Monday, November 23, 2015

The Organic Market and Cafe - Stirling

Atmosphere: ****/5
Food: ****/5
Drink: **/5
Service: ****/5

Oh goodness. I really love this place.  I love driving up the highway out of Adelaide and landing amongst the trees at The Organic Market and Cafe.

This place has the most wonderful lunch time atmosphere and as I am still a student I steer clear of the market due to the prices I love walking though and looking at the fresh food and veggies.  I would suggest this is a place for an un-romantic date with the partner or a good friend you can share your meals with as there is so much to try and specials change daily.

As a side note I don't come here for the coffee (although I am known to order one here) or alcoholic beverages but a sparkling mineral water matches the healthy nature of the place!

Some of my friends (mainly boys) have said there are too many 'private school mothers' around but I think that is a good measure of the quality of the food and kindness that is shown to you by, often the young girls at the counter.

If you can get a seat on the balcony on a sunny day I would make a run for it and see if you can squeeze yourself in.

Laksa House on Hutt Street

Atmosphere: *
Food: -
Drinks: -
Service: -

I love my lunchtime soups.  Pho or Laksa are my two favourites at the moment, summer is coming up and as I am trying to be (vaguely) good with what I eat these are good alternatives when going out!

I love Hutt Street with new restaurants and different places to explore and as I was in the area and with a craving for laksa I tried the aptly named Laksa House!  I had visited Laksa House earlier this year but as it was a rushed meal with a friend and I was not taking notice of what was around me I have waited until today to post.

Well.   I must say this was an unfortunate day for me to go and then write a review.  The waiters were really rude, there was only three tables seated when I was in the restaurant and none of the wait staff were interested in interacting with the customers.  To be honest I was actually served before a table that had arrived before me. As someone who works in hospitality that was poor form.

The behaviour of the wait staff made me feel uncomfortable to the point of thinking about leaving as the décor is not that comforting either.  One of those restaurants when the chairs scrape along the ground no matter how you try and pick them up!

I think the laksa contains MSG although the owners can correct me if I am wrong.  The laksa also has no vegetables apart from a little bit of cucumber and bok choy.   The prices are reasonable which is why I came here for lunch however, I was charged extra when I asked to have less which is ridiculous and was only notified of the increased cost when I was at the till to pay the bill.

If dining here make it a quick lunch, I will not be coming back, but if your hungry and in the area; know what you want and be strong when ordering, and I would recommend that they ask to state the price before you order.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Stumps Bistro & Wine Bar - Hyde Park

Stumps Bar & Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Atmosphere: ****/5
Food: **/5
Drinks: **/5
Service: **/5

Adventuring out of the CBD and into Hyde Park we stumbled upon Stumps Bistro and Wine Bar, where the outdoor area was full and the décor and set up really pulled us in.

As I have mentioned in previous posts I am always hesitant to visit tapas places as you often leave feeling hungry with your wallet in tack or you can walk out full having bust open your wallet a little further than you wished!   To try and avoid issues of ordering too much we decided to go for an entrée and main ordering style and I must say it worked quite well in regards to not blowing the budget!

I am sorry to say that the starter meals were not much to rave about.  The mushroom doughnuts were confusing to the plate as there was a clash between the cold cauliflower sauce smeared elegantly on the bottom of the plate and the doughnuts were served warm which resulted in me thinking that my half of the dish was not cooked through.  The croquette was also enjoyable but would not be going back to try again.   The third of the first course was the halloumi and it was very simple and a favourite dish of the table with fresh mint and lime.

We were seen to as soon as we sat down.  Although after the first waitress that looked after us had her lunch break with three wait staff looking after around 8 tables and it took us a while to get the attention of the staff, in fact the rest of the service was based around delivering the meals to our table. 

The chicken salad was an interesting one, to be honest, not what I entirely envisioned.  The dressing tasted very much like Keens Curry which was something that I have not had before.  The pizza was defiantly the highlight a lovely light base with a garlic base and lamb.  

 The drinks list is quite basic.  You will be able to find a well known label in the wine list and the beers are your standard beer.   The premium list for the beers and spirits could be improved upon as spirits listed as premium are now first pours for quite a few bars.  

I would recommend Stumps for the atmosphere and outdoor dining, its surrounded by lovely shops on Hyde Park as well so if you eat small I would suggest a Hyde Park meander and browse afterwards! 

Seans Kitchen - Adelaide CBD

Sean's Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Atmosphere: ****/5
Food: ****/5
Drinks: ***/5
Service: ***/5

There has been so much going on in foodie and drink world whilst I was on hiatus from the blogging sphere.  After a week of pure indulgence thanks to close friends birthday's I had to get back on the keyboard to (hopefully) help you out with your restaurant/dining decisions.

As a request for her birthday my friend wanted to have her birthday meal at Seans Kitchen.  First thing to note about the restaurant that it is attached to the Adelaide Sky City Casino.  The namesake of the restaurant; Sean Connolly has been working within Casino restaurants since 1995 (Star City Casino).   For those who, for whatever reason do not feel comfortable within a Casino setting will be quite surprised as the restaurant is located on the edge of the building and faces towards government house, on the particular night we were there the noodle market was giving the place an added buzz as well.  

The menu caters to a wide range of groups, and the proximity to the Casino probably has an affect of the diversity of patrons who dine at the restaurant. The contrast and melting pot of different people is pretty obvious as you enter the restaurant. 

I have heard mixed things about the restaurant, the first suggestion I would make when coming here is a, if you don't want noise or you are after a more intimate affair book before going.   The contrast between the outside/downstairs dining area and the upstairs is fairly noticeable.  We started with a drink outside in which we were struggling to find a waiter to tend to our six person table before heading upstairs for our dinner with our own waiter who looked after us throughout the night.   The intimacy and attentiveness of our waiter upstairs made us feel comfortable with ordering what he suggested which I always find is the best way to eat at these places.   The downside is that your wallet has to be reasonably full as they do not do split bill's here. 

The entrees were light and very diverse which, was an interesting way to lead our palettes through the first course.  All the entrees were a delight however, sashimi although beautifully cut and presented in contrast with prosciutto and pickles and the soft shell crab sandwich and oysters was a bit of an interesting way to go! I probably wouldn't have chosen the diverse group of entrees to come out the way they did but it was all wonderful.  It was certainly a challenge to eat quinoa salad with chopsticks!  

The mains were wonderful, each diner had a preference to which was their favourite which I always think is the best way to go! (you get to eat more of the dishes that you like) and the last meal of the lamb shoulder was a wonderful filling way to remember the restaurant.

The wine list was really easy to manoeuvre around, with some Australian staples for those who wanted familiarity as well as some wonderful international choices.

I would not come here without pre booking to avoid the issues of being able to be waited on by staff, who are, often too busy throughout the night in the downstairs area.  The menu prices although reasonable should be saved for a special occasion.  I would have much preferred if it was not attached to the Casino but will be looking forward to someone inviting me to come back for someone else's birthday... and if you need an extra guest let me know!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Treats - Tawonga South

Treats on Urbanspoon

Atmosphere: ****/5
Food: ***/5
Drinks: **/5
Service: **/5

Being impressed with our dinner at Stockpot on the Kiewa Valley Highway the night before, we decided to make our morning walk back towards the restaurant.  Stockpot was closed, however we made our way across the road to the aptly named Bogong Ski Hire and Treats cafe.

A bit of a hidden gem we originally planned to pop our head in and move on to another bruch venue as the exterior is deceiving with the ski hire dominating the view from the highway, we were pleasantly surprised with their windowed counter showing fresh salads, frittata's wraps, focaccia's and breakfast options.

As we had a wedding that day and we did not want to waste the walk I decided to order the big breakfast. I was so impressed.  The breakfast was fresh and light which is such a hard balance to achieve.  There was home made baked beans and potato side which were wonderful and although there was not much service offered when I asked for tomato sauce it was proudly announced that it was home made!

The back of the cafe overlooks a vacant block with windows lining the back and in this season of April the leaves look so stunning at the base of the surrounding rolling mountains.

I would note that if you are used to the strong coffee of the 'big city', this is defiantly a country town and the coffee resembles that with a cup brimming of milk froth which is quaint and reminds you (and so did the waiter) that the mug is the way to order!

Stockpot - Tawonga South

Stockpot on Urbanspoon

Atmosphere: **/5
Food: ***/5
Drinks: ***/5
Service: **/5

Mount Beauty, what an unexpected (however short) culinary tour!  Arriving in the area on a late Friday afternoon and news of a Music Festival in the area we rushed to find and book a restaurant and I am very glad we skipped the pub!

Not much to look at Stockpot is located next to a petrol station along the Kiewa Valley Highway as you enter into Mount Beauty from Bright.  The feeling of the peak winter season is all around you in this restaurant with the cosy interior suited to the cool nights of winter with an outdoor area facing onto the highway encouraging you to utilise the inside.

Being a (recent local) South Australian the first thing I recognised was the wine list.  Although many misses the Rockbare Shiraz for $35 impressed my fellow dinners and suited our diverse meal choices.  Although missing out on hearing about their heavy winter options of the gnocchi ragu with Guinness we decided to order tapas and pizza to share aiming to get the most out of our dining experience.

The spring rolls were a treat with duck providing an interesting twist on a seemingly straightforward entrée, although a little oily.  We also ordered dips with a wonderful pesto infused bread which was fresh and the dips tasted as through they were made on site.  I have had better patatas bravas, however it did not matter that much as the salt and pepper squid, spring rolls and dips were an interesting combination to put together. There is a lack of fluidity in the menu as there is no particular theme, this did not seem to be a problem until we got to our 'main' pizza, which was extremely oily.  Our next door neighbours in the cottage we were staying at who had ordered takeaway from the restaurant had also commented on the oiliness of the pizza.

The desserts here were wonderful! We were extremely disappointed that we missed out on the special sticky date pudding, however, being a country restaurant the waiters did not inform us that there were any specials but the relaxed country air had already washed over us by the time we had hit the restaurant and the waiters were so lovely and spent as much time as we needed with us.  The churros and chocolate pudding were so lovely and moist.  We also ordered a pear tart, however, I think with a majority of the table being females the chocolate dishes were always going to be the first to go and a favourite!

My friend and I were constantly reminded throughout this trip by the locals that Mt. Beauty and Bright are 'small towns' I don't quite know why the local store-holders were insistent that we remembered this but I think it serves a good place in this blog.  Stockpot was wonderful for a 'small town.'  This restaurant does not need to be compared within a big city context, and was wonderful for where it is and what it has to offer.    

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dumplings R Us - Adelaide

Dumplings R Us on Urbanspoon

Atmosphere: ***/5
Food: **/5
Drinks: */5
Service: */5

I have come here as an alternative to food court dining in the city with the same price.

Located on Rundle Street, Dumplings R Us provides the diner with a cheap mix of Asian food with a view over the busy street and an option for outdoor seating.  I prefer it to most dumpling places as they have a wide range of non-pork dumplings and the soup options are many.

The days here vary on the quality of the food.  I have been here and walked away feeling good for the rest of the day and others I have had that heavy feeling of eating bad quality food.   I am definitely a fan of the beef and celery dumplings, and will get them whenever I come here.

The soups often contain a lot of noodles and there is no order to how the food is brought out even if you request it.  This is one of those places that you have to take it as it comes.  Sometimes it can take half an hour to receive one meal whilst the other will take 3 minutes to come out.

Order carefully and be in no rush, but the value for money is worth it on most days.

Gin Long Canteen - North Adelaide

Gin Long Canteen on Urbanspoon

Atmosphere: ****/5
Food: ****/5
Drinks: ***/5
Service: ****/5

Wow.  I can not believe it has taken me this long to find Gin Long.  This Asian street food restaurant with Thai influences blew me out of the water.

Situated on O'Connell Street, North Adelaide, Gin Long brings the big city subculture into our humble town of Adelaide.  As we were a booking over five people we ordered the banquet and, by golly, I recommend you do the same!  Dishes categorised as big and small of Asian fusion were served over two courses and not a heavy greasy meal in sight.

The 'make your own' Cold Rolls were an excellent entrée, fire starting lively conversations as debates about rolling techniques and our favourite flavours made for a wonderful start to the night.  The cold rolls were so light and there was plenty of pork and beautifully crispy prawn, fresh food and sauces to accommodate for everyone.  Other finger foods such as Satay Chicken and the best Thai Beef Salad I have ever had accompanied the Cold Roll entrée.        

By the time the mains arrived we were already full,but keen to push through.  After the entrées we did not want to miss a flavour!  The presentation of the foods was wonderful with the fish presented as a whole with fish sticks surrounding.  The duck was served with lychees and pineapple which is one I would have never chosen myself, however, the flavours worked together perfectly and the duck fell away from itself.  The vegetarian stir-fry is one of the heaviest and favourite stir fry I have had!  There are a couple of us that will be experimenting in our own kitchens after some of the meals we had tired!

The hipster subculture of South American and Mexican food and tapa's style dining has taken over the dining world.  Some of it, quite unmemorable, especially paying $10 for a plate that does not fill you up.  However, the value for money here is refreshing.  Compared to banquets in China Town this meal focused on the delicate flavours rather than filling you up.  Between the five of us there was only a small bowl of rice which suited us just fine.

The atmosphere is super trendy, we sat at a large bench, I would definitely book if you are coming here.  There is bar seating in which does not lean towards the most romantic of settings.   I think they played most of my favourite songs while I was there too with trendy house beats and the wine list encouraging you to stay there well past the last bite has been taken!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Bar 9 - Rundle Mall

The baby of the Glen Osmond Road Favourite. Bar 9 in the David Jones building, brings a fresh, hipster addition to the stagnant, stuffy, underground food court.

Visually this place has so much to absorb, the contrast between the fluorescent lights blasting over the surrounding fast food venues and the coffee shop vibe at Bar 9 could not be any different.  It will be interesting to see how this affects the bar, as it is such a contrast from the surrounding venues and sitting outside of Bar 9's internal allocated area, you almost feel awkward and detached from what the eatery has to offer.  

The cute children's books as menus always amuses! The coffee here is strong and well made, I would say the best in Rundle Mall.  With a long day of sales ahead of me it sat perfectly!

 The food was a bit of a let down.  My beetroot salad was gritty, a suggestion from the table next to us was that they had not washed the salad properly.  I do not know if the texture had put me off the salad as a whole but the flavours did not sit well with me!

My dining partner had the mushroom burger which was small and simple which lent itself to be a little bit of let down as well.  It seems the best meal and the one that has been spoken about here is the pulled pork, which I could not order.  

There wasn't much service to speak of and I don't think that there should be!  Its an 'order at the counter' sort of place.  Water, cutlery and odds and sods you pick up yourself.

I suggest a walk by to see if you can get a good table, if so, try the coffee.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Milano Cucina - Adelaide

Atmosphere: ***/5
Food: */5
Drinks: ***/5
Service: */5

Located on the ground floor of the Channel Ten building Milano Cucina marks the start of the eatery hotspot within the well known Hutt Street precinct.  I was quite hesitant about writing about this place because I feel like it is so far away from what it should, or I otherwise hope, would, like to be and I am constantly hoping that it will be better then next time I go.

The menu boasts Northern Italian food which ranges over pasta, pizza, focaccia, steaks and fish.  I found that the menu is very similar to the Italian restaurants located along the Parade in Norwood.

My last visit here I ordered a Linguine ai Frutti di Mare (Marinara) and I was so disappointed.  This may have been exasperated by the fact that I am trying to reduce the amount of high GI I eat due to the coming summer months and ordering pasta was a special treat.

The mussel's were quite dry and the shells were cracked.  Out of all the clams I was given only one was opened, and after a good crack of pepper from the waitress I had to go back for more, by the end of my meal I had also found that without realising I had eaten nearly half  of a bowl of parmesan with my meal as there was such a lack of flavour.  

The service here is lacking.  The waiters range between being not fluent in English, as I can see that the owner has tried, in keeping with the Italian restaurant, which is a wonderful concept however, they have frequently mistaken my orders, this happens quite a lot, especially with the coffee's, I have often found myself drinking something that I did not order because it gets to the point where language becomes a barrier and it is too hard to negotiate a table full of wrongly served coffee.  The other waiters are either very awkward which often comes across to me as uninterested and/or rude and I have also found some quite aggressive.

There are a lovely little range of cakes and treats and the iced coffee is a special treat here on hot days, as they add a lovely selection of ice-cream's which is perfect for a summer.  The coffees are solid, but not something to compare to the barista/hipster made coffees a couple of blocks down on Rundle Street.

Milano's has so much potential and attract's such a vibrant interesting crowd, I will keep on coming here for iced coffees!

Milano Cucina on Urbanspoon