photo by Sonti Malonti
date of visit: Friday 30 December 2011
Windy Point (the restaurant) is somewhere we always take overseas guests. We go there for the view – it’s a great place to see the fairy lights of Adelaide and, of course, you can usually spot some local youths with their Commodores in the car park!
If you know me, it’s also no secret that the last few times I’ve eaten there I’ve been incredibly disappointed with the service. We’ve had all manner of hilarity – Andy ordering a glass of Beaujolais and being brought a glass of white wine, cutlery going flying (thankfully only to the floor), really intrusive and insistent pouring of water and so on. This hasn’t only been my experience – when I’ve discussed the venue with others they’ve felt the same. And it’s always been a shame because the food is actually pretty good. So when we took our latest overseas visitors there I wasn’t really too sure what to expect.
HOORAY! Things were great – and by things, I mean pretty much everything. After my last meal at Windy Point, I’d go back even if it didn’t have a view. And that’s how it should be.
We arrived early for our (super early 6pm!) reservation so we sat in the bar and had a drink or two. The barman was affable and chatty, while getting on with his general setting up for the evening jobs. We weren’t rushed to our table, so we actually ended up sitting down closer to half past 6.
Then the serious business of food and wine got underway. We started with bread (the organic sour dough with olive oil), which I followed with the warm green and white asparagus with 62°C egg. This was a very pretty dish – the asparagus all neatly arranged in a criss-cross pattern and it tasted great too (er, well, I do like asparagus). The asparagus, egg and hollandaise is all a really classic combination of flavours so there was nothing that could go wrong. The addition of pangrattato (that’s Italian for ‘breadcrumbs’) added some texture and I was happy.
For main course I ordered the sous-vide Wagyu rump. I almost didn’t, because the menu said it was served medium, but I needn’t have worried as it was perfectly juicy and tender. However, I do think that if I were someone who liked (or needed to have) my steak medium I would have been disappointed and probably slightly freaked out.
I managed to squeeze in dessert: passionfruit butter and lime crêpes. I think this is always on the menu and some people criticise it as being too sweet – but really, it’s a dessert! I enjoy it – I find it a perfectly acceptable way to finish a meal as it’s not too heavy and I don’t find it cloying.
The wine list at Windy Point is extensive and interesting. They don’t seem to have a dedicated sommelier (or at least, not one who comes to your table and answers your questions) but there must be at least one staff member who knows the list because the lady who was waiting our table was happy to go off and find out the answers to our queries. We drank the Stefano Lubiana Primavera Chardonnay and the Leabrook Estate Pinot Noir. They’re both at the moderate end of the price range – if you want to push the boat out then the wine list at Windy Point will let you do that!
The real joy on this visit to Windy Point was that the service was vastly improved on previous visits. It was unobtrusive – which I think is just about the best thing you can say about service in a restaurant. Our waiter was pleasant, helpful and did her job without trying to be friends with us.
Top dinners like this don’t come cheaply and, while on this occasion I didn’t see the bill, I doubt we left for under $100 a head. Of course, a large part of that was the alcohol … but if you’re spending money on food and environment, why wouldn’t you have something lovely to drink too?