Eden Dining Room and Bar


date of visit: Sunday 28 July 2013
disclaimer: it being Adelaide and all, I’m acquainted with Eden’s owner, Chad, and some current and previous staff

It’s been about a year since my last visit to Eden Dining Room and Bar. While I’ve tried to drag friends there on various occasions, they mostly live on the wrong side of the city and it has actually been my parents who have managed several repeat visits.

While lunch service is scaled back in winter, you can still find yourself a hearty Sunday roast at Eden and, on a gorgeously sunny winter’s day, sitting in the window, catching that sun, is the perfect way to spend the afternoon. And if you don’t like roast, that’s fine, because the à la carte menu is available too.

Toddler in tow, we had to make some strategic decisions about how many courses to order so we cut to the chase with just main courses. Everyone ordered the Sunday roast (roast lamb, with Yorkshire puddings and a selection of vegetables) bar me. I ordered the gnocchi with beurre noisette, sorrel and porcini. Andy won’t eat mushrooms so the only time I get to eat them is when I’m out and about. I am also a total sucker for simple pasta dishes! For the toddler we ordered the pork belly entrée (pictured), served with several types of radish and nashi pears.

We started with bubbles and beers and washed our food down with a bottle of very sensibly priced 2012 Ochota Barrels Green Room Syrah Grenache. Eden’s wine list is a very strong match to a good menu. You’ll find wines that you won’t see on other lists and there’s a great variety. This is something that Chad and his team is really proud of – and rightly so. Being picky, I’d say that one thing I’d like to see smartened up is the sparkling wine by the glass selection, which is currently limited to two.

As we were expecting, the food at Eden is not only beautiful on the plate but delicious once you start pulling apart the artistry. The house made gnocchi were excellent: very light and the butter and mushroom sauce was fantastically rich and unctuous without being greasy. I’d be quite happy to come back and eat that every day.

When our food was put down, the toddler took one look at my plate and announced “that’s mine!” but all that changed when his pork turned up. You see – even two year olds eat with their eyes. Pork demolished and bits of radish tasted and then picked around, he set his sights on his father’s lamb. The lamb roast received a universal thumbs up and it was an incredibly generous portion.

We wrapped up our meal with some Pedro Ximenez (I had to drink most of Andy’s because he was driving and he’s not a huge fan of sweet alcoholic things) and coffees. Once it was clear that the toddler was on to babychino number two, Chad whipped up an amazing vanilla and licorice foam for him. As he hoovered it up his little eyes lit up like you wouldn’t believe!

As it was my birthday lunch, my parents paid so I can’t put an exact figure on lunch. But I do know that while Eden isn’t the cheapest place to eat in Glenelg it is probably the slickest venue serving the prettiest food. Somewhere I really must head back to before the next year is up!

Eden Dining Room & Bar on Urbanspoon

Fish Glenelg


Disclaimer: GroupOn sent me a $30 voucher to use as I liked. I chose the Fish deal which was selling for $49.

Date of visit: Sunday 23 September 2012

First up I’m going to talk about my GroupOn experience. But you can jump straight to the review of Fish.

Quite a while back now, GroupOn approached me, offering me a voucher to use as I wished and provide feedback on the whole experience.

Group buying sites, as a whole, seem to have a pretty bad reputation. I think that part of it is that buyers often have unrealistic expectations (they really do want to get something for nothing!) – personally I’ve only had positive experiences, but them, I’m very cautious. For more on that, check out my top tips for deal buyers.

I hadn’t actually bought from GroupOn before but I accepted the offer because Fish at Glenelg was offering a seafood platter for 2, with wine, for $49. As it was going to cost me $19 I figured there was almost no way I could be disappointed.

I had a bit of a struggle logging on to GroupOn – you’re offered the option of signing up either through Facebook or using an email – so you do have to remember which and, on my first go, the website did get its knickers in a bit of a twist but on a subsequent attempt it was smart enough to remind me how I’d signed up.

Buying the deal was easy (another smart tip for punters – if you have a credit card always use that for online purchases, it’s safer than a debit card) but after a couple of days I realised I hadn’t received any email confirmation of my purchase and it wasn’t showing up in my account on the site either. I checked my card statement and I had indeed been charged. I sent a query to GroupOn through the site and this was answered promptly and my problem solved. All you see on the internet is people complaining about the service offered by group buying sites when there’s an issue so please note that I had a positive experience!

The problem was that I’d managed to mistype my email address so my email confirmation had disappeared and, for the same reason, my purchase hadn’t made it into my GroupOn account either. Note to the GroupOn guys: look at updating the website so that it verifies email addresses (regardless of log on method) and autofills them when people order.

It took me a while to use my voucher (busy busy and all that!) so I was really pleased that GroupOn sent me an email a few weeks before the voucher expired, reminding me to use it.

As we were dining early on a Sunday I only rang Fish a couple of days in advance to make our booking. They open at 6pm so that’s the time we were booked for. We’re usually pretty prompt but we weren’t actually the first people through the door!

The restaurant is a lot smaller than I expected, but has plenty of outdoor seating and faces directly onto the marina. It’s not quite dinner outside weather just yet but it would be perfect in summer – both for boat and people watching.

The kitchen area is really open – it’s really like a fish and chip shop in that respect because you can watch absolutely everything that’s going on. There’s a small bar at the rear of the restaurant but otherwise the floor is given over to seating.

As our GroupOn deal specified what we were getting there was no umming and aahing over food or wine. We opted not to have entrées because we weren’t sure how long the baby’s tolerance would last. The food came out quickly and you could tell it was all freshly done.

The platter consisted of 2 oysters, a bowl of mussels, 3 garfish fillets (doubles), salt and pepper squid, chips and salad.

The Sauvignon Blanc was a pretty generic dilute NZ number – completely inoffensive but certainly nothing to write home about. However, the food was all pretty good. Up until now, the baby has resolutely shown no interest in squid, but the salt and pepper squid, all tender and crispy, was his favourite – outstripping even the chips. The chips were excellent: gorgeously golden brown, irregularly shaped and fluffy on the inside. Much much better than the standard chip. I also really enjoyed the mussels – I think about one in the bowl was not open (something I don’t have a problem with when you have a whole bowl) – and they came in a tomato broth with tons of parsley which was lovely. The garfish was lightly battered and super fresh. The salad stood out for not being too ridiculously over dressed.

By the time we finished, we were full. It wasn’t the most giant fish platter in the world, but it was certainly enough for dinner (even if you do have to share the squid with a small eating machine). We rounded off the meal with coffees and headed home more than happy.

The big point of difference eating at Fish was the excellent service. Our waitress took the time to ensure the high chair was wiped down, she stowed the pram away for us, she offered us both cutlery and crockery for the baby and, when we neglected to order him a babycino (!) she was thoughtful enough to bring one out for him. And when I managed to forget his booster chair – she spotted it and reminded me.

As far as I’m concerned, Fish did everything right with this deal. Do I think it was worth the touted ‘original’ price of nearly $100? No – but it’s also not something you can order from their standard menu. Is it worth $50? ABSOLUTELY. The restaurant has successfully put together a deal which showcases what it can do and should entice you to return.

For the service alone, I’d go back to Fish, but the food is definitely good enough to warrant a return visit. Next time, I’ll go on a sunny day for lunch, sit outside, enjoy one of the lunch specials and order the baby his own serve of salt and pepper squid …

Fish on Urbanspoon

Cafe TOB


date of visit: Sat 28 July 2012

We are in the process of buying handles for the cupboards in our bedroom. We have been in the process of doing this for about 3 years. Part of the problem is that the current handles don’t really bother me and I have no interest in shopping for new ones.

However, my mum mentioned a good handle shop at Glenelg and then added that it also had a café. If there was ever a way to get me into a shop it’s bribing me with food and drink so I actually suggested that we head off to Trading on Broadway, look at some handles and then we could have coffee and cake to recover.

The cafée is called Café TOB and you enter the tiny courtyard through the shop. While the café does offer more substantial food – think tarts, lasagne, arancini and soup – we were just snacking.

Andy pronounced the carrot cake excellent and my chocolate muffin (served warm) was good too. Although it was a large muffin (something I’m normally very wary of) it was light, rather than stodgy, and laced with chocolate chips. The coffees were good too.

What really set Café TOB apart was the friendly service. The baby’s babycino arrived with a teddy bear chocolate biscuit* and the staff were absolutely lovely. We really felt as though they had an interest in ensuring their customers enjoyed themselves and were looked after.

It seems ridiculous, but that can make such a difference. Think back to our negative experience at Un Caffè Bar at Hallett Cove. It wouldn’t matter how awesome their cakes had been – we wouldn’t go back. But the friendly service at Café TOB makes me want to go back and have lunch there.

Oh yeah, and buy cupboard handles …

* Other cafés could really learn from this. So often we go out and the cakes and biscuits on offer are so huge they’re unsuitable for a toddler solely by virtue of their size. The biscuit arrived gratis but had it been 50c or $1 we would have been more than happy to pay for it.

Cafe TOB on Urbanspoon