Patty Mac’s at Adelaide Casino

clean plate
Clean plates says it all …

disclaimer: I was invited to a media dinner at Patty Mac’s.
date of visit: Tuesday 6 February 2018

It’s been quite a long time since I’ve been in, as in actually inside, Adelaide Casino. When I was at uni, my friends and I used to go there quite a bit. Firstly, there was the excitement of actually being allowed in (I was the liability who was ALWAYS asked for ID, so I usually had to go in last …) and secondly, at some point, a mate and I figured out that the cheapest, and best, wedges with sour cream and sweet chilli sauce were to be found there. More recently … Sean’s Kitchen and Madame Hanoi – absolutely I’ve been there – but actually inside the Casino … nope, not for ages.

Apple Slaw
Apple Slaw – $7

So, on a hot Tuesday night, venturing into the Casino to check out the new restaurant, Patty Mac’s, was a whole new adventure in itself. I entered off North Terrace and Patty Mac’s is easy to find – straight up the stairs (OK, past a few glittering poker machines with their distinctive plink-plonk noise). The restaurant is housed in what used to be the station’s conductors’ office. It’s now a bright, light space (and very well airconditioned!). While the interior is by Studio Gram, it’s a lot more toned down (perhaps by that I mean ‘less distinctively Studio Gram’!) than many of their other Adelaide venues. It’s 1950s American diner chic: clean lines, chequerboard floor, and diner quotes adorn the walls.

Cobb Salad
Cobb Salad – $12

The menu follows suit – it’s short and sweet but laden with quick, comfort-style dishes, with burgers and hot dogs taking pride of place. We were treated to a selection of sides and quick specials and then our choice of burger. Anyone with space could also sample a milkshake and we wrapped up with the chocolate cherry pie.

Mac & Cheese Balls
Balls of Fire (mac and cheese) – $7

The restaurant’s strapline is ‘there’s always room for pie’ … this may not be entirely true.

Buffalo Wings
Buffalo Wings – $10.50

Our shared starters were the ‘Balls of Fire’ (mac and cheese balls, with a really tasty Sriracha-ranch dressing – these just edged the wings as my pick), the buffalo wings (maintaining their crispiness despite the clever sweet-sour-spicy marinade and sauce), the Cobb salad and the apple slaw. Both of the salads were great – despite the Cobb being loaded with things like blue cheese and avocado, it still felt really light, with soft juicy chicken rounding it out, and the slaw was very fresh and crisp and not bogged down by a ton of dressing. I’m pretty picky about salad – too often venues drown salads in dressing, so Patty Mac’s gets a big tick from me on this one. If you were hungry, the Cobb salad would work a treat as a light lunch.

Southern Fried Chicken Burger
Southern Fried Chicken Burger – $14

Burger-wise, I chose the Southern Fried Chicken burger – topped with fried chicken, lettuce, tomato and a really tart and crisp red onion pickle. Obviously, chips are on the side. I was particularly pleased that the burger bun was neither falling apart nor soggy – top marks there.

Chocolate Cherry Pie
Chocolate Cherry Pie – one slice is $6

We finished with the chocolate cherry pie. The kitchen brought out the whole pies to the table – they are normally served in wedges with whipped cream. I was pretty full by this point so requested I knife so I could have a slightly smaller portion. After that … I was fully full! The chocolate and cherry pie was delicious – but really ever so rich. Perhaps go easy on the savoury dishes (or duck in for a coffee and pie mid-afternoon …).

Peanut Butter & Salted Caramel Freakshake
Peanut Butter & Salted Caramel Freakshake – $15

So it goes without saying that I didn’t try a shake (sorry, but I took a picture of one). I can imagine children would go MAD for the shakes so, from that point of view, it’s a real shame that the restaurant is inside the Casino and off-limits for anyone under 18.

John, the Casino’s sous chef, stepped out of the kitchen to give us a few insights into the menu and the day-to-day functioning of the Casino. The aim at Patty Mac’s is to produce food that can come to the table quickly. With one eye on the football season (and I guess the Festival and Fringe will have given them a good trial run) the idea is to feed the hungry quickly. Even though the brigade is small the menu has been planned around this. He wasn’t giving away any recipe secrets (unsurprisingly) – so you will just have to go and check the food out for yourself. However, for a fun fact, he did say that the Casino turns out over 700 (SEVEN HUNDRED) covers a day on internal meals alone.

Double Patty Mac's Burger
Double Patty Mac’s Burger – the one that elicits the oohs and aahs – $17.50

Since dining at Patty Mac’s I’ve shown a few friends pictures of the burgers and they always get the same response (ooohs, aaahs). If you love a burger, Patty Mac’s is one place you should definitely check out.

Patty Mac’s
Level 1, SKYCITY Adelaide Casino
North Terrace
Adelaide SA 5000
phone: 08 8212 2811

Great River Korean BBQ Restaurant, Gouger Street

kim chi fried rice
kim chi fried rice – no one was allowed to touch Master 6’s egg!

date of visit: Thursday 12 October 2017

School holidays might have been wrapping up but the onslaught of activities certainly wasn’t. Master 6 had a Come’n’Try Kung Fu session in the late afternoon in the city. A perfect opportunity to meet Andy after work and head for an early meal.

As an aside – if you have school-age children, the Come’n’Try program, which runs most holidays, is excellent. There’s a range of sports on offer for children to try out and the sessions usually cost around $5.

Anyway, during the afternoon, I asked Master 6 what he’d like for dinner (and frankly, if he’d answered sushi I probably would have gone crazy!). He had a little think and came up with Korean. This did rather surprise me, but as I love Korean I was going to roll with it.

A bit of research suggested that Great River would provide us with Korean BBQ but not force us into a buffet (quite possibly my single most loathed way of serving food). I scored a fantastic park on Gouger Street and we headed in.

As Great River is Korean BBQ, the tables are set up with the tabletop grills and above every one, an extractor fan. This gives the restaurant a slightly odd look – as you have the brown wooden tables and generally muted decor, with the silver tubing of the extractor fans and the bright individual table lights.

There is an à la carte menu at Great River but there are also ‘sets’, which serve various numbers of people. We opted for ‘Set A’ which comes in at $60. Our waiter tried to up-sell us to ‘Set B’ which she said served 3-4 people but I’m glad we went for the smaller set as we had a TON of food (and given that Master 6 can more than hold his own, I’d be recommending you err on the side of caution).

Set A came with pork belly, chicken and two types of beef, as well as a green salad, Korean fried chicken and cos lettuce for wrapping the meats in. We also ordered the kim chi fried rice (a very generous portion, topped with a fried egg) and, of course, we were served a range of pickles.

Drink ordering was a bit of a farce. Andy wisely chose a Boags, whereas I went for the Korean beer. I started by ordering a Hite. Our waiter came back – sorry, they are out of Hite. So I asked for an OB. Our waiter came back … and I ended up with a Cass. Maybe I’m unreasonable, but this is a Korean restaurant – if you’re going to list Korean beers on your drinks menu then expect that people might order them and either have them in stock or know your stock levels.

Korean BBQ grill
cook your own – an opportunity to incinerate some food!

My grizzle over and our grill plate heating up, food started arriving. Our waiter started us off with our BBQing before leaving us to it. We weren’t as expert as we might have been and a couple of the thinner pieces of beef in particular we rather overcooked (but burnt crispy edges are good!). The pork was my favourite, while Andy’s was the chicken. Although initially a bit scared of the fire from the BBQ, Master 6 quickly got into the spirit of the meal and ploughed his way through egg and rice, the cucumber pickle, and at least his fair share of the meats.

The green salad was lovely – quite simple and with a sweetish dressing but at least it wasn’t drowned in it. The highlight for me was the Korean fried chicken – small drumsticks that were a combination of sweet, salty, spicy, crispy and saucy. Despite eschewing the beef that had bone it (‘ewww, no bones!’) Master 6 enthusiastically chomped his way through the chicken, stripping the bones bare of meat … so if you have a child in tow, take baby wipes!

We thought that value for money wise, Great River wasn’t too bad. We had a ton of food, doggy-bagged our leftover rice and came out spending under $100. You can easily spend a similar amount of money on a pub dinner. The service is friendly but not particularly professional or efficient. Cooking your own food does make for a much slower meal than usual, so if you are in a rush, this is probably not the venue for you.

Also – the toilets are not the most glamorous in the neighbourhood … just keep that in mind!

Would we go again? Hmmm, not sure. I think I’d be making the effort to try out some of Adelaide’s other Korean BBQ.

Great River Korean BBQ Restaurant
103 Gouger Street
Adelaide SA 5000
phone: 08 8221 6866

Great River Korean BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Coffee by the Beans (CBTB)

Home made berry crumble
Crumble that’s worth going out of your way for

date of visit: Monday 9 October 2017

Being out at Lockleys at an unholy hour of the morning (especially for school holidays) meant that by 10ish I was on the hunt for the nearest coffee. I was quite surprised that Google offered a very generous selection of quirky, indy coffee places along, or very near to, Henley Beach Road.

CBTB happened to be the nearest and while I failed in trying to convince a small person to walk there we were really lucky and got a park right out the front. On this note – the address is Henley Beach Road and Google tried to send me down Rowells Road, but you are better off turning on to Douglas Street. From here, you will spot the café immediately AND, gods willing, you’ll also score a park.

The café is quite small but seating is maximised by the use of long tables and benches rather than smaller, individual tables. We walked in around 1030 and it was busy but there were plenty of spare seats. About half an hour later, this situation had changed and it was really busy. While a lot of people were waiting for takeaway coffees, I’d still recommend turning up earlier rather than later.

Even though it was busy, the staff were very friendly and welcoming and before long we had a choc-chip biscuit in hand, an order for a babycino and long black underway AND a small slice of homemade berry crumble.

And, if I hadn’t ordered that berry crumble, I probably wouldn’t be writing this. One of my (many) bugbears is cafés that only serve food that comes in portions the size of my head. Sometimes – in fact, most of the time – if I want a snack, I want exactly that. A snack. Something small to tide me over til whatever I’m eating properly next time. So this small slice of crumble was exactly what was called for. What was even better was that it wasn’t ludicrously sweet.

I also liked that, as we were eating in, my coffee came in a proper coffee cup (Master 6’s babycino was in a paper cup – probably to avoid any small child related carnage) AND Master 6’s biscuit wasn’t massive either.

CBTB is not, by a long stretch, close enough for it to be my local, but the crumble alone makes it worth a detour!

Coffee by the Beans (CBTB)
Shop 3, 394 Henley Beach Road
Lockleys SA 5032
ph: (08) 8443 4007

coffee by the beans Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato