The Woodcroft

20160215_202533Disclaimer: I was a guest of the RD Jones Group at the launch party

I was actually going to do this post based around a Facebook carousel or slideshow but I’ve decided to write a (photo heavy, for me!) post because I’m concerned that it might take me an undue amount of time to get to the Woodcroft for an actual meal so … let’s roll with the material we have!

The Woodcroft seems to be doing a roaring business since its recently face lift. Back in January I tried to book us a last minute table (for just 2!) on a Friday night only to find they were booked out. Nothing like that to pique one’s interest!

outdoor seating
Outdoor seating includes swings!

The launch party saw us served a selection of cocktails (no comment on those as I was driving and I’m no cocktail connoisseur) with bite size portions of some of the menu’s signature ‘Southern’ items.

Southern American, low and slow BBQ – it’s all the rage at the moment – and it’s what is on the menu here. Don’t worry – all the pub favourites are there. You can still get a schnitzel or salt and pepper squid. But if the urge takes you, you can enjoy seafood chowder, poutine, po’boys and short ribs (that’s just a start).

At the launch party we were able to sample quite a few of these signature dishes. I was particularly impressed that even when catering for a large number of people in non-standard portions, dishes were coming out of the kitchen thick and fast AND they were hot and fresh.

southern fried chicken
Southern fried chicken – pretty much everything you need to know, right there!

Let’s start with a dish which leaves you no room to hide. Southern fried chicken. It’s on the menu as a starter at $13.90. Everyone went slightly bananas over this. It was so good – crispy, crunchy, moist, hot and (crucially) not greasy. Every single person I spoke to would have been happy to sit down to one big plate of this and nothing else. Fortunately, that was one of the last things to come out so I did actually try a few other things along the way!

Seafood chowder
Seafood chowder

Seafood chowder (a starter, $12.90). I enjoyed this – it’s thick with big chunks of fish and sure to be a winner in winter (let’s assume at some point some cooler weather will arrive!). It was served in shot glasses which made it very tricky to eat/drink – but as long as it’s in a bowl, you’ll be fine!

prawn and lobster po'boy
prawn and lobster po’boy

Lobster and prawn po’boy (under burgers, $24.50). Beer battered crustacea served in a baguette with some slaw? Yep – that tastes as good as it sounds.

These three were the highlights for me, but we also tried the jambalaya and the philly cheesesteak ‘sanga’ (not entirely sure that’s a very southern American term …).

Everything was good and the quality of the food while the kitchen would have been under the pump suggests good things for a normal dining experience.

As someone who lives in the southern suburbs, it’s also great to find a pub that is adding something a bit more interesting to its menu. When I do get there for a full meal, I’ll be sure to report back!

The Woodcroft
Bains and Panalatinga Road
Woodcroft SA 5162
phone: 08 8325 1555

Woodcroft Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Moseley Kitchen and Bar, Glenelg

steak tartare, parsnip crisps
steak tartare with parsnip crisps

date of visit: Friday 8 Jan 2016

Back in winter I was invited to a menu launch dinner at the Moseley and never blogged about it. I’m guessing it was because I was busy writing because I was pretty impressed with the meal.

Sufficiently impressed, it turns out, that it’s a venue I’ve kept at the back of my mind but not managed to visit on my own dime … until a recent Friday night.

I’d love to tell you it was planned, but sadly … it was a case of me ringing around places at 3pm on Friday afternoon searching for that all elusive table for two.

The Moseley is part of the RD Jones group which owns quite a few venues across Adelaide. In a previous life, it was The Dublin, before being taken over and given a reno and a much needed rejigged reputation. Now there is a slick downstairs dining area and the bar area is upstairs. At the very front there is casual seating, so you don’t feel like you’re eating your dinner with the whole of Moseley Square peering at you!

The very first impression that I had of our evening was my phone call to book. This is something that a lot of venues manage to mess up but whoever took my booking set the standard service-wise for our whole Moseley experience. Service was always attentive and competent – and that lasted the whole way through the meal, including when it came time to pay the bill.

As we were without Master 5 we treated ourselves to a whole TWO courses each AND coffees. This is very very exciting for us – while I have plenty of opportunities for lovely meals out, usually Andy is at home and when we do eat out, it’s as a family so it’s always early and super quick.

spicy squid
Spicy squid

After some bread, Andy started with the spicy squid and I chose the beef tartare. The spicy squid got the thumbs up and the beef tartare was very good. It had BAGS of flavour – packing a serious caper-fuelled punch. It was also a very generously sized portion … although the parsnip crisps with which it was served weren’t quite as generous. With beef tartare you do need plenty of something crispy to break up what can otherwise quite a homogeneous texture experience. The dish is billed as gluten free and I understand wanting to keep it like that but the plate really did need either more crisps or some croutons.

fish, chips, mushy peas
fish, chips & pea puree

For main course, Andy ordered the fish and chips with mushy peas and I went for the ricotta gnocchi with kale (yay!), broccolini and almonds. This was another generously sized dish and had a really lovely touch of chilli heat to it. The gnocchi were also light and tender. Although I didn’t notice it immediately, it was quite salty and this really built up while eating it.

The fish and chips were also a success but it would be fantastic if the Moseley could invest a bit of menu real estate in telling us the provenance of the fish. We did ask and were told it was local but I’m not entirely sure I can figure out what ‘local’ cod is …

After drinks (2 beers, 2 glasses of wine) and coffee the bill came in at around $120 which we didn’t think was too bad at all. While the food was not flawless, it is certainly food I would bother to seek out and eat again. It is absolutely fantastic to see a pub in a popular location actually do some interesting food and not succumb to lazy menu writing.

The Moseley gets a thumbs up: somewhere we’d return and I’d be happy to recommend.

The Moseley Bar & Kitchen
11 Moseley Square
Glenelg SA 5045
phone: 08 8295 3966

The Moseley Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Publishers Hotel, Franklin Street

20151104_185054Disclaimer: I was a guest at the hotel’s new menu launch

I’m sure I’ve said it before but I’m so pleased that Adelaide’s pubs are starting to break out of the ‘pub food’ model.

There’s nothing wrong with a schnitzel parmigiana or a plate of salt and pepper squid but there’s also nothing wrong with doing either of those things well or, indeed, putting something a bit more interesting on your menu.

The Publishers, despite its ‘est. 1914’ strap line, is actually a relatively new player in Adelaide’s bar scene. It has been open around 18 months – the ‘1914’ refers to the year in which the building was built.

It didn’t start life as a pub – but rather home to the Stock Journal, which was apparently printed and circulated from this site until 1991. The building then found itself re-purposed as a backpackers hostel before laying dormant for a few years.

Adelaide has an ever diminishing number of lovely old buildings, so it’s great that this one has not been razed and turned into apartments.

You enter the hotel through the bar and the dining room is at the rear. By February next year there will also be a beer garden and function rooms.

We started our evening in the bar with house-smoked oysters and The Lane’s Lois sparkling wine. In the dining room, we sat down to tables laden with glassware and beautiful Nick Mount carafes and decanters, which have been produced exclusively for the hotel. I have a weakness for this type of thing so the Publishers was well on its way to scoring a big tick!

Thankfully (for those of us who prefer to eat hot food rather than take photos of it!) the kitchen brought out main course size plates of food to a dedicated ‘photo table’ while our actual dishes were built as tasting plates, so we could sample a little bit of everything.

For entrée the plate consisted of ocean trout confit, served with crispy olives, Persian feta and and mint sauce. As the hotel has a focus on local ingredients, both the olives and feta were from the Limestone Coast. I really enjoyed this and while you might not consider feta with fish as a ‘thing’ – it definitely worked.

I wasn’t quite so enamoured of the venison carpaccio. The venison is smoked in house and served with capers, finger lime and strawberry. The strawberry means it’s something I’d never order (as much as I love both venison and carpaccio) and quite weirdly, given the capers, I found it a little under-seasoned. It could definitely have done with an extra hit of finger lime.

Next up, the quail wrapped in speck, served with fennel puree and kumera crisps, was really very good although the speck did mean it was quite salty. The quail was kept very moist though and I enjoyed the fennel puree.

Finally, the breaded lamb terrine – which didn’t sound much chop and looked a bit clunky on the plate, when compared with its very delicate little friends. However, this was really very good and pips the trout as my favourite dish, mainly because it surprised me. The seasoning was spot on and the meat was beautifully soft. 20151104_201647main course (clockwise, staring bottom left): pork, kangaroo, spatchcock and gnocchi

Main courses were a 50-50 split for me. The kangaroo rump was a bit overcooked (and I absolutely respect that the kitchen was producing a small portion for a large number of people, making this a tough one) but the candied cumquats with which it was served were a surprise hit. I have plenty of preserved cumquats at home (in various forms – brandied, pickled, marmalade) and matching them with game is definitely something I need to pursue.

I actually also found the pork belly a touch dry BUT this was served with peppered, grilled pineapple which was just BRILLIANT. This is another thing I need to experiment with – it’s just a shame that Andy won’t eat pineapple …

The two standout main courses for me were the spatchcock served with chermoula, quinoa, puffed wild rice and chargrilled lemon. This was lovely with the chargrilled lemon looking amazing and adding both sauce and seasoning to the chicken.

The gnocchi romana I noted as ‘excellent’. Almost without a doubt this would have been what I would have ordered, left to my own devices. Gnocchi romana is polenta based, and the grilled slices of polenta were served with crispy silverbeet, pickled carrot, fennel puree and pine nuts. All things that I love!

For dessert we were treated to the chef’s ‘picnic’. Chocolate mousse, chewy caramel, tuile and chocolate almonds. Yep – that was good too!

I love that the menu at the Publishers is short and there is an obvious emphasis on quality with just the right amount of innovation.

Throughout the evening we were treated to a very impressive wine line up. After The Lane’s Lois we were served Karawatta’s Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc, Rusden Special Blend GMS 2001 (from a magnum), Honey Moon Pinot Noir and Red House Sangiovese. We finished with the Gestalt Botrytised Viognier. If you’re not as obsessed with wine as I am, let me tell you – this is a lovely, interesting and thoughtful line up of wines.

I’ve been to many events where the wine has been a very sad afterthought. While the Publishers’ entire wine list is not online if the wines we were served were anything to go by, it’s worth dropping in for a drink alone. And if you have to choose just one – choose the Honey Moon Pinot Noir.

Overall, the team at The Publishers did itself proud and this is definitely a venue worth checking out – whether for a drink or meal.

The Publishers Hotel
110 Franklin Street
Adelaide SA 5000
(08) 8212 7969

Publishers Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato