Wining and dining in Adelaide’s East End

Formerly part of the Adelaide Food and Wine Festival, East End Wine Down is back again this year to celebrate locally-made wine and urban street food.

Popping up on Sunday, March 29 on Vardon Avenue, the Wine Down features local winemakers including d’Arenberg, Wirra Wirra, Dandelion Vineyards, Two Hands, SC Pannell and Ministry of Clouds.

From noon ‘til 5pm, a mix of wine, music and all things East End will see the Wine Down house more than 500 people, aiming to provide a relaxing atmosphere and educate punters about the different tastes of wines available at the end of the vintage season.

Local business East End Cellars, who opted to continue the event this year, hopes that budding wine connoisseurs can experience the flavours of South Australian wine while conversing and meeting with the winemakers themselves.

DJs JD and Mike will provide music throughout the day and street food from Golden Boy, Africola, Mother Vine and The Tasting Room will be on site with vegan and vegetarian options available.

Tickets are $30 and are available through, or $35 on the door.

Full list of winemakers at the event:

Oliver’s Taranga
Wirra Wirra
Adelaide Winemakers
Vigna Bottin
Cape Jaffa
Murdoch Hill
Ministry of Clouds
Dandelion Vineyards
Heirloom Vineyards
Deviation Road
Two Hands
SC Pannell
Fox Gordon



The Adelaide Review

Easter confessions of a chocolatier

Steven ter Horst tells us what Easter is like for a chocolatier and how people can avoid eating cheap and sweet eggs on Easter Sunday.

“Easter for a chocolatier is just mayhem,” says ter Horst from his Rundle Street chocolate shop and cafe, Steven ter Horst Chocolatier.

“You start thinking about Easter before Christmas. We decided on a range and packaging two weeks into January. Your bigger companies would have been looking at production back in June last year. It’s pretty full on. People just go mad for chocolate over Easter. It’s a good industry to be in but it is seasonal. It’s busy over Easter but in January, when it’s hot, we’re dead quiet.”

Some specialty Easter chocolates ter Horst will sell include a hot cross bun chocolate, a half egg – filled with salted caramel and shortbread – and their popular Dozen Hen’s Eggs, which contains 12 hollow chocolate eggs in an egg carton. When it comes to specialty dates, such as Valentine’s Day and Christmas, ter Horst says the shop is not traditional.

“[Before Valentine’s Day] you won’t come in and find heart-shaped this or heart-shaped that. In the past we have tried to be traditional like other chocolate shops but that doesn’t sell. What we’ve found is the quality of our products speaks for itself and people will purchase based on that. They don’t seem to go down that traditional path. But with Easter, everything is out the window. They want it egg-shaped, they want it traditional, and we cater for that to a certain extent but the sales of our handmade chocolates will go crazy as well. It’s all over the place.”

ter Horst has some professional tips for people buying Easter chocolate, which include spending what you can afford and that bigger isn’t always better.

“You get what you pay for but you don’t want to get carried away. I think people in this day and age think the more grandiose it is the better. It is almost like a competition: ‘look how big and awesome mine is!’ You go to a supermarket – I was looking at some packets yesterday – and the packaging was made in China, eggs made in the UK and it was assembled in Australia. That’s a lot of hands and air miles coming into play. With us, everything’s made locally as much as we can.

“People in a small business will try and help you buy something special for a cheaper dollar point. If you go to your big shops, your supermarkets, you’ll get what you pay for. It’s always good to educate your kids young on how things should taste. The most intriguing thing about being in a chocolate shop is hearing, ‘oh, my daughter doesn’t like dark chocolate’. It’s normally because they haven’t been introduced to it properly or, when they are introduced to it, it’s cheap, nasty dark chocolate.”

ter Horst says you can buy decent chocolate from a supermarket. To avoid low quality chocolate when purchasing from a big store, ter Horst says to look at the ingredient list.

“You’re looking for cocoa, cane sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla and soy lecithin is also predominately used. A high quality milk version of that will just have high quantities of sugar and skim milk powder. As soon as they list cocoa powder or vegetable fats, that’s when you start running into trouble. Cocoa powder is a cheap product to buy; they put vegetable fat with it to replace the cocoa fat that’s naturally in it. It’s all downhill from there.

“If you go to one of you’re cheap shops, and you buy a bag of eggs from there and it’s like eating a dusty, dirty chocolate, you’re not eating actual chocolate. It would be nice if Australia had the laws like they do in Europe, where you can’t call ‘compound chocolate’ chocolate.”



The Adelaide Review

The day Jamie Oliver visited Noarlunga

Pop stars causing pandemonium in shopping malls? That’s so 90s. It’s all about celebrity chefs now. 

If chefs are the new rock stars, it made sense an enthusiastic crowd welcomed Jamie Oliver to Noarlunga’s shopping centre, Colonnades, on Wednesday, March 25.

Arguably the world’s most recognisable cooking identity visited his Noarlunga-based Ministry of Food pop-up and was greeted by a roar, as a score of raised iPhones and Galaxys captured the moment, along with a bunch of opened 30 Minute Meal cookbooks to get Oliver’s prized signature.

The horde in front of the pop-up [a decent-sized space and kitchen] made it obvious that word had got out about the Naked Chef’s surprise visit. Before making his way to Noarlunga, Oliver visited the Adelaide branch of his enormously successful Jamie’s Italian chain and stopped for lunch in one of the south’s most iconic food spots, Fino, which the author of some 20 books – and former drummer of Scarlet Division – Tweeted approvingly about.

Oliver stepped into the pop-up to a host of sponsors, supporters, some media, and a select group of local Ministry of Food participants. From the moment he entered, you could tell why Oliver’s career in the spotlight has lasted more than 15 years and reached such a global audience. He bounced around like a kid in a candy store (sorry, farmers’ market), greeted everyone in sight and posed for endless photos.

Everyone in the room had a smile on their dial. Even the most cynical of observers could not help but be captivated by the forever-cheery Brit’s presence. Though he might not be the world’s greatest chef, he is arguably the world’s most popular. Say what you will about Jamie’s Italian, his spruiking for supermarkets and his brand, one thing he has to be admired for is his dedication to making people eat healthier, by pushing fresh, simple and healthy food – and not fad diets. He has done this through shows such as Jamie’s School Dinners and his Ministry of Food (MoF) campaign and MoF centres in the UK and Australia. There are currently three MoF centres in Australia as well as two mobile kitchens, and since December, Noarlunga’s MoF, which won a national competition to host the pop-up last year.

Jamie Oliver at Noarlunga's Ministry of Food pop-up

After many selfies, Oliver was handed the mic, and gave an enthusiastic speech about the pop-up. 

“I’m really, really, completely proud to be here,” he said before getting serious to talk about Ministry of Food’s mission.

“In Australia and Britain, and many countries around the world, the biggest killer in our communities, to the people we love and care for, is diet-related disease. It kills more people than anything else now. And it’s a big deal. And because it is so slow, and because it is so gradual, no government has taken it seriously. No government has attacked it aggressively, strategically and ambushed it. It really upsets me that we’re handing over a world – to the kids – that’s not in a great place right now. 

Oliver emphasised the point that MoF is about “local people helping fix local people”.

“From my point of view, Aussie is in a really good place. Government has contributed [to Ministry of Food], business has contributed, local neighbourhoods have contributed ... This is the spirit guys. This is how we fix stuff.” 

Noarlunga’s pop-up won a national competition over hundreds of other towns and centres last year to host the latest MoF outlet, which runs five-week classes to teach people the basics in how to cook healthy and fresh food.

“You did a brilliant pitch. We took one for the shortlist from each state in Australia, it was really, really hard [to choose a winner] because the truth is: we should have done every single one, and we weren’t flexible enough to do that.”

What made Noarlunga stand out? Oliver told reporters that it was a series of children's drawings of food on plates that pulled his heartstrings.

“It was the kids that got to me,” Oliver said before explaining that the pictures told a story that the children didn’t want the food they were currently being served.

“You look at the plates, it was all the same old golden, crispy, reheated rubbish. What we do here is get local people to inspire local people how to cook from fresh, and to be clever, and to be mindful of budget, and to understand the basics of nutrition. As you might have heard from our independent research from Deakin and Melbourne University, we’ve proved that our intervention makes a change six months after they leave the course. They’re still eating more fruit and veg, they’re sitting around the table more often, and it’s doing the hardest thing in the world, which is making change.”

With classes booked out three months in advance for Noarlunga’s MoF, it looks like the fresh food change is working in Adelaide’s south.

Photos: Jonathan van der Knaap



The Adelaide Review

Review: Cliché Exhibition

Our local food trends seem to be eternally trying to keep up with the rest of the world. One season it’s food truck insanity and the next it’s Japanese-Korean with a scattered hint of modern Australia. But what’s wrong with a little tradition once in a while? Adelaide’s culinary ingenuity may be at its peak, but we habitually seem to lack focus.

Enter Cliché. And they’re not afraid to admit it.

Even though it is part gallery, part bar and part restaurant, Cliché Exhibition is completely and unashamedly French. It says so out front, on the walls, on the menu and in the bathrooms. We are even given a glimpse of stereotypical Parisian service – though this example has little to do with a language barrier and more with an abrupt waitress intent on giving us the full Champs-Élysées experience – walking off when we’re only part-way through ordering drinks (I’ve never had such service in France, for the record).

Refraining from snapping my fingers, I wait patiently until she returns to take entrée orders and then request a Blanc de Blancs sparkling white called Lois, hailing all the way from The Lane Vineyard in our very own Adelaide Hills. Sounds French enough, non?

We fill the time awaiting our meals by slathering Pepe Saya cultured butter over warmed bread, while looking longingly at the diners inside, as we endure the ambience of exhaust fumes and bus engines screeching their way up O’Connell Street. The venue failed to explain, while booking, that outdoor seating is actually roadside. A lesson for next time, I suppose.

Through paned windows, hints of colour and frivolity are visible. Art adorning the walls looks wonderful, if only we were seated closer to enjoy it. But, back to the wine that is helping us cope with ending up in the cheap-seats. A bottle of Clos Clare Watervale Riesling keeps it local while sounding fancy, and then entrées arrive.

Winklers Wonderful Duck Pâté is served with the promised accompaniments including a knife and a napkin. Two morsels of pickle, and a few slices of oven-dried breadstick, try their best to be present but would be better off left aside. The pâté itself has a light foamy texture and subtle meatiness but lacks seasoning and its usual herbaceous flavour.

The Classic Beef Tartare is comparably more French, nicely flavoured with capers and herbs, topped with the yolk from a quail egg and accompanied by (surprise!) two morsels of pickle and a few slices of oven-dried breadstick. Given these dishes are designed to share, I expected a larger portion, but a waylaid cherry tomato on the plate adds an extra mouthful at least.

Porc Me is a play on words that follows through on the plate. Crispy pork belly has a base of sour cabbage and radish slices that add crunch and a slight bitterness to fight the sweetness of the perfectly cooked swine. Escargots are lovely in a sauce of garlic butter, white wine and parsley. A sprinkling of chopped chives adds some oniony goodness to each little mollusc.

Vive la revolution! A slow-braised beef cheek regains my faith on behalf of French cuisine. It is melt-in-your-mouth incredible, served simply with a baked tomato, saffron eschalot and a pile of crispy kale chips that, despite my initial superfood reservations, are actually delectable when dunked in a side of onion aioli.

Bébé Bébé Bébé is a tongue-twister of stuffed spatchcock that is nicely cooked then glazed. The two petite breasts are succulent with hints of lemon and herb, served next to a cute little nest of fried potato that houses a softboiled quail egg and sprigs of herbs for colour. Corn puree is artistically spattered across the plate and a handful of kernels complete this bantam masterpiece.

At last, a dish that ties the whole place together, even if it is a little cliché.




The Adelaide Review

Botanic Gardens Restaurant’s dinner plans

Known as a lunch venue, the team in charge of the Botanic Gardens Restaurant is looking to start a regular dinner service for the first time in its history.

Head Chef Paul Baker has been planning dinner service since taking over the restaurant nine months ago. He has held specialty teaser dinners, such as the upcoming seven-course Dinner Sessions on Friday, March 27, to test the waters. With a pending change in the liquor license, he hopes the restaurant will be open on Friday and Saturday nights from the middle of April.

“We’ve been planning this since we first opened,” Baker says.

“It was just a matter of getting some traction, getting people to look at what we’re doing here and then going for it. We’re nine months in from when we first took over in July, so I think we’re as ready now as we’re ever going to be.”

Baker says the Adelaide Botanic Garden is “100 percent” behind the idea as the restaurant had to get approval from the Garden before proceeding with trying to amend their liquor license to allow after-dark service. Since taking over in July, Baker uses arguably the most impressive garden in the country as his kitchen garden, as he not only picks from the market garden but forages in the Botanic Garden every morning, so much of the menu is literally from garden to plate.

Baker hopes a new dining crowd will discover the restaurant with a dinner service, which he says will have a degustation focus although that will not be the only option.

“We sell a lot more degustation now; the restaurant never really had a degustation option before. That will be our push to try and do that with more time to dine than the two hours we have for lunch every day. It will change our dynamic so much.

“We don’t want to pigeonhole ourselves with a higher-price menu as our only option because a lot of people are already doing that, so we’re trying to give guests the exibility of two or three courses or a degustation.”

Baker, who trained under Matt Moran at Sydney’s ARIA and has cheffed at Sydney’s Pello and Regatta’s Bistro, will be a guest of the Noosa Food and Wine Festival in May. “The focus of Noosa is around what we do here. It’s all about sustainability, local producers, eating what’s around you, and just having a think about what you’re putting in your mouth.”



The Adelaide Review


This little gem is the perfect place when you’re in need of a good coffee while out and about in North Adelaide.

Caffeteca is situated in a place that makes you feel as though you’re in a trendy suburban cafe despite the busy street nearby. They use a local boutique coffee roster (D’Angelo Coffee) for their beans and they even offer cold drip coffee for those who want to try something a bit different. I try a single origin bean called Ethiopian Guiji for my espresso, which has a floral aroma with hints of roses. The crema is a golden brown colour. My first sip is quite nutty but the taste of blueberries and a hint of sesame seed come through as I knock it back.

The latte is made from a blend called One, which consists of beans from South and Central America. It is served with a rosetta as the latte art and has a strong muesli taste with the first sip, followed by an earthy, silky body with a lingering dark chocolate fi nish. It has a nice mixture of dark brown shades on top which holds the taste of the crema all the way through.

Friendly staff and great service complement the divine coffee and food. It has ample indoor and outdoor seating for a small space and the atmosphere makes you feel right at home.

53 Tynte Street, North Adelaide



The Adelaide Review

Phil Whitmarsh to leave Daniel O’Connell

A pending change of ownership means that celebrated nose-to-tail chef Phil Whitmarsh (pictured) will be leaving the gastronomic pub Daniel O’Connell, one of the most acclaimed local eateries of the past two years.

The North Adelaide pub announced the news on Twitter last week (Friday, March 6), writing “with a pending change of owner our amazing Chef Phil Whitmarsh will be leaving the bulding ... Get in to enoy his fare b4 he goes”.

The Daniel O’Connell shook up the Adelaide dining scene with its innovative nose-to-tail offerings and won many accolades with Whitmarsh at the helm of the kitchen, including being listed as one of Australia’s Hot 50 Restaurants by the Australian, with the national newspaper naming the Tynte St destination as the ‘Hottest Value’ eatery in the country. The Dan also won the Advertiser's Best Pub Dining Award last year.

In a statement to the Adelaide Review about his departure, Whitmash says there is “nothing on the horizon yet except a bit of time to relax and unwind”. He says that the new owners “don’t want to do what we offer” and that “what they do isn’t something I want to be involved in”.

Whitmarsh’s last day at the Daniel O’Connell is Thursday, March 12, where they will be having one last “knees up”.

Whitmarsh’s full response about leaving the Daniel O'Connell is below.

“As it stands I'm unemployed as of Thursday, March 12, six days short of my two-year anniversary at the pub. There's nothing on the horizon yet except a bit of time to relax and unwind. It's been a fun, hard and long two years, and I'm knackered physically and mentally.

“We've won a whole bunch of awards and had some great press, both nationally and internationally, however, the new owners don't want to do what we offer. What they do isn't something I want to be involved in, so I'm packing up my knives and having it on my toes. We'll be having one last knees up on Thursday, March 12; an Irish wake would be appropriate! 

“What we've achieved in two years has been mind-blowing. But it's the people I've met along the way, which has been the real blessing: from the time we had Fergus Henderson and Ian Curley in for Tasting Australia; being involved, to a certain extent, with PorkStars; all of our guests, suppliers and producers, but more so [it’s] the staff we've worked with. It's one thing having a dream; it's another building a team to help make it happen. They've shared the highs and lows along our brief yet exciting journey. There's no way we could achieved what we have without them. They gave it their all, everything and more, to make something new and different. We didn't do it for fame or glory or for a step up to something else. We were just a bunch of blokes who loved what we did. That's what I'm most proud of – our people.”



The Adelaide Review

Celebrating Australian wine

The country’s biggest celebration of wine, Aussie Wine Month, returns in May with events across Australia including Adelaide and the state’s wine regions.

The month-long celebration will include city-based wine tastings, regional festivals, food and wine dinners and vineyard activities.

With 150 events across the nation, (excluding Northern Territory), 22 will be held within Adelaide and across regional South Australia.

d’Arenberg’s Chester Osborn is one of Aussie Wine Month’s ambassadors and he believes that Australian wine has always been highly regarded as “great value for money, which will only be enhanced as the exchange rate is making imported wines more and more expensive”.

“Not to mention the great vintages we’ve just had – the reds are more flavour packed than usual, and will continue to get better with age,” he says.

Langhorne Creek, the National Wine Centre and several wineries, including d’Arenberg, Oliver’s Taranga and Yalumba, will take part in the month-long celebration, allowing consumers to experience South Australian wine and produce at its finest.

The event, now in its fourth year, aims to create excitement among Australian consumers, media, wine trade, restaurants, bars and key influencers in the Australian wine industry.

For more information and to see what’s on and when, visit

Aussie Wine Month runs from Friday, May 1 to Sunday, May 31




The Adelaide Review

Kangkong, Gypsy Dragon bring new flavour to Topham Mall

Two new venues are coming to Waymouth Street, kicking off Topham Mall's rejuvination. Kangkong and Gypsy Dragon, a new restaurant and bar, will be opening later this month at 44 Waymouth Street, the former site of the Community CPS credit union. 

Run by Robert Parsons and Ron Kohli, Kangkong and Gypsy Dragon will be a double-act of South-East Asian food and drink. They've brought in Matthew Miles to head up the kitchen; Miles has spent the last two years working at Gaucho's, and a further eight years before that travelling Australia, Asia and the Middle East. These flavours will be reflected in the Kangkong menu. 

As Kangkong and Gypsy Dragon operate under separate licences, there are slightly different rules and plans in place for the venues. 

Taking inspiration from Melbourne's Chin Chin and Go Go Bar, Gypsy Dragon will be alongside the Waymouth Street venue, occupying some laneway space in Topham Mall.

Gypsy Dragon, says Parsons, will be a “mobile bar” with a stronger focus on cocktails. The cocktails are inspired by South-East Asian flavours, with teas and spices getting a look in. Accompanying gin are flavours like thai basil in a bitter gourd tea, or a sweeter choice will have a touch of aloe. They’re quite unlike the traditional cocktails that are seeing a resurgence around town.

While the licences and premises are technically separated, the two venues will be sharing quite a lot across their menus.

Miles has planned a range of generous dishes suited for sharing. Priced around $12 to $15 per plate, options include an umami-crusted salmon (coated in crushed nori and bonito flakes) with miso and sake-soaked pickles, or squid stuffed with pork mince, lily flowers and mushrooms.

There will be quite a few salad choices on the menu, and hero items like steak in a mirin, sake and Murray River pink-salt marinade.

Robert Parsons also assures hungry readers that there will be plenty of vegetarian and vegan options to choose from.

“I think, in this day and age, you need to,” says Parsons. “It’s more and more common. I think you’re mad if you don’t try and accommodate everybody. There will be a good spread to cater to all tastes. My wife’s vegetarian and we eat a wide variety of things at home and when we go out, so I’d be very disappointed if that’s not reflected in my own venue.”

Kangkong and Gypsy Dragon will be opening later this month. 

Keep an eye on their progress via their Facebook page.



The Adelaide Review

Food For Thought: Spiced Pumpkin and Polenta Cake

This cake is a new family favourite and was created with the sole propose of using up a somewhat sad looking quarter of pumpkin.

Humble beginnings aside, the warm notes of the spices with the crunch of the polenta make for a very grown-up and delicious cake. I love the idea of baking with fruit and vegetables whenever possible, as the natural sweetness and moisture in them allows for less of the naughty ingredients like butter and refined white sugar.

If you are feeling adventurous, why not try some parsnip ice cream or the addition of raw grated beetroot through a rich chocolate cake recipe. The possibilities are endless and the result is a more nutritious version of your favourite sweet treats, not to mention a great way to use up any leftover fruit and veg lingering in the fridge!


Spiced Pumpkin and Polenta Cake Recipe

• 500g pumpkin – skinned and cubed
• ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
• 4 eggs
• 400g brown sugar
• sea salt
• 1 ½ cup polenta
• 1 cup self-raising flour
• ½ teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
• 100ml crème fraiche
• 4 tablespoons icing sugar

1. Preheat a fan-forced oven to 180 degrees.
2. Place the pumpkin, olive oil, eggs and brown sugar in the bowl of a food processor and mix until smooth.
3. Add the salt, polenta, flour, baking powder and spices. Pulse until well combined.
4. Grease and flour desired cake tin.
5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin.
6. Bake for 30-40 minutes (or until a skewer comes out clean).
7. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning the cake out onto a wire rack.
8. Combine the crème fraiche and icing sugar (you may need more or less icing sugar depending on the thickness of your crème fraiche, as you are looking for a thick drizzling consistency).
9. Generously drizzle over the completely cooled cake.
10. For a final embellishment, garnish with orange zest and a pinch of ground cardamom.



The Adelaide Review

Pollen 185

Pollen 185 is a boutique joint that understands the secret to a good cafe is a successful marriage between quality coffee and quality food.

The staff acknowledges me when I arrive, greeting me like I’ve walked into a Japanese restaurant, while the barista is ready to serve behind a La Marzocco coffee machine.

The barista chats to me about coffee in between customers before suggesting I try something he roasted himself. He goes under the name ‘The Caffiend’ and today he roasts a single origin bean from Panama. It is full of flavour and has a big impact upon my first sip. The berry notes dominate initially but cocoa and sultana shine at the end

For my latte, I choose coffee from a local boutique roaster called Goat Candy. The house blend for Pollen 185 is called Grass Roots and has beans from Colombia, Guatemala and Kenya. It is served with a symmetrical tulip for the latte art and I can taste a dark fruit flavour from the Kenya beans but the Colombian beans definitely bring nutty undertones to enjoy.

The flavour is well-rounded and goes well with the local organic milk from Paris Creek. I truly enjoy my experience at this Hyde Park cafe and the people who live nearby might not realise how spoiled they are.

Pollen 185
King William Road, Hyde Park



The Adelaide Review

Review: Sean’s Kitchen

Chef Sean Connolly is a genuine example of someone who wants to make the culinary world a better place. Despite dividing his time between cities and venues, he most certainly has his finger on the pulse in each of his kitchens.

Renovations have transformed his newest space from its former life as Adelaide Casino’s North restaurant into a dashing new venue fit for connoisseurs of good taste. Crafting better use of a similar layout, the upgrade shows extravagance yet sufficient restraint, and pays homage to the history of the adjacent train station without being passé.

The main dining area is separated by a central bank of benches that face unpretentious table settings, simple but not stark. Other tables are surrounded by French bistro-style seating that spills out onto the terrace. An upstairs mezzanine is designed for more intimate feasting, with dimmed lighting, low ceilings and plush carpet runners. This area has more of a Danish-style and almost feels like a separate venue, without being disjointed.

Well-groomed wait-staff look busy but not stressed and we are quickly seated with drinks poured in matter of minutes. Our table on the outdoor terrace is perfect for a mild night, though this could do with more of a barrier to separate our otherwise lovely dining setting from excitable Casino-goers flocking by as the night goes on. Fortunately the outside is given as much attention as the inside and this is testament to Connolly’s focus on service as much as on food. The menu has the (now) expected range of choices generally decided on whether or not you like other people touching your things. 

An ‘Orgy of mushrooms’ ricotta gnocchi sounds salacious, but one needs to maintain some composure in such a tasteful setting, particularly when in public. This double entendre invokes the desire to share, however, and we order from the ‘Small Gatherings’ menu. Ocean Trout ‘on plank’ arrives, surprisingly, in a copper serving-dish and is cooked nicely with a crisp outer layer and a slight smoky hint of flavour infused in the creamy flesh. The fillet sits atop a bed of greens that benefit from a dressing of the resultant oil that is complementary rather than greasy, though may have profited from capers or a hit of citrus, instead of a misplaced scattering of pine nuts. 

South Australian lamb shoulder comes coated in luscious spiced liquorice gravy that cuts through the fat and brings a level of sweetness to this humble but impeccably cooked dish. The generous portion of meat simply falls off the bone with only the slightest of encouragement from a fork and is enough for the four of us dining. 

Sides include asparagus spears swimming in a wickedly good hollandaise sauce and ‘Grandma’s carrots’; if only mine had known how to cook this well. A salad of edamame beans with mint and Woodside goat’s curd is a standout, and Sean’s Mac & Cheese is as good as any and is the perfect accompaniment to forkfuls of lamb shoulder, ocean trout or both. 

A 2014 Ochota Barrels Weird Berries in the Woods Gewurztraminer from the Adelaide Hills is our poison of choice for this summery night and it tastes exactly as the name suggests: like a stroll through fields of wild flowers and berries.

Sean’s Kitchen’s wine list is worthy of a mention, with plenty of Adelaide Hills favourites to choose, propped against a solid list of top-end Champagnes and some equally special sparkling whites from the wonderful land of Oz.

Baked cheesecake for dessert uses Kangaroo Island sheep’s milk, and displays a pleasant acidity that contests a fruit-sweet strawberry and rhubarb syrup. This isn’t the prettiest of desserts, but another humble example of topnotch ingredients creating a wonderful meld of flavours.

Sean’s Kitchen displays some serious class, yet welcomes the masses. A lot like Sean Connolly himself. 

Sean’s Kitchen
Station Road, Adelaide
8218 4244

Photos: Jonathan van der Knaap



The Adelaide Review

Table Talk: Dan Barber, Simran Sethi on the future of farming

Food sustainability, ethics and the future of farming will be the table talk of the town when Dan Barber and Simran Sethi arrive for Adelaide Writers’ Week and WOMADelaide this March.

Barber is a chef and the author of The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food. Sethi is a journalist and advocate for environmentally responsible agriculture and social justice. Both are passionate about diversity in our diets – diversity from soil and seed all the way through the food chain. Both are concerned about where current agricultural and dining practices are leading.

For Barber, the problems facing our future selves are caused by a diet-directed agricultural system that is ultimately unsupportable. Barber spent his childhood – and later, his adult life - on a farm. He remembers vividly one summer when the fields were turned to the purpose of corn production – vast, rolling hills of corn stalks, uniform and stagnant as far as the eye could see. It is with this recollection that he begins The Third Plate, recounting the awe he felt in the presence of such scale. He contrasts this with the arrival, in adulthood, of a delivery of repatriated, rehabilitated native corn. This was, he writes, the “corniest” corn he had ever eaten. It was the corn that reconnected the product ‘polenta’ with its ingredient ‘corn’ - the incomparable flavour remains a firm memory in his mind. Throughout The Third Plate, Barber tells tale after tale of the same thing happening: wild food, ecologically supported food, nourished food, tasting and cooking better than any other ingredients he had worked with.

“The through-line of real consistency is that the farmers who are really in touch with the natural, local rhythms of the environment – and I don’t mean that in a touchy-feely way – and they really understand their local conditions, and they’re not applying a recipe of one-size-fits-all, they end up being much more responsive to the conditions and therefore produce better food,” Barber tells The Adelaide Review.

“I think that’s in and of itself a great definition of sustainability.”

The farmers who take their eyes off their distribution efficiencies and refocus on ecological effi ciencies produce the best food, says Barber. It was this misplaced focus that led to the wheat, soy and corn belts in the United States: seemingly endless tracts of monoculture farmland producing less vital, less flavourful produce year on year. Barber looks back 200 years and sees the prairie land suffocating under man-made farming ‘belts’ that simply didn’t exist before a shift in our attitude towards food production.

“I don’t think we should turn our back on wheat, just as I don’t think South America should turn its back on corn, but we need to figure out a way to grow it and grow it well into the future where it’s nutritious, and, I would argue, flavourful,” says Barber.

“It needs to become part of a mixed farming system so you’re not growing these grains, any grains, in concentration, in monoculture, because that ends up being a disaster for the crop, for the soil and for the environment.”

Simran Sethi agrees. “The story used to be that we needed to grow everything on monoculture farms for efficiency, to increase yields,” she says. “The new story is that we need to grow everything in a diversified agrisystem, so that the soil is supported and nourished and so that these polycultures can nourish each other and create more abundant systems.”

While his views on large-scale, monoculture agricultural operations are clear, Barber clarifies that he is neither “anti-technology nor anti-advancement”. However, he says, “we should look at technology and technological advancement in the context of improving ecology, not destroying it faster”.

“We shouldn’t be looking for these technological fixes before we figure out a biological fix,” he says. “The biological fix is really complex and really hard to understand; it’s really hard to make money off biological fixes, and that’s part of the problem.”

While Barber has no problem with people making profit from the food they produce, he is wary of the “rush to industrialise” if the only end game is a dollar value. Aside from, or in conjunction with, the economic lure of yield-directed farming, Sethi sees two fallacies driving problems in the way we see food production. The first is ‘we need more food’ and the second is ‘we need cheaper food’.

“I believe that this is not an issue of availability, but of access,” she says. “Just as people say ‘We need to grow more food, we need to grow more food’, another dominant narrative that really hurts poor people, that really hurts all of us, is this idea that we need our food to be cheaper so people with less income can eat it. But that food is crap. That food is some of the worst food that is created. That is the food that comes from animals that are in confined feed operations.

“That is the food that comes from seed that has been genetically engineered. That is the food that comes from large-scale monoculture farms. That is the food that has been heavily processed. And that is why we are now in a situation where more people in the world – and this includes developing countries – are dying from being overweight or obese, or from the related issues that come up in terms of their health, rather than from starvation, and that’s because they all lack micronutrients. They’re malnourished; they’re stuffed and starved, and I think that this is one of the greatest travesties. 

“When we spend our time and energy saying `we need to find cheap food for people who don’t have a lot of money’, I think we need to be fighting for higher wages, for everybody, so no-one’s having to make a decision around feeding their child heavily processed, crap food because it’s all they can afford … Why has the chasm grown between rich and poor people? Why are we now creating divides around who has the luxury of eating well?”

For Sethi, the solutions come from consultation and conversation – meeting and eating with people who have polar opposite views. “There are behavioural economists who suggest that we all possess a finite pool of worry, so if you want me to worry about the polar bears on the melting ice-floes, you’re going to have to frame that story in the context of what I already care about, or you have to displace, pull out, one of the worries that’s already in my pool of worry so that I can have space to create or to care about what you want me to care about.

“That’s our biggest challenge,” she says, “to find meaning in all of this chaos and all of this sadness and to strive to find the intersection, because connection seems to be in rapid extinction or a perilous place right now. Figuring out ways to hate each other seems really, really easy, so the greater challenge here is to find ways to return to each other.”

By telling the stories of farmers, seed breeders, chefs and diners, Sethi and Barber are driving a diet-directed change in the way we see farming and the way we see food.

“It’s possible to imagine a cuisine,” says Barber, “where the intersection of agriculture and natural ecological functioning can come together and actually improve the environment.”

Dan Barber is appearing at Adelaide Writers’ Week and at the Adelaide Festival 

The Third Plate: Dan Barber
Jolleys Boathouse

Wednesday, March 4, 12pm

Food Pioneers: Dan Barber
Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden

Thursday, March 5, 12pm

Simran Sethi will speak as part of WOMADelaide’s Planet Talks program 

Creating Hope: in conversation with Simran Sethi and Sylvia Earle
Monday, March 9, 5pm



The Adelaide Review

Bar Torino: Little Bull, Big Idea

The story of Adelaide’s newest small bar, Bar Torino, starts a long time ago, with the invention of vermouth and its journey from Italy to Spain.

The aromatic wine was refined and brought to mass consumption by the Martini & Rossi Company of Torino, Italy in 1863. From there, the drink penetrated society’s higher circles and made its way to Barcelona in 1893, where its popularity flourished even further.

In 1902, Café Torino opened in Barcelona, and established itself as the first vermouth bar, becoming second home to much of the city’s bourgeois and creative classes. This link of vermouth’s birth in Torino and journey to Barcelona represents the key analogy in Bar Torino’s concept. What used to be a deli beside Chianti Classico has been transformed into a sophisticated vermouth and tapas bar, promising to blend the best of Spanish and Italian cuisine.

The bar is a new offering from Adelaide’s Favaro family, proprietors of the acclaimed bastion of fine Italian dining in Adelaide, Chianti Classico, now branded Chianti for its 30th year. While Frank and Maria Favaro have always run Chianti – from its 16 years in Light Square and following 14 on Hutt Street – it is the next Favaro generation, the brother-sister duo of Nick and Jess, who run the new small bar.

Bar Torino’s logo is an homage to Picasso’s Bull’s Head sculpture, and represents that Spanish-Italian blend perfectly. Picasso welded a bike’s handlebars to an old seat to create the piece. The Favaros have brought together these distinct but irrevocably linked European cultures together to form Bar Torino. Indeed, using the image of the bull, a national Spanish icon, and the Italian city of Torino, which translates to ‘little bull’, reinforces this welding of traditions. Sitting in the back of Bar Torino, the Favaro family explain their journey from idea to reality in this brand new bar over glasses of chilled vermouth.

Frank says establishing a bar outside of the restaurant has been a dream of his for more than 10 years. While Chianti does have its own bar inside the restaurant, onerous liquor licensing legislation has made it difficult to run that bar as would be expected. For example, one stipulation of the restaurant liquor licence means that patrons must be seated at all times when drinking, or the licence might be revoked.

The opportunity to make Frank’s dream a reality came with the introduction and continuing success of the Small Bar Legislation. Frank says the legislation “created something we could grasp more easily” where patrons can move freely, socialise and dine on tapas while they sip vermouth or sherry.

This social aspect of the bar is a key to Bar Torino’s design. Nick Favaro lived in Barcelona for a period and came to revel in Spain’s laid-back approach to eating and drinking. Maria chimes in, noting that it took Nick a while to get used to the Spanish way of life, initially preferring to dine at Italian restaurants, but he warmed to the culture.

“It took a while to get used to,” Nick says.

“You might see people drinking a beer together at 11am in Spain.”

This culture of food, drink and social life being so intertwined in Spain is something the Favaros want to capture with Bar Torino.

“I’ve always wanted to have something like that. This bar is more about the culture of eating and drinking together,” Frank says.

While Nick and Jess have always been around their family’s business, their journey to building and running a bar was not as linear as one might presume. Nick is an accountant by trade and Jess is a trained lawyer.

“Do you want to run the bar?” was the question put to Nick over drinks one night. Four weeks later he left his job to begin planning and building the new bar.

Of course, having years of experience around Chianti and their restauranteur parents makes that transition all the more easy.

“We’ve grown up in the restaurant. We have that understanding of what’s coming,” Jess says.

Glancing around Bar Torino, it is clear they already have it under control. The interior is a flawless and contemporary take on a tapas joint. The Favaros enlisted Mandy Keillor, the same designer who fitted out Chianti, Keillor, as it happens, lives in Barcelona.

Low-hanging bulbs with large glowing filaments line the edges of the bar, where hard, smooth benchtops and mirrors are interspersed with rustic ornaments, such as oversized cutlery and weatherworn cabinets. Original brickwork hems the long structure, exposed and jagged in the dim light.

“We got really lucky,” Jess says, noting the brickwork on the wall Chianti and Bar Torino share.

“We pulled all the plaster back not knowing what we would find, but it came up really well.”

Next door, Chianti’s design is smoother, aimed at a fine dining experience, while Bar Torino has a bohemian feel to it, as though it’s been transported from an older, smokier time.

In terms of food, the bar will serve a variety of tapas and pintxos, inspired by Nick’s time in Spain’s Basque and Catalan regions, with influences from the family’s hereditary experience in Italian cuisine.

Frank makes a comparison between the traditional Aussie pub, where set meal times and dishes are de rigueur, and European bars, where food and drink can be had at any hour.

“People love to share food now,” he says, emphasising the changing tastes of modern punters. Customers shouldn’t be restricted to predictable fare at certain times. They should have the freedom to have what they like, when they like. The family nods, agreeing on that ethos. “They love to try different things,” Jess says.

The establishment of this new bar beside Chianti is not a passing of the flame from Frank and Maria to Jess and Nick, but rather an addition to Hutt Street’s bar and restaurant set. This, like so many of the small bars emerging in the city centre, represents a rejuvenation of local gastronomic culture.

As evidenced by Chianti and Bar Torino’s co-existence, there is space in Adelaide for these styles of fine-dining and tapas establishments to sit side by side. There is freedom for young and old to choose their venue now, whether it is award-winning Italian cuisine in Chianti, or the fusion of the Italian and Iberian peninsulas in Bar Torino. The way the Favaros have approached this ambitious and invigorating project proves that an old idea can spark something wonderfully new.

Bar Torino
158 Hutt Street, Adelaide
8155 6010



The Adelaide Review

Premium Estate

Penfolds Magill Estate is scaling new heights thanks to Head Chefs Scott Huggins and Emma McCaskill, who left two of Asia’s best restaurants to take the reins of Adelaide’s most prestigious kitchen 18 months ago.

Gourmet Traveller recognised these heights, listing Magill Estate as the best Adelaide restaurant in its 2015 Restaurant Guide, coming in at number 10 in its list of the 100 best Australian restaurants. On top of this, McCaskill and Huggins were named Best New Talent by the national magazine.

The couple’s road to Magill Estate includes stints at Iggy’s in Singapore, Micolau Hotel and Restaurant in Spain and Sat Bains in Nottingham. Magill Estate marks the first time either Huggins or McCaskill have been in charge of a restaurant in careers that have seen the couple (who are engaged) work in an array of Michelin-starred premises.

McCaskill is an Adelaidean who ventured interstate when she was 18 to chef at places such as Sydney’s Tetsuya’s and Melbourne’s Ezard, while Huggins worked at the acclaimed Royal Mail in regional Victoria before they both travelled overseas to hone their craft.

Their international culinary adventures concluded in Japan, where Huggins was at Tokyo’s Ryugin (number 33 in S.Pellegrino’s World’s Best Restaurant list and number five in Asia) while McCaskill was also in Tokyo at Narisawa (number 14 in World’s Best 50 and number two in Asia).

Starting to feel claustrophobic in Japan, a return to Adelaide was a welcome move for McCaskill.

“Adelaide is an incredible city,” she says. “Everything is so accessible, from the beach to beautiful produce. We’re in the foothills, but five minutes later you’re in the Hills where you can go and pick cherries. That’s the one thing that blew me away when we came back here, realising what there was in comparison to a place like Japan.”

McCaskill says that the couple was ready to move back to Australia when Magill Estate called.

“We were planning on opening something up back in Australia but then this popped up and things rolled from there,” she says.

“It’s worked out perfectly,” says Huggins. “It’s obviously a good time for Adelaide, it’s really exciting. I’m not from Adelaide, so it is very hard to predict what it was to what it has become.”

From the outside it appeared to be a tough initiation for the couple when they landed at Magill Estate, an Adelaide institution since it opened in 1995 and one of the jewels of Penfolds’ crown. The restaurant had been closed for almost two years, due to remodeling, and some months before it was due to reopen, Executive Chef Jock Zonfrillo left. Huggins was later announced as Executive Chef, with McCaskill the Development Chef. Then, a little over a month later, five of the staff decided to follow Zonfrillo to Orana and McCaskill became co-Head Chef with Huggins.

“Our industry is really transient,” says McCaskill. “The nature of the beast is that people move around. Scott’s been to Singapore, Japan and Melbourne. I’ve been to Sydney, England and Japan – it’s just what happens, it’s just the nature of the industry. They’re [Orana] doing great things.” 

“It just broadened Adelaide’s dining scene, which is fantastic for the city,” says Huggins. “We just moved on. You just keep working.

“The most important thing for us is to keep this restaurant at the standard it is,” he continues. “People are coming and going all the time at all restaurants. We just keep focusing on what we need to focus on.”

The couple moved here just as Adelaide’s dining scene reclaimed its groove with exciting fine-dining and mid-price eateries, new bar districts as well as the emergence of quality regional destinations. But after an extended layaway, Adelaide needed Magill Estate to return. And, given its pedigree, price tag and association with the Penfolds brand, it couldn’t just be good – it had to excel. Magill Estate should be the Grange of Adelaide’s restaurant scene.

Luckily, Magill Estate excels under Huggins and McCaskill. Their seven-course tasting menu, with matching wines from Penfolds, features stunningly uncomplicated dishes where the high quality seasonal ingredients star. The seemingly simple creations are influenced by their time in Japan. 

“For me, the ethos on the seasons [in Japan] were down to weeks,” says McCaskill. “For example, a tomato would only be at its ripest for a period of three weeks then it’s off the menu. That’s kind of the approach we are trying to take here, as well as the general respect for food – the handling, the cleanliness.”

“What we both found in Japan, and we take this in our restaurant quite seriously, is to not try to over-complicate things, just to have the best technique for the right ingredient. Nothing else is really involved,” says Huggins.

“A lot of our food, if you look at it on the plate, there’s nothing for it to hide behind,” he continues. “There might be two ingredients on the plate and that’s it. But those two ingredients might have taken us five hours to get it to that stage. There are no bubbles or smoke for the ingredients to hide behind – there it is. The best ingredient treated the best way is the style we try to do.”

Some of their famed dishes include the Barossa Heritage Pork’s pork belly and Mayura Station Wagyu, which is matched with Penfolds Grange as part of the Tasting Menu with Icon & Luxury wine matching. The garnishes to these dishes evolve and change with Huggins saying it is “too early for them to have a signature dish”.

“I agree with that,” says McCaskill. “If anything, I think people do love the Wagyu and the Grange match. It is the only Wagyu – that cut – that you can get in Australia. It’s not a signature dish but...”

“It’s a signature ingredient,” continues Huggins, “that we will always have on the menu, but the garnish will change. The technique behind that is quite technical and the beef is of the highest quality, so that particular ingredient is on the menu and people come back for that particular ingredient.”

When it comes to produce, they try to source as local as possible (this includes their kitchen garden on the Magill Estate property) but occasionally they look outside of South Australia, for produce such as live Japanese tiger prawns and crabs.

“We get live crabs flown down from the Northern Territory,” says Huggins. “We have a fish tank at the back where we hold the crabs in. We catch them 20 minutes before service, cut the legs off and cook them individually. Every part is cooked at a different time and temperature.”

The reason they source live crabs and prawns is due to the sweetness, which starts to wane half-an-hour after the shellfish is killed. 

“All the prawns at the moment are getting frozen at sea, so how could we get this prawn fresh on the plate? It took us about six months to find a farm that would send them down live,” says Huggins. “When we catch them, 20 minutes before you eat, you’ve got the optimal sweetness and crunch of a fresh prawn.”

When they moved here, a lot of their time was spent trying to find the best produce as well as ingredients that are off the beaten track from artisan farmers. The lamb they source is from a small family business, Laura Hills Lamb, who won two gold medals at last year’s Australia’s Best Lamb Competition. Magill Estate was the first restaurant to use their lamb. 

“We had it on the menu for the first time on Saturday and the next step is getting the produce directly from the farmers. So the pork’s directly from a farmer, the lamb now is directly from a farmer, the venison and the Wagyu,” says Huggins. “We can talk to the farmer and know the food they’re giving the animals, we know the conditions, and we can go there and have a look.” 

Scott Huggins and Emma McCaskill at Magill Estate

Something that makes Magill Estate differ from other elite restaurants is the fact they have to match the food to Penfolds wine. This could be seen as either a blessing or a curse, as the wine could be viewed as the star over the food, or the seemingly limiting factor of matching food to the wares of only one winery.

McCaskill says the Magill Estate experience will not work if the wine outshines the food or vice versa: “they have to complement each other”.

“We want people to sit there for two-and-a-half or three hours and enjoy a progression of phenomenal food with phenomenal wine on a tier that just keeps getting better,” says Huggins.

“That’s what we believe. It’s a dining experience, it’s not just a meal, it’s an experience to come and try amazing wine with amazing food. We do a non-alcoholic matching now, for people that don’t drink alcohol, just to heighten the experience of the different flavours.” 

Huggins says he is frequently asked if it’s difficult to match their food with a solitary winery. 

“I think Emma and myself are probably the luckiest chefs when it comes to diversity of wines in Australia, if not the world,” he says. 

“There is no other restaurant that could match food with the quantity of different wines and vintages that we have. Okay, it’s all produced by Penfolds, but who could go into a cellar and pull out a 1961 or 62, 63, 64 or 65 – all the way up to 2010 – of the different wines they make? You look at a 707, you’re looking at 30 or 40 years of different vintages, they’re all different wines in a sense, they all taste different, they’ve all got different characteristics. We can find wine to match our food with such a great cellar that we have. I think we’re very lucky to have such a diverse back vintage cellar compared to any other restaurant.” 

Soon after Huggins was announced as the Head Chef he said that one of his aims was to get Magill Estate into the World’s Best Restaurant list. Is this still a goal for the couple? 

“We’re more focused on the restaurant and our customers,” answers McCaskill. “It is a lot of chefs’ ambitions for that to happen but it’s not our first ambition. Our first focus is on our customers, because they’re the people keeping this restaurant going, and our staff.”

“The most important thing for us is keeping our staff happy and trained, and the customers leaving wanting to come back,” says Huggins. “Everything else can follow.”

Then again, winning Gourmet Traveller’s Best New Talent award, with the added bonus of being a Top 10 Australian restaurant, must have been a satisfying achievement for the couple who had only been in the hot seat for a year when the accolades were announced.

Aside from this achievement, Huggins and McCaskill also welcomed a baby last year. Co- Head Chefs at an elite restaurant with a baby, sounds like a tough gig? 

“It’s probably more beneficial than not, working together,” says McCaskill, “because we do bounce off each other a lot – sometimes too much. It is nice to bounce ideas off each other because you can start something, be stuck on it, and then Scott will come in with another idea and that’s what completes it. Or we could just fight about it and not do it,” she laughs.

“And then that gets put in a drawer, ‘We’ll have a look at that in six months’,” Huggins laughs. “It is hard but restaurants are hard. It is

hard to balance a family and a restaurant – 80 hours of work plus a young baby.”

“It’s like bang! How are you going to survive that?” laughs McCaskill.

“It’s the things we love – family and food – so it’s not a bad thing,” says Huggins.



The Adelaide Review

Review: Jamie’s Italian

I waited some time before booking into Jamie Oliver’s new flagship eatery, as I wanted the hype to die down and the newly recruited kitchen to get their menu in order before tasting their Italian wares. After a six-week wait to get a table we still only manage a late night reservation. We hope this is a positive sign of things still going strong despite whisperings of indifferent experiences and the venue’s fabulous toilets being promoted almost as often as the food. 

On arrival, we are corralled to the bar and offered drinks while we wait we are then handed a device that will “buzz when it’s ready”. Service seems procedural rather than warm, though we do get some attention from the barman who offers a drinks list and suggests one or two, then promotes their new South Australian wine menu.

Settling on an Italian drop, we sit back in some cosy armchairs and wait just a few minutes before the buzz-thing buzzes and the seating procedure commences. Juggling glasses and bottles of barely touched wine, we make our way to a table positioned just near the entry to the basement toilets, where shrieks of excited patrons can be heard as they discover the greatest of the venue’s design features. Other features include the loftiest of ceilings, and fittings and fixtures that pay respect to the building’s former life as a grand old bank. A central counter obliges as the Charcuterie station, where platters of freshly sliced meats and antipasto are served on giant wooden boards to waiting tables. These ‘planks’ also come as a vegetarian or seafood option and we order ours titled ‘Cured and Crispy Fish’ with delicious anticipation.

Worth the reasonable wait, we are presented with a collection of fishy delights piled high on a board that is propped atop tomato cans to make the reach-across easy. Like the ultimate fisherman’s basket, crumbed and fried mini fritto misto (that’s little bits of battered fish, to us commoners) are faultlessly crunchy; each piece, with its flaky fleshy centre, is dunked into a zingy tuzi mayo. Beetroot-cured salmon is flavoursome and fresh, with a sweet yet delicately tart flavour that pairs perfectly with an accompanying crunchy salad. Cheese slices with a dab of chilli jam are fine, though perhaps unnecessary when compared with seafood surroundings.

A pot of mussels and pipis are roasted in their own juices and are both pleasantly salty and slightly chewy but not enough to offend. The mackerel pate is so good I go back twice with the bread and again with some plump capers, throwing together my own little combination of plank leftovers. More of that please.

As we finish our plank, I ponder those earlier whisperings and wonder if the indifference stems from a case of tall poppy syndrome geezer chef style – then the main course is plonked in front of us by waiter number two.

The Honeycomb Cannelloni Three Ways seems to be only done one way – haplessly baked for too long, so all edges are dry as a result. According to the menu, separate fillings include aubergine and sun-dried tomato, pumpkin, and ricotta and spinach, but in the dish presented, each piece is indistinguishable from its neighbour both in flavour and an unpleasant chewy texture. After sawing my way through the honeycombed arrangement of pieces, in an attempt to find some redemption for this poor dish, it all ends in a creamy stewy mess in the bottom of the plate. No mop-up bread required, thanks.

A taste from each of the other pasta dishes at our table ends in a similar fate, including a lackluster sausage pappardelle with slowbraised hunks of fennel-infused sausage trying their hardest to swim in a stodgy ragu, and a buffalo ricotta ravioli that, while inoffensive, has barely any flavour and somehow manages to merge into one piece.

It’s difficult to feel sorry for someone who benefits from the success of a celebrity chef husband, but Jamie’s tribute to his wife in the form of a dish named ‘Jools’ Favourite Tuna Fusilli’ resembles a pre-frozen heat-and-eat, despite apparently being made fresh daily using sustainable tuna. A quite sour tomato sauce grips to some hardly cooked spirals and any attempt at seasoning is missed, along with promised herbed crumbs that may have toned town the acidic sharpness of this dish in a way that the pasta has not.

We decide to skip dessert, despite a few tempting sounding options on the list; it seems that the second shift has come to an end and the efforts of our third waiter for the night are waning.

Of course we all know that Jamie is not working in the kitchen and I do feel for the souls slaving away under the pretense that he has anything to do with the day-to-day running of his culinary empire, but unfortunately that’s not the point. People come to Jamie’s Italian for an experience and while there are some redeeming features at his newest franchise they still have a way to go.

Jamie never guaranteed seamless service, or even a South Australian wine list, but he did promise Italian food, so a decent pasta dish is the least we should expect.


Jamie’s Italian

2 King William St

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 11.30am to 10.30pm



The Adelaide Review

Crush Festival 2015

Wine is just the beginning at Crush Festival 2015. This year, the long weekend is themed ‘Play it cool’, with dancing and dining events filling out the program.

Over three days, from Friday, January 23, to Sunday, January 25, Crush will invite visitors to try drops from 35 South Australian wineries at 26 cellar door events. A headliner on the program is a one-off “Cluster Event” on Sunday at Mount Lofty House. From 10am to 4pm, guests are welcome to taste wines from five Adelaide Hills labels: Catlin Wines, Karrawatta, Kersbrook Hill Wines & Cider, Lambrook and Top Note. Chefs from Mount Lofty House will be cooking up pizzas, lamb on the spit and pulled-pork rolls.

Ali Seedsman, former Executive Chef at Magill Estate, is an Oakbank local who now runs a successful catering business. She has been involved with five Crush Festivals.

“It’s just a really good day out,” Seedsman says.

“There’s lots of choice when people come up to the hills; lots of different places and lots of different types of food and entertainment.

“It’s just a beautiful, natural environment. Everywhere you look, it’s just gorgeous. There are people up here who are really passionate producers and the rest of Adelaide should really get behind all of that as much as they can.”

In 2015, Seedsman will be preparing food for two events: Lobethal Road Wines open day, and the Shaw + Smith Long Table Lunch. For Lobethal, she will be providing treats along a seafood line, with oysters in pomegranate dressing and a smoked salmon platter. She has also planned po’boys with slow-cooked beef, onion jam, grainy mustard and melted cheese. Vegetarian and glutenfree options are on offer.

Where to find Crush Festival 2015

– Artwine
– Barratt Wines at the Barker Hotel
– Barristers Block Wines
– Bird In Hand
– Chain Of Ponds
– Deviation Road Winery
– Golding Wines
– Honey Moon Vineyard
– Howard Vineyard
– Johnston Oakbank/O’leary Walker
– Lobethal Road Wines
– Longview Vineyard
– Mount Lofty House
– Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard
– Nepenthe
– Ngeringa
– Owl & Elephant Café
– Paracombe Wines
– Petaluma
– Pike & Joyce Wines
– Robert Johnson Vineyards
– Rockbare / Scott & La Prova
– Shaw + Smith
– Sidewood Estate at Maximilian’s
– Ten Miles East
– The Lane Vineyard
– Tomich Wines
– Verdun Park Wines

Crush Festival 2015
Friday, January 23 to Sunday, January 25
Tickets and program:



The Adelaide Review

Street ADL’s Jock Zonfrillo talks 2015 WOMADelaide restaurant

A whirlwind, world-flavoured adventure is coming for your tastebuds at WOMADelaide this year, with Jock Zonfrillo launching an intense Street ADL restaurant in the grounds of Botanic Park. Street In The Park, as the restaurant will be known, is a sit-down dining experience never before attempted at the festival.

“They approached us with an idea about Taste the World,” Zonfrillo tells The Adelaide Review, “and as we do different slants on street food from around the world here anyway, it fit into that idea.”

To tackle the 150-seat venue, Zonfrillo will be closing fine dining restaurant Orana and taking the entire team to Botanic Park for sixteen lunch and dinner sessions across the four days.

“We’re looking at it as a really fun thing to do,” says Zonfrillo, “and we want to get into it properly, so we want to use the key staff in our business to do it. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The menu plan for the long weekend will take inspiration from the Taste the World program at WOMAD, and the artists themselves. Zonfrillo explains that the acts are coming to Adelaide from 28 different countries, and each one of these nations will be reflected in a dish.

“We’re going to look at that country and see what their popular type of street food is and then do a refined version of that,” he says. Although creating unique dishes drawing on the traditions of 28 countries may seem an immense task, Zonfrillo is looking forward to the challenge.

“Anything that people would look at as a concern is probably more of a challenge to me. That [difficult dish] will be the exciting one. The ones that end up challenging you are the ones that end up being the best, really.”

Besides, he says: “After Nomad Chef, [in which] I’d go away for two or three weeks in the country, then create brand new dishes on the day that I arrive back, coming up with some new dishes for this will be good fun – and I’ve got a couple of months’ lead time.”


Street In The Park is a ticketed restaurant, with $35 reserving you a seat and able to be redeemed for menu items. So, for example, that $35 can be used to purchase a $20 dish and $15 worth of drinks. Dishes, Zonfrillo hints, will be entree-to-main sized and range in price from approximately $20 to $30 each. The hope is that groups will gather at the long, Street ADL-style tables and share a menu selection.

The pricing system will ensure people get the most for their money. Zonfrillo sees no reason for festival dining to be lower quality for higher prices.

“We did Cheesefest last year as a way to dip our toe in the water, and people loved it and enjoyed the food – it’s great quality and really reasonably priced,” he says. “I find a lot of festival food is really … they’re in to gouge as much money as they can: they buy cheap food and sell it at a premium price. We’re going in with exactly the same quality as we sell here at Street, and with the same price point.”

The bar will be featuring a strong local line up, with wines from Yalumba, beer from Coopers and cider from Hills, who will next week be celebrating their fifth birthday.

After the event, can punters expect to see a few WOMAD favourites pop up on the regular menu at Street ADL?

“Potentially, yeah!” enthuses Zonfrillo. “We take inspiration from street food all over the world and give it our slant, our Australian spin, when it gets here. That’s what we do, so if there’s a way that we can do it and still balance the dishes with the native ingredients that we like to use, then definitely.”

Tickets to Street In The Park can be purchased online now. Orana will reopen for business as usual on Tuesday, March 10.

Photograph by Andreas Heuer



The Adelaide Review

Olive Oil and Wine

Wine and olive oil are linked historically, geographically and culturally.

They share a common Mediterranean origin and to archaeologists are signifiers of a civilised society. Plant a vineyard or olive grove, install a wine or olive press, and you are no longer a hunter-gatherer. You are fixed in place, a centre of attention, and before you know it a civilisation has risen around you.

That said, analogies between wine and olive oil can be exaggerated. They are really more like complementary opposites, yin and yang. The marketing and labelling can seem similar and that’s no accident, as the consumers are identical and some companies make both.

Olive oil in Australia is where wine once was. Over decades, wine names evolved from generic (Claret, Burgundy) to varietal (Shiraz, Chardonnay) to regional (Barossa, Coonawarra) to bizarre (Lucky Lizard, Devil’s Elbow). Infl uenced by that trend, olive oil labels are increasingly showing a “vintage” (more accurately the year of harvest), the olive varieties used, a region of origin, a persuasive story and an alluring design.

As olive trees followed the vines and spread across Australia, they sunk their gnarled roots in a diversity of districts, from cool and verdant to hot and dry. As a broad generalisation, cool climate oils tend to be elegant and spicy while those from warmer regions are rich and robust, but there are so many exceptions even experts hesitate to pontificate.

Is regionality important? Joe Grilli, maker of Joseph Olive Oil, says, “Different regions produce different oil styles, as with wine, though I don’t think it matters much yet to the consumer”. Mark Lloyd from Coriole agrees that it’s early days: “We are more concerned about the absolute best quality for our oil rather than regionality”. A leading, nononsense olive oil judge insisted, “Ripeness of fruit at harvest dominates all”.

The type of olive used is as influential as origin. As with grapes, olives come in a range of varieties, styles and sensual names – Picual, Frantoio, Koroneiki, Coratina, Corregiolla – each with its own distinguishing flavour characteristics. Often two or more varieties are blended to improve balance and synergy. What is obvious, and more important, is that quality has never been better. This is evident from the superb examples we are seeing at olive oil shows and the corresponding level of consumer interest and enthusiasm.

Buy new season Extra Virgin Olive Oil, preferably local, from a reliable supplier with regular turnover, read the back label and trust your own taste. Look for freshness, restrained pepperiness, complexity and harmony. Use it liberally; olive oil is an ingredient, not a spice. Select the olive oil to suit the dish. A robust olive oil will rev up a rocket salad while a mild oil will really make a mayonnaise.

When Jock Zonfrillo of Restaurant Orana judges olive oil, he brings a chef’s eye to the exercise and scores oils down if they are excessively robust and overpower food flavours. I am reminded of wine shows when subtle, savoury Sangiovese is muscled out by palate punishing Shiraz.

Do try this at home. Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil over steamed Dutch Cream potatoes, add a light squeeze of lemon juice, parsley, thyme, pink salt and white pepper. The olive oil will enhance the dish superbly but you should still be able to taste the potato. Serve with a crisp dry white wine, perhaps one made by an olive oil producer.



The Adelaide Review

Food For Thought: Leftover Pie

I think we are all somewhat guilty of throwing out food, whether it is in the form of leftover meals or that wilted broccoli you didn’t use during the week. I do try to waste as little as possible during the year but I have to admit I am occassionaly guilty of this during the busy festive season.

Fearless ambition seems to take over rational thought, and I plan to bake and cook everything from presents to elaborate Christmas Eve suppers. Most of this doesn’t eventuate and I am left with a pantry full of food and present-less friends.

I do find comfort in a well-stocked kitchen, and when the calm of January hits there is nothing better than creating dishes using what you have on hand.

Baked ham on the bone is not only perfect for the countless sandwiches it will provide throughout January, but also omelets, quiche and, possibly one of my favorites, spinach and mashed potato pie.

If you find trays of roasted vegetables lingering around, chop into bite-sized pieces and add to cooked French green lentils. The addition of fresh herbs, goat’s milk feta and sharp vinegar dressing will instantly turn boring roasted veg into a vibrant summer salad.

Left over fruitcake is not to be discarded after the main event. Crumble into a bowl, add a generous glug of rum or sherry, mix and form into bite-sized balls. Leave to set in the fridge and cover with dark chocolate; the perfect way of preserving Christmas long into the New Year.

Food wastage is a global problem and we can all do our bit to ensure that we make good use of the produce that we purchase during the crazy season – who knows, you might even create some new family favourites!

Leftover pie

This pastry dough is a very quick to pull together, and the best bit is it doesn’t require any resting. You can substitute the potato element of this dish with leftover mashed potato: just warm it slightly before adding the other ingredients.

Extra virgin olive oil pastry


• 250g strong plain flour
• 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• Large pinch of salt
• 100mL warm water


1. Place flour, olive oil and salt in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre.

2. Place half the water in the well and, using your hands, combine the ingredients.

3. Add enough warm water to form a ball of dough and incorporate all of the flour.

4. Divide into five sections and shape into rectangles thin enough to pass through the largest setting of a pasta machine.

5. Roll the dough through every third setting on the pasta machine, ending at the thinnest.

6. Lightly grease a removable-base pie tin with olive oil.

7. Line the base with the strips of dough, overlapping slightly and with overflow on the sides.

8. Once you have made the filling, add this generously to the shell and fold in the excess dough to create a border.

9. Brush the exposed pastry with olive oil and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

10. Leave to rest in the tin for 10 minutes before removing and serve warm.



• 5 large creamy potatoes
• 1 large white onion - chopped finely
• 100g smoked bacon or leftover leg ham
• 200g blanched and chopped spinach (frozen is fine but must be drained of any excess water)
• 200g sour cream
• 50g butter
• 2 egg yolks
• Fresh nutmeg
• Salt and white pepper


1. Place the potatoes in a large pot of seasoned cold water, bring to simmer and cook until tender.

2. Sauté the chopped onion with a pinch of salt until translucent, add the bacon or ham and cook for a further five minutes.

3. Add the drained spinach and set aside.

4. While warm, drain and peel the potatoes, and transfer to a large bowl.

5. Mash the potatoes until all lumps are removed, and then add the sour cream, butter and egg yolks.

6. Add the spinach mixture and mix to combine.

7. Season to taste with fresh nutmeg, salt and pepper.

See also

Christmas Recipes from Annabelle Baker




The Adelaide Review

Cheese Matters: Holiday Cheese

I’m not sure about you, but food always seems to be centre stage as I settle into a much-deserved holiday period (even before the bubbles, beer and wine). Our holidays typically involve frequent catch-ups with family and friends with one simple theme – bring a plate to share. An excellent idea, as it allows everyone to contribute something different, injecting variety and excitement into the gathering. No prizes for guessing what will be on my plates.

I have a few brunch recipe ideas using delicious cheese and seasonal produce.

But remember – first impressions are important, so keep presentation in mind if you want to get that ‘wow’ factor. I normally choose large plates or rustic wooden boards lined with fresh leaves, sheets of brown paper (or baking paper) for a little restaurant-style touch.

I adore this delicious twist on serving Camembert. To begin, find a very ripe Camembert. A little cheesemonger’s secret – the ones closest to the best before dates are often the best picks and you may be lucky enough to catch them on special. Source some local, seasonal berries – I prefer blueberries, as they aren’t too tart – but raspberries or blackberries will work just as well. Place a generous handful into a saucepan with a few tablespoons of sugar and a squeeze or two of lemon. Gently heat on medium to low until the sugar is dissolved and allow this to simmer until slightly reduced. Set aside to cool while you arrange your Camembert on a large platter. Be sure the cheese is at room temperature and the berry mixture is cooled. Carefully spoon your berries over the top, letting some run down the edges for effect. Serve with good quality, crusty fruit bread or freshly made pikelets. A glass of sparkling is superb with this little combo.

I have fond childhood memories of sitting under our backyard peach and apricot trees during the long hot summer holidays and, along with my brothers, gorging on the ripe, golden and succulent fruits. I yearn to do this again but unfortunately it wouldn’t be nearly as acceptable as I’d like. Luckily, when experimenting with blue cheese, I discovered a recipe that brought me back to those days. I call it the Blue Peach and it works best using a flatter peach called the doughnut peach, although I have done it with regular peaches. 

Simply slice the peaches horizontally, remove the pits, and place them (sliced side up) on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Top each half with a generous slice of blue cheese and freshly crushed walnuts. If you’re not keen on walnuts crush a couple of digestive style biscuits and sprinkle on top instead. Bake the topped peaches in a hot oven for around five minutes. Finish under the griller until they are golden and emerge looking a bit like a peach crumble. To finish, generously drizzle with maple syrup and serve immediately. A super simple recipe, but one can’t underestimate the combination of a creamy blue, crunchy nuts and soft, sweet peach flesh. This is a great alternative way to enjoy peaches while they are in season, which sadly is not for very long.

Finally, I have a decadent variation on baked Brie that is sure to turn heads and excite tastebuds at any gathering. To begin, prepare a simple praline – any will do. As the praline sauce cools you can begin on the cheese. Fit ripe Brie into a ramekin and place in a moderately heated oven. It should take roughly 15 minutes to cook perfectly, but the best test is to press down lightly on the top – it should feel soft. Remove from oven and place on your serving board, arranging half a cup of pecans or walnuts (or both) on top of the cheese. To finish, pour around one cup of the cooled praline sauce over the top of your still-warm Brie, covering the entire cheese. Fabulous served with crisp almond bread.

Whether you are at home entertaining or away over the holiday season I hope you will enjoy some cheese with your friends. Choose local to support our great cheese-making industry here in South Australia and if you are feeling a little adventurous try these simple variations. Happy holidays!



The Adelaide Review

Electra House’s Alfonso Ales on why he moved to Adelaide

Adelaide entices another big name chef to set up shop here, as former elBulli and Bilson’s chef Alfonso Ales will relocate to Adelaide in January to become Executive Chef of the $10 million Electra House project, due to open in February.

Once upon a time if you had to name heavyweight South Australian-based cooking identities, the list would have stopped at two – Maggie Beer and Cheong Liew. That’s not the case now. Adelaide is buzzing with prized cooks, from chefs who moved to Adelaide and made their name here with their daring food (Jock Zonfrillo and Duncan Welgemoed) to Andrew Davies, Lachlan Colwill and Jordan Theodoros, to prized recruits (Scott Huggins and Emma McCaskill). And then there are the celebrity chefs who have lent their name to restaurants (Jamie’s Italian and Sean’s Kitchen). Now comes Alfonso Ales with his impressive list of credentials, having worked in some of Europe’s most acclaimed restaurants.

The Spanish chef cooked at Spain’s celebrated Michelin three-starred restaurant elBulli, before working in places such as Michel Guérard’s Eugénie-les-Bains. He moved to Australia and became Head Chef at Bilson’s and later helmed Jonah’s on New South Wales’ Palm Beach. Ales says he was planning to move to Adelaide with his family before discussions began with Electra in October.

“We wanted to get away from Sydney,” Ales says. “I was in Sydney for five years and it was too hectic and stressful. My wife and I didn’t think it was the right place to bring up our daughter in terms of how stressful the city is; we thought it was a bit much. So we were looking at possibilities to move, and I thought the best conditions were in Adelaide in terms of what we were looking for.”

After October, Ales visited Adelaide once a month for a week at a time and he will relocate here in January. Ales will be completely focused on Electra when he moves and won’t consult for other places across the country. 

“I’m bringing my sous chef from Sydney [Kitak Lee], he worked with me at Bilson’s, and for a couple of years was at Momofuko Seiobo. He was in the same position; he wanted to get away from Sydney as well, so I offered him this project and he is really excited about it.” 

The ambitious Electra House on King William Street is one of the most exciting and adventurous bar and restaurant projects to ever hit Adelaide. Over three floors, with a capacity of 700, Electra will feature a bar and beer garden on the ground floor, a Mediterranean restaurant (Olea) on level one and function spaces on the top floor. The bar and beer garden will feature tapas, with Ales saying Electra’s will be a global-inspired version of Spanish street food.

“The Spanish dishes are there because that’s my influence, Spanish food is what I love the most, but I’ve got to work in many places. I lived in France for years, Germany and a lot of places in America, which will be reflected in the menu. We’re going to have dishes from South America, from the Mediterranean, Spanish dishes and some American BBQ. My sous chef is Korean, so we’ll have some influence from there as well. I want to make it multicultural - like Adelaide, a very multicultural city – the menu will reflect that.”

Alfonso Ales

With the restaurant, Olea, Ales wants to make it an “approachable place”; it won’t be about Michelin stars or chef hats.

“I’m from an old world generation, that type of restaurant is gone,” says Ales about fine dining restaurants. “They’re not sustainable anymore. The public doesn’t ask for them because the simple reason is that you can get really good food for a smaller price, with all these wine bars and restaurants that are popping up everywhere. 

“Where I’m from, Seville, which is a small town, it is much more into street food and tapas. Tapas comes from Seville, the whole concept of sharing food and eating small portions, is from my hometown. There’s not a real culture of restaurants, there are some really good restaurants in Seville, but they are not as popular as tapas bars. I’ve grown up with that culture of simple food based on taste, sharing and having a good time with friends and family. That’s what I love about food – that community feel – and that’s what I’m aiming for with Electra. We are aiming for a restaurant that is affordable and sustainable – where guests can come and feel like they are old friends with us and not have to feel that they are intimated by anything.”

One of the reasons Ales was attracted to Adelaide was that the city reminded him of Seville.

“Adelaide is the closest Australian city to where I grew up. It’s the same size, it also has one million people, and it has a Mediterranean climate with really hot summers and mild to cold winters. It has very defined seasons, which is something that I was missing living in New South Wales. 

“I like the fact it’s a very cultural city with lots of festivals and interest in culture, which was something I was really missing. When people asked me what I missed most from Spain, it was always the same things: food, family, friends and culture. People seem to know a lot about food and wine, and the Central Market in the middle of the city – one thing I was missing from Europe was a market where you have all your suppliers and growers in one space. I find that inspiring and I was missing it because there was nothing like that in Sydney, at least not as nice as this one.”



The Adelaide Review

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




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.”



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
Beckle and Olive
Beth Newton Designs
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)

Follow the Facebook event for updates



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.


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!

• 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

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.

• 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

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!

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

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.






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.

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



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.”



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.



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.



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.



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




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



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



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. 



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



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!

• 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

• 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.

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.



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



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.”



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.

The Hot 10


The Gentle Folk
Adelaide Hills


Cirillo 1850 Estate Wines
The Vincent
Barossa Valley


Paracombe Premium Wines
Adelaide Hills


Jericho Wines
Adelaide Hills


Primo Estate Wines
Joseph La Magia
Botrytis Riesling Traminer
South Australia


Fall From Grace
McLaren Vale


Scott Wines
La Prova Nero D’Avola
Barossa Valley


Shottesbrooke Vineyards
Shottesbrooke Estate Series
McLaren Vale


Sophie’s Hill
Pinot Grigio
Adelaide Hills


Rocland Estate
Chocolate Box
Barossa Valley




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



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.




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.”



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!”


Rymill Park

Saturday, October 25 and Sunday, October 26



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

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

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

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


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

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

Christina Soong runs the Hungry Australian blog



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


More you might like

Barossa: Marked for success

Review: Hentley Farm

SA restaurants for Gourmet Traveller awards



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.”



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



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.


Fresh Pasta with Green Pea Pesto

Rich Fresh Pasta Dough

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

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

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

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



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.



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 – 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.




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.



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.



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.



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)





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.


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)

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

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

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



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. 



The Adelaide Review