Bread & Bone Wood Grill

20140923_133422

date of visit: Tuesday 23 September 2014

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ll know that Peel Street is the new ‘it’ place to be in Adelaide. New small food and bar businesses are popping up all over the place (I’m not even pretending to keep up) and Peel Street in particular has zoomed past its neighbour, Leigh Street, in terms of density of offerings.

Bread & Bone already has a reputation for the best burgers in Adelaide and the people who I know who have already been there have all rated it very highly. While the exterior is quite imposing, and you can’t miss it, it’s not entirely obvious that Bread & Bone is the restaurant that’s tucked away upstairs from a small courtyard (downstairs is Maybe Mae, through its hidden door). I suggested it for lunch with a friend as I didn’t feel like spending a lot of money and the burger and hot dog side of the menu keeps everything under $20. For the evening or seriously hungry, there is also a selection of wood grill dishes that sit in the $20-30 zone.

It being lunch time, I took one look at the menu and chose the Bratwurst dog. A bratwurst with … kimchi and kewpie mayonnaise. There are three things that improve pretty much any savoury dish and these are sambal oelek, hot lime pickle and kimchi. Kimchi and rice is the highest form of breakfast, in my opinion. If kimchi is on the menu, the chances are I’ll order it.

My friend had the cheeseburger and ordered a green salad. The burger was a good size (we’d already spied on another table’s order) but neither burgers nor dogs come with fries (yes, that’s chips) as standard. My position on salad dressing is that it is mostly wrong and while this salad was dressed, at least the dressing didn’t have an overpowering vinegar flavour to it – it was much more subtle.

The hot dog (which you can see above) was excellent. The sausage was meaty, the kimchi was hot and packed a good vinegar punch and the kewpie counterpointed that perfectly. The bun did a good job of holding it all together and the napkins, while not cloth, are large, solid and more than up to the task of dealing with the inevitable mucky fingers.

Service was efficient and the food came out promptly – which at lunch time is a definite plus. I didn’t suss out the drinks menu but we did wrap up our meal with a caffè latte which also gets the seal of approval.

The bill came out at just under $20 a head which is certainly not the cheapest hot dog lunch you’ll find in Adelaide. However, you do get table service and an interesting and varied menu for your money. And considering that a sandwich can easily push the $10 mark, I personally would rather invest the additional money in a slightly slicker lunch.

I’d love to pretend I’ll go back and try the remainder of the menu … but … did I mention the kimchi?

Bread & Bone Wood Grill
15 Peel Street
Adelaide SA 5000
phone: 08 8231 8535
open from 11:30am

Bread & Bone Wood Grill on Urbanspoon

Redsalt at Crowne Plaza

 

date of visit: Wednesday 14 May 2014

disclaimer: I attended the dinner as a guest of Crowne Plaza Adelaide.

20140514_183242

I love hotel restaurants – some of my most memorable (for good reasons!) meals have been in hotel dining rooms. The variety in decor and cuisine and the superb people watching opportunities usually make for a top lunch or dinner out.

The Crowne Plaza in Hindmarsh Square is (I think) the newest hotel in Adelaide but no longer the newbie. It sits where once upon a time there was a cinema and also around the corner from where I used to work. The hotel’s restaurant, Redsalt, has been on my to-do list for absolutely ages.

Fortunately for me, I was invited along to a bloggers’ dinner to preview the newly launched Winter menu. After a brief cold snap, Adelaide was back to some unseasonably mild weather, so winter dining might not have been the first thing on my mind but that’s something that can be overcome easily …

We started off with a few introductions (though, being Adelaide, everyone knew almost everyone else already anyway!), a glass of NV Croser and the chef’s tasting plate.

The chef’s tasting plate consisted of tastes of a few of the dishes you’ll find under ‘begin’ on the menu. There were three takes on salmon (the pan seared salmon with a black sesame seed crust the absolute winner in my mind – I could have eaten solely that and been happy), a scallop with chorizo and parsnip puree and the Balsamic pork belly with squid.

This was a very beautiful plate of food which not only looked good but worked well together. The trio of salmon was the highlight and something you should seriously consider. The one weak point was that the squid with the pork belly was a little chewy.

20140514_190430

Our second course was a taster of the pasta dishes that Redsalt offers. Roman gnocchi with harissa, goats cheese and lime ravioli and black squid ink and lemon risotto – topped with squid that was again slightly chewy. This was combination of dishes which worked really well together, and I’m surprised that it doesn’t feature on the menu as an entrée in its own right (it may well be too labour intensive though). The star here for me was the goats cheese and lime ravioli – the fattiness of the cheese was cut through beautifully by a really intense hit of lime. Our wine pairing with this was a Petaluma Sauvignon Blanc which worked really well (though, if you are a die hard Riesling fan, an intensely limey Clare Valley Riesling would work brilliantly too).

20140514_193825

For main course, I chose the braised beef cheek, with mixed wild mushrooms, garlic pomme puree and port jus. This was a really hearty dish. The enormous cheek was falling part and imparted a lovely stickiness to the both the mushrooms and the sauce. The potatoes were silky smooth and the sauce (while a touch salty for me – but I’m normally a super low salt person – I know my dad would have thought it was perfect!) was rich and dense. This dish is on the menu at $29 and considering the pedestrian fare you can pay over $30 for in Adelaide this alone makes Redsalt worth ducking into on a cold winter’s day.

20140514_203208

We finished with a coffee semifreddo, served in a little cup and topped with Frangelico froth. This would have done as dessert on its own but it was accompanied by two large cinnamon doughnuts. The doughnuts were really good but by this stage even I could only manage one, preferring to concentrate my efforts on the semifreddo and froth. I think with coffee desserts it is always a challenge to get the balance of sweetness, bitterness and coffee flavour right but this nailed it and, of course, Frangelico is a great pairing with coffee.

The menu at Redsalt treads a very clever line between comfort food and all things slightly trendy or novel. It’s the type of menu where that difficult family member who only eats meat and three vege will be kept just as happy as a more adventurous eater. The prices are really keen: some of the signature and grill dishes push past the $30 mark ($125 for 800g of Wagyu anyone?!) but most main courses come in at $25-30. Based on what I tasted, this is great value.

As an added bonus, Redsalt has a focus on local ingredients and is a member of Eat Local SA so you can enjoy your dinner knowing you’re supporting all manner of local food producers. It also makes it a great place to take any interstate or overseas visitors.

The bottom line with any review is would I go back (and pay my own money)? Aside from already having recommended Redsalt to a few people, yes, I’d go back in a heartbeat.

Crowne Plaza Adelaide
16 Hindmarsh Square
Adelaide SA 5000
phone: 08 8206 8888

Crowne Plaza Adelaide - Redsalt Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Il Mondo Caffe Bar

Untitled

date of visit: Tuesday 4 March 2014

There are way too many interesting bars opening up around Adelaide at the moment. One of the things that I loved about Leeds was the small bar scene. Yes – there were the arena sized Wetherspoons, the cheesy nightclubs and the shopping (oh, yeah, I never got into that!) but there were also so many small independent bars where you could get something interesting to drink.

This is something that Adelaide has lacked for far too long. Too many of Adelaide’s old pubs have had the homogeneous makeover treatment and, if you want to feel trendy, you can have a boring pint in many shiny establishments.

I don’t know if it’s the small bar legislation, but a bar revolution has been under way for quite a while and now, when faced with an all too infrequent drink after work, I find myself spoilt for choice.

Tuesday’s drink after work was postponed for a week which meant even more bar-prevarication on my part … but I held my nerve and headed along to Il Mondo Caffè Bar, located on James Place. Surprisingly central to Rundle Mall, for anyone needing a restorative retail tonic …

Il Mondo opens at 9:30 so breakfast, coffee and lunch are well catered for.  At lunch and after work (from 5:30pm) you can indulge in ‘il aperitivo’: a drink and free run at Italian bar snacks for $15. If you’re up for more serious food there’s plenty available, including my all time favourite, spaghetti con alio, olio e peperoncino.

Unfortunately I was there for a super quick drink so I couldn’t indulge in any aperitivo snacks and I certainly couldn’t wolf down a bowl of pasta (well, I could have … but at home, Andy and dinner were both waiting for me) so I had to console myself with the wine list.

The wine list is (unsurprisingly) Italian wine heavy with pretty much everything available by the glass (and mostly under $10). It is SO refreshing to see a wine list which doesn’t start by listing New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc …

As it was a warm day, white wine was definitely in order. I’ve recently become a little concerned about the quality of wine by the glass being poured in Adelaide so when it came to ordering a glass of Falanghina (there are two Italian Falanghinas on the wine list – on its own, impressive!) I was cautious. After all, it was just gone 5 so would I be drinking from yesterday’s open bottle? And how many people in Adelaide are actually drinking Falanghina at the moment?

I’ve clearly spent far too much time thinking about the ‘stale wine by the glass conundrum’ because I’ve actually come up with an approach to counter it.

I approached the bar and asked “which of the two Falanghinas would you recommend and which have you opened most recently?”. This enquiry was met with a broad smile, an immediate recommendation and the offer to open a new bottle for us. You can imagine – I was sold.

My friend and I sat at a wine barrel outside, had a couple of glasses of wine and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. of course, the highest praise of all is that Il Mondo is definitely now on my “to return to” list.

And let’s face it – today’s Friday and you should really try somewhere new for that after work drink!

Il Mondo Caffè Bar
20 James Place
Adelaide SA 5000
phone: (08) 8212 3626

il Mondo caffè bar on Urbanspoon