easily sell out or expand, says he simply doesn’t want to.

“We don’t want to get big and have to employ staff,” he says.

“We don’t want to grow. We just want to keep it small and keep life simple and have enough time to go surfing, fishing, and laze around reading books in hammocks, but mainly concentrate on the quality of the wine.”

Out the back of their 10-acre home, where they are planting a vineyard to Gamay, Ochota says he and his wife Amber moved to Basket Range after returning home from winemaking in Europe. Their home and wine studio, which recently had a famous guest in Mick Jagger, is a serene place. A spring-fed creek runs through their property surrounded by chestnut trees and forest with chickens ranging free in the yard. With an impressive vegetable patch and a whole range of herbs (used for a special vermouth-inspired wine exclusive to Restaurant Orana), sitting in Ochota’s backyard, you can understand the appeal of living here. The likes of Maynard James Keenan, from the band Tool, and his family take time to venture up and spend time on the Ochota:Keenan Grenache project called A Sense of Compression.

“It’s so tranquil and lush and everything just grows beautifully, so you can have these gorgeous vegetable patches and amazingly healthy fruit trees,” Ochota says.

“It’s only 20 minutes from the city and Anton, Gareth, James and I hang out often. Our wives are all friends so we do things socially and it’s interesting that we’re all sort of on the same page with wine but also in a different way, each of us with our own little thing.”

Brendon Keys moved to Basket Range from Lobethal with his young family two years ago.

“To be this close to the city, you can go and have dinner or whatever and you can still retreat back to the Hills - people don’t even know that it really exists,” Keys says.

Keys, Belton and Ochota live in places that back in the day probably would have been labelled hobby farms. All contain beautiful views of the Range. And the size of their properties are useful, as Belton and Ochota make their wines at home while Keys, on the other hand, has a skate ramp instead of a winery on his property. But what makes their wines so special?

Belton, this year’s Hot 100 winner, says it’s the community rather than the dirt.

“It’s not really that the wines have been grown in Basket Range - I don’t think the last two [Hot 100 winners] have been grown here,” he says.

“I know that BK makes his down at Lenswood, so I don’t necessarily think that it’s the land here that’s making the wine. I think it’s the community over anything else. We push each other. Anton makes some seriously crazy stuff, so that means the rest of us can push the boundaries because we’re never really going to go as far as him, but his wines are beautiful, so once you see some of the stuff he does you just go, ‘There really are no boundaries to what you can do’.”

Keys: “As far as grape vineyard potential goes there’s some cool vineyards there [Basket Range] but it’s core spots. I think between Lenswood and Basket Range, and then down to Piccadilly, there’s kind of a circle there and that’s where you get, I think, the most interesting cool climate stuff.”

“We’re all just small families, I suppose, just starting out,” Ochota says.

“All of our wineries are small and we’re trying to do things a bit differently. Not following the 101 recipe book. “There’s sort of been a natural focus on well, natural wines, and we all are technically,” Ochota continues.

“I suppose Anton and James are really right behind it [the natural wine movement] and want to be under that umbrella whereas, I prefer them to be considered part of the gorgeous wine movement,” he says with a grin.

Keys says that there’s been a recent shift to lighter-style wines and maybe Basket Range is the hub of this style.

“2011 sort of pushed us into that style because we didn’t have the balls to make that before. But we had that shit, wet weather in 2011, so we had to pick early and everything was tight and restrained and that’s kind of how we wanted it to be. From there it’s like, ‘Fuck, I’m glad I did that in 2011’. I guess that I’m in love with those less-extracted wines and things that haven’t been worked on and have just been left alone. Whether it’s the hippies in the Hills that have taken on that non-interventionist approach, that’s kind of what has happened as well, but I’d hate to think of myself as a fucking hippie.”

Keys believes the opportunity for the Adelaide Hills is massive, as it’s a new region with no “restraint or preconceived ideas”.

“I guess that’s why you are seeing so much more experimentation happening,” he says.

“A lot of it is happening in Basket Range, but the Hills themselves can be open to experimentation and if you look at the Hills, and you think of the history of the Hills, basically big companies have come in and planted vineyards to fill bigger volumes of white wine, essentially. And they’re losing interest in the white wine in the Hills, and now you’re getting small producers going, ‘Wow, this is cool stuff’.”

Aside from the winemakers, other young creatives are moving to Basket Range. The hairy local rough-and-tumble musical ensemble Dr Piffle & the Burlap Band recently moved in and, like Keys, they have a skate ramp on their property.

“Heaps of young people have moved up here like Dr Piffle & The Burlap Band,” says Belton.

Tom Munro, who does Boovability Wines, he actually planted that little vineyard just below us, where the Piffle boys live. It’s like party central up there with the skate ramps.” Ochota says that Basket Range is a “cool little community”.

“Basket Range seems to have a lot of artistic people - there are a lot of chefs, artists and musicians here.”

The secret’s out.

ochotabarrels.com
bkwines.com.au
gentlefolk.com.au

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The Adelaide Review

Review: Hill of Grace

Reputation is everything in this fickle dining scene - difficult to gain a good one but much easier to get a bad one. Competition is strong and the first few months after opening a new restaurant can be a tough slog for new kids on the block. I guess it must’ve taken some weight off the corporate box’s shoulders when the Adelaide Oval partnered up with Henschke wines, already a name synonymous with prestige, quality and deeply embedded roots – both in the vineyard and on the palates of aficionados of our state’s fi nest drops.

The decision about who to put up front may have been a tougher one to make, but Dennis Leslie was a sound first draft pick. Fast on his feet and with skills beyond many others in the field, Leslie knows the business and is already making a mark in his corner of the stadium. His corner features 100 seats set amongst dining grandeur. The restaurant space features lofty ceilings and makes good use of timber paneling that brings warmth seconded by dimmed lighting and plush carpet. Views through to the kitchen give patrons a look into the world of the hard working team behind the dishes.

Tuesday night dinners are a quiet affair at the best of times, but we are still greeted with enthusiasm and hospitality professionalism as if it were match day. Ushered to our table set along the panoramic windows overlooking the fl oodlit pitch, I can’t help considering the power costs of impressing the 20 or so diners inside. Leslie’s dishes have always been spectacular, though it feels as though he has a little more flexibility in this menu. This is clearly influenced by his Filipino heritage while still showcasing the best of the best local ingredients. We settle with a four-course select menu matched with wines. An eight-course degustation seems a little too extravagant for a Tuesday night, though there is always next time. Starters feature a succulent little hoard of tamarind and buttermilk roasted quail, pickled kohlrabi, and a tamarind chutney that is so delicious it needs to be bottled and sold. Mountain pepper and lemon myrtle baby squid is served with saltbush, tomato and a squid ink sauce.

An entree of mullet, laing, cockles and shaved squid is plated with precision with intertwined tendrils atop a small but succulent fillet of mullet, bordered by two deliciously salty pipis plucked straight from Goolwa’s sand. Moving onto some meaty mains, the milkfed lamb served with a bunya nut puree has a subtle chestnut taste that goes well against the native currant jus soaking into the surrounding greens. Oniony forkfuls of bistek kangaroo mop up an enjoyable carrot puree.

The tres leche cake is a cirtus explosion - tart, sweet, bitter and creamy all at once. Calamandi curd and sorbet are lip-puckeringly good, and crunchy mandarin adds some zing to each mouthful of this delightfully punchy dish. Toasted stout sour dough ice cream, roasted dates and pecans, feijoa custard and marshmallow is not a combination I can even pretend that I’ve considered eating before, but throw in a verjus jelly made with a Henschke wine and I’m convinced (by our insistent waiter) to give it a try. The dish is a work of culinary art and every spoonful brings a new surprise of refined texture and taste.

Slightly out of the CBD, Hill of Grace is worth the steps across the footbridge. Leslie lines up; slots it through the middle, and the crowd goes wild.

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The Adelaide Review

Steven ter Horst Chocolatier crowdfunds for icecream machine

Steven ter HorstAdelaide's star chocolatier, is tonight launching a crowdfunding campaign to add icecream to his repertoire.

As with Burger Theory's frozen custard saga, the trouble with icecream is getting the appropriate equipment.

Ter Horst is raising funds to purchase a Carpigiani Italian ice-cream maker, one of the world's greatest machines. 

Ter Horst is known for his adventurous flavours and ability to take savoury ingredients into sweets for a luxurious experience. 

Flavours for his block chocolate include 'blood orange and crepe crumbs', 'banana and pepper' and 'caramelised cocoa nibs'. If you think they sound exotic, wait til you see - or taste - the result.

For instance, this majestic creation is 'fruit and nut'.

The rewards ter Horst is offering are pretty delicious: the recipe for his devilish brownies, $10; a chocolate collection, $80; an intimate chocolate-making masterclass, $180. For $5,000 chocolatey clams, Steven ter Horst will cater a dessert party at your house for up to 75 people.

Find the Pozible campaign here.

Steven ter Horst will be kicking off the crowdfunding with a party tonight at his chocolate shop and cafe on Rundle St. 

Some of the flavours and concepts will be previewed at the launch.

Join the celebrations at 256 Rundle St from 6pm tonight.

steventerhorst.com.au

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The Adelaide Review

Matching the classics

There are timeless wines and then there is Penfolds Grange Hermitage 1986, just one of many iconic Australian wines that will be food-matched for an upcoming TAFE SA gastronomic event at Regency Campus.

With wines selected by TAFE SA Food and Wine lecturer Trevor Maskell, who is the Chief Steward of The Adelaide Review’s annual wine publication and competition, the Hot 100 SA Wines, the Matching the Classics night promises to be a unique dining experience, as the cream of TAFE SA’s cellar will be matched to dishes created by Gastronomic Cookery Lecturer Paul Beech.

The event, limited to 16 diners, is a rare chance to taste some incredible wines that have been expertly cellared, as Maskell explains. 

“There will be aged Riesling with the first course, with Leo Buring 1998 Eden Valley Riesling being the wine,” the former sommelier of Grange Restaurant, Magill Estate and Auge says. “It’s a great vintage and we were thinking of scallops or some type of seafood. 

“I have briefly liaised with Paul [Beech] on the menu, and we are still finalising the actual dishes depending on availability of ingredients. The main course is going to be suitably meaty, slow-cooked and delicious. We are leaning toward beef cheek, but Paul is scouting for some premium ingredients to make this special. 

“The two vintages of Grange will be 1986 (one of the best ever) and 1988. So we are looking at some serious vintages. The 707 will be 1988 and 1992.”

Matching the Classics
Wednesday, November 26, 6pm
Regency Campus, 137 Days Road, Regency Park
Cost: $350 per person
To book, head to eventopia.co/rga

 

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The Adelaide Review

Madame Hanoi to open in January

Madame Hanoi – an eatery inspired by one of the world’s great food cities, Hanoi –­ will open its doors in late January.

New Zealand chef Nic Watt’s Vietnamese and French inspired espresso bar and bistro will join Sean’s Kitchen at SKYCITY, as the casino, just a hop, skip and jump from the Leigh and Peel St precinct, is set to become a food destination with the upcoming addition.

Watt, who also owns Auckland’s Masu Japanese Robata Restaurant and Bar, says Madame Hanoi won’t be a fusion of Vietnamese and French cuisine but rather a marriage, just as you’d find on the streets of Hanoi. Watt, in Adelaide for a quick visit, tells The Adelaide Review that the dishes will feature “real flavours” and be “real food” as each plate will be a hero dish. Watt will be in Adelaide for all of January to oversee his new venture and then will split his time between Auckland and Adelaide.

On weekdays, Madame Hanoi will be open from 7am to late, and aside from the coffee (Vietnamese and western) from the espresso bar you will also be able to grab a breakfast banh mi, which will be smaller than other Vietnamese rolls you find in Adelaide, as these will feature delicate artisan twisted baguettes. Macarons, crepes and pastries will also be available.

Watt, who has worked in some of the world’s great kitchens, including London’s Michelin-starred Nobu, says the wine list will feature SA drops with some French wines (including sparkling) and there will be 12 beers on tap including South Australian beers, go-to French brews and craft beers.

With the food, Watt will use South Australian produce and shared dishes will be the order of the day for lunch and dinner. Located in the old Loco Bar, the two-storey bistro and espresso bar will seat around 100 people. 

Madame Hanoi
North Terrace
Opening late January
Hours: Monday to Friday – 7am-late, Weekends – 11am-late
twitter.com/madamehanoi

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The Adelaide Review

Cheese Matters: What’s in your picnic basket?

Who doesn’t love a picnic? Dining al fresco with friends and family has to be one of summer’s greatest pleasures.

My most vivid picnic memory was in the Piedmont region in Italy. My travelling companions and I stumbled upon a farmers’ market in the piazza of a little village near Turin. There we discovered fresh seasonal produce beautifully arranged on long trestle tables. The food looked so stunning that it was hard not to buy one of everything. To my delight, a handsome young Italian man approached me and explained that the Buffalo Mozzarella was made stamattina (that morning). I looked in food-lust at the large handmade balls bobbing in fresh milky whey. I could smell the sweetness of the milk and immediately the plan for a picnic materialised in my head.

To begin, the food.
The Mozzarella was the centrepiece to our outdoor gastronomic delight, but was in need of accompaniments to really make the picnic special. Luckily we had everything we needed and more in the stunning local farmers’ market. Wicker basket in tow, we set off through the stalls to find our ingredients. Firstly, we needed a vessel, and a trip to the baker’s stall quickly remedied this problem. A few freshly baked panini loaves (still warm to touch) fell into the basket, followed by a variety of traditional sliced cured meats, adding a level of complexity to the meal. Next order of business called for some vibrant colour. To me, nothing is livelier than plump ripe tomatoes – a trip to the grocery stall saw a handful of these local, freshly picked goodies liven our basket. To finish, our meal needed to have a good nose. For me I love the smell – and taste – of basil, and a bunch of fresh aromatic basil was added to complete the meal.

Next, the drink.
Local wines are plentiful and traditional to the region. We choose Barbera and Arneis to match our culinary basket of treats. Both wines are exceptionally good food wines; the cool climate delivers elegance and sophistication, perfect for our afternoon.

Finally, the location.
Basket and bottle in tow we set off for the perfect location for our afternoon endeavour. It wasn’t long until we found a wonderful spot just outside a vineyard – a large shady tree was our hub and looked out on the rolling Turin hills as the sun moved into late afternoon. The picturesque view, the fruity vino and the creamy centre of the Mozzarella, combined with the crunchy panini and herbaceous smell in the air, all added to the lasting memory of this glorious picnic.

The beauty of a picnic is it can be as complicated or as simple as you like. Like my Italian one, it can be spontaneous. It is so portable you can have one anywhere, especially when the weather is fine and mild. Head to the beach, park and paddock or even out in your own garden, to enjoy what we sometimes take for granted: our wonderful environment, climate and local produce.

Personally, my picnic basket is centred on cheese. It could be a large chunk of sharp Cheddar, a ripe wheel of Brie or a wedge of pungent Blue Vein Cheese. They all work well and are simple and no fuss. In a pinch all you need to add is a bit of bread and wine. 

It’s important not to forget the regional farmers’ markets for stocking up on your local produce; most operate on weekends. There is luscious fruit in season this time of the year; try apples, pears and strawberries to finish your picnic basket. If you are travelling for long periods, ensure your basket items are chilled and add a few ice packs to eliminate any food spoilage. Whether you have a super duper picnic basket, or throw a few of your everyday crockery, cutlery and (shatterproof) glassware items into a basket along with a picnic rug, thermos and good bottle of wine – the picnic is accessible to us all. Some other useful items to consider are napkins/paper towels, trash bags, a corkscrew, plenty of water, a cooler fully stocked with ice or ice packs, folding chairs (although I prefer cushions or pillows) and sunscreen.

Each location will offer a little something unique, whether it’s the setting, local food or wine, so relax, take your time and enjoy the much loved picnic.

Kris Lloyd is Woodside Cheese Wrights’ Head Cheesemaker
woodsidecheese.com.au

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The Adelaide Review

Here’s To Now 2015

The Happy Motel is up to their cheerful tricks again with the lineup and event details revealed today for Here’s To Now in 2015.

The minifestival, held at McLaren Vale’s popular Coriole Vineyards, will take place on Saturday, January 3, from 4pm to 1am. The inaugural festival was held on January 4 this year, and was a popular attraction in the quiet time after New Year’s festivities.

Returning to the stages for Here’s To Now 2.0 are Toot Whistle Crew, and the McHenry brothers – Ross and Max – in their various bands: Shaolin Afronauts, The Hurricanes and Max Savage & The False Idols.

Next year, the music will branch beyond the local touch, with charming/alarming Nai Palm (Haitus Kaiyote, Melbourne) and suspender-clad Marlon Williams (NZ) bringing in the outside blues.

Naomi Keyte and Oisima will round out the audible entertainment for the day.

Food and booze are a strong focus for the festival, with wines from Coriole, cocktails from Clever Little Tailor and beer from the Wheatsheaf Hotel’s own label, Wheaty Brewing Corps. The Happy Motel will be taking care of edible treats. The inaugural festival earlier this year used a monster charcoal grill to satisfy hungry punters, and followed up “smoky meats” with a toastie bar and icecream sandwich range. It is yet to be seen what delicious delights are in store for punters next year.

Tickets are available now for $50 through The Happy Motel website. For $70, a return bus trip is included. 

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The Adelaide Review

Feast! Fine Foods Readers’ Event

To capture the Christmas spirit, The Adelaide Review and Feast! Fine Foods will collaborate to host a special event exclusively for The Adelaide Review readers – a Christmas Cooking Class.

Hosted by Feast!’s Richard Gunner, the class will teach you some of the trade secrets to create the perfect, unforgettable Christmas meal to share with your family and friends.

The Christmas Cooking Class will be held on Wednesday, December 3, in the Central Market Kitchen from 5.30pm to 9pm. This class will teach you to cook with a range of top-quality Feast! Fine Food products. The program for the evening includes:

• Glazed ham on the bone and carving
• Roasting a whole goose
• Perfect pork crackling/rolled pork loin
• Roasting turkey breast rolls

Tickets are $90 and the ticket price will include:
• Handout folder including recipes
• Christmas meat and smallgoods tastings
• Bremerton Wine tastings
• $10 Feast! gift voucher
• Instructions on general knife safety

A limited amount of tickets are available for a maximum of 30 attendees. To book your spot, visit a Feast! store or log onto feastfinefoods.com.au

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The Adelaide Review

Food For Thought: Croque Madame

After spending most of this month in Paris, I have returned feeling more connected with food than ever. There is something innate about the way in which the French cherish, enjoy and celebrate the long-standing relationship their country has with its food and maybe more importantly, its producers and the people who bring it to market.

On closer inspection, you start to notice the formula and how incredibly simple their approach to food really is – butcher shops sell meat, bread shops sell bread, cheese shops sell cheese, and so it continues. But the magic of the smaller niche retailer is not so much in the produce (however a welcome outcome) but rather the people behind it and, in more cases than not, generations mastering a trade and sharing the fruits of their labour with the local community.

Supermarkets don’t dominate the market place and in-fact are pretty much reserved for more of life’s essential items. There is obviously a place and need for supermarkets but I can’t help but wonder, how much of our food culture is lost due to their success here in Australia? 

For me, I would much rather have a conversation with my local butcher about the produce I am feeding my family, than a cut-out figure of a celebrity chef who, in more cases than not, doesn’t even live in Australia.

The rise and success of farmers’ markets proves that we, like the French, value where our food comes from and as consumers need more than clever marketing campaigns. The only real guarantee for consistent quality is if the person behind produce has the skills, passion and pride in what they are providing you.

There is no replacement for human relationships, no matter the context, and if we nurture the ones with the people who grow, prepare and sell the produce we feed our family, we too will create a sustainable food culture for generations to come.

Croque Madame (makes 4)
Quintessentially French, this cheese sandwich is the perfect way to start the day. I often serve it with homemade chili jam – not so French!

Ingredients
• 8 slices of sourdough bread
• 8 thin slices of double-smoked ham
• 8 slices of Gruyère cheese
• 4 free range eggs – fried sunny side up

Béchamel
• 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 2 cups milk
• Salt
• White pepper
• Nutmeg
• 70g grated Gruyère cheese

Béchamel Method
1. Melt the butter over a medium heat and add the flour.
2. Stir until combined and allow to cook for four to five minutes.
3. Add the milk, one cup after the other, and whisk until there are no lumps and the mixture begins to thicken, around 10 to 15 minutes on a medium heat.
4. Add the grated cheese.
5. Season with salt, white pepper and nutmeg to taste.

Sandwich
6. Toast the slices of sourdough.
7. Layer-up four slices of the toasted bread with cheese, ham and more cheese. Complete with the sandwich with the remaining bread lids.
8. Spread a thick layer of the Béchamel over the top and grill the sandwiches until bubbling and brown.
9. Place a fried egg on top of each sandwich and serve with some crunchy lettuce.

twitter.com/annabelleats

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The Adelaide Review

Fino meets vino

Seppeltsfield Winery has been an icon in the Barossa since the 1800s. The fabulous estate, reached via the iconic, palm-lined Seppeltsfield Road, has just welcomed a new partner into the fold: the state’s second Fino restaurant.

Seppeltsfield has long had a dearth of food options, with nibbles and cheese platters available to match their wines, but not much more. Long has the winery relied on neighbouring ventures, such as Appellation and Hentley Farm, to satisfy the hunger of visitors once they have quenched their thirst.

On Saturday, November 22, however, this will change as the doors to Fino restaurant opens to the public. This new incarnation of the award-winning Willunga restaurant is a welcome addition to the winery, and will be kept in capable hands. Sharon Romeo, co- founder and Front of House manager of Fino, tells The Adelaide Review that Sam Smith, a five-year veteran of the southern sister site, will move into Fino Seppeltsfield as Head Chef.

Ben Sommariva (Penny’s Hill, Leonards Mill) will take up the cap at Willunga. Romeo tells us that the new restaurant will share its sister’s “ethos of progressive regional food”, a philosophy that Smith and Sommariva both appreciate.

Rest assured, however, the founding couple won’t be far from either site. “You’ll see me on the floor at both venues,” promises Romeo, “and you’ll see David [Swain, co-founder] in the kitchen.”

With Fino moving just moments down the road from two of Barossa’s finest food destinations, the aforementioned Appellation and Hentley Farm, it is exciting to think of the creative partnerships that could be shared between the establishments.

“It hasn’t be spoken about,” says Romeo, “but I’m sure there’s always room for collaboration. It would make sense to, wouldn’t it? We’d have lots of fun, too. We are offering something different to Appellation and Hentley Farm.”

Produce will be sourced – as much as possible – from South Australia, though not just from the Barossa region. Romeo lists the Coorong, Kangaroo Island, Adelaide Hills and Eyre Peninsula among the regions Fino will sample on the menu. Romeo promises that must-haves from the Willunga menu will translate to the new restaurant: Romeo’s favourite “creamy and dreamy” Spanish custard, Crema Catalana, will be available, as will Smith’s pastrami with Mayura Station Wagyu and Fino chorizo sausage using the Barossa’s Schuam Berkshire pork.

As for wines? “Our focus will be on the Barossa, South Australia and Australia,” Romeo says, though, “of course I’ll have some imported wines”, she adds. Fino will delight in serving Seppeltsfield’s world- renowned fortified wines, though the vintages available have yet to be specified.

“We don’t like to give everything away,” says Romeo with a cheeky secret in her voice. “We like to keep one or two surprises.”

Fino Seppeltsfield

730 Seppeltsfield Rd, Seppeltsfield

Opening hours: lunch and bar food seven days; dinner Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Bookings, email sharon.romeo@fino.net.au

fino.net.au

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The Adelaide Review

Sean of the Grill

With a mantra of simple and fun dining using top local produce, Sean Connolly has created a restaurant for everybody with the latest addition to Adelaide’s resurgent dining scene, Sean’s Kitchen.

Situated in the Casino’s old North restaurant, Sean’s Kitchen is a New York-style brasserie where you can order anything from a $20 burger to salads and slaws to high-end dishes such as lobster and caviar ($400 for 50 grams of Oscietra caviar, if you don’t mind). 

“There’s supposed to be something on the menu for everyone,” Connolly says.

“I hope you wouldn’t walk out and go, ‘I couldn’t find anything on the menu’. There are 40 items on there.”



The host of TV shows Under the Grill and My Family Feast, Connolly, who owns restaurants in Sydney (The Morrison and The Grill) and Auckland (The Grill), has been planning his Adelaide venture for three years. The location (Station Road near North Terrace) was always the ex-Englishman’s prime choice for his first Adelaide restaurant.

“They showed me a couple of sites within the Casino. I fell in love with North, it’s such a beautiful space,” he says.

The stunning vintage train station look of Sean’s Kitchen fit-out perfectly matches the New York-inspired brasserie food.

“It’s quite easy to make a posh steakhouse or a posh restaurant but that’s not what this restaurant is about,” Connolly says.

“It’s just about going somewhere fun to get drinks, cocktails and to pick up a snack – it might be a lobster roll, a burger, spaghetti, steak or a piece of fish. You can have three courses or you can have one. There’s no pressure. We’re not stressed about it. It’s not like an upsell thing – you come, you hang, you drink and you eat.”

The menu celebrates South Australia’s best producers as Richard Gunner, San Jose and Saskia Beer are all named on the menu for their smallgoods and pork. But one aspect of Sean’s Kitchen that will make it stand out is its focus on seafood. Despite being close to some of the greatest fish and oysters in the country, Adelaide lacks a destination seafood restaurant. Sean’s Kitchen arrests this with its seafood platter, freshly shucked oysters as well as lobster, prawns and sashimi.

“When I built this restaurant I thought, ‘What’s New York all about?’ When you got to New York, what are the things people like the most? It’s lobster, shrimp, oysters and crabs – they’re the main drivers. We’ve got all those on the menu.

“The oysters here are off the hook, they’re amazing, you’ve got Brendan Guidera’s Pristine Oysters and Zac’s Angel Oysters from Smoky Bay. They are two of the best oyster producers in the country. Very lucky to have them both here; they’re just super special. People are saying to me that this is the freshest seafood they’ve ever tasted. We’re just really passionate. Everything that’s not fresh, we move it out. Everything’s fresh – every day.”

Connolly first experienced Adelaide when the chef drove through Adelaide 20 years ago after exploring the state’s dry centre.

“We just had a crappy old van,” Connolly says. “It burnt up so much oil. We were buying Black & Gold oil from Coles or Woolies or something and burning five litres a day. It burnt more oil than petrol. Insane. We limped into Adelaide, and we went to the Central Market and bought beautiful cauliflower and amazing cheese. I don’t know why we made cauliflower cheese, we weren’t vegetarians or anything. We just sat at the back of our campervan and boiled the cauliflower, made the sauce, just melted it on the grill, and it was the best cauliflower cheese we’d ever eaten. The most inspirational thing was the beauty of the market. There’s not many places left in this country that have amazing fruit, veg and meat. That’s a special market there.”



Sean’s Kitchen arrives in Adelaide just as the local food resurgence is about to kick into another gear with the opening of Duncan Welgemoed’s Africola and Fino’s second restaurant in Seppeltsfield. These places will join Magill Estate, Jock Zonfrillo’s acclaimed Orana, the nose-to-tail philosophy of Daniel O’Connell, as well as the crop of eateries and bars that have emerged from the laneway revolution. Connolly says there are some really good chefs here and his biggest concern is to meet the public’s standards, as he hopes they will get his simplicity.

“There are some fantastic cooks like Jock [Zonfrillo] and Duncan [Welgemoed]; I don’t know a lot of them, but I’ve got to be equally as good as those guys. That’s the most nerve-wracking thing – the quality of the cooks down here and the quality of the restaurants. The whole restaurant scene is really vibrant – people really know their onions down here.

“The precinct is kicking off. Jamie’s has come; Peel St and Clever Little Tailor are kicking off. It’s good for the city; it’s good for everyone. It’s nice to be the first cab off the rank in the casino. Nick Watt opens his restaurant in a couple of months. It’s all about bringing people down to this side of town.”

seanskitchen.com.au

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The Adelaide Review

The Gentle Folk takes out Hot 100 SA Wines

South Australia’s 100 most drinkable wines were revealed at last night’s launch of Hot 100 SA Wines in front of 400 people at the Queen’s Theatre.

Boutique Adelaide Hills winery The Gentle Folk (Gareth Belton) produced the year’s top drop with its 2014 Blossoms, making it three-in-a-row for the Adelaide Hills region following Lofty Valley’s win last year and Lucy Margaux’s Noir de Florette in 2012.

The Gentle Folk, based in Basket Range, had four wines feature in this year’s Hot 100, with its 2014 Pinot & Pinot taking out TAFE SA’s Dreamers and Believers Award. Other major award winners announced last night (Thursday, October 30) were Atze’s Corner’s The Bachelor 2012 Shiraz, which won the Le Cordon Bleu Award for Power and Presence while JamFactory’s Drink Dine Design Emerging Designer winner was Angela Giuliani for her Dressed to Design series of six sterling silver stick pins. 

Gareth Belton (middle) collecting his award from Singapore Airlines' Hugh Chevrant-Breton and the Hon. Leon Bignell

The Hot 100 is an annual wine competition and publication. The goal of the Hot 100 is simple: to find and celebrate the most drinkable wines in South Australia. The Hot 100 publication will be on the streets soon. Aside from listing this year’s 100 most drinkable wines, it also includes recipes from chefs such as Magill Estate’s Emma Shearer and The Elbow Room’s Nigel Rich, as well as features on the event’s cultural ambassador Alies Sluiter, wine label design (featuring Mash Design and Alpha Box & Dice) and previous Hot 100 winners.

This year’s hot 10 is below. The full list will be online soon.

hot100wines.com.au

The Hot 10

1.

The Gentle Folk
Blossoms
2014
Adelaide Hills

2.

Cirillo 1850 Estate Wines
The Vincent
Grenache
2013
Barossa Valley

3.

Paracombe Premium Wines
Chardonnay
2013
Adelaide Hills

 4.

Jericho Wines
Tempranillo
2014
Adelaide Hills

5.

Primo Estate Wines
Joseph La Magia
Botrytis Riesling Traminer
2013
South Australia

6.

Fall From Grace
Lolita
Arneis
2013
McLaren Vale

7.

Scott Wines
La Prova Nero D’Avola
2013
Barossa Valley

8.

Shottesbrooke Vineyards
Shottesbrooke Estate Series
GSM
2013
McLaren Vale

9.

Karrawatta
Sophie’s Hill
Pinot Grigio
2014
Adelaide Hills

10.

Rocland Estate
Chocolate Box
Shiraz
2012
Barossa Valley

 

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The Adelaide Review

Review: Ichitaro Dining

Every year the Variety on King William event showcases the best of the street’s dining options in a roving degustation menu. The latest event in October introduced the newest restaurant on the block – Ichitaro Dining. On first impression, the place is certainly haiku worthy.

After the first taste of the wonderfully smoky aburi salmon roll and crunchy sweet potato yasai croquette served as canapes at the event, I knew I needed more. A follow-up booking a few days later seats us among a bustling service. There is limited wait staff but the small restaurant copes well (not so well for the diners without a booking who are turned away while we order). Word has clearly spread fast. The reputation of this new fine Japanese dining venue is going strong. The interior has been designed with restraint. Woven ropes on the walls and a gnarly wooden sculpture with intertwining light fittings on the ceiling, act as the only features in this otherwise clean and stark space. Bottles of sake on the main counter are the solitary giveaway that we are in a restaurant of Asian persuasion, other than the chopsticks accompanying the settings on the light timber tables.

Shared entrees arrive first. Beef tataki is of the highest quality. The tempura oysters crunch and then melt in the mouth. The misomarinated roast eggplant and tofu has a fl avour I can’t quite pick, but adore completely. The yakitori octopus is slightly chewy, but not offensively so, and is accompanied by plum and wasabi.

Roast duck with yuzu sauce is served medium rare; succulent and infused with citrus that is strong, but not overbearing.

It is not a true Japanese meal without a serve of sashimi. Ichitaro Dining’s sashimi is among the best I’ve tasted since a distant jaunt in Osaka, while the nigiri set is presented in a typical fashion, only better.

About now I realise that the calibre of Ichitaro’s Japanese food has not been tasted in this city until now. Some restaurants have come close, but this is a refined version of traditional cuisine adopted and perfected.

The hero of tonight’s menu is the saikyostyle black cod. Separate flavours of salty and spicy come together in a true balance of articulated elements that send shivers through my tastebuds in all the right ways. I can only assume that they keep their very own samurai in the kitchen; each dish displays exquisite knife skills and an artistic flair achieved through only the strictest of disciplines.

Reading the lunch menu I realise that I will need to visit again soon. The bento box looks to be a sensational mix of textures and tastes, including assorted tempura, grilled fish, teriyaki chicken, miso, tofu and sashimi.

This is Japanese dining at its finest. With Ichitaro you have the chance to get off the standard sushi train to experience a unique and authentic perspective on some of Nippon’s most tantalising dishes.

Ichitaro Dining
3/160 King William Rd
Hyde Park

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The Adelaide Review

Taste Test: Market St

This little beauty at 11 Market St opened its doors for the first time on Friday, and is already becoming the talk of the town.

Market St – part bakery, part café, part deli – is the latest sibling to join the Washed Rind family: DoughSay CheeseSmelly Cheese Shop and friends.

Tucked in the lane across from the Gouger St side of Central Market, and opposite the SA Biryani House, Market St is surprisingly light and spacious considering its alleyway home.

There’s a limited dine-in menu, with today’s listing a roast root vegetable salad ($14.90) and a prosciutto, baby spinach and provolone toastie ($11) as the lunchtime options.

Beyond the menu, however, is a vast selection of sandwiches, pastries and deli options. Beautiful desserts, danishes and pains au chocolat sit alongside fabulously crafted baguettes: pesto and provolone, roast chicken, roasted pumpkin and more. All the bread is made onsite in the great open kitchen behind the bar.

Around the walls are magazines to buy, honeys and preserves and more ingredients to cook with at home. Two deli fridges display a selection of sophisticated dairy and smallgoods.

The main attraction, in pride of place on the front counter, is Market St’s cold brew coffee. Brewed for eight to 12 hours, the single origin coffee promises sweet, not acidic, notes. The beans come from D’Angelo, and coffee is also available as a filter or in standard café varieties.

Teas get special treatment at Market St, with two showcase styles – loose leaf and blooming – offering a number of unique flavours.

Market St is open from 7am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday.

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The Adelaide Review

Duncan Welgemoed’s Africola to open in November

Adelaide’s resurgent food scene will be beefed up with Duncan Welgemoed’s newest venture Africola, which will open its doors on Wednesday, November 12.

Africola will see the Bistro Dom Executive Chef return to his South African roots for the southern African themed restaurant and bar, which will use traditional cooking techniques.

“We will use a lot of smoke, a lot of ash and fire,” the Happy Motel and Bistro Dom Executive Chef says.

A collaboration between Welgemoed, Mash Design’s James Brown as well as Paul Glen and James Hillier (Golden Boy, Rocket Bar), Africola will be located on 4 East Tce and it won’t just be the food that will have an African flavour.

“The design will also be Afro-centric with James Brown throwing his flavour on it,” Welgemoed says. “He’s got a signature design style, which will work really well. As with Bistro Dom, we will keep a really small but interesting wine list. But instead of a French presence, which we had at Bistro Dom, there will be more of a South African presence.”

Welgemoed will continue to oversee Bistro Dom while he ventures into new territory with Africola. For Africola, Welgemoed will bring some Bistro Dom regulars to the new destination, which will make the East and North Tce corner a top food and booze corner with Golden Boy and Botanic Bar as its neighbours.

"The Sommelier will be Koen Janssens, he’s spent some time in South Africa. He’s got a pretty good idea of the sick booze coming out of there. Front of house will be Tess Footner, my ex manager of Bistro Dom. Melody Herbert, who is my Head Chef of Dom currently, will be going over to Africola as my Head Chef.”

Shane Wilson will be taking over as head chef of Dom.

Unlike the cosy Bistro Dom, Africola will have plenty of space.

“It’s going to be all things to all people, you’re going to have a restaurant element – and the experience offered of a kitchen menu –but people can also go there and smash some booze and grab a snack and watch the action. Also with the outside, I’ve always wanted to open up that restaurant, so I’ll open the doors and have sick outdoor seating and just have everything flow out, which is going to be cool.

“There will be music,” Welgemoed continues. “There will be some weird African vibes and party music. We’re going to get that curated. Every little detail we’ve thought about.”

facebook.com/africoladopchop

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The Adelaide Review

A celebration of cheese

CheeseFest – the annual weekend celebration of fine cheese and fine company – returns for its ninth year in late October with more than 60 stalls of food and drink.

CheeseFest Director Kris Lloyd (Woodside Cheese Wrights Head Cheesemaker and The Adelaide Review columnist) says she’s always aimed for the annual celebration of cheese to be this state’s “most sophisticated food event”. Back for its ninth year, Lloyd believes the South Australian public have supported CheeseFest due to the fact that the annual festival has gone to great lengths to “uphold our integrity regarding origin and products permitted at the festival both in food and wine”.

“We bring the regions into the city across the board with wine, food and cheese,” she says.

But Lloyd explains that the Rymill Park event (held on Saturday, October 25 and Sunday, October 26) is not a traditional food and wine festival.

“We turn away so many food stalls that want to be involved; it is a celebration of cheese first and foremost and it has remained that way. We believe that is what’s unique about CheeseFest.”

For the 2014 incarnation, SA restaurants including Street ADL, Grace the Establishment and The Brasserie will serve their wares, and a special marquee event for this year’s CheeseFest is the Premium Pavilion Six-Course Degustation, prepared by Nigel Rich (The Elbow Room), Brendan Bell (King’s Head) and Stewart Wesson (Flinders St Project) will bring the foodies out in force. Artisan cheeemakers including Alexandria Cheese Co, B.-d. Farm Paris Creek Pty Ltd, Barossa Valley Cheese Company and Shaw River Buffalo Cheese will be present with stalls.

The degustation, as well as the Mozzarella Bar and the King Island Cheese Train are new additions to this year’s event. Lloyd wants these elements to illustrate the “diversity of cheese” and hopes people will appreciate the work of the cheesemaker.

“Cheese is one of those foods that holds its own,” she explains. “It can be served alone – think about it, a piece of cheese can be eaten complete and neat; have you ever been hungry and just taken a slice of cheese alone and been satisfied? I bet the answer is yes! – or with accompaniments, or cooked in special dishes.

Then there are the painted cows, featuring the art of Andrew Baines and Ruby Chew as well as that of Lloyd.

“I have always wanted to bring a thread of art into CheeseFest,” Lloyd says. “I love and support the visual arts and paint a bit myself – nothing of note I might add!

“I think it’s fun and I like to have a bit of fun with this event. It is a lot of work and to have an element of cows popping up around Adelaide just levels everything out for me, it is also a mark of acknowledgment for the farmers that the artisans source their milk from. Good milk means good cheese and I am aware that all the SA cheesemakers deal with local dairies. We pay fair prices to all of our dairy farmers and have been instrumental in resurrecting dairies that ceased operation after the deregulation of milk prices. That is such a pleasing result!”

CheeseFest

Rymill Park


Saturday, October 25 and Sunday, October 26
cheesefest.com.au

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The Adelaide Review

A late night guide to Adelaide dessert bars

Adelaide’s diverse and thriving late night dessert scene shows no sign of slowing down, as over the past couple of years locals have fully embraced the notion of making dessert a stand-alone dining event.

The dessert bar scene is a far cry from Adelaide’s dining environment back in the ‘90s when late night dessert lovers had few options; if you
weren’t indulging your sweet tooth amongst the cane furniture at Elephant Walk Café in North Adelaide you were more than likely to be found at Unley’s Spatz Café.

Nowadays those of us who plan our meals around the dessert course are spoilt for choice in terms of the number and type of establishments and the style of desserts on offer. So whether you enjoy the comfort of cake, the nostalgia of an ice cream sundae or the thrill of an experiment in molecular gastronomy, you have plenty of late-night options. 



St Louis House of Fine Ice Cream and Dessert

As well as its signature premium ice cream, St Louis offers desserts like crepes ($14.90), Belgian waffles ($14.90), chocolate fondue ($22-24 for two people), Spanish churros ($8 for one person) and peanut butter cream pie in a jar ($12.90). Quality ingredients and an interesting cocktail menu lift the experience well above the average. 

19 Gouger Street

Mondays to Thursday 7.30am–11pm, Fridays 7.30am–midnight, Saturdays 9am-midnight and Sundays 9am-11pm

st-louis.com.au

Devour Dessert Bar

At its new-ish Richmond premises, Devour is a patisserie by day (bacon-topped cronuts and fairy bread macarons, anyone?) and a dimly-lit, hipster dessert bar at night. Beautifully plated desserts are miniature works of art. Don’t expect standard dessert fare or a menu that never changes here: owner/chef Quang Nguyen loves to constantly challenge himself, as evidenced by his collaborations with chefs such as Duncan Welgemoed of Bistro Dom.

52 Davenport Terrace, Richmond
6pm-10.30pm, Tuesday to Thursday, and 6pm-11pm Friday and Saturday
facebook.com/DevourDessertBar



Steven ter Horst Chocolatier

Steven ter Horst’s undeniable creativity and willingness to push the boundaries are underpinned by rock-solid technical skills in the kitchen. His individually portioned cakes, like his French Earl Grey ($9), raspberry Blush ($9) and lemon lust ($9), are immaculate and intricate constructions with elegant, complex flavour profiles. Take home a jar of his salted caramel and join the cult of local devotees.

256 Rundle Street

Monday to Saturday 10am to late, Sunday 11am–11pm
steventerhorst.com.au


The Aviary Dessert Kitchen

Styled in shades of baby pink and teal, The Aviary is where women meet their BFFs to catch up over cake. Desserts are nicely plated and executed: try the salted caramel and corn parfait, So Corny ($10.50) or the signature dish, Macaron Flower Pot ($10.50), which features a macaron on a stick set in a pot of Belgian chocolate mud cake with chocolate mousse and chocolate soil. Bookings recommended.

227 The Parade, Norwood

Tuesday to Thursday 8pm to close and Friday to Sunday 7.30pm to close
aviarydessertkitchen.com.au

Eggless

Eggless frequently has dessert fans lining up for its egg-free blondies and cakes, Asian desserts such as sago pudding and vegan-friendly options. Desserts can occasionally miss the mark but a friendly and unpretentious dessert bar that caters so well to people with dietary issues is undoubtedly a good thing.

162 Goodwood Road

Wednesday to Saturday 8pm to late and Sunday 7.30pm to late 
eggless.com.au




Onyx Dessert Lounge

Launched as a licensed, high-end dessert lounge in late 2012 with a menu co-designed by chef Daniel Serafin (ex-Chesser Cellars and The Pier) and Pierrick Boyer (Le Petit Gateau), Onyx rebranded about six months ago with side-by-side dessert and Brazilian menus – the Brazilian part of the restaurant is known as Veesao Brazilian Kitchen and Bar. It’s a somewhat curious concept and pairing, but the desserts at Onyx are genuinely intriguing. Try the signature Chocolate Sphere ($15) – chocolate mousse encased in a delicate chocolate ball is doused at the table with a thick, warm chocolate sauce.

163 O’Connell Street, North Adelaide
6pm-late Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, 5pm–late Thursday and Friday and 12pm-10pm on Sunday
onyxdessertlounge.com

Christina Soong runs the Hungry Australian blog
hungryaustralian.com
@HungryAustralia

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The Adelaide Review

FINO Seppeltsfield opening date announced

Work is still underway on Seppeltsfield Winery’s new restaurant, but they’ve just announced the opening date.

The new FINO establishment – sister to Willunga’s celebrated restaurant of the same name – will open its doors to the public on Saturday, November 22.

‘Spearheaded’ by the team from FINO Willunga – head chef David Swain and front-of-house director Sharon Romeo – the 120-person capacity restaurant will bring with it the glamourous charms of its southern sister.

FINO in Willunga this year reached 99th place in the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide Awards and has been a recipient of the Gourmet Traveller award for best small wine list. FINO will make another point in the Barossa's gourmet food square linking neighbouring establishments Hentley Farm and Appellation

Bookings for the new Barossa gem will open in November. 

 

Opening hours: lunch seven days; dinner Friday, Saturday and Sunday; bar food seven days.

Where: 730 Seppeltsfield Rd, Seppeltsfield, South Australia 5355

Photograph by Jonathan Van Der Knaap

seppeltsfield.com.au

fino.net.au

 

More you might like

Barossa: Marked for success

Review: Hentley Farm

SA restaurants for Gourmet Traveller awards

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The Adelaide Review

Ministry Of Clouds: Cloudbusting

Local wine label Ministry of Clouds is creating serious buzz with its refreshing wine and attitude of owners Bernice Ong and Julian Forwood.

James Halliday recently listed Ministry of Clouds as one of the 10 Hot New Wineries of 2015. But Ong and Forwood had the perfect back-up plan if no one dug their booze.

“It was really important for us to make wines that we want to drink because then if no one got it, and no one wanted to buy the wines, plan b was to have a big party, drink all the booze and then go and find jobs again,” laughs Ong.

“We can always get a job again.”

Ong and Forwood are wine industry veterans. Prior to setting up Ministry of Clouds in 2012, they worked for many years as sales executives at Woodstock and Wirra Wirra respectively.

“I’d been at Wirra Wirra coming up to nine years, Bernice had been at Woodstock for six-and-a-half years, and we both were travelling internationally in different directions at different times,” Forwood says, explaining the origins of Ministry of Clouds.

“We just decided that firstly, we wanted to spend some time together and have our own business, and secondly, we saw an opportunity in McLaren Vale, as there’s pretty extraordinary fruit available at the moment, and there’s a sense of rejuvenation in terms of new and edgy producers that are evolving. I think Jauma [James Erskine] and people like [Stephen] Pannell [SC Pannell] have opened the door for people like us.”

There is limited information about Ministry of Clouds. Their website merely contains a mission statement with an email sign-up. The couple have been selective about who they show their wine to. Their growth and buzz over the past two years is organic rather than manufactured.

“You make stuff you love, that you’re excited about,” Forwood explains.

“I think our first thoughts were, rather than staking out some internet real estate, just about pouring wines and showing people.”

Even with their sales backgrounds, the pair didn’t go out on a marketing blitz to promote Ministry of Clouds.

“I think the only marketing we have is to pour the wines by the glass, to show people and to hope that the booze is sold with good food in really good places and that people want to talk about it and they want to drink it,” Forwood says.

“These days people are pretty jaded about the super polished stories that arrive on their doorstep that they’re meant to swallow hook, line and sinker. We would prefer to make booze we love and show it to people we respect in the restaurant trade. That’s where nearly all our booze goes, it goes to restaurants.”

Despite leaving established wine companies to start Ministry of Clouds, Ong says it never felt like a risk.

“It’s been a calculated risk. There have been some tough times in the wine industry, and we both found that we’ve been able to grow other peoples’ businesses despite the challenges that have come our way. In a way, we dotted our Is and crossed our Ts and had a picture of where we wanted to go.”

The couple, who aren’t winemakers, work with Tim Geddes to make their wine. Even though their heart is in McLaren Vale they use fruit from outside the region including Tasmania for their Chardonnay.

“All of our reds are 100 percent McLaren Vale fruit,” Forwood explains.

“Tim is a really bright guy and we trust him implicitly. We make our wines with Tim; he provides an extaordinary amount of advice and resources. 

“We bring in all our own fruit,” he continues.

“We’ve been very deliberate about where we take fruit from and what styles we want to make. But neither of us are trained winemakers. If we have a chemistry question we ask Tim. If we have a style question we nut it out together. We know the booze we want to make. We want our hands to be all over these wines – there’s no two ways about that. But we don’t have our own winery.... yet.”

“We have been looking [for a winery],” Ong says.

“I don’t think our thought is to jump in and do it. We’ve got an idea of what we’d like to do. We want to do something a bit different. We want the right site and the right vineyard to plant the varieties we want rather than just jumping in and getting something.”

ministryofclouds.com.au

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The Adelaide Review

Taste Baguette

Taste Baguette has a new location in the very centre of Rundle Place, a prime spot for you to grab a decent coffee when you’re on the run, shopping or on a 15-minute work break. They use Campos Coffee and the La Marzocco coffee machine definitely lets passers-by know that their coffee is a serious part of the business.

As soon as I arrive at the counter, I notice the smiling barista is dressed smartly with classic barista overalls and is ready to serve. He offers me an espresso of their single origin called Ethiopia Selassie, named after a 1930 Ethiopian emperor called Haile Selassie. It has a very soft acidity with the taste of crisp apples, mandarin and a surprisingly pleasant meat-like finish to make it a unique experience.

The latte comes from a blend called Superior, made up of beans from Papua New Guinea, El Salvador and Rwanda. It is served with a symmetrical heart as the latte art and the first sip has a sweet butterscotch taste with a toffee-lingering mouthfeel, and fruity highlights towards the end.

Taste Baguette understands the marriage between a great lunch with boutique-level coffee that makes them stand out from the rest.

Taste Baguette
Ground floor of Rundle Place, 77 Rundle Mall

tastebaguette.com.au
 

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The Adelaide Review

Food For Thought: Pasta

In 1957, a reported eight million Brits were glued to their TV sets as the BBC played what has now been dubbed the “biggest hoax ever pulled off by a news establishment”.

A very serious Richard Dimbleby reported on a family, nestled in the border of Switzerland and Italy, harvesting their annual spaghetti crop. With every aspect of the fabricated story covered, Dimbleby justified the uniform growth of spaghetti due to generations of patient and successful farming practices.

We have come along way over the last 50 years and now know spaghetti does not grow on trees. It doesn’t only come in a tin. Just like the hundreds of pasta shapes there are as many sauces to match.

The quintessential Italian dish of pasta comes with some pretty serious history and very strong regional ties.

It all starts with a selection of fresh or dried pasta. Making a batch of fresh pasta dough takes 10 minutes and four ingredients, perfect for filled pasta, lasagna or thick ribbons for the richest of ragùs.

Dried pasta, slightly less decadent but just as delicious, can be a complete waste of time unless bronze-extruded. The extrusion of the pasta creates a rough surface, leaving the sauce clinging to each and every piece.

There is a fine line between al dente and baby food, therefore the cooking of the pasta is the most crucial step of all. A large pot of salted water on a rolling boil will ensure that the pasta does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Contrary to popular belief, there is absolutely no need to add olive oil to the water, as this will only sit on the top and end up being discarded.

I am not sure about the theory that pasta is ready when it sticks to the wall, I haven’t tried it and to be honest I don’t really fancy having to clean that up. For me, a simple taste test lets me know when I have perfectly al dente pasta, that and the instructions on the packet!

The last and final decision to make is the sauce selection. Light sauces are perfectly matched with thinner and more delicate shapes such as spaghetti, capellini and tagliatelle.

Richer sauces need pasta with more body and weight such as penne, rigatoni and pappardelle.

Pasta is one of the most humble and simple dishes ever created and when perfectly prepared with its rich tradition in mind there is possibly no other food as magical.

@annabelleats

Fresh Pasta with Green Pea Pesto

Rich Fresh Pasta Dough

Ingredients
• 500g ‘00’ flour
• 5 egg yolks
• 3 whole eggs
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Salt

Method
1. Place the flour in a mound on a clean bench top
2. Make a well in the centre (but not all the way to the bottom)
3. Break the eggs into the centre of the well
4. Using a fork, gently beat the eggs until combined
5. Slowly start to incorporate the flour into the egg mixture
6. When the majority of the flour has been incorporated into the egg mixture, switch to clean hands and start to bring the dough into a ball (you may need some extra flour on the surface if the dough is sticky or a splash of water if the dough is dry)
7. Knead the dough – using the palms of your hands – until smooth and when lightly pressed, springs back. This should take around 10 minutes
8. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or overnight
9. Once rested, take one-inch slices off the ball and, with a light sprinkling of flour, roll out to a thin even sheet of pasta. Alternatively, run the slice of dough through a pasta machine
10. Cut into your desired shape and size
11. Leave to dry at air temperature for 30 minutes before cooking in a large pot of boiling, salted water

Green Pea Pesto

Ingredients
• 200g peas (frozen is fine)
• 25g grated pecorino
• 80ml extra virgin olive oil
• Juice from half a lemon

Method
1. Place all ingredients in an electric mixer and pulse until a thick sauce consistency
2. Season with salt and pepper to taste
3. Gently toss through al dente short-shaped pasta
4. Finish with mint leaves and more grated pecorino

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The Adelaide Review

Review: Publishers Hotel

The sprawl of Adelaide’s culinary scene continues west with the opening of Publishers Hotel on Franklin Street.

This bar and dining venue launched quietly but confi dently six months ago and is already gaining a reputation as a gastronomic pub worthy of attention.

The former printing house of the Adelaide Stock and Station Journal has reclaimed some of its turn-of-the-century glory and mercifully discarded any trace of its short and sordid period as one of our ‘cheap-and-cheerful’ backpacker hostels – a transformation worthy of design accolades, rounds of applause, slapson the back, and a celebratory bottle of ‘93 Grand Cru at the very least.

We’re seated in a corner of the dark and intimate restaurant space with decent views of the kitchen and towards a wall of back-vintage wines, many of them selected from the owner’s private collection. Sommelier Patrick White was brought in to put together the rest of the list that seems to be a playful selection of some of his favourites rather than a particular sense of order. He’s up with the orange wine trend and has the expected selection of locals and internationals, along with some special sparkling reds (and sparkling whites) that may have aficionados on the edge of their (Danish-designed) seats.

Planning a generally carnivorous meal, we settle on a bottle of 2012 Yangarra Estate Old Vine Grenache but could have easily ordered six others. An agreeable nod from our wellmannered waiter confirms a good choice and we are soon drinking the impeccably matched selection from some very fine glassware.

Three scallops arrive perfectly caramelised and bathing in a generous pool of chimichurri; accompanying each is a sliver of fried black pudding that adds a meaty texture to this otherwise clean and simple dish. Smoked venison carpaccio is a pleasure to behold and taste with pomegranate seeds adding some crunch and subtle sweetness, while leaves of bitter rocket work well to keep the flavours balanced.

An appetising rack of lamb is prepared using a combination of smoking and grilling, and the perfectly pink meat simply falls off the bone with minimal encouragement (this must have been sourced from a flock worthy of a Stock and Station Journal article). A deep fried parcel alongside contains some divine lamb shoulder ragu, and surrounding saltbush leaves are fried to add crunch and replace more ordinary greens. I do love the celeriac puree that tones down the saltiness of the plate and adds a shade of colour to this otherwise brown-on-brown dish.

Though the 600 gram rib eye (served with brussel sprouts, pancetta, chestnut and jus) is tempting, a more reasonably sized wild rice stuffed spatchcock arrives piled on a bed of sautéed spinach. It seems slightly overdone on the outside – perhaps the marinade stuck to the pan – but beneath the darkened skin are succulent mini wings, legs and breasts packing punchy hits of smoky flavour.

Publishers Hotel is pushing the boundaries when it comes to pub dining. And with plans to expand their operations to include a rooftop terrace and boutique hotel almost ready to go to print, I can’t wait to see the upcoming headlines.

publishershotel.com.au

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The Adelaide Review

Heston Blumenthal announces ballot for The Fat Duck

When Heston Blumenthal announced that his revered restaurant, The Fat Duck would be moving to Melbourne for six months, the phone started ringing at The Fat Duck in Bray. Calling the United Kingdom won’t get you a table though, and today, Blumenthal announced how you can get a table at the Melbourne iteration of The Fat Duck.

“Australia’s response to the news that The Fat Duck would make Melbourne its home for six months has been absolutely overwhelming. I am utterly humbled by the reception,” he said.

Relocating an entire restaurant team half way across the world isn’t cheap, and neither is the price tag for dining at The Fat Duck at Crown Melbourne, which opens on Tuesday, February 3. The menu – billed as a gastronomic journey of history, nostalgia, emotion and memory – and boasting some of Blumenthal’s most famous dishes – Sound of the Sea, Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and Snail Porridge – is priced at $525 per person.

Bookings will be awarded through a ballot system, the details of which were shared today:

‘Everyone seeking a reservation at The Fat Duck Melbourne will be directed to the dedicated ballot website to register their entry – www.thefatduckmelbourne.com. Ballot entries will be accepted from 9:00am Monday 8th October through midnight Sunday 26th October 2014 (Australian Eastern Daylight Time). Multiple ballot entries by the same applicant will be excluded, so potential guests only need to register for the ballot once.

After the registration period closes and all registered ballot entries are gathered, a draw by an impartial third party will indiscriminately select successful applicants. As the draw is made from the entire pool of ballot entries, “first come, first served” does not apply. Whether someone is the first or last to register their ballot entry during the open registration period will have absolutely no bearing on the outcome. Once the draw is complete, all registered applicants will be notified of the outcome via email on Monday 10th November.  A member of The Fat Duck reservations team will contact all successful applicants directly, after they have been initially notified via email on 10th November, to confirm and secure their reservation.’

The Fat Duck will open on Tuesday, February 3 and the last service will be on Saturday, August 15, after which the majority of The Fat Duck staff will return to the renovated The Fat Duck in Bray, and the Melbourne restaurant will become Dinner By Heston Blumenthal permanently.

Read our interview with Heston Blumenthal here.

 

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The Adelaide Review

Sean Connolly heads up Adelaide Casino’s new restaurant

Celebrity chef Sean Connolly is leading the way on Adelaide Casino's new development with Sean's Kitchen booked to open early next month. 

On Friday, October 10, the doors will open to SKYCITY's new restaurant. Connolly has been involved with SKYCITY projects before, launching The Grill by Sean Connolly in Auckland, New Zealand, and running Astral restaurant at Sydney Casino, where he was awarded consecutive chef hats from 2007 to 2011. In 2008, Sydney Morning Herald named Connolly as Chef of the Year in their Good Food Guide

Although the space is yet to be completed, Sean's Kitchen is being touted as a world-class establishment, with many quirky interior decorations and additions. 

A museum of ham, for instance, won't be found in any other establishment.

The focus of the Casino's new restaurant is local produce, with Saskia Beer on board as well as Michael Erikson for Berkshire pork, marron from Kangaroo Island Gold, and sheep dairy products from Island Pure.

“South Australia punches well above its weight in term of fresh produce,” Connolly says in a press release, “so it made sense to open a restaurant here in partnership with Adelaide Casino. I use as much of it as I can, even in my restaurants in the east.”

Wine, too, promises to be spectacular, with the list curated by freelance wine writer Nick Ryan.

There’s capacity for 180 people at Sean’s Kitchen, divided between alfresco, upstairs and private dining spaces and a chef’s table.

Connolly has been filming the construction of the Kitchen for a TV documentary that will possibly follow the style of Under The Grill, which followed Connolly through the development and production phases of his NZ restaurant The Grill by Sean Connolly.

The chef may be a familiar television face from his 13-part SBS series My Family Kitchen (2010).

The full menu and wine list is yet to be announced; all will be revealed at the launch on Friday, October 10.

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The Adelaide Review

Room With a Grandvewe

Spend even a small amount of time with Grandvewe’s Diane Rae and you cannot help but be caught up by her vibrant energy and entertained by her many cheese tales.

A holiday in Tasmania changed Rae’s life. In 2001, she moved the family from Maleny in Queensland to Birch’s Bay in Tasmania, 40 minutes south of Hobart, to establish a vineyard. As a way to keep the weeds down between the rows of vines, she brought in dairy sheep, starting with a herd of East Friesland sheep.

The vines are gone but the sheep remain. Rae initiated a breeding program, crossing the existing East Friesland herd with the Middle Eastern Awassi breed for a hardier sheep, the Grandvewe dairy sheep breed.

Using cheesemaking skills gained from study through the University of Melbourne, Rae transformed the milk into the first wheels of Grandvewe cheese. Now, together with her daughter, co-cheesemaker Nicole Gilliver, and son, Marketing Manager Ryan Hartshorn, they make up Grandvewe Cheese, an organic farmhouse sheep milk dairy and cheesery.

Over the years, Rae has employed ‘woofers’, volunteers under the Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF) scheme. This is a program, which began in England as a weekend ‘on-farm’ experience for city slickers keen to get their hands dirty, and has been operating in Australia since 1982. They fi nd tasks that suit the woofer’s personality and interests, whether it be helping make or pack cheese, or working outside with the sheep. Rae tells the story of a French woofer working in the paddock when the restaurant became busy.

She asked him to spend the day plating cheese. “I was amazed at the presentation of the cheeseboards being delivered to customers,” she says. “I congratulated him on his attention to detail. Turns out he was a three-star Michelin chef on holiday.” Rae answered some questions about Grandvewe, below.

How does the Tasmanian climate work for sheep’s milk?
It’s the Tasmanian terroir. We have the cleanest air and it’s a good climate for growing grass. Sheep like the cold climate but don’t like getting their feet wet, so for three months of the year during winter, they are housed in the ‘Sheep Hilton’ – five-star ovine accommodation where they get bed and breakfast. If it’s a fine day they will be allowed out to wander during the day. This is also where they go to have their lambs. When lambing, each mum and bub have their own stall for a month and given time to bond. At the end of the month, the bubs are weaned on to grass and grain and mums become working mothers.

What is your favourite recipe using a Grandvewe product?
I use the White Pearl as a stuffing for baked mushrooms. I also serve White Pearl instead of tartare sauce with salmon.

What’s next for Grandvewe?
In November we have been invited to be one of 27 Tasmanian artisan producers to be represented in a new development called Brooke St Pier. This is a three-storey glass atrium on a floating pier where all the ferries leave for places like MONA, Port Arthur etc, and is designed to give a taste of Tasmania.

Does it ever feel too hard/challenging coming from a very different career?
Often, especially at the beginning. Learning how to look after sheep and creating the systems required to make it, not only work, but commercially viable. Now there are so many opportunities and being a family business with limited capital, the challenge is deciding which direction to take the business.

grandvewe.com.au

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The Adelaide Review

Taste Test: Jamie’s Italian

The hoopla surrounding the arrival of Jamie’s Italian is the gastronomic equivalent of The Beatles landing in the city of churches (or Culture Club’s Rundle Mall appearance), but this Taste Test proves why Jamie’s Italian is such a global phenomenon.

The press descended on 2 King William St for the opening of Jamie’s Italian’s last week like Heston Blumenthal was personally in town to relocate The Fat Duck to Adelaide. It’s just a chain, people. Or is it? Jamie’s Italian isn’t an everyday outlet. It’s not Krispy Kreme – which admittedly also had Adelaide in a fix when its drive-through opened recently – as Jamie Oliver is probably the most famous cooking identity on the planet and in six short years, Jamie’s Italian has spread from a sole outlet in Oxford to a restaurant juggernaut with 35 locations in the UK alone. It now has 11 restaurants outside the UK, including four in Australia, with Adelaide the latest and another to open in Brisbane soon.

Jamie’s Italian is the brainchild of The Naked Chef and his mentor Gennaro Contaldo (one-half of The Two Greedy Italians). The pair bonded over their love of Italian food and years later Jamie’s Italian was born. And the results for the local incarnation are impressive. It finally opened its Adelaide doors last week with the press coverage tantamount to a royal visit (and, yes, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian did dine there last week), including a bizarre beat up over the lack of SA wine. For the record, there are SA wines on offer including the 2013 Beach Road Fiano and the 2006 Casa Freschi ‘La Signora’ Nebbiolo. The Adelaide Review was contacted about a story on a local winery’s partnership with Jamie’s Italian some months ago (which will likely be covered in a future print issue) and there will be many local Italian varietals coming soon.

Located in the historic old Westpac building, the vast space seats 175 people and is a massively impressive room with a hive of activity including the antipasto island bar – a brilliant touch, adding to the rustic charm of Jamie’s Italian. Popular music from the last 30 years blasts from the speakers (everything from Oasis to Bronski Beat – or was it The Communards? – to Muse) while the huge waiting staff runs around and the noise of chatter, waiting staff and sounds from the kitchen combine for a symphony of dining busyness and excitement. If you’re looking for a quiet Italian feast in a dark corner, Jamie’s Italian isn’t for you.

As part of a media lunch (this isn’t a review but a first impressions look at the new place since it was on Jamie’s dime. A review will appear at a later date from food reviewer Paul Wood), a range of antipasti options are displayed in front of us after a ginger mojito – where the ginger is a perfect virgin substitute for rum – kick starting the long lunch.

The highlights of the starter options include the deliciously smoky Baked Mushrooms ($15.50) with Swiss mushrooms, crispy ‘music bread’ and smoked buffalo mozzarella, as well as the delightful Fried Three-Cheese Gnocchi ($10) – the dish of the day. A recommended starter is the Fish Plank ($13.50pp) that includes beetroot-cured salmon, roasted shellfish, smoked mackerel pate, as well as aged pecorino, salad and a selection of pickles.

For the main, I chose the Vongole Tagliolini ($15.50/$26), a personal favourite pasta dish and an ideal taste test. It passes with flying colours. With a creamy white wine sauce, a nice balance of steamed sweet cockles and a fresh zing from the chilli, Jamie’s is one of the best vongole dishes I’ve tasted outside of Italy.

Dessert-wise, the tall Tutti Frutti Lemon Meringue Pie ($10.50) is the show-stopper. Appearing like a high-rise of dessert goodness, the lemon meringue is the sweet option of choice. If you’re not a meringue fan then the popular JI Epic Brownie ($10) is the go-to if you’re looking for a chocolate fudge finish (the amaretto ice cream and caramelised popcorn are nice touches to the brownie).

While the hype surrounding Jamie’s Italian has verged on embarrassing, it is the perfect rustic and casual outing for a family (Jamie’s Italian includes a children’s menu) or a large group. It is an impressive, mid-priced eatery to rival similarly-priced quality Italian old favourites such as Amalfi and Enzo’s.

*The writer was a guest of Jamie’s Italian.

jamieoliver.com/italian/australia/restaurants/adelaide

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The Adelaide Review

Moran’s Paddock

South Australia’s food regions shine in the second season of celebrity chef Matt Moran’s award-winning Foxtel show Paddock to Plate

The owner of ARIA and CHISWICK, who recently announced he will continue to run Sydney Opera House’s Opera Bar for the next decade, focuses on South Australia and Western Australia’s produce in the new season of Paddock to Plate, which screens on the Lifestyle Channel from Wednesday, September 3. Moran, whose restaurant and bar endeavours are currently all located in Sydney and Brisbane, tells The Adelaide Review an announcement is coming soon.

“I’m going to make it in a couple of weeks. Something new.”

Will it be something outside of Sydney and Brisbane?

“It could be anywhere. It might be in Adelaide, you never know? We’re really excited. It’s a great time at the moment. We’re expanding.”

The second season of Paddock to Plate features four episodes that celebrate South Australia’s food regions: the Eyre Peninsula (episode one), the Riverland (episode two), Fleurieu Peninsula (episode four) and the Barossa Valley/Adelaide Hills (episode six). Moran travels to an area of Australia to meet with farmers, producers and food identities in each episode before he cooks a meal using their produce. In the season opener, Moran experiences the diversity of the Eyre Peninsula as the former GQ Chef of the Year visits saltbush-grazing lamb in the South Australian dessert’s 41-degree heat before heading to the cooler climate of Pt Lincoln to dive with Bluefin tuna. It was this diversity that attracted him to SA.

“We shot the first series in Victoria and New South Wales last year,” Moran says. “The first time out we were thinking about keeping it close. Proximity was a big thing. With Victoria, we knew that we could get five episodes in quite easily. I’m not going to say that South Australia is the food capital of Australia, but it wouldn’t be bloody far off if you ask me. The idea, when I first came up with it for ITV, was to shoot regions, so we could make quite a few seasons of it. South Australia is very diverse.”

Moran cooks for some living food and wine legends in the upcoming Barossa episode.

“I was there for seven days dissecting it. I feel as though I know the Barossa better than anybody,” he laughs. “We went and saw Maggie Beer and I had to cook for her, which is one of the scariest things in the world. I went to a Red Angus farm and that to me was a real paddock to plate. This guy breeds them, he gets them slaughtered and then he sells them in farmers’ markets. We went to Stephen’s [Henschke] place and I cooked up lamb as the feast at the end. To cook for Stephen Henschke and drink Mount Edelstone and Hill of Grace in his backyard for his family is a bucket list for me. Barossa was a great episode. To hang out with two icons of Australian food and wine, it was pretty damn cool.”

Moran was part of Kangaroo Island’s Festival in April, where he cooked an Argentinian inspired feast to launch the festival. But KI isn’t featured in this series of Paddock to Plate.

“I thought a great series would be the islands: Kangaroo, Flinders, King and Norfolk. And I haven’t done the Limestone Coast either. It means I might come back one day.”

Sustainability is a theme that runs through the show. 

“That word is being kicked around a lot more these days. It’s not a fad. It is a reality. People want to know what they’re putting in their mouths, who’s growing it, where it comes from and how it’s looked after. Seasonality is another big thing I’m really into. When we use asparagus at ARIA Restaurant, for instance, we’re grateful that we’ve got it and thankful that we’ve got it. When we don’t have it, we’re not buying it from Brazil; we’re excited about getting it back again [when it’s in season]. That means menus change and seasonality comes into it a lot more than it used to. I built CHISWICK with a market garden next to it for one reason; the vegetables we grow, that’s what we use in the restaurant.  It makes the chefs think about seasonality.” 

Moran also breaks down stigmas in Paddock to Plate. He shows that farmed fish taste delicious plus he goes out on a duck hunt.

“I was worried about that [duck hunting]. I come from the country and I carry a gun license with me, I always have, since I was 19, for farming reasons. Duck shooting, I was a little skeptical about it. I met the guys. I met the family. It’s something they’ve been doing for 150 years. It’s part of their diet. It’s not dissimilar to me breeding lamb, killing it and eating it. What they shoot, they eat. And they proved that to me. We had a lot of fun doing it. I’m not one of those people who just go out to blast things for the hell of it, and I never have been. What they’re doing is sustainable and it’s a big part of their diet.”

Paddock to Plate screens on The Lifestyle Channel from Wednesday, September 3 (8.30pm)
mattmoran.com.au
lifestyle.com.au/tv/paddock-to-plate

 

 

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The Adelaide Review

Food For Thought: Chocolate Cake

It’s possibly one of the most popular supermarket lines of all time, and definitely one of the most timesaving inventions of the 20th century, but the ‘packet cake mix’ wasn’t the overnight success that the smiling face of Betty Crocker would have us believe.

The great depression brought with it a surplus of molasses and a very hungry America. Cake mix was developed to provide the country with a sweet fix for less fortunate times and for the very savvy John D. Duff, a way of cashing in on a sticky oversupply commodity.

Duff, on December 10 1930, lodged the first patent for what is now known as ‘packet cake mix’. His 1930s gingerbread mix consisted of equal parts flour and dehydrated molasses with sugar, shortening, salt, baking soda, powdered whole egg, ginger and cinnamon. Baking at home would now only consist of three, mind-numbing steps: add water, stir and bake.

Cake mixes continued to do well but sales would taper off when the housewives of the ‘40s and ‘50s found the simplicity of baking a cake from the packet too easy, almost to the point of undermining their role in the family kitchen. Now, several American cake mix manufactures have listened to the homemakers and developed the extra step of adding fresh eggs, a simple solution that resulted in a more superior end result and reassured housewives of their baking prowess.

The only thing missing was the icing on the cake – literally!

The further invention of ‘packet frosting’ was fully embraced by the consumerist era of the US and then, baking was completely revolutionised.

Unfortunately, the ingredient listing of today’s packet cake mixes aren’t as simple as Duff’s original 1930 recipe. This rather humble concept is now the face of some of the worst displays of additives, flavours and E-numbers on our supermarket shelves. The reassuring smiles of the all-American housewife might have got this product of convenience this far but as we start to ask what’s inside the box, one can only hope a shift towards ‘real food’ is heard, resulting in another chapter in the history of the packet cake mix.

@annabelleats

Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe

Dry cake mixes are easy to do at home and gives you complete control of the ingredients. This is a very easy but delicious chocolate cake mix that can be made in bulk and stored in the pantry until required. I serve it in four layers with whipped salted caramel in-between each one.

Dark Chocolate Cake Mix Ingredients
• 4 cups plain flour
• 4 cups light brown sugar
• 1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
• 4 teaspoons baking soda
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 2 teaspoons vanilla powder (if you can’t find it, add vanilla extract to the wet ingredients)

Method
1. Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl
2. Whisk until well combined
3. Evenly decant into two large, airtight jars (should be around four-and-a-half cups of mix in each jar)
4. Label and store until required

Dark Chocolate Cake with Whipped Salted Caramel Recipe

Ingredients
• 1 jar of cake mix
• 2 cups buttermilk
• ½ cup of unsalted melted butter
• 2 eggs

Method
1. Preheat a fan forced oven to 180 degrees
2. Line and grease a cake tin with a removable base.
3. Place the jar of cake mix in a large mixing bowl
4. Lightly whisk the buttermilk, eggs and melted butter
5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry cake mix and stir until well combined
6. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean
7. Leave to rest in the tin for 15 minutes before removing and allowing to completely cool on a cake rack
8. Liberally decorate with icing or frosting as desired

Whipped Salted Caramel
• 350g light brown sugar
• 200g unsalted butter
• 1 cup of thick cream
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 200ml whipping cream
• 1 teaspoon salt

1. Bring the brown sugar, butter, cream and vanilla to a gentle boil
2. Reduce for five minutes
3. Remove from heat
4. Add the sea salt (adjust to taste) and chill in the refrigerator overnight
5. Add the whipping cream and, with an electric whisk, beat until lighter in colour and the consistency of whipped cream

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The Adelaide Review

Review: Ryo’s Noodles

With the arrival of Ryo’s Noodles – found in Hong Kong, Jakarta and Sydney – Adelaide’s pretty non-existent ramen scene is about to get a shake-up.

80 Gouger St has been refreshed since its Kawaii Fashion days. The former $2.80-shop’s front has been replaced by a wall of circular, black mesh. Ryo’s bold red logo – a striped bowl with a rainbow of noodles arching over it – stands out proudly from the black fronting. The meshed-over windows and red curtains in the doorway give the newly opened space an exclusive, secret feel.

Inside, the décor is much of the same industrial-edged design we’ve been seeing lately: exposed lightbulbs, high stools, black trimming. Specials and recommendations (“If your soup is too salty, please ask staff for less salt”) line the walls on brown paper signs.


The soup really is a salty spectacular 

Just beyond the entrance is a flight of stairs leading to an upper floor, where we’re told the noodles are made.

As Ryo’s has just opened, there is a bit of a queue; about 10 minutes’ wait for a table (couples and small groups) then 15 minutes or so for food. Considering, however, that every seat in the restaurant is filled, the speed and quality of service is very good.

We order the gyoza ($7 for five) and two of the pork soup options: ramen in soy-sauce-flavoured soup with roast pork, egg and shallots ($14.50) and ramen in miso-flavoured soup with egg, roast pork, shallots and bamboo shoots ($15).

Ryo's Noodles gyoza Adelaide 80 Gouger St

A wide sheet of nori (seaweed) lines the bowl, ready to be shredded over the meat, baby bok choy and shallots. The cloudy soup is thick and rich, heavy with salty pork flavours. The soft-boiled soy egg halves have perfectly jammy yolks. Slices of roast pork are well-cooked and soft, while the noodles are firm and springy. The whole ramen experience is delicious and moreish, but beware: the MSG come-down is pretty intense.

The gyoza are tasty, with crisp, pan-fried bases and hot pork-mince filling.

Serving sizes are very generous, so go to Ryo’s on an empty stomach. However, it is very salty fare, and Ryo’s recognise this. They welcome requests to make the soup less strong.

Over all, the quality of Ryo’s food is extremely high, with no other ramen in Adelaide close to comparing. 

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The Adelaide Review

Putting Adelaide on the food map

Since moving to Adelaide four and five years ago respectively, Chefs Duncan Welgemoed and Jock Zonfrillo have witnessed and are vocal about the exciting changes to Adelaide’s food culture. In their own words, the Restaurant Orana and Bistro Dom big kahunas take us through the local food resurgence.

ARRIVING IN ADELAIDE

Jock: I’d been living in Sydney for 10 years and there, like most of Australia, was this attitude of Adelaide being a backwater, a big country town. I moved here five years ago, drove here in a ute with all my worldly goods. At the time I was at the tail end of my second marriage – they [the family] came down in a plane, and I drove, which was a nice drive from Sydney. I’d never been here before. The first thing I saw coming into the city was a huge billboard for Caffe Primo – prawn gamberi $9.90, pretty good eh. I thought, ‘Wow. I’ve arrived in Adelaide – this is it.’ A friend of mine owns the Austral Hotel, so I did a bit of consultancy for a year. I went to Magill [Estate] after that. It was a very different experience from Sydney, and from any other city to be honest with you. Adelaide’s a very different place. The only thing I’d heard about from here was San Jose Smallgoods, because they had it in Sydney and they were good. And I knew that Maggie Beer was down here. But once I got here and into it; there’s a phenomenal wine scene, incredible ingredients and, as it turned out, geographically it’s a fantastic place for what we do [Street ADL and Orana]; in terms of native ingredients, we’re right in the heart of the country. I was able to get native ingredients 24 hours earlier than I would have on the eastern seaboard.

Duncan: I moved here four years ago. I knew nothing about the Adelaide food scene to be honest. I came here with Catherine, my wife. She was pregnant, and since we’d never had a child before, I thought I’d settle in a little bit, get a big money job. For a year I worked as the Executive Chef at the Adelaide Showground, which was actually really good – just learning big functions, the logistics of putting on a massive event. Then the Big Day Out came along and I got to cook for all my favourite bands that happened to be headlining, which was sick. You make the best of what you get I suppose, and once I’d done the [Royal Adelaide] Show and Big Day Out I’d done the biggest two events, it was time to get a real job. I went to Bistro Dom.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Duncan: When I moved here I thought, ‘I’m just going to eat at the best places in Adelaide’. Coming from the UK I didn’t think much of it. But I could see the ingredients were awesome. There’s an awesome wine culture, something that the UK lacks. I thought this is definitely a place I’d like to cook and show what I could do. There were some decent restaurants but there weren’t any ‘wow restaurants’, I suppose, without sounding like a dick.

Jock: Too late [laughs].

Duncan: What Lachie [Lachlan Colwill] was doing at The Manse was good.

Jock: That’s true, there was The Manse. What else was there? Vincenzo’s. Auge. Magill [Estate]. I ate at all of them when I arrived, probably the same as what you did. You arrive and see what’s around town.

Duncan: The Lane was another.

Jock: Chloe’s. Fino – high-end places but that was about it. Much like Duncan, I had some great meals but I wasn’t blown away. And the food that I do is different. I always questioned, ‘Why aren’t they using X,Y and Z? Even down to the local stuff and not making the best of it. Nobody was talking to each other – none of the chefs. I was like, ‘Wow, what’s going on here?’ It was odd. As a food scene, I found that a bit confusing. Back to what Duncan said, the produce and the people here were amazing. That was another reason for me to stay. Then I had a choice – do I go back to Sydney or do I stay here? I’ve got a child in each state and it would have been easy for me to go back to Sydney and open a restaurant.

DOING THEIR OWN THING

Duncan: When I was working under the previous owner [at Bistro Dom], we had to stick to the line of corporate canteen. When I took it on and started doing my own thing, it became a natural progression from that. We thought, ‘Fuck it, we’ll do what we do and try to cultivate an individual style within that area’. We weren’t really concerned at that point what anyone thought of us. We just did what we did. It wasn’t like, ‘Let’s explore a gap in the market’. Fine dining is hit and miss in terms of the trade, so we stripped it back, brought it back to basics.

Jock: I wasn’t thinking there’s a gap in the market that I could exploit at all. It was more trying to move to what I’ve always thought about, which is our current philosophy upstairs [Orana] and trying to get one step closer to that as the market would let me. We’ve always been the black sheep, when you say native ingredients they think witchetty grubs and worms and it’s not. Therefore it’s been an uphill battle and it would have been an uphill battle anywhere ... I think people are generally amazed that it’s not witchetty grubs or whatever, it is something refined and delicious. I’m very thankful we’re still in business today, and that’s because of the people of Adelaide at the end of the day.

DINING SCENE NOW

Duncan: People are throwing caution to the wind, cultivating their own style. One big thing we’ve been trying to fight against is that Melbourne/Sydney influence in our cooking. I think we have enough talent in this state to develop our own style.

Jock: I think in the last couple of years a lot of guys have grown up a bit and just thought, ‘We don’t need to follow a trend’. We’ve got all these great ingredients here. Great chefs like Duncan and Lachie [Colwill] have come through and said, ‘This is what I’m going to do’, and not given an arse about what anyone says about it. They’ve been fortunate enough to either have backers or someone who can assist them with that bold move because it is putting your balls on the table and saying, ‘Right, I’ve got this mad idea’. That takes a big set of balls and people with a wallet to achieve but once a couple of people do it, others look at it and go, ‘Yeah I can do it. I can follow my dream, I can do my own thing.’

Duncan: There was a massive hospitality brain-drain from Adelaide where the young hospos would go, ‘Fuck it. This place is crap. I’m going to Melbourne, Sydney’ and that’s where they’d stay. Now, they’re staying [here] and opening their own places.

LOCAL PLACES TO CHECK

Duncan: Clever Little Tailor is my favourite bar. Orana is an example of a restaurant in South Australia that is cultivating its own style and is what other restaurants interstate will emulate. Magill Estate, what Scott [Huggins] and Emma [McCaskill] are doing there, it’s a really good standard.

Jock: I enjoy Bistro Dom, and he’s [Duncan] opening a new restaurant later in the year, which is closer to his heart. Peel St restaurant; the whole Peel Street movement is fantastic and all those bars are super cool, nice places to go and hang out for a night because everything is close. Gouger Street’s Cork Wine Cafe. On Ebenezer, the guys have opened the Tasting Room behind us, which is fantastic. Great that we can send people there with a focus on wine as opposed to a bar. Restaurant-wise, love going to Hentley Farm, Lachie’s [Colwill] doing some amazing food there. It’s really cool – great food, and Lachie, in the time I’ve been here, he’s more than just found his feet, he’s cooking to his own style now; his food gets better year on year. Super nice to see that. Everyone goes to Ying Chow. When I bring people to town, nine times out of 10 we’ll end up at Ying Chow. I could name 100 restaurants we go to all the time. The thing is you could pick any of them and have a great night out. The service is so much better than it used to be, generally, around town.

ADELAIDEANS TAKING THE CITY FOR GRANTED

Jock: I think they do actually. They look at the glossy Harbour Bridge and Opera House and go, ‘Yeah we don’t have something iconic’. Well, we don’t have an iconic bridge or opera house, but quite frankly, if sitting in a car for hours every day is what comes with that, then surely we don’t want it. We’ve got amazing natural landscapes, which Sydney doesn’t have; that’s better than any harbour bridge you can put in front of me, I can tell you that right now.

Duncan: I think this is why we’re the most vocal [about Adelaide’s charms]; we don’t come from Adelaide. We see it with fresh eyes ... Having someone like James Spreadbury, an Adelaide boy, coming back from Copenhagen [NOMA’s Restaurant Manager] at the beginning of the year, he was blown away. In the next couple of years, you will be able to put this city against anywhere in the world and it will be a food destination.

Jock: I think everyone forgets that Adelaide gets labelled nationally as a big country town. What’s the population here?

Duncan: 1.2 million.

Jock: That’s about the same size as Copenhagen; it’s twice the size of Glasgow – that’s a fucking city. It’s not a big country town and it hasn’t been for quite some time. I think it’s a misconception by people who haven’t been here. When they do come down, chefs who have never been here before, and they eat at a few places, and drink at a few bars, they think, ‘Okay, it’s really cool here actually’. And then you start talking about the lifestyle, where you’re not siting in a car for two-and-a-half hours; 20 minutes to the hills, 10 minutes to the beaches, it’s much easier for us to conduct business in Adelaide than any other city. And it’s beautiful.


Jock Zonfrillo - The Nomad Chef

From the beginning of October, Jock Zonfrillo’s enticing show The Nomad Chef will appear on local screens after debuting across the globe on Pay TV and free-to-air channels. In each episode, the chef travels to a remote community to explore and learn their food and culture before returning to Orana to create a meal based on what he learnt.

“It was incredible to see, an incredibly humbling experience going to a lot of those places,” he explains. “To come back here and put a dinner on as an abstract expression of my snapshot, although brief, into a dinner for today’s diners was also interesting.

“It’s nice and natural. I hang around and learn from them for a couple of weeks, cook with them when I get the opportunity and then we have a bit of a party on the last day before I leave because inevitably they want to give you a nice send off. It’s a different food program to what’s currently around."

 

Duncan Welgemoed's New Restaurant

The Bistro Dom chef will leave his award-winning Waymouth Street restaurant to open a new bar and restaurant later this year on East Terrace. Welgemoed will collaborate with fellow Happy Motel member, designer James Brown (MASH), as well as Paul Glen and James Hillier (Golden Boy, Rocket Bar) on the yet-to-be named restaurant that will have a capacity for 80 diners and will be influenced by cuisine from South Africa and its surrounding areas, where Welgemoed is from.

“It’s basically going back to my heritage,” Welgemoed explains.

“We’re focusing on southern Africa for the first launch until we can start getting into it. What’s really interesting is that South Australia and southern Africa’s flora and fauna are quite similar. It’s easy for us to do and there are so many recipes. It’s what I cook at home. It’s so diverse and no one’s doing it, really. If you think of African food you’re thinking something really home-cooked but it’s so much more than that."

bistrodom.com.au
restaurantorana.com

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The Adelaide Review

Hill of Grace

Hill of Grace, the latest addition to Adelaide's dining scene, offers an exclusive view - the inside of Adelaide Oval. Chef Dennis Leslie gives The Adelaide Review the low-down prior to the restaurant's official launch.

As Adelaide Oval’s Executive Sous Chef, Leslie has spent the last year producing food for hundreds of functions and thousands of people at the Oval.

On match days the catering team stretches to serve a maximum of 55,000 people, including 3500 to 4000 people who are served plated meals in the corporate, events and Audi Stadium Club member areas, and 320 people who enjoy a buffet lunch in The John Halbert Room. Hill of Grace, in the Audi Stadium Club members’ area, seats just over 120 people.

When Dennis joined Adelaide Oval mid last year, the notion of opening a new fine dining restaurant at the Oval was still just that. However, the restaurant was originally intended for the exclusive use of Audi Stadium Club members on match days only.

“It was only this year, when the AFL season started, that [management] committed to having the restaurant open to the public five nights a week,” Leslie explains.

Things moved quickly after that and Hill of Grace launched at the end of August.

Located on the eastern side of the Oval, Hill of Grace takes its name from Henschke winery’s acclaimed Hill of Grace – the restaurant is now home to the world’s only complete set of Hill of Grace Shiraz. This priceless collection dates from 1958 to the current release.

“Henschke is an iconic winery in South Australia and the Henschkes loved the idea of [the partnership],” Leslie says.

“They love the cricket, too, so it was a good match.”

Local wine lovers will be happy to know that Hill of Grace serves only South Australian drops. While Henschke wines naturally take pride of place in the wine list, diners can choose from more than 160 wines by local wineries.

It’s this commitment to creating something special that will help determine Hill of Grace’s success as a regular dining venue – after all, an upmarket restaurant at Adelaide Oval was always going to do great business on match days. But Leslie and the team are banking on diners visiting on non-match days, too.

“I’d like to think that this restaurant is for [everyone], for all occasions,” he says.

“We did a lot of market research and we think we’ve got a good product.”

Leslie’s food is influenced by his love of Asian and native Australian ingredients, his Filipino heritage, his time as Executive Chef at Hilton Adelaide and, specifically, at The Brasserie with its Seriously South Australian menu, as well as his time in England where he worked in restaurants favouring classic French technique.

“People who have eaten here so far have commented on the different flavour profiles and combinations.”

Indeed, a quick glance at the menu reveals the enthusiastic use of interesting ingredients like calamansi, (Philippine lime) tamarind, kohlrabi (a type of turnip), quondongs (a native fruit), muntries (a native berry), kumquats and feijoa.

Working with Leslie in the Hill of Grace kitchen is a small but dedicated team.

“It was important to get the team right. You can’t pull off good food without having a good team,” he says. It’s clear that Leslie is happy in his new home. Moreover, the location of Hill of Grace has a special significance for him.

“I grew up watching cricket here when this was just an old tin shed. The restaurant is where I used to sit with my dad or whoever took me to the cricket. It was three or four levels down but this is literally the same spot.”

Hill of Grace
Dinner: Tuesdays to Saturdays. À la carte or eight-course degustation is $295 with matched Henschke wines or $175 without wine
Lunch: Fridays. Three-course is $85 or four-course $105

Audi Stadium Club, Adelaide Oval
8205 4777

adelaideoval.com.au
hungryaustralian.com
@HungryAustralia

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The Adelaide Review

Adelaide Central Market Week 2014

From Tuesday, September 2, to Saturday, September 6, celebrate Adelaide’s iconic Central Market with the second annual Market Week.

Last year’s inaugural event was a fabulous success, and the 2014 program has grown hugely from there. Cooking demonstrations and daily ‘happy hours’ (specials available at 10am and 3pm) mark a shift in Market Week thinking.

Enticing workshops on offer throughout the week include a fruit and veg foraging event, and a bacon-lovers’ class. There are more edible events in the timetable than we know what to do with: Barossa Fine Foods, matched with Head in the Clouds Wines; ‘Coffee Quaffing with the Coffee Bean’; and ‘Enchanting Mushrooms’ with Mushroom Man’s Mushroom Shop matched with 3 Dark Horses’ wines. The cooking classes with Lucia’s Fine Foods have reportedly sold out already.

If you’d prefer to experience the market at your own pace, there’s the Fine Food Forage: a self-guided tour that, for $30, gives you a list of places to try and products to collect at your leisure. This can be done between 9am and 4pm, Tuesday 2 to Friday 5 September, or from 9am – 1pm on Saturday 6 September.

The Market is also selling lunchboxes ($10 each) on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Blue Lunchbox (vegetarian)
Beetroot, lentil and goat’s cheese salad – Lucia’s Fine Foods
Sheep’s milk honey yoghurt – Island Pure
Fruit and nut mix – House of Health
Pomegranate and walnut dip with crackers – Jagger Fine Foods
Pear – McMahons Fruit & Veg

Red Lunch Box
Mini ciabatta – Wild Loaf
Ham off the bone - Barossa Fine Foods
Aged gouda - The Smelly Cheese Shop
Fruit and nut bar – House of Health
Kalamata olives – Leo’s Cheese Bar
Scorched almonds – Charlesworth Nuts
Apple – Aubergine’s Fresh Produce

You can try your luck at getting tickets, goodie bags or lunchboxes on the day, but to be safe pre-purchase online by following the links in the Market Week program.

Events such as free opera, music and performing arts will be tabled alongside edible treats. The free Spring Market Party(Friday, September 5, 5pm – 8pm) will include wine tasting (AreteDe Anima and 3 Dark Horses), music from local bandGoldstein, roasted porchetta from Marino Meats and an oyster bar by Samtass Seafoods.

For full details, tickets and the timetable, visit the Adelaide Central Market website

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The Adelaide Review

Review: Coriole

A line-up of Reserve and Estate wines greets us at the Coriole cellar door.

The Vita Sangiovese has an aromatic punch of chocolate and fennel; and sharp flavours of dusty cherry, softened with age and a hint of licorice. The Dancing Fig is a Shiraz Mouvedre combination, a tribute to the fig trees planted across the estate. This ready-to-drink soft and youthful red excites the palate with tastes of blackberry and a hint of savoury herbs. Our wine guide, Velvet, is a charming and cheeky seductress, shocking us with bunny-hunting stories and entertaining the patrons tasting their way through the fruits of the Lloyd family’s labour.

We haven’t made a reservation, not realising that the Saturday lunch service gets so busy. It seems the word of Coriole’s new Head Chef Tom Reid has spread, and the atrium courtyard is full to the brim with people ready to tuck into a spread of foraged fare.

A table on the enclosed restaurant balcony serves as a more than suitable saviour. Without too much fuss, the table was set while we wandered the kitchen garden. Lush with all kinds of herbs, greens and edible garnishes, the once overgrown patch has since been lovingly tended by the estate gardeners and now kitchen apprentices spend their mornings gathering the freshest ingredients and trimmings for the dishes of the day.

Seated with some of the most spectacular views of the surrounding hills, lunch is a simple but gourmet affair. House-made sourdough – served with lashings of cultured Woodside Cheese Wrights butter, alongside Coriole olives and extra virgin olive oil –makes for a greedy start and we order more bread before main course even lands.

The follow-up platters du jour feature piles of pickled and roasted vegetables and salads, accompanied by all kinds of meats, cheeses and kitchen specialties. The salmon is prepared using more of the olive oil and scattered with capers and crunchy leaves from a locally grown succulent commonly known as ‘pigface’. From pigface to a pork-hock terrine; a meaty little dish that works perfectly atop a crisp lavosh, piled high with kohlrabi salad that has good tang and a mustard seed kick.

The pickled and roasted beet salad is a clear favourite, classically paired with fresh goat’s curd and presented like a little piece of artwork on the plate. A nettle salsa verde is smeared across slivers of beef carpaccio, and pickled heirloom carrots add colour, flavour and some necessary crunch. A central pile of cucumber ribbons scattered with pine nuts is perfectly acceptable, though perhaps unnecessary and nothing compared to its delicious neighbours; though I’m quickly distracted by a corner dedicated only to cheese, including a ripe Woodside Cheese Wrights Pompeii, a subtle jersey-cow Cheddar, and a soft and oozy Brie.

A wicked case of over-ordering comes next, with two dessert options artfully presented on some very sexy flatware. A thin slice of vanilla pannacotta snakes between crisp shards of delicate pastry; a sprinkling of fresh mint adds fragrance without overpowering; and a small pile of poached apple and perhaps pear is lightly spiced and adds balance to a dish of contrasting flavour. The last hurrah arrives in the form of a better-than-traditional chocolate fondant pudding, sitting on a mound of biscuit crunch. Edible flowers add a touch of colour and a quenelle of house made vanilla ice cream takes this dish to a place of sentimental pleasure.

The trail ends with another stroll around the grounds to stretch our weary legs and drink in the rolling views, along with a finishing glass. Spoils of the day are loaded away and with little but the feeling of sated comfort and tales of culinary adventure, we make our way home along meandering country roads.

Coriole
Chaffeys Road, McLaren Vale
Open Friday to Monday, 12pm to 4pm

coriole.com

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The Adelaide Review

Magill Estate named SA’s best restaurant

Penfolds Magill Estate was the big local winner in the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide awards, as it was the only SA restaurant to hit the top 10 in the magazine’s annual Top 100 Restaurant Guide, while Magill Estate’s Scott Huggins and Emma McCaskill were named Best New Talent.

Melbourne’s Attica was named Australia’s Restaurant of the Year with Sydney’s Rockpool, Momofuko Seiobo and Quay and the regional Victorian newcomer Brae rounding out the top five. Penfolds Magill Estate just squeezed into the top 10 while Jock Zonfrillo’s Orana was listed as the country’s 16th best restaurant. Other SA eateries to make the top 100 are Appellation (47), Hentley Farm (67), Peel Street (85), Bistro Dom (96) and Fino (99).

Other major award winners include Sepia’s Martin Benn who took out Chef of the Year, while Birregurra’s Brae took out New Restaurant of the Year and Regional Restaurant of the Year.

2015 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide: The Top 100

1. Attica, Vic
2. Rockpool, NSW
3. Momofuku Seiobo, NSW
4. Quay, NSW
5. Brae, Vic
6. Sepia, NSW
7. Cutler & Co, Vic
8. Marque, NSW
9. Vue de Monde, Vic
10. Penfolds Magill Estate, SA
11. Est, NSW
12. Rockpool Bar & Grill, NSW
13. Tetsuya's, NSW
14. Bentley, NSW
15. The Bridge Room, NSW
16. Orana, SA
17. Esquire, Qld
18. Garagistes, Tas
19. Rockpool Bar & Grill, Vic
20. Urbane, Qld
21. Provenance, Vic
22. Flower Drum, Vic
23. Sixpenny, NSW
24. Porteño, NSW
25. Sean's Panaroma, NSW
26. Four in Hand, NSW
27. Café Di Stasio, Vic
28. Lake House, Vic
29. Ten Minutes by Tractor, Vic
30. Ester, NSW
31. Grossi Florentino, Vic
32. The Press Club, Vic
33. Restaurant Amuse, WA
34. Aria, NSW
35. Print Hall, WA
36. Icebergs Dining Room & Bar, NSW
37. Pei Modern, Vic
38. Nu Nu, Qld
39. Mr Wong, NSW
40. Fish Face, NSW
41. Ormeggio, NSW
42. Pilu at Freshwater, NSW
43. Rockpool Bar & Grill, WA
44. Spice Temple, NSW
45. Wasabi, Qld
46. Aria Brisbane, Qld
47. Appellation, SA
48. Café Paci, NSW
49. Flying Fish, NSW
50. Woodland House, Vic
51. Oscillate Wildly, NSW
52. Rosetta, Vic
53. Buon Ricordo, NSW
54. Cumulus Inc, Vic
55. Gladioli, Vic
56. Spice Temple, Vic
57. Monopole, NSW
58. Moon Park, NSW
59. Otto Ristorante, NSW
60. Prix Fixe, Vic
61. Yoshii, NSW
62. The Apollo, NSW
63. Nomad, NSW
64. Luxembourg, Vic
65. Vasse Felix, WA
66. Tonka, Vic
67. Hentley Farm, SA
68. Ezard, Vic
69. Bistrode CBD, NSW
70. The Terrace Restaurant, Vic
71. Cho Cho San, NSW
72. The Town Mouse, Vic
73. The Argus Dining Room, Vic
74. Bodega, NSW
75. Jim McDougall in Stefano's Cellar, Vic
76. Moon Under Water, Vic
77. The Fish House, Qld
78. Bar Lourinhã, Vic
79. 10 William St, NSW
80. MoVida Aqui, Vic
81. Longrain, NSW
82. MoVida, Vic
83. MoVida Sydney, NSW
84. Valentino, Vic
85. Peel Street, SA
86. Albert St Food & Wine, Vic
87. Billy Kwong, NSW
88. Gerard's Bistro, Qld
89. Gastro Park, NSW
90. Yellow, NSW
91. Felix, NSW
92. Saint Crispin, Vic
93. The Atlantic, Vic
94. Aubergine, ACT
95. Monster, ACT
96. Bistro Dom, SA
97. Co-op Dining, WA
98. Subo, NSW
99. Fino, SA
100. Stokehouse Brisbane, Qld

Magill Estate photos: Jacqui Way

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The Adelaide Review

Welgemoed to open new restaurant

There will be another exciting addition to Adelaide’s flourishing food and wine scene, as Bistro Dom’s Duncan Welgemoed is leaving his award-winning Waymouth Street restaurant to open a bar and restaurant in November.

The Bistro Dom chef will collaborate with fellow Happy Motel member, designer James Brown (MASH), as well as Paul Glen and James Hillier (Golden Boy, Rocket Bar) on the new restaurant and bar, which will open in November. The yet-to-be named restaurant will be located in the east of the city, have a capacity for 80 diners and will be influenced by cuisine from South Africa and its surrounding areas, where Welgemoed is from.

“It’s basically going back to my heritage,” Welgemoed, who curated the successful Lola’s Pergola degustation series First Fruit as part of the Adelaide Festival earlier this year, told The Adelaide Review.

“We’re focussing on southern Africa for the first launch until we can start getting into it. What’s really interesting is that South Australia and southern Africa’s flora and fauna are quite similar. It’s easy for us to do and there are so many recipes. It’s what I cook at home. It’s so diverse and no-one’s doing it, really. If you think of African food you’re thinking something really home-cooked but it’s so much more than that.”

Welgemoed says he wants to cook African-inspired food that’s “accessible, contemporary and fun”. The new place will cater for people who want to drop past for a snack or stay longer for a complete dining experience.

More information will be released in early September. Doors will open in spring.

Picture: Duncan Welgemoed and James Brown

Photographer: John Laurie

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The Adelaide Review

Dark Mofos

Bistro Dom’s Duncan Welgemoed and two Sydney chefs, Jared Ingersoll and Alex Herbert, were in Hobart recently for the Dark Mofo Winter Feast – another brainchild of David Walsh. The three chefs travelled to Tassie to cook for the masses. Here are their stories.

Duncan Welgemoed (Bistro Dom, The Happy Motel)

Take one-part fire, two parts debauchery, a fistful of winter produce and a sprinkling of dark arts, spin it in on high inside a Ferris wheel of death and cook gently in front of a flaming bookshelf. That's pretty much how we spent our Dark Mofo weekend. The event showcased what's good about the winter solstice: feasting, the promise of nudity, dancing, whiskey (I know it has nothing to do with the solstice) and a community getting close around a fire.

Still a tourist in this country, I noticed that Tasmanians are friendlier versions of mainland Aussies. Even the usual Saturday night wino helped me find my way to a whiskey bar and made sure he vomited far enough away from me as to avoid me smelling the sick. Good man.

The biggest eye opener, however, was the fact that Tasmania’s art, food, and booze scene is cementing a new identity within Australia, kind of like South Australia but colder. David Walsh is an obvious driving force and the passion he has is incredibly infectious. How does one man pretty much gain the hearts and minds of an entire state? The answer, some might say, is a mixture of money, honesty, lateral thinking and a penchant for doing what he wants. I applaud anyone who gives the middle finger to the establishment, has a glass of wine and programs the shit out of a festival to make it one of the most talked about events of the year. In South Australia, we should be more concerned about the overall experience instead of the bureaucracy attached.

Cooking with three of my friends, in an environment solely built on creating a feast for the senses, was something we can all take away. It's not about corporate sponsorship, it's not about the bottom line, it's about the community having a cracking time.

@GastroPunkOz

Jared Ingersoll (Food for People)

When I was 11, I followed my mum to work and I stepped into my first commercial kitchen, an army mess in Trentham, New Zealand. It was huge. Everything in that space was loud, hot and noisy with massive knives and fire everywhere. It blew me away. From that day, all I wanted to do was be in a kitchen.

The next most important moment in my life was cooking for the first time. I found a recipe for a dish called beggar’s chicken, a Chinese dish that required a chicken to be cooked in a salt crust with soy and spices. My family thought I was mental, I didn’t care. The recipe looked complicated but it gave me a sense of purpose that comforted me. Hours later, the final result was a hard clay that, when cracked, allowed the most delicious aroma to fill the house; everyone was instantly happy and hungry. The satisfied looks on their faces when they ate the soft, sweet and salty chicken filled my heart with joy. I was 12, awkward, lonely and living in a council estate with not much to my name but now I had a purpose – to satisfy others with my cooking. 

That feeling has never left me.

My career has been full and rewarding, it has delivered me much pleasure and bucket loads of heartache and stress. In the beginning it was about the kitchen and learning skills and techniques, but as I developed I realised that I was but a small part of the equation and that led me to my fascination and love of the ingredients, the farmers, the seasons and the environment. 

When asked to be a part of Dark Mofo, I dropped everything to do it. I was overjoyed when the final line-up was announced – Duncan, Alex and myself. Three unique chefs who see food differently but share a love of nature, food and satisfying the customer. Three brave cooks, who are not intimidated by flame and smoke, rather thrive in the face of something as deliciously enormous as cooking at Dark Mofo. Three citizens who embrace hedonistic pursuits with grounded humility! Thirty years after that beggar’s chicken I felt I had a purpose – to satisfy others with my cooking. 

@JaredIngersoll

Alex Herbert (ex-Bird Cow Fish)

I have known Jared Ingersoll for many years but before this year had only collaborated on a cooking gig twice before, both back in 2009. Jared was one of the chefs I cajoled into participating in the SIFF BBQ to cook alongside Fergus Henderson. The other was a collaborative dinner for Carlo Petrini from Slow Food at my then restaurant, Bird Cow Fish, in Surry Hills.

I first came across Duncan on Twitter. He caught my attention with his bravado. Since then, we have increasingly crossed paths on a personal and professional level. Our food styles are different but we share a love of great produce and having a good time while we play with it. Earlier this year we came together for the first time. Jared and I cooked a dinner together at the Adelaide Festival’s Lola’s Pergola. Needless to say, we all got along quite famously. 

When the invitation to cook at Dark Mofo popped up in my inbox, it was a no brainer. We were asked to each cook a dish of our choice over three nights for the Winter Feast, as part of the Winter Solstice celebrations. We were just three of many chefs, cooks and producers who embraced the bounty of Tasmania’s produce and reveled in feeding the many people who wanted to come together to play, listen talk, sing and dance. 

There are festivals and then there are festivals. Winter Feast at Dark Mofo is one of those that truly lived up to and beyond its expectation on every level. It was a celebration of all the senses: acoustic, aromatic, visual and emotionally uplifting. It was the essence of how I came to love sharing and cooking food with other people.

@birdcowfish

darkmofo.net.au

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The Adelaide Review

Review: Larry & Ladd

The newest kid on the block is the only child of coffee-god parents Bar 9 and Coffee Branch.

Larry & Ladd opened quietly earlier this week, but already the queues are 10 people deep and curious onlookers are crowding the glass walls in Regent Arcade.

The café is cosily dark, with very on-trend black-painted ceiling, polished concrete floor and exposed brick wall behind the counter. Setting Larry & Lad apart from the rest is the British racing green speed stripe across the back feature wall, which also hosts a display of art and culture magazines for purchase. Flowers – from fellow Regent Arcaders Boo & Who? – decorate the store, adding a sweet lushness to the industrial edge.

larry and lad adelaide regent arcade new cafe 2014

Jeremy Downey, part-owner and enthusiastic barista extraordinaire, is already greeting customers by name on the third day of business, ensuring – no doubt – regulars for life. Between the coffee machine and the two large, granite-top tables inside, Downey encourages peekers to come inside and not be shy.

It works.

Despite there being around 20 customers in the 28-seat café (including another long table in the arcade), queues aren’t long and service is quick. The snacks – pastries and interesting sandwiches – are on display on the front counter so you can see precisely what it is you’re getting into. Vegetarians are well looked after, with mushroom, tomato or cheese choices across the range.

Two of the sandwich options recommended by Larry & Ladd staff are the soused herring, and the potato tortilla and chorizo.

larry and lad adelaide regent arcade new cafe 2014 chorizo potato tortilla soused herring

A potato and sausage sandwich might not sound particularly trustworthy, but it is ridiculously tasty – cold, flavourful potato melt around the warm and spicy chorizo, both mellowed with honey and labne.

The herring – with boiled egg and orange aioli – is a little wet, but the Nordic flavours work neatly together.

The snack options, including a range of toasties, are well-priced, ranging from $4.50 to $6.50. Coffee – a unique blend from Five Senses roasters – is equally modestly priced, competing well with other city cafes.

Welcoming, delicious and fast – what more could you hope for from the Lads?

larry and lad adelaide regent arcade new cafe 2014

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The Adelaide Review

Orana named South Australia’s best restaurant

Jock Zonfrillo’s Orana continues to impress, as the Rundle Street establishment was named South Australia’s Best Restaurant at the Restaurant and Catering SA Awards for Excellence at the Entertainment Centre last night. 

The win follows Orana’s three nominations in the national Gourmet Traveller Awards, which includes New Restaurant of the Year, Sommelier of the Year and Wine List of the Year for the magazine’s annual awards that will be announced later this month. Orana, with its native Australian-inspired fine cuisine, also took home the Best Fine Dining gong at last night’s Restaurant and Catering Awards. Other major winners include the National Wine Centre, which won Caterer of the Year while the Wine Centre’s Head Chef Philip Pope was named Best Chef.  

Golden Boy was named Best New Restaurant while the Botanic Garden Restaurant took home two gongs: Best Contemporary Australian (Metropolitan) and Best Wedding Caterer. The Lifetime Achiever Award went to Appellation’s Jim Carreker while Magill Estate’s Martin O’Connor won Best Maitre d’ and Press* Food and Wine’s David Currie was named Sommelier of the Year. The winners are below.

rcsa.asn.au

Restaurant and Catering SA Awards for Excellence 2014 Winners

Best Restaurant: Orana

Lifetime Achiever: Jim Carreker (Appellation at the Louise)

Best Chef: Philip Pope (National Wine Centre)

Best Fine Dining: Orana 

Best New Restaurant: Golden Boy

Popular Choice: Peel Street 

Best Restaurant in a Winery: Hentley Farm 

Best Maitre d’: Martin O’Connor (Magill Estate)

Caterer of the Year: National Wine Centre

Best Wedding Caterer: Botanic Garden Restaurant

Best Vietnamese Restaurant: My Tho City

Best Venue Caterer: Epicure at the State Library

Best Thai: Toptai

Best Sushi: Sushi Train (Central Market)

Best Steak (Informal): Carmel’s Cafe Bar and Grill

Best Steak (Formal): Mayura Station’s The Tasting Room 

Best Small Caterer: Mediterranean

Best Small Bar: The Tasting Room

Best Site Contract Caterer: Medirest at Eldercare Allambi 

Best Seafood: Cardone’s Seafood and Grill

Best Restaurant in a Pub/Club: The HWY

Best Restaurant in a Hotel: The Treasury

Best Mexican: Viva Zapata

Best Japanese: Shiki 

Best Italian Formal: Chianti

Best Italian Informal: Ambrosini’s

Best Industrial Institutional Caterer: Medirest at Eldercare Allambi

 Best Greek Restaurant: Zucca Greek Mezze

Best Function Centre: National Wine Centre

Best Family Restaurant: Cucina Nuova

Best Event Caterer: Adelaide Oval 

Best European: Georges on Waymouth

Best Contemporary Australian (Regional): Appellation at the Louise

Best Contemporary Australian (Metropolitan): Botanic Garden Restaurant

Best Coffee Shop: Cibo Espresso (O’Connell St) 

Best Chinese Restaurant: House of Chow

Best Cafe: Assaggio

Best Breakfast: Chianti

Best Bakery/Patisserie: Muratti Cakes & Gateaux

Best Asian: Hanuman

Best Wine List: Barn Steakhouse

Sommelier of the Year: David Currie (Press* Food and Wine)

Media Winnes: David Washington (InDaily)

Safety Award: Adelaide Casino

Best service Provider: Abeo Design 

Apprentice Cook of the Year: Brionie Pearson (Lenzerheide)

Best Employee: Poonam Desai (British India)

Best Employer: The Strand Cafe

Best Product Supplier: Treasury Wine Estate

Hall of Fame (Best Steak): Barn Steakhouse

Hall of Fame (Site Contract Caterer): Eurest at Hewlett Packard

Hall of Fame (Restaurant in a Hotel): Playford Adelaide

Hall of Fame (Coffee Shop/Tea House): Argo on The Parade

Jock Zonfillo picutre: Matt Turner

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The Adelaide Review

The Secret Blend

Taylor Blend may seem small when you walk in, but the passion and enthusiasm of the staff is huge. I even noticed it radiating though to the smiling customers walking in at the same time as me. The décor consisted of woodgrain and browns with eye-catching artwork that really stands out when you enter. Brewing methods on offer other than espresso include the pour-over, but the chilli-infused cold drip is definitely of note.

Taylor Blend offers plenty of single origins and blends depending on what’s in season or what rare and exotic beans they can get their hands on. They have the freedom to use different roasters from around Australia, so, as you can imagine, choosing what to try for my espresso was hard. I went with a single origin from Costa Rica called La Pena Tarrazu and it was divine. The first sip had a sharp acidity that amazed me when it turned into roasted nuts and savoury biscuits. It also had a natural sweetness in the aftertaste, resulting in a memorable experience.

The latte was made from a secret blend, which is always on offer, called ‘The Taylor House Blend’, locally roasted by Simply Coffee. It was made with Tweedvale milk and served with a rosetta as the latte art. The first sip of the latte had a strong almond taste, followed by a creamy caramel aftertaste.

The next time you have a day off, I recommend taking a drive up the hill to Taylor Blend, not just for the amazing coffee, but for a beautiful scenic walk through Ferguson Park next door. You may even come across a koala to share your coffee with.

Taylor Blend
1/34 Hallett Road, Stonyfell

taylorblend.com.au

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The Adelaide Review

Food For Thought: Foie Gras

I want my chickens roaming free in paddocks of green pasture and eating nothing but grass and the occasional worm – I don’t purchase or eat eggs that come from anything less, but my position on the production of foie gras is far less passionate and, to be honest, I have somewhat double standards on the issue.

Geese have been ‘force-fed’ for more than 5000 years and, in fact, it was the Egyptians that are said to have noticed how migrating geese would naturally plump up for the long trip ahead of them. It wasn’t long until the Romans noticed how geese could overeat and that their lack of a gag reflex allowed them to consume copious amounts of figs and, in turn, enlarge their liver and provide a prized delicacy of the era.

The fall of Rome would almost see the practice of foie gras disappear and it is said that if it wasn’t for the Jews taking the technique around Europe it may have been lost in history forever. The very rich livers provided Jews with kosher fat to cook with, while olive oil and dairy fat were scarce. Adopted and loved by France, the technique was, and will possibly always be, synonymous with French gastronomy.

With the production and consumption of foie gras now steep in French history, the rise of pâté, terrines and parfaits was seen all throughout the 17th century.

This ingenious method of preserving meat by the addition of animal or dairy fat is making somewhat of a comeback and artisan producers are popping up all over the country. Chicken liver parfait that has been perfectly protected with a seal of clarified butter, served with crunchy sourdough and a cornichon for some wanted acidity, is something not to be refused.

I admit the technique in which foie gras is produced is not the most ethical, and for that reason banned in Australia and many parts of the world, but it is an important part of food history that deserves to be recognised for its mark on history and, let’s face it, its delicious contribution to gastronomy and its means for preserving food through less opulent times.

Walnut and Muscatel Bread Recipe
Makes 3 loaves

Ingredients

• 500g plain flour (organic if possible)
• 7g dried yeast
• 300ml warm water
• 1 tsp salt
• 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tbs sugar
• 1.5 tbs spice mix
• 150g dried muscatels
• 100g walnuts
• 300ml warm water
• Spice mix
• 50g cinnamon
• 50g allspice
• 25g cloves
• 25g ground ginger
• 12g nutmeg
• 3 tbs cardamom

Method

1. Activate the yeast in the warm water for five minutes.
2. Combine the our, salt, oil and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer.
3. Mix brie y with the dough hook on a low speed to combine the dry ingredients.
4. Slowly add the yeast and water.
5. Increase the speed to medium and leave for 15 minutes or until the dough will stretch and allows you to see through it.
6. Add the walnuts and muscatels. Mix until combined.
7. Place in an oiled bowl, leave to prove for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
8. Divide the dough into three even pieces and form into a baguette shape.
9. Place on a floured baking tray and leave to prove for a further 30 minutes.
10. Bake in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes. Bread is ready when if tapped on the bottom, the echoing sound is hollow.
11. Leave to cool.
12. Slice thinly and toast in the oven for a crisp finish.


Pork and Pistachio Terrine Recipe

Ingredients

• 1.8kg pork
• 200g back fat
• 10g fennel seeds
• 1 white onion
• 1 tsp thyme leaves
• 1 egg
• 1/2 cup whole pistachio
• Salt and white pepper
• Sliced pancetta or thinly sliced bacon

Method

1. Ask your butcher to mince the pork and back fat on a 8mm blade.
2. In a generous glug of olive oil, sweat the onions, thyme and fennel seeds until translucent and soft. Leave to cool.
3. Combine the pork mince, back fat, cooled onions and the egg, mix until it becomes sticky and forms a ball (slapping the mixture on the side of the bowl will help it combine).
4. Add a large pinch of salt and pepper along with the pistachio nuts and mix until evenly dispersed throughout. (Frying a small amount of the mixture to check the seasoning at this stage will help you get a perfect end result).
5. Line a terrine mould with greaseproof paper.
6. Line the tin with sliced pancetta, length ways and with a slight overlap.
7. Pack the mix in to the mould making sure you pat the tin frequently to remove any air pockets.
8. Cover the top of the terrine with the remaining pancetta slices.
9. Tightly cover the top of the terrine with greaseproof paper and a layer of aluminum foil.
10. Fill a large baking tray with boiling water in an oven preheated to 160 degrees.
11. Place the terrine in the water bath.
12. Bake for an hour and then remove the cover, continue to bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until 72 degrees in the centre.
13. Leave to rest and cool to room temperature before placing two tins of tomatoes on top to lightly press in the refrigerator overnight.
14. Serve at room temperature with slices of crusty bread.

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The Adelaide Review

Review: Golden Boy

It seems every time a high-profile chef departs one restaurant for another, stories of strained relationships and poorly-plated politics are rife. Just months after opening to local applaud, the Golden Boy-loving public was ‘rocked’ at the news that Chef Nu Suandokmai had quit. The headlines were dramatic and the industry unsettled, according to local reports, but who knows what really goes on below deck?

As betrayed as they might have felt, kitchen crews behind these restaurant rifts stand united, keep on cooking and maintain the same standards. Even if the Captain had jumped ship (or was forced to walk the plank), there’s almost always a First Mate to step in and steer the new vessel.

Enter new Captain Miles Davies – formerly of Jolleys Boathouse, as incidental pirate-puns would have it.

Recently based in Sydney developing a dedicated taste for South East Asian food under the eye of revered chef Christine Mansfield at former fine dining restaurant Universal, Davies has returned home to take the mantle as the new (and perhaps improved?) Golden Boy of Adelaide’s Asian-fusion cuisine.

I had eaten at Golden Boy a few times before and it was always a great experience, but let’s not dwell on the past; instead let’s concentrate on the delicious and the charming.

Golden Boy’s interior is delightful. I think back to the days when this was the Botanic Bar’s dark and dated Chesterfield-clad cigar lounge and thank the designers for this resurrection. Clean, bright and comical, with etchings and prints traversing white walls and a white marble bench running right down the centre of the compact but well-utilised space. The bright and white extends through to the kitchen with a row of golden light fittings suspended from black metal poles – a striking feature against the rest of the clean interior.

The food is delicious. Betel leaves are stuffed full of seafood flavours that change regularly. I’m a fan of the salmon but the crab is even better, as the silky, creamy paste filling and chilli hit excites and leaves you wanting more – drizzle it with supplied lime wedges if you love a bit of tang, it’s worth it for balance and takes the chilli edge off, too. In the salmon vs kingfish sashimi battle, the salmon proves almighty – a dainty little fish dish with perfect lime-y acidity supported by galangal, soy and palm sugar to balance the mix. Keeping with the seafood tradition, a beady-eyed barramundi is battered, herbed, fried and placed decadently atop a pile of leaves, spices and herbs.

Out of the ocean and onto the land, a flavour-infused Jungle Curry dish features stir-fried sirloin, kangkung, holy basil and banana chilli that almost pushes you over the spicy edge. The TBBC is a simple combo of edamame beans, chilli and bean curd and is a play on the locally-adopted Gouger Street favourite with a touch of Thai. Spice-rubbed pork spare ribs are slow roasted for hours and served with a roast garlic dipping sauce. These are lip-smackingly delicious and a good break from the chilli heat of the rest of the menu. The Massaman curry is the only slight let-down. Although tasty, the Wagyu beef was not as tender as expected and while I do enjoy the flavour of star anise,  mistaking a pod for a curry-soaked morsel of meat left a fairly strong taste between my teeth. Fortunately the duck curry made up for it. Roasted legs swam in a lovely fragrant yellow curry, sweetened with pineapple and Thai basil. It’s one of those dishes you can never go past on a menu, and in this case you certainly shouldn’t.

For those of you with ambition (or those on the hunt for that perfectly Instagram-able bird’s eye shot) make sure you order the plate of chilli accompaniments.

The staff is charming. Whether it was the time seated at the chef’s bench overlooking the kitchen or the main dining space, the service makes the experience. Attentive, professional and just a little bit cheeky, these guys and girls know their business, their food and their customers.

Golden Boy hasn’t changed too much since opening its doors, but where it has, it’s for the better. It is testament to the idea that there’s more to navigating a ship than who is at the helm. Boatswains and deck hands all have their place to ensure smooth sailing, especially through turbulent waters.

goldenboyrestaurant.com

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The Adelaide Review

Adelaide venues up for Gourmet Traveller Awards

Leading the way is Jock Zonfrillo’s new venture Orana, with nominations in the New Restaurant Of The Year, Wine List Of The Year and Sommelier Of The Year categories.

The fresh-faced team of Scott Huggins and Emma McCaskill, who took over as head chefs at Penfolds Magill Estate last year, has been nominated for Best New Talent, while South Australia’s small bar legislation is partly to thank for our final nomination in the Bar Of The Year category, going to Clever Little Tailor.

You can find the full list of nominees below. The winners will be announced on Wednesday August 20 at the launch of the 2015 Australian Restaurant Guide.

The five South Australian nominations are an outstanding achievement in the largely east coast-dominated awards and mark a turning point for Adelaide’s hospitality industry. In previous years South Australian venues have fared poorly at the Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards, scoring two nominations in 2012 and only one in 2013.

Finalists: 2014 Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards

Best New Talent
Mat Lindsay, Ester, Sydney, NSW
Victor Liong, Lee Ho Fook, Melbourne, Vic
Alex Drobysz, Bar Nacional, Melbourne, Vic
Eun Hee An & Ben Sears, Moon Park, Sydney, NSW
Mike Eggert & Jemma Whiteman, Pinbone, Sydney, NSW
Scott Huggins & Emma Jade Mccaskill, Penfolds Magill Estate, Adelaide, SA

New Restaurant Of The Year
Brae, Birregurra, Vic
Ester, Sydney, NSW 
Orana, Adelaide, SA 

Wine List Of The Year
Moon Park, Sydney, NSW
Print Hall, Perth, WA
Orana, Adelaide, SA

Sommelier Of The Year
Nick Hildebrandt, Bentley, Sydney, NSW
Marc Esteve Mateu, The Press Club, Melbourne, Vic
Josh Picken, Orana, Adelaide, SA

Maître d’ Of The Year
Simon Freeman, Brae, Birregurra, Vic
Christian McCabe, The Town Mouse, Melbourne, Vic 
Romeo Lee, Sixpenny, Sydney, NSW

Regional Restaurant Of The Year
Brae, Birregurra, Vic
Provenance, Beechworth, Vic
Nu Nu, Palm Cove, Qld

Bar Of The Year
Bar Americano, Melbourne, Vic
Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, Qld 
Clever Little Tailor, Adelaide, SA

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The Adelaide Review

Measuring Creativity with Ferran Adrià

It was in the late 1980s that Ferran Adrià, on a visit to Nice, heard Jacques Maximin define creativity as “creativity means not copying”. Since then, nothing’s been the same.

Adrià’s elBulli kitchen closed for winter for the first time to focus on development of new techniques and dishes following that visit to the Maximin’s restaurant at the Negresco Hotel. It was a long time ago – but it’s an important turning point. Perhaps this is where Adrià’s trajectory to become the best chef in the world began?

Adrià had always been a remarkable chef. Having joined elBulli in Spain in 1984, he travelled overseas to meet other chefs and gain inspiration. In 1996, Joel Robuchon described him as the best chef in the world – perhaps the first international endorsement of his talents, but certainly not the last. Heston Blumenthal, Juan Mari Arzak, and Paul Bocuse are just a few of the chefs who reiterate admiration for Adrià’s genius.

He was travelling the world promoting elBulli 2005-2011 when The Adelaide Review met him. elBulli 2005-2011 is a seven-volume compendium with striking imagery, luxurious paper stock and meticulously gathered insights into the 1846 dishes created over seven years at elBulli.

Adrià has taken creativity further than just not copying. He is convinced creativity can be measured. “Yes, perfectly so,” he states.

“But in general, we don’t want to do it because it seems as if, ‘Okay, if I’m creative then I can do anything! Don’t pressure me, because pressure is not good for me if I am creative.’ That is not true. You can measure creativity at the end — whether you have produced or not. There are so very many ways to create in the world and so many disciplines in the world that everyone has their own process. But it’s the quantity of results, that’s where you are going to measure it, so you can measure it perfectly.”


Ferran Adria portrait.

The measurement of creativity, even with a reliable formula, isn’t an easy process. It’s hard to imagine what would motivate someone to do it.

“To not copy myself. Most people don’t want to look at their own past because they would realise that they copy themselves,” he says.

“Another thing that’s important is, if you understand what you do and analyse it, I think it’s useful for you to create, at least it’s useful for me to create. When you want to last for many years — I want to be very long-lasting in creativity — it is a daily battle. And all of this self-supervision, if you will, I think it’s very important to do it. And this is just subjective, some people may say, ‘Oh no, that’s not true’, but then I’d like to see how long they last. And in general you could say that people who have lasted [for] a long time have been very ordered.”

The compendium, elBulli 2005–2011, certainly reflects this order. Each dish is beautifully photographed and recorded. Ironically perhaps, it will lead to copying.

“Well, if we publish something like this, it is indeed to share it,” he says.

“Some people take 10 ideas, others take five. Another takes one. For someone it’s a life changing experience, for someone else it’s not. Every chef is different but it is without a doubt a very influential work.”

It is also a very beautiful work, by any aesthetic measure, and was mostly completed in-house, including the photography.

“We do this every year, four or five times a year. And the styling, we also did that. Because after 1846 dishes and thousands and thousands of snapshots we have learnt a thing or two.”

elBulli 2005–2011 is available through Phaidon Australia

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The Adelaide Review

Food For Thought: Afternoon Tea

The very hungry Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, is rumoured to have started the late afternoon indulgence of cake and tea in the early 1840s. The lull of energy and the hunger pains that creep up on us all became too much for Anna and she began to take a cup of tea, bread and butter, and a small cake in her room. With hunger kept at bay, the only thing lacking was company, so she began to share her afternoon ritual with others.

By the 1880s the art of taking afternoon tea had turned into a grand affair for all concerned. Etiquette on how to dress, set the table and even the invention of fine bone china came from the growing demands of the upper-class and their afternoon tea sessions.

Once guests were at the table, and suitably dressed for the occasion, the most iconic afternoon tea dish would grace the table: the very humble cucumber sandwich. It was the humbleness of this sandwich that proved just how much of an extravagant event afternoon tea was. While a nation was starving, and every meal was considered to be of importance, the upperclass were enjoying frivolous sandwiches that had little to no nutritional benefit. The cucumber sandwich would make legendary status and was even referenced in the first act of The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde.

Once sandwiches had been eaten, only then would a selection of small, but very elegant, cakes be brought to the table. Victorian classics – fruit cake, sponge cake and brandy snap baskets – kept people eating well into the evening. But foreign influences would eventually make their way to the table and are now considered mandatory inclusions at afternoon tea.

Madeleines, traditionally baked in the shape of scallop shells, are the perfect addition to the afternoon tea line-up. Originally from the northeast of France, these cakes have the perfect crumb for soaking up hot cups of tea.

Although many of us reference high tea, it was in fact afternoon tea that was the more grand and lavish affair. High tea was traditionally a more robust event and enjoyed in a much more relaxed way. High tea was also served much later in the day but more importantly was the meal directly after finishing a long day’s work. It is suggested that this is where the term ‘tea time’ originated.

Whether it is afternoon tea, high tea or even a snack and a cup of tea, most of us indulge in this ritual daily, thanks to Anna and her hunger pains!

Madeleines Recipe

This cake batter is traditionally baked in shell-moulded tins but if you don’t have one, they bake perfectly in muffin tins.

Ingredients

• 4 eggs
• 150g caster sugar
• 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
• Zest of two oranges
• 150g unsalted butter
• Extra butter for greasing the tins
• 200g plain flur
• Pinch of salt
• 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 210 degrees. 2. Whisk the eggs and sugar for four to five minutes or until pale and double in volume.
3. Add the orange zest and vanilla. Whisk for a further minute to combine.
4. Melt the butter until slightly nut brown; set aside to cool.
5. Using a pastry brush, lightly grease the tins with room temperature butter (if not using a non-stick pan, lightly dust the buttered tin with flour. Tap upside down to remove any excess flour and leave to set in the fridge for 15 minutes).
6. Sift the flour, bicarb soda and pinch of salt onto the egg mixture.
7. Lightly fold the mixture.
8. Add the melted butter when nearly all of the flour has been incorporated, ensuring to fold the mixture gently to ensure a light batter.
9. Spoon the mixture into the moulds, filling them around three quarters of the way to the top.
10. Bake for 10 minutes or until just set in the centre and golden on the underside.
11. Serve warm from the oven.

@annabelleats

 

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The Adelaide Review

Java Lifestyle: Great wall of Coffee

As soon as you walk into Java Lifestyle you are greeted by friendly staff, a five kilogram coffee roaster and a wall of coffee beans sourced from around the world.

I was drawn in like a magnet and didn’t hesitate to ask about the 1950s vintage Gaggia espresso machine that’s set up on display like the true piece of art that it is. The great wall of coffee beans consisted of 20 bean hoppers with well displayed names and shiny fittings that reminded me of lolly dispensers from my childhood.

The barista was very busy but still able to talk to me about the beans on offer. For my espresso she suggested I try a single origin bean called Ethiopian Sidamo. Full of flavour, it had a big impact upon my first sip, the cherry notes initially dominated but the cocoa came through towards the end.

For the latte, I tried their house blend called Super Crema; made from beans from Colombia, Africa, India and Sumatra. The first sip had hints of roasted nuts but then the dark chocolate notes came through. It was presented with the latte art of a rosetta and made with milk from Tweedvale.

Java Lifestyle is a place that has a very bright clean feel to it with that hint of traditional coffee house mixed in. There’s a great display of some antique equipment and, if you’re lucky, you might even catch them roasting the beans that you’ll be enjoying in your next cup.

Java Lifestyle
2/84 Gorge Rd, Newton

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The Adelaide Review

Maggie’s Mission

Renowned cook and food personality Maggie Beer has established The Maggie Beer Foundation, which aims to improve the quality of food being served to elderly Australians.

Launched in April 2014 at Tasting Australia (part of which included a forum on the elderly and a cooking competition for chefs from aged-care centres), Beer’s mission is to marry her innate knowledge of what good food can do for everyone’s (particularly the elderly’s) state of mind to the latest cutting-edge research on nutrition’s impact on brain health and general well-being.

Beer describes the initiative as a “truly nourishing mix, so much greater than the sum of its parts”.

A good food life for all, and all that encompasses, is what drives Beer, and that includes the aged. Beer’s interest in the elderly was sparked when, as Senior Australian of the Year in 2010, she spoke at a conference of aged-care leaders.

Drawing inspiration from her “mentor”, the indefatigable Stephanie Alexander, Beer wants to do for elderly South Australian aged care residents what Stephanie’s Kitchen Garden Foundation does in enhancing food education in primary schools.

“Everyone, regardless of their age or circumstance, deserves access to good food,” Beer says.

She is aware of the enormity and complexity of the task ahead to create change in a positive, inclusive way. “That’s why I created my Foundation comprised of a skilled Board with expertise and a message designed to appeal to like-minded people around Australia.”

Beer has teamed up with Country Health SA in leading a campaign to improve the food served in regional aged-care facilities in SA. The project will be trialed initially at Mount Pleasant Hospital and Abbeyfield Residential Care in Williamstown as part of the State Government’s Ageing Action Plan.

The regional project will involve Beer developing and testing a new approach to food in aged care, with a focus on quality, freshness and presentation. According to well-known chef Simon Bryant, some of the major hurdles facing aged-care homes were budgets, training and liability surrounding risks such as falls, food poisoning and choking.

Currently more than 15,000 people are in residential care homes, while about 70,000 people use home and community care services in South Australia. As South Australia’s population ages, these numbers are set to increase rapidly. In 2011, the state had nearly 400,000 Baby Boomers (born 1946-64), which represented nearly 25 percent of the population.

The project will focus on beautifully presented, fresh, high quality food. Beer hopes the campaign will bring a much-needed change in regional aged-care homes’ approach to food. 

“This is a mission dear to my heart. So I am delighted to be working with Country Health SA in a project that has the potential to change the way we ‘do food’ in aged care in those facilities where beautiful, fresh food has not been a priority,”

One initial aim is to identify and celebrate aged care facilities that are already doing a good job. Another important step is to find ways to encourage facilities that are not already doing so to purchase fresh, seasonal, local (Australian) ingredients in the preparation of the food for residents.

However, how well elderly Australians eat is a matter for conjecture. Many aged-care providers may take exception to the suggestion that their residents do not receive an excellent food and dining experience.

In order to gain accreditation, and consequent funding, aged-care providers must already provide many things in their menus and food service (including choices at each meal to allow for personal preferences and cultural diversity).

The kitchens in aged-care facilities are tightly controlled environments of activity where the staff work hard in order to produce many meals and between-meals offerings each day. In that regard they are not very different to the pressured environment of a commercial kitchen in a well-patronised restaurant.

So what is the standard of food currently being served in aged-care homes in South Australia and nationally? What are the criteria on which these assessments are based? And, just how does one go about devising, funding and implementing an effective scheme (presumably a long-term national objective)?

A logical starting point is to benchmark the current state-of-play and then move forward from there. Beer’s initiative is ambitious, it promises much and it is engendering public interest. Now the Foundation has been established, and public donations solicited, we can hope to see the project implemented.

maggiebeerfoundation.org.au

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The Adelaide Review

Eastern Promises: Mother Vine and The Tasting Room

The reemergence of the city’s east end as a quality food and wine district continues with the addition of Mother Vine and The Tasting Room.

Rundle Street’s east end used to be a haven for food and wine lovers. It lost its appeal after many institutions closed and streets such as Waymouth, Leigh and Peel emerged as food and wine hotspots. This was exacerbated by the closure of the Universal Wine Bar last year, and it seemed all was lost for Rundle Street and its adjoining laneways.

But there were signs of life, as Ebenezer Place evolved into the food destination it had promised for many years with numerous cafes and lunch spots such as Hey Jupiter, Sad Cafe and Nano. And late last year, Rundle Street snagged the quality gastronomic destination it was waiting for with the opening of Jock Zonfrillo’s Street ADL and Orana.

One premium wine destination has been a constant throughout all these changes – East End Cellars. Michael Andrewartha’s much-loved wine retailer, importer and wholesaler, called Adelaide’s best wine shop by wine writer Max Allen, has been an institution on Vardon Avenue (which runs parallel to Rundle St, near Ebenezer Place) for 16 years. It has now moved across the avenue to bigger premises. It’s not just a larger space. The shop includes The Tasting Room, a licensed area where you can enjoy a glass of wine or two with food options including imported and local ham and salami, toasted sandwiches, antipasto and a Ploughman’s Platter.

Andrewartha is also involved in the premium wine bar Mother Vine, located in the old East End Cellars building. Due to open in the middle of July, Andrewartha is responsible for Mother Vine along with Amalfi ’s Frank Hannon-Tan, East End Cellars’ Pablo Theodoros and Master of Wine David LeMire from Shaw + Smith. The small bar license was the genesis for both the Tasting Room and Mother Vine. Andrewartha and Hannon-Tan want the area to be a food and wine hub and for their businesses to complement existing east end food and wine premises such as Street ADL and Orana, The Botanic and the National Wine Centre.

“There’s been a long tradition of wine bars in Rundle Street from the days of Universal and Tapas,” explains Hannon-Tan.

“And that space [Tapas] was a wine bar continuously from 1920s up until Tapas closed, according to Howard Twelftree [the late Adelaide Review food reviewer].”

Hannon-Tan, who owns Frome Street’s Amalfi, said he felt there was a change of direction on Rundle St when hospitality businesses moved out to be replaced by fashion shops.

“I think the pendulum has swung back and corrected itself with the laneways behind Rundle St,” he explains.

“It’s an equilibrium. I don’t want to criticise that period but it swings in roundabouts. I think this is a part of a balancing out of the city as well – there’s a lot happening in the west end and it’s provided an impetus to redevelop here. This is never going to be the late night precinct that it once was, and that’s not a bad thing.”

“We’ve both been in the east end for the same amount of time, about 16 years,” explains Andrewartha.

“It’s funny how we’ve now joined forces to open this new bar. I think both venues will work off each other fairly well. The Tasting Room is a lot smaller, it’s licensed for 75, but across the road [Mother Vine] we’re licensed for 120. This [The Tasting Room] is a not a late night venue, you won’t be hanging off the rafters at 2am, it closes at 10 o’clock at the latest. And across the road it will go to one o’clock on Friday and Saturday nights only but normally midnight, so they are not late night venues as such.”

Mother Vine’s wine list will be 300-strong and driven by Lemire.

“He’s looking at a wine list that showcases the best of independent winemakers in Australia and around the world, with a focus on France, Italy and Spain as well as some German wines.”

Andrewartha says the Tasting Room and Mother Vine will be separate businesses with different identities, as he’ll be the face of the Tasting Room and East End Cellars while Hannon-Tan, Theodoros and LeMire will be the faces of Mother Vine.

“Of course there will be some crosspollination of clients who will drink wine there and want to buy it here,” he explains.

“It’s about creating a wine hub,” Hannon-Tan says.

“When people think, ‘I want to go for a glass of wine’, it’s not necessarily a specific place but its about coming to Vardon Avenue, it’s about coming to the east end for a selection of places.”

eastendcellars.com.au
facebook.com/mothervinewinebar

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The Adelaide Review

Hot 100 SA Wines 2014

With many months of planning already under our belt, The Adelaide Review is excited to launch the 2014/15 season of the Hot 100 SA Wines with some exciting changes, which includes fresh judges and wine classes, as well as a new Chief Judge – Banjo Harris Plane. Harris Plane has been part of the Hot 100 team for the last two years as a judge and this year the Attica Manager and Sommelier steps up to be the Chief Judge for 2014/15.

The Hot 100 winners will be announced on Thursday, October 30, at the Queen’s Theatre. We will also launch the Hot 100 SA Wines publication at this event. 

The Adelaide Review will release a limited number of tickets for the public to purchase for the first time in the event’s history for the Queen’s Theatre soiree. The ticket price includes all tastings, canapés, entertainment and a unique opportunity to meet the Top 10 winemakers of 2014.

Tickets are now onsale; click here to purchase.

The Jam Factory will announce its Drink. Dine. Design emerging artist award at the launch. The Adelaide Review is a proud partner of this exciting award for the second year running. 

Finally, we would like to thank our 2014 sponsors. This wine show, event and publication would not be possible without their generous support.

 

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The Adelaide Review

Review: Longview

While music is always an important ingredient, it would be nothing without the encouragement of food and wine and I propose that if Julie Andrews had spent her glory days twirling about on the slopes of the Adelaide Hills, the songs may have turned out a little differently. In place of curtain-clad children picking fruit, there’d be vignerons and seasonal pickers gathering the best vintage bunches, and Sister Mary such-andsuch would be replaced with worshippers of the wine-variety, out of the convent and into the cellar, as is (the wine) god’s plan.

At the peak of this food and wine musical would be the Brothers Saturno – owners and guys-in-charge of the Longview Vineyard estate and all of its operations. Season after season they are the ones leading Longview’s charge and deliver a sensational performance in the art of food and wine.

One-hit-wonder winemakers of the ‘80s have a lot to answer for but thankfully the plight of under-appreciated Chardonnay is getting stronger after years spent in the buttery shadows. Longview’s Blue Cow is a dazzling example of a refreshed version, with only a light hint of oak and tastes of stone fruit and citrus that will suit even the most reserved of palates (while still pleasing judging panels around the country, considering the number of medals this drop has been awarded). Another favourite white is Queenie, a delightfully aromatic Pinot Grigio named after the owners’ nonna, Tarquinia (who received the fi rst bottle of this tribute as a surprise on her 90th birthday).

A Sunday matinee is the best (and only) time you’ll get to try the tapas menu at Longview’s restaurant or balcony bar, unless you are lucky enough to be invited for a special event or wedding. Course after course of bite-sized offerings and tasty treats are prepared in a kitchen of extras brought in to create the scene every weekend at this charming rustic restaurant space.

Longview serves a refined Spanish-influenced menu that includes an entrée starter of juicy marinated olives and grissini, spiced pumpkin dip that packs a punch, served with hand-made corn tortillas and a leek, potato and cheese tortilla. All simple ingredients, but seasoned and spiced precisely, and matched perfectly with the Willy Wagtail methode champenoise Chardonnay and Pinot Noir sparkling and hand-picked Iron Knob Riesling – gaining a gravelly mineral undertone from the estate hill where the grapes are grown.

Next come the main course dishes, jumping from the plates with colour and flavour. A smoked peppered chicken served with a chargrilled vegetable mix of capsicum, zucchini and eggplant atop a bed of baby rocket, drizzled in a marvelous house-made mayonnaise is the dish of the day, only slightly ahead of the mini slow-cooked pork and oregano pies (with the flakiest of pastries), served with a green salad and side of hand-cut sweet potato chips. A warm roasted carrot, lentil and labne salad comes next, coated in a well-balanced harissa yogurt that will get your tastebuds whirling. This does feature some fairly underwhelming BBQ lamb kefta, though.

Dessert is a cascading romantic vintage comedy of tiered cake stands, filled with naughty R-rated delights including salted caramel chocolate shards, almond butter cookies and petite chocolate éclairs, along with some divine little domes of vanilla and raspberry jube, sprinkled with lime sugar. It’s enough to make you blush.

The cheese plate that follows includes aged-Cheddar with candied walnuts, guava paste and fresh apple atop poppy seed lavosh. The perfect encore that leaves you suitably sated. McLaren Vale might be the gateway to the southern sea and vines, and the Barossa Valley may be consumed, but the Adelaide Hills are alive with the sound of vino, and Longview is full of your favourite things.

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The Adelaide Review

Adelaide’s Patio Coffee Roasters

There is a coffee drying method widely used around the world where the raw coffee beans are made into thin rows on large cement patios. The coffee is dried by the sun and is shifted every 30 to 40 minutes over six to 14 days. This method was inspiration for the name Patio Coffee Roasters and I believe it is also a symbol of patience, which is what’s needed when brewing, extracting and pouring the perfect coffee.

The boutique was full of toys and tools to make coffee enthusiasts feel like a kid in a candy store. The shelves were full of different beans with various characteristics but it was the Synesso coffee machine on the counter that was ready to make my day. The barista suggested I start with an espresso of Panama Boquete from Maunier Estate. It had a rounded grapefruit acidity that lingered in the mouth and started to sweeten as I sipped on.

I ordered the house blend called Compton St for my latte. Made up of beans from Brazil, Colombia, India, Guatemala and Papua New Guinea, it was presented with a symmetrical rosetta on top as the art and the taste was clean and bright with a hint of malt. The Tweedvale milk was textured beautifully and created an excellent mouthfeel throughout.

Patio Coffee Roasters is like a cellar door for the coffee scene and caters to all areas of the industry. They roast their coffee in-house and do all sorts of training onsite. If you feel that your skills are drying up or you would like to start the day right, then come and hang out on this patio for a relaxing coffee and a chat.

Patio Coffee Roasters
678 South Road,Glandore

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The Adelaide Review

Cheese Matters: Fondue

Depending on your era you may or may not be familiar with fondue. This sharing experience of food was totally hip and groovy in the 70s,when fondue parties were the dinner party of choice. It seems the roots of fondue lie in Switzerland, where it was promoted with slogans such as “fondue is good and creates a good mood”. Over time many countries around the world adopted fondue.

Special little pots were required, with distinctive forks that have long stems, lots of melting style cheese and yummy food bits to put on the end of your fork to dip into the hot cheesey liquid.

The fondue pot is quite a cute little thing that generally sits on a stand and has a little burner underneath in order to keep the fondue warm and in a liquid state. The fondue pot became a very popular wedding gift in the 70s. I recall many people telling me when I was looking for fondue pots for CheeseFest last year, they still had the one they were given for a wedding gift in the shed or on the top shelf in the pantry room. Well, if you have one bring it out! Fondue has once again become a popular gastronomic experience, one we should all try at least once.

The cooler weather now is begging for a fondue session to happen. So here’s how you go about it. Of course if you do not have a fondue pot, visit your local op shop, they are sure to have a couple stashed on their shelves.

Now, the important bit – the cheese. You must choose the correct cheese in order to produce a really good fondue. Select from quality Gruyere, Edam, Emmentaler, sharp Cheddar or even Camembert.

There are many recipes for fondue. Once you start looking it is quite surprising. Even celebrity chefs have a few takes on this groovy offering. The first recorded fondue recipe was in a 1699 book which was published in Zurich under the name Käss mit Wein zu kochen which translates to ‘cooking with cheese and wine’.

It simply asks for one cup of grated or cut cheese to be melted with wine and to dip bread cubes into it. While the foundation is there, a few more ingredients really go a long way in shaping some great flavours for you to enjoy.

Fondue should be runny and stringy, not thick and stodgy, and the key to achieving this is using cornflour and white wine. The cornflour prevents the proteins in the cheese coagulating and the acidity in the wine keeps the cheese stringy. Here’s my favourite recipe, which I discovered when looking for fondue recipes for the Funky Fondue Lounge at CheeseFest last year.

Cheese Fondue Recipe

Ingredients

• 450g gruyère cheese, grated
• 450g comte cheese, grated
• 15g cornflour
• 30ml sherry
• 2 thyme sprigs
• 3 garlic cloves, bashed
• 500ml white wine
• 1 tbsp lemon juice
• 5g English mustard powder
• 1 pinch ground nutmeg

Method

1. Start by mixing the grated cheeses with the cornflour in a bowl, then bring the sherry to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the thyme and garlic then remove from the heat and allow it to infuse for a few minutes. Strain and allow to cool. Bring the wine and lemon juice to the boil in a medium saucepan, then add the cheese, a little at a time, stirring continuously until it is glossy, smooth and creamy.

2. Now add the infused sherry, mustard powder and ground nutmeg. Stir those into the cheese and wine and continue to stir until the fondue thickens.

3. Transfer this to your fondue pot and serve with cubes of sourdough bread and crudités. I love cornichons, olives, radishes, asparagus, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms as seasonal  dippings.

4. It is important to make sure the cheese fondue mixture is kept warm enough to maintain a smooth and liquid mixture, but not so hot that it burns. For something a bit different, replace the wine with beer or cider, the flavours are great.

Another type of very popular fondue is the chocolate fondue. Personally I am not a sweet tooth, so I will stick to the cheese version but I am acutely aware I could be in the minority there.

Try melted Toblerone in some good dark chocolate with a titch of your favourite liqueur, something like Grand Marnier. Now the dippings for chocolate fondue can be interesting. Anything from marshmallows, chunks of banana, milk bottle lollies, and the perfectly sensible strawberry all work a treat.

I can hear you now: “Have you seen the old fondue set?” I hope I have encouraged you to dust it off and enjoy the “good mood” that fondue creates.

Kris Lloyd is Woodside Cheese Wrights’ Head Cheesemaker
woodsidecheese.com.au

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The Adelaide Review

Review: Hanuman

The location of this extension of Chef Jimmy Shu’s national restaurant empire seems a little strange.

South Terrace hotels are not the most inspirational of Adelaide’s accommodation, and the Grand Chifley Hotel’s dated exterior and tired entrance lobby doesn’t give a good first impression when entering the restaurant sited just opposite the reception desk. Moving through the refurbished dining space is a little more rousing but even a fresh coat of paint and some Danish-style imported furniture can’t help you shake the feeling that you’re about to dive into the hotel’s weekly buffet special. The idea of ‘views over the hotel pool’ would usually add a touch of grandeur, if only the pool wasn’t surrounded by chunky with plastic furniture overshadowed only by the unpleasant façades of nearby buildings. We can’t always choose our neighbours, I suppose.

We arrive during a very quiet lunch hour, confirming that although the location may help keep the overheads down and be convenient for after-hours parking it is not attracting the daytime crowd of more centrally-based dining haunts. Only one other table is occupied and the food and beverage staff seem a little surprised when we arrive, continuing to set tables rather than show us to one. After a little confusion we are seated and service picks up, with menus and wine landing promptly and some menu suggestions offered by the staff and accepted by us; their knowledge of the dishes gave reassurance that we made a good choice and were in for a gastronomic treat from across the seas.

Six little tapered earthenware lids surround a pool of lime and chilli sauce, each one hiding a succulent seafood surprise. Lifting the lid reveals fresh oysters swimming in a subtly sweet and slightly spicy liquid. Simple and delicious. This is Hanuman’s signature dish, and one that I’d happily eat by the dozen. Lingering tastes of lemongrass and ginger get the taste buds dancing and the heat from the chilli is enough to notice but not to undermine the oyster’s delicate flesh.

The first sign of the Indian influence to the Hanuman menu comes next: a Kashmiri chicken tikka marinated with yogurt, ginger and Kashmiri chilli, balanced thoughtfully with a fragrant rose petal garam masala. I imagine that better can only be tasted alongside views of the Himalayan mountains, and this dish is best eaten dunked in the minted yogurt and wrapped in the most delicious roti bread served alongside. It’s here that you really begin to realise that with food like this as the focus, interior (and exterior) design struggles of this oriental haven can be forgiven (even the preformed sandstone deities that I just noticed lining the purple fluorescent lit walls).

It is a difficult challenge to make a curry look photo-worthy but the duck, roasted then simmered in a coconut and red curry sauce, infused with kaffir lime leaf and Thai basil and topped with a sprig of a chilli bush, makes this one the exception, and dare I say it kind of ‘cute’. Strike a pose, you delicious looking dish. Delicious tasting too. Large chunks o