Variety on King William Menu Launch


Disclaimer: I was a guest at the menu launch.

If you follow me on instagram (you can expect food, wine, cats and roses) you’ll have noticed that last Tuesday I was posting some very beautiful dishes … and that’s because I’d been invited along to the menu launch for this year’s Variety on King William lunch which is a regular feature in the Adelaide Fashion Festival. King William Road (KWR) itself turns into both fashion runway and restaurant as literally hundreds of people sit down to enjoy a fine dining experience. Not only do people get to be well fed and watered, but the feel good factor kicks in, as the event raises money for Variety, the Children’s Charity. This year the lunch is being held this Friday, 17 October.

The menu launch not only showed off the amazing food that will be on offer, but it also demonstrated how well traders in an area can work together and how much these kinds of collaborative efforts benefit everyone. When you’re turning out hundreds of plates of food, no one can afford to be precious, and staff from all the restaurants pitch in to ensure that the event runs smoothly.

Guests at the menu launch were given strict instructions to arrive promptly at Ichitaro Dining for a 1230 start – apparently cars would be waiting! I was a bit confused by this (after all – how long is King William Road?!) but Peugeot is one of the event’s major sponsors and had laid on cars to take us on the two longest hops of our prandial progress.

At Ichitaro, Akira greeted us with salmon rolls and Japanese style vegetable croquettes (yasai croquets). As all the wine sponsors were also being showcased, this was paired with the Totino Estate Cartia sparkling white. There were a few quick photo opps and the final guest arrived and we jumped in the Peugeots to head to Bottega Rotolo.

I haven’t been to Bottega Rotolo’s year old KWR store before – but my goodness – it is very impressive. Very bright and modern, well stocked with all sorts of goodies and a very impressive cheese display. Here we were treated to more canapés: saffron and leek tartlets with a truffle ‘caviar’ (created by that now almost stalwart of molecular gastronomy techniques, spherification) and anchovies with sun dried tomatoes and Grok (Grana Padano which has been oven baked and turns into crispy intensely flavoured cheesy crumbles – it’s very very good!).

The leek and saffron tarts were absolutely delicious. The pastry was light and crisp, the filling soft with a cleverly balanced depth of flavour added by the saffron and the earthiness from the truffle. I think everyone was oohing and aahing about these.


These were both paired with Fox Gordon’s Pinot Grigio. As I was driving, I was holding off on wine tasting but I can tell you that the wine has a very pretty pink blush to it.

We then walked up to Faraja (where I’ve previously enjoyed a very good lunch) for the first of the two main courses (that’s right – guests enjoy two main courses at this lunch so wear something comfortable as well as stylish!).

This was barramundi cooked in a banana leaf and served with a remoulade and salsa – and it was paired with a Tomich Hill Sauvignon Blanc. This is a smart dish when catering for large numbers as the parcels can be prepared in advance and cooking fish en papillote is forgiving. My fish was absolutely perfect: moist and full of flavour.


Already feeling rather full, we were picked up by our Peugeot cars (by this stage we were all thinking we could get used to this …) and taken down to Parisi’s for the second main course and the desserts. Here we enjoyed fillet steak with a light apple and rocket salad. This was beautifully presented and it seemed something of a shame to tuck in but … tuck in we did. This was paired with the Wicks Estate Shiraz.

This was a really smartly sized dish – the piece of fillet steak was generous in size but the salad was smaller and very light and refreshing. The steak was cooked heading towards medium which did generate some discussion. Cooking steak for hundreds of people must be an utterly thankless task – even at our table of 15-20 people there was no consensus on what would be right or appropriate so my hat is well and truly off to the kitchen at Parisi’s for taking this on. While the steak was over done for me (but I do rather like my steak warm all the way through but still jelly like in the middle) I do think that how it’s been cooked will not rock too many boats. Good luck for the event!


We wrapped up by sampling both desserts that will be on offer. At the event, it will be an alternate drop, but for the sake of completeness, we got to try both. By Blackbird’s little green dome (something I would never have tried had I walked into the café) was a mint and vanilla tart on a poppy seed base with a basil and lime gel. It was lovely – the tart filling was very light, the gel not at all tough and the biscuit base was crisp. I’m probably the last person in Adelaide to have not been to By Blackbird but it’s now definitely on my to-do list.


The final dessert came from Mulot’s: a berry chiboust with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries served with a raspberry coulis.


The two desserts are paired with sparkling wines from Tomich Hill and Wicks Estate. For those of us driving (rather than drinking – that would have been me!), we enjoyed coffees from Cotto Espresso.

This was a really well put together event that did a brilliant job of not only promoting the Variety on King William lunch but also showcasing some of King William Road’s restaurants. It reminded me that really I need to make an effort to head that way a little more often.

Tickets for Variety on King William cost $140 a head ($1400 for a table of 10) and can be purchased online. The lunch kicks off at midday on Friday 17 October (and finishes at 3:30pm) – and if you can’t make the lunch you can still support both Variety and KWR by checking out the fashion show or having a coffee or lunch at another venue on KWR. While part of the street is closed to traffic all the shops will be open and Parisi’s will be hosting the ‘after party’ from 4pm.

Help #ForkCancer with The Longest Table

Food Bloggers Dinner

I am sure that most people reading this page have had cancer touch their lives in some way. I was thinking about this idly this morning and without even trying came up with the names of seven people I know who have or have had cancer. You don’t need me to tell you that treatment is long winded, unpleasant and even if you’re lucky to be declared cancer free, it still hangs over you.

Which is probably not what you need to read on a Friday lunch time …

Of course, research into all facets of cancer is essential and costs money and this year The Hospital Research Foundation is running The Longest Table to encourage people to get together and raise that money. Host, or attend, a dinner on Saturday 28 June, get your mates to donate and job’s a good ‘un. You don’t even have to cook – you can go out.

And … if you want to go out, then you could do a lot worse than heading to the dinner being hosted by Redsalt at the Crowne Plaza (I dined there a couple of weeks ago – I can recommend it!). The meal is being spearheaded by bloggers and social media types and represents a great opportunity to both checkout Redsalt’s South Australian produce focussed menu AND garner yourself a bit of good karma and warm fuzzy feelings at the same time.

The menu is going to feature ingredients such as heirloom tomatoes, Coorong mullet and Kangaroo Island lamb (the full menu is posted on the Eating Adelaide Facebook page) and the ticket price includes your three course dinner, drinks and some sparkling company.

There are just 25 tickets available and they are priced at $120 each. To book, contact Chloe at The Longest Table (08 7002 0813).

And if you can’t head along to the dinner, consider donating through the Longest Table website.

Cooking for a Cause with OzHarvest

chef Tze Khaw of the Adelaide Convention Centre

On Monday night the Cellar Door Wine Festival (CDWF) social media ambassadors (yes, that includes me) headed to the OzHarvest kitchen in Goodwood for a bit of hands-on food prep for charities across Adelaide.

OzHarvest is a ‘food rescue’ charity. This means that it collects perishables and distributes them immediately to charities who can these use these foods in either food preparation or as already prepared meals. The Adelaide Convention Centre (home of the CDWF) has had a close relationship with OzHarvest since its 2011 beginnings here in SA (OzHarvest is a national charity which was started in Sydney) and, in addition to donations from its day to day business, the leftovers from the CDWF’s Farmers’ Market are donated to OzHarvest when the festival closes.

We took part in one of OzHarvest’s new initiatives: Cooking for a Cause. The Cooking for a Cause sessions are, essentially, team building exercises that allow participants to give something back. A group of up to 10 people gathers in the OzHarvest kitchen and does some food prep. Typically, there is a lot of chopping and stirring and, at the end of the session the food goes out to charities in Adelaide (of course, some can be held back for lunch for the participants too!).

On Monday Tze Khaw, Executive Chef at the Adelaide Convention Centre, took us through our paces. The efficiency of the procuring staff at the ACC was on show – with most ingredients arriving pre-chopped – so we didn’t have to do too much work! Although I did roughly chop some coriander …

We prepped a vegetable and lentil curry, to be served with couscous. The meal we prepared was going out, in portions, to about 100 people across Adelaide on Tuesday. I was surprised that such a large number of portions could be made out of what seemed like relatively small quantities of ingredients. For example, the curry used just a 500g tin of lentils (and quite a lot of veggies, admittedly) and Chef Tze prepped just one 1kg of couscous.

Chef Tze passed on some useful cooking hints – pointing out that in a professional kitchen a stock pot would be kept on the go the whole time to make use of vegetable offcuts, and showing us a way of washing coriander (and spinach, and other leaf vegetables) to ensure that it’s grit free (basically, rinse the prepared leaves in a bowl of clear water and pull them out from the top of the bowl into another bowl of clear water).

Listening to Hayley from OzHarvest discuss the stats on food wastage was rather depressing and certainly serves as a wake up call, both in terms of how much we might waste ourselves (yes, sad half bunch of coriander loitering in the bottom of the fridge, I’m looking at you) but also how privileged most of us are.

Little sermon over!

If you’re a corporate or social group and are interested in Cooking for a Cause, get in touch with OzHarvest (in Adelaide, ring (08) 8162 9553 or email If you’re looking for a Christmas present for a food mad friend, you can buy the OzHarvest Cookbook. And, of course, the team at OzHarvest will always welcome additional volunteers!