Sunny’s Pizza

tomato salad
Mostly eaten tomato salad … YUM!

date of visit: 12 April 2017

Bad lighting – sorry for horrendous photos …

A friend of mine recently got married and before she embarked on a six-week long honeymoon a group of us bossed her into a dinner out. In hindsight, she was probably knackered from the wedding, from sorting out work before heading away and from sorting out the honeymoon … but she graciously squeezed us into what was probably a very packed schedule. Sorry Tash!

We decided on Sunny’s as our dinner venue because none of us had been there. Sunny’s is the new (well, opened in late-2016) kid on the block – in the west end but away from Peel and Leigh Streets, yet still sporting the ubiquitous Studio Gram design. It’s cool. It’s hip. 

So cool and so hip, it doesn’t take bookings. For five or six of us, on a Wednesday night, where people are sorting baby-sitting and travelling from outer suburbs this is almost a deal breaker. We were told we should be fine. In fact, we were only fine because one of us was in town an hour earlier, bagged a booth and ordered drinks while the rest of us straggled in …

Pepperoni, olives … on a pizza. Check that crust!

The menu at Sunny’s is short – divided into pizza and not-pizza. It’s a simple menu and I’d recommend not taking your fussiest friends there. Fortunately, none of us is fussy, so after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, we decided on three pizzas and two not-pizzas between the four of us. One pizza had a gluten-free base.

Our not-pizza options were a stunning heirloom tomato salad which I would have been happy to eat over and over again. All I needed was a plate of that to myself and some good crusty, chewy bread and I would have been happy. Dressed with basil oil and scamorza (a soft, cow’s milk cheese which featured very heavily on the menu) and microherbs – it was GREAT!

We also had the green salad which was basically a big pile of mixed lettuces dressed lightly with olive oil.

Porky fennelly goodness on a pizza

On to the pizzas … Well, bad blogger that I am, I didn’t take a photo of the menu so I can’t quite remember what we had. For our gluten-free pizza we had a cheese and mushroom pizza, while pork and fennel and pepperoni and olives appeared on the others.

I’m not an aficionado gluten-free bases but, to my gluten-oriented palate – it was horrible. Flat, dense, without the right taste or texture. The topping was dominated by cheese and this was the only pizza that didn’t get demolished.

The other two pizzas were pretty good. I preferred the porky-fennelly number (I love fennel so that was always going to happen) but enjoyed the pepperoni one too. I particularly liked the fat, chewy, charred and blistered crusts. The dough was good. It gets a big tick.

One thing that gets a big cross, however, is the service. It vacillated between friendly, helpful, jovial … to, um, not great at all.

While the wine list is to be commended (small producers, everything by the glass) but the amount of time I waited for a glass of Grenache was untrue. Not only waited, but asked about it too … Really? Pouring a glass of wine isn’t difficult and the markup on alcohol is usually pretty generous. Get that glass of wine out pronto – the customer might order a second …

When we asked about dessert we were told that they don’t do desserts because they don’t have a freezer. Eh?!

And when we asked for the bill? Well, that was the same place my glass of Grenache was …

The upshot? I hope that Sunny’s isn’t too cool for school. Relaxed, casual, laid-back – all awesome things for a venue to pursue. So relaxed your customers aren’t getting their wine (or their bill)? Not so great.

Personally, the fact I can’t book and the uneven service means that I wouldn’t put Sunny’s out there as a recommendation and I wouldn’t go out of my way to return. However, the pizzas were good enough that, if someone else suggested it (or I were nearby and there happened to be space) I’d be happy enough to go for take-two.

17 Solomon Street
Adelaide SA 5000


Cellar Door Fest: Insider Sneak Peek

Tidswell Wines
Tidswell Wines’ Norwood Cellar Door

Disclaimer: I was a guest at the event

Now we’ve all forgotten about Christmas and New Year, Festival season is well and truly kicking off in Adelaide. I can read through my Facebook feed without tripping over events, street parties and must-see acts.

One event which South Australian wine lovers should look forward to is the Cellar Door Fest, held every February at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

This year, the Fest kicks off on Friday 26 February and, as a sneak peek, a few of Adelaide’s food and wine lovers were treated to an urban cellar door tour.

The beauty of the Cellar Door Fest is that, in one weekend, you can (try to!) visit 180 wineries covering 15 of South Australia’s wine regions. Every year the Fest adapts and changes, and this year sees a strong focus on experiences. Alongside the masterclasses and long table lunches (an extended program) 2016 also sees the introduction of a beer garden. There’s a strong emphasis on food (especially cheese) so you’ll also be able to taste new products and chat to producers.

Charcuterie and cheese
Charcuterie and cheese by Bottega Rotolo

We started at Tidswell Wines, on Sydenham Road in Norwood. Tidswell’s vineyards are on the Limestone Coast and when they were planted in 1994 they were part of the Coonawarra. Unfortunately, when the Coonawarra GI was established in 2003 the vineyards fell outside the boundary. Today, Tidswell produces a range of red and white wines, all of which we could try (unfortunately I was driving – something of a fail for a cellar door tour). We also snacked on a lovely plate of charcuterie and cheese, provided by Bottega Rotolo.

Signature Wines
Lots of oohs and aahs when the door was thrown open to reveal the setting at Signature Wines

Next stop, and literally across the road, was Signature Wines. You’re unlikely to find Signature in a big bottle shop – Dan and Bec focus on on-trade sales, partnering with many of Australia’s top restaurants, as well as sales through the Norwood cellar door. Here we enjoyed a flight of four wines, accompanied by a pulled beef burger, put together by Jackie Singh of Ruby Spice.

Chocolate – from bean (far right), through nib, cocoa powder and finished products

Finally, we moved on to Tomich Wines‘ cellar door on King William Rd. We were greeted with more bubbles and wrapped up the evening hearing about chocolate. Marcus, from Stirling’s Red Cacao, took us through the chocolate production process and we enjoyed coffee and truffles (his raspberry ganache chocolate I HIGHLY recommend).

Throughout the evening we heard from people who have been involved in the Cellar Door Fest for many years. It’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming it’s all about wine but there is so much more on offer. And really – you can either take a week or two off work and spend a LOT of time driving, or … you can high-tail it to the Convention Centre and spend a couple of days checking out the best our state has to offer.

As something of a Cellar Door Fest veteran (I remember the very first one!) here are my four top tips:

1. Book online. Sure – you can buy your tickets at the door but you’ll save money and queuing time by booking online.

2. Get your timing right. That means – go early. The Friday evening session is usually quieter than the full weekend days so it’s a good option. If you are going on Saturday and/or Sunday – arrive early. As in, arrive when the doors open. There are fewer people so you’ll have the opportunity to talk to producers who aren’t faced with a phalanx of punters and who haven’t yet said the same thing over and over and over.

3. Make use of the pick ‘n pack service. THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER. Sure … you can pretend you’re not going to buy wine but you are and pick ‘n pack will look after your goodies and deliver them safely. Who’s to argue with a whopping 75% of last year’s Fest-goers?

4. LEAVE THE CAR AT HOME. This is a Cellar Door Fest and there’s never an excuse for drinking and driving. The Adelaide Convetion Centre is immediately adjacent to the train station and North Terrace is well served by buses and trams. There are also plenty of taxi ranks for the journey home.

Cellar Door Fest runs from 26-28 February at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

Sean’s Kitchen Turns One

20151020_131728Disclaimer: I was a guest at the lunch.

I’m quite surprised that Sean’s Kitchen, one of the Casino’s flagship restaurants, is just one. In a year which has been packed with restaurant and bar openings, Sean’s Kitchen has done a good job of keeping itself at the forefront of my consciousness. Remember those black burgers for Friday the 13th, a while back?

It is rather the story of my life at the moment that I seem to have not eaten at places and that’s certainly true of Sean’s Kitchen. It has moved up and down ‘the list’ and never quite percolated to the top.

Until last Tuesday, when I headed along to a lunch to help celebrate the restaurant’s birthday.

A small group of bloggers and media was hosted by both the Casino and Sean himself to a lunch which showcased some highlights from the new summer menu and concluded with an enormous birthday cake. If you have never thought of sponge, chocolate ganache, meringue, popcorn and salted caramel sauce … you should start thinking about it now.

Firstly – the drinks (even at lunch time a glass or two of good wine is essential). Very excitingly for the wine geeks out there, Sean’s has put on a dedicated ‘Rosé Repertoire’ list of rosés, available by the glass. The wines are predominantly dry (which can be an achievement in itself) and also interesting. I suspect that not only did someone have fun coming up with the list – patrons should have fun drinking it over summer. We started with a big platter of oysters which was quickly followed by a very comprehensive selection of the smaller plates available.

20151020_122307 The two absolute stand outs for me were the soft shell crab sandwich, served with green goddess dressing, and the crab salad with bloody mary vinaigrette. If you order this, you will need to ensure that you either have plenty of bread to mop up the vinaigrette or a spoon – otherwise you may feel compelled to slurp it from the bowl and that wouldn’t be a good look … 20151020_123559 New summer dishes include an heirloom tomato, strawberry and watermelon salad, dressed with pomegranate seeds and labne, and grilled peaches, served with mozzarella and pistachio pesto (another highlight for me). I also loved the grilled octopus salad, served with kipfler potatoes, olives, chilli and gremolata. Super simple but just wonderful. 20151020_130101

Having motored through all of this, I was starting to feel quite full … but saved some space for the birthday cake. The arrival of the cake was heralded by a Marilyn singing ‘Happy Birthday’ (apparently quite a while ago, Sean had asked for a Marilyn and then promptly forgotten about it …). Apparently the kitchen had been at full tilt producing ganache so that patrons throughout the day could all be treated to a piece of cake.

The combination of soft meringue and pop corn, with a dash of salted caramel sauce, was just delicious. You almost didn’t need cake too. Almost, but not quite!

At this point I had to leave but before I did, the barbecue short rib appeared from the kitchen. It’s a hefty share dish and looked delicious (and from all reports it tasted delicious too). I hope the remaining diners did it justice!

It might have been a Tuesday lunch but Sean’s Kitchen was almost full to capacity – no mean feat given that it is definitely at the pricier end of the Adelaide dining scale (main courses hover between $30 and $40).

It is great to see what we can now call an established venue that is thriving. Sometimes I think Adelaide’s dining scene is a little too flighty – always chasing the next trendy thing – but the success of Sean’s Kitchen shows that it is possible to survive and thrive beyond the 6 month mark.

Sean’s Kitchen
Station Road
Adelaide SA 5000
phone: 08 8218 4244

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