Olive Green Kitchen


date of visit: Sunday 5 January 2014

Let’s not beat about the bush – Olive Green Kitchen, a tiny Indian restaurant in Belair gets a bit of a caning on Urbanspoon. Something of a veteran user of crowd sourced reviews, I know to take them with a pinch of salt and to discard reviews at either end of the spectrum and to give less weight to those reviews which are the contributor’s only contribution to a site.

Even so, I ummed and aahed about Olive Green, particularly because so many of the dismissive reviews came from customers who had used a group buying voucher … which was exactly what I intended to buy. In the end, we decided that $39 for dinner was worth the gamble.

If you’re a long time reader, you’ll know that not only do I love a bit of a bargain but I also regard vouchers and deals as excellent ways of gaining the true measure of a venue. If a restaurant is any good, then the management will be taking the opportunity to convert people into return customers. A rubbish experience? Well, they’ve got your money once, but the damage is done – and the chances are you’ll tell your friends.

One of the Urbanspoon criticisms is that people have found it very hard to book tables with their vouchers. The voucher I purchased had both a very narrow booking window and a very narrow using window, which was complicated by bookings closing on 27 December. I did have to ring a couple of times (and, forewarned, I did actually make note of when I called!) and I did find that my call wasn’t returned but I did make a booking without quite the hassle I was expecting.

Now, as we were dining out with the toddler in tow, we made our booking for 5:30pm on a Sunday so when we arrived the restaurant was empty and we had no problem with slow service. We were seated, our orders were taken promptly and food arrived in a timely fashion. How things function at a busier time, I cannot say.

The voucher we had bought entitled us to a shared entrée, with main courses of our choice served with rice and naan, desserts and glasses of wine (you can see why we were prepared to risk $39 on the exercise!). The great thing about this kind of deal is that we can share the entrée with the toddler and not need to buy him his own main course.


The platter consisted of onion bhajis, pakoras, chicken tikka, seekh kebab and fish amritsari. This was generally pretty good – it was let down by the fish amritsari which was really quite bland and also watery (I’d put money on it being frozen fish) and the chicken was a little dry, but the seekh kebab was a big hit with the toddler and we both enjoyed the bhajis and pakoras. The platter was served with a simple salad (that was a lot better than the sad lettuce leaf that often accompanies these things!) and some mint chutney and mango chutney.

For main course, I chose the beef masala. Well, I say ‘chose’ – in reality, the toddler announced he wanted beef and this looked like a reasonably mild choice (he’s not quite up to a vindaloo!). Andy picked the lamb roganjosh. OUr main courses came with rice, naan and, of course, we were munching our way through pappadums.

The main courses were really good. The meat was tender, the two sauces were not only different heats but also tasted different, and while the portion sizes weren’t massive, they were certainly ample. The naan wasn’t bad at all (perhaps not quite as puffy and crisp as it is in some places) but the pappadums were a little greasy. Overall, it was a more than fair spread of food.

Our deal also included dessert which is not normally something I’d for. In the past I’ve found Indian sweets far too sweet and, anyway, by the time I’ve scoffed a curry and a naan I’m always far too full to consider it.

But, this time, in the interests of ‘research’ I stretched myself. OUr waitress brought three mango kulfis to the table: umbrella shaped ice creams that sat atop little handles to stop the drips. The toddler thought it was Christmas (an ice cream shaped like an umbrella? whooooooah!) and even I really enjoyed it. Given this is my only experience of mango kulfi, I’m not sure I should pass judgement on how excellent or otherwise it was – but it was extremely tasty!


For $39 we thought our dinner was excellent value for money. We’d be happy to go back, either on a deal like this, or just as ‘normal’ customers (admittedly, we’d probably just have mains in that case).

This restaurant illustrates perfectly why you need to exercise just a touch of critical thinking when using social review sites. After all, there’s nothing quite like finding out for yourself …

Olive Green Kitchen
Shop 1a 16 Main Rd
Belair SA 5052
phone: 08 8278 8366

Olive Green Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Windy Point Cafe


disclaimer: I was a guest of Windy Point.
date of visit: Tuesday 28 May 2013

Much much earlier this year (I really am that far behind!) I received an invitation from Windy Point to visit both the café and restaurant as the venue’s guest.

I took my mum along to the café and Andy and I had a really lovely meal at the restaurant (which, incidentally, has just picked up Best Restaurant at the Restaurant and Catering SA Awards). I don’t really think that the restaurant is the kind of place where furiously snapping photos is appropriate (if you know me, you’ll know I’m not that hot on photographing my food anyway, but I see it as rather a necessary evil), so instead you get photos and a review of the café. I will say that the meal Andy and I enjoyed at the restaurant was the best we’ve had there in the past few years.

The café is nestled downstairs from the restaurant and enjoys the same amazing views, but in a much more casual setting. Mum and I had a lovely table next to a window. It also happened that we were seated next to a table of two where the woman did nothing but complain loudly and incessantly about the lack of yoghurt dressing on her dish. Full marks to the staff for placating her (or, at least, attempting to – I doubt she’d have been happy no matter what they did).


Unexpected entertainment aside, mum and I opted for mains only, to ensure there was space for dessert. Mum chose the slow braised beef short loin rib with spinach and three sauces and I, rather predictably, opted for angel hair pasta with prawn, crab and chilli … you know the score. The food was really lovely. Mum enjoyed her beef and I loved the pasta. Even though I might not have been imaginative in my choice, it was great that Windy Point had put its own twist on this dish by having it deliver a healthy kick of anise, thanks to some tarragon.

We decided to share the poached rhubarb and strawberry dessert, which turned out to be a wise decision because it was quite heavy on the strawberry component (and I am really not bothered by strawberries at all). It was a very pretty dish, and all those beautiful almonds provided a lovely crunch. I would have been happy had it been rhubarb alone!

With main courses all hovering around the $30 mark Windy Point Café is not the cheapest café meal you’ll ever eat, but it probably is one of the classiest. If you’re after the same calibre of food as in the restaurant (the menus are similar but not identical) but a more relaxed environment (perhaps you are a large group or have some boisterous children or adults with you), then the café is definitely for you.

The café is open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday, and is open for breakfast/brunch/lunch on Sundays.

Windy Point Café
Windy Point Road
Belair SA 5052
phone: 8278 8255
Windy Point Cafe on Urbanspoon

Windy Point Restaurant

"windy point" - view over Adelaidephoto 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?

Windy Point on Urbanspoon