Saturday, 10 January 2015

Sean's Kitchen

Adelaide dining scene has become more and more interesting with the lineup of famous chefs opening restaurants in Adelaide. One of them is Chef Sean Connolly. He was the host of TV food program 'My Family Feast', writer of his cookbook, producer of his home cooking merchandises and winner of Chef of the Year. His most recent venture was the opening of Sean's Kitchen in Adelaide. This multi million dollar restaurant is located next to the historic Adelaide Casino.

Upon entering the restaurant, the dining space looks grand and spacious due to its interior design. It has high ceilings and open kitchen concept. This notches up the ambience of the restaurant. Besides that, there are also a few private dining rooms on the first floor. 
Dining area viewed from ham museum
During my visit there, we ordered 2 entrees, 1 side and 4 mains. Our first entree was the ceviche kingfish. Ceviche is a seafood dish typically made from raw fish cured in citrus juices and spiced. Our ceviche was served with chilli, lime, salmon caviar and coriander. In my opinion, the most important element in any ceviche is undoubtedly the freshness of seafood. The kingfish was fresh and beautifully cured, not to mention that I loved the popping salmon caviar bursting more flavours into the dish.
Ceviche kingfish
Another entree of ours was the Crab N Cheese melt. The king crab was cooked with bechamel sauce, served with rye bread with melted cheddar on top. The amount of crab was substantial and the sweetness was prominent. The cheddar also complemented the crab well with the subtle saltiness. It was a bit filling to start off our meal.
Crab N Cheese Melt 
Lo and behold, we also ordered the famous duck fat chips as sides. The chips were deep fried/baked in duck fat, rendering the crunchiness. However, the chips did not meet our high expectation as we agreed unanimously that there was no difference between the normal chips and this one. Even though the chips smelled different, but the texture was similar to the normal chips. I prefer the Grill'd chips more to be honest. But well, it was an experience for me.
Duck fat chips
Moving on to the mains, yours truly ordered the Orgy of Mushrooms. It was ricotta gnocchi served with different kinds of mushrooms and burnt butter sauce. My love for gnocchi developed ever since I ordered one at La Trattoria 2 years ago. Sean's gnocchi was fluffy and accompanied by my favourite mushrooms. The burnt butter sauce wasn't too overpowering as well. It was a fabulous dish.
Orgy of Mushroom
Next up, my friend ordered the Steamed Cone Bay Barramundi with Tokyo turnips, lettuce hearts and organic soy broth. This was an Australian dish cooked in Asian way. Barramundi is a beautiful fish that can be found in Australia and this steaming technique had certainly retained its moisture and freshness. This dish was simple and straight to the point.
Steamed Cone Bay Barramundi
In addition, we also ordered the Free Range Chicken Kiev with potato and dill salad. The chicken was well cooked and seasoned. Again, this was simple cooking which matched with Sean's food philosophy.   
Free range chicken kiev 
We also ordered the Grasslands, Limestone Coast Scotch Fillet with anchovy butter. Sean sourced most of the ingredients from South Australia and this was not an exception. 
Scotch fillet with anchovy butter 
There was a surprise sent to us when we asked for the bill. The bill was enclosed with a pack of tomato seed in a pretty enveloped, whereby Sean's Kitchen was clearly embossed in gold. Now we can plant our own tomatoes at our backyard, knowing the correct season and time needed to grow!
Tomato seeds
Last but not least, this restaurant has its own highlight, which is the ham museum. Hams from different country were displayed in the museum on the first floor. It's truly amusing to visit the museum. On top of that, Sean's products were being sold in the restaurant too. From duck fat to pasta sauce, you can purchase and recreate one of Sean's dining experiences back home.
Ham display
Ham museum 
Sean's pasta sauce 
Address: Station Road, Adelaide
Trading hours: 8am-11pm (Mon-Sun) 

Sean's Kitchen on Urbanspoon


Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Georges on Waymouth

September has been good to me, mainly because I am a September baby and it is the first month of my favourite spring season. Since today is the last day of my birthday month, I thought I can share with you my birthday dining experience at Georges on Waymouth. I have always wanted to dine at Georges due to rave reviews from other food bloggers. In addition, Georges has won the Best European Restaurant in Restaurant and Catering SA Awards for Excellence for 4 years in a row since 2010. All the more this restaurant is chosen to host my birthday dinner. 

The name of the restaurant derives from its owner, George and Voula Kasimatis. Even though it looks small from the outside, Georges consists of 2 floors, whereby the upper section is opened for function and bigger group of people. The restaurant has a classic European ambience, with minimalist design, wooden floorboards, high ceilings and warm lighting.

Their professional service is truly commendable. Right from the booking until table service, Georges has shown dedication and great hospitality to our group. The staffs adopt the diner-centered approach, attending to our needs and preferences. 

The table was donned with white linen and lighted candles. As I am into romanticism and tealight candle, I prepared a few more candles (well, 22 candles to be exact) to light up the atmosphere.
Candles, candles and more candles 
Apart from setting up the ambience, I baked matcha cupcakes with red bean frosting and Royce green tea chocolate as appreciation gifts for my friends who came for the dinner. The chocolate was amazing with melted green tea jelly in the middle. They can be bought from Royce store at Westfield Marion.
Matcha cupcake with red bean frosting and Royce chocolate
It took us a while to order our food because every single item on the menu was so appealing. Our waiting staff came to our help and recommended their popular offerings. Every single element in the menu was explained in details. The dishes on special were written on brown paper hung near to the entrance of the restaurant. 

After putting our order, complimentary bread was served. The bread was soft and we dipped with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. I would be even happier if there was dukkah offered. Nevertheless, the bread was a great start to our meal. 

Besides that, we were offered sesame bread sticks with green and black olives. The bread sticks were seasoned well with black and white sesame. Georges was considerate enough to offer us an empty plate to discard the pits from the olives.
Bread sticks and olives 
The signature dish of Georges is the lamb press. The lamb shank was cooked more than 12 hours till tender. After that, the lamb was shredded and wrapped with pancetta. The lamb press was then pan fried, resulting in a golden and crispy covering of pancetta. The accompaniments were baba ganoush, tahini yoghurt and pomegranate. 

The lamb press was the best lamb that I have ever had. The lamb was juicy, tender and literally melted in my mouth. The saltiness from pancetta, smokiness from baba ganoush, slight sourness from pomegranate and palate cleansing tahini yogurt just complemented the lamb so well. It was a marriage between Mediterranean and European food. 
Lamb press
My friend also ordered the tortellini of local mushrooms with chestnut puree and native greens. Georges was generous in the contents of tortellini. Even though there was only 3-4 tortellini on the plate, my friend was pretty full at the end of the meal. The mushrooms were fresh and cooked well. The sauces and puree were rich in flavour, yet not subduing the star of the dish, the mushrooms.
Mushroom tortellini
The other offering that caught my eyes was the 24 hour cooked pork neck, served with granny smith apples, mustard, pork lard, morcilla (blood sausage) and potatoes. The pork neck was not fatty and again, it was cooked to perfection. The meat was tender due to the long hours of cooking.
Pork neck 
The fish of the day was the grilled snapper with citrus salad. It was a refreshing dish as citrus never go wrong with fish.
Grilled snapper 
The pasta chosen by our table was the pappardelle with rabbit ragout, pancetta and shaved pecorino, Compared to other dishes, this did not shine well.
Pappardelle with rabbit ragout
Besides the fish of the day, another seafood dish we ordered was the potato gnocchi with mussels, vongole, capsicum, fennel and saffron. The gnocchi was different from the ones from Italian restaurants as it was served in a long cone instead of cubes. I still prefer my gnocchi to be cut though.
Seafood gnocchi 
There is always dessert time and hence one of my friends ordered the affogato as an extra boost of caffeine for him to prepare for his paper tomorrow. It consisted of house made ice cream, espresso and biscotti. The affogato was strong whereas the ice cream was smooth and creamy.  
I ordered the apple pie panna cotta with salted caramel crumble, pear cubes and vanilla pashmak. Guess what? Georges gave me a little surprise with the written birthday message on my dessert plate. Awwww! The panna cotta was absolutely delicious. Instead of the wobbly panna cotta, this panna cotta had a smooth and milky texture that melted in my mouth. The salted caramel crumble hit the spot with its balanced saltiness and sweetness. It was a dessert that I would go back for. 
Apple pie panna cotta 
It was a great birthday dinner with nice company and amazing food. Thank you guys for coming and I hope you enjoyed the night just as I did. Thanks again for Ketan who served us well and made sure we had a fabulous dining experience. I definitely recommend Georges on Waymouth if you are thinking for a celebratory and intimate night out.  

The group photo :)
Address: 20, Waymouth Street, Adelaide
Trading hours: 7.30am-5pm (Mon), 7.30am-Late (Tues-Fri), 6pm-Late (Sat)

Georges on Waymouth on Urbanspoon

Love, Victoria 

Monday, 7 July 2014

Sabai Cafe

'Sawadeekap! Sabai dee mai?'
'Sabai sabai.'

This Thai greeting can be the most heartwarming words that you can get. 'Sabai' in Thai refers to being happy and comfortable, feeling fine and take it easy. It transmits the sense of comfort and laid-backness, which is the philosophy behind Sabai cafe.

Sabai cafe is a cosy cafe situated near to popular Glenelg which serves Thai fusion food.  In addition, this cafe is also vegetarian friendly due to the variety of vegan offerings. Classics with a twist always catch the attention of my taste buds and this cafe is not an exception. Celebrating the start of our winter break, me and my friends made a visit to the cafe. 

The Thai lunch menu is only available from Wednesday to Sunday and fortunate for us, we went on one of those days. My friend ordered the Khow phad pik gaang which was the spicy Thai style fried rice with onion, capsicum, spring onion, carrot and soft fried egg on top. 

What I would like to commend was the soft fried egg was served up to the expectation. The soft egg yolk was runny and the egg had a crisp border. The rice was not gluggy and had a subtle hint of spiciness in it. I would actually prefer it to be spicier. The lemon which came with the dish gave freshness and sourness to the fried rice. 

Spicy Thai fried rice
Pad Thai is an essential order in every Thai restaurant and so there wasn't an exclusion from our table. The vegetarian Pad Thai had stir fried rice noodle with egg, spring onion, bean sprouts, crushed nuts and coriander. It was not oily and had a considerably big portion. Not the best Pad thai that we have ever tasted but it was sufficient for a satisfying meal. 
Pad Thai
Another vegetarian dish on the table was the Thai bean curd salad. The fresh marinated bean curd was accompanied by mixed crispy salad and herbs, doused with refreshing Thai style dressing. I did not manage to taste the dish but it did look amazing. My friend was satisfied with his order. 
Thai bean curd salad
Lastly, I ordered the curried lamb shank, mint, chickpea, pumpkin pie with sweet potato chips and coriander, cashew nut salad. The lamb shank pie was amazing! The addition of coriander seed on top added another dimension in terms of aroma to the pie. The lamb shank was cooked perfectly and shredded to be added together with chickpea and mashed pumpkin as the pie filling. The pastry was made so good and flaky that I cannot resist to pick up the residual fallen pieces of pastry on the plate. In conclusion, it was a good pie. 

The sweet potato chips did not come out as what I had expected. The sweet potatoes were shaved into thin long pieces and deep fried. Some bits were crunchy but some were not. I would prefer the chips to be hand cut. The salad came with sweet chilli dressing and was executed well. 

Lamb shank pie
It was a pleasant meal for me and I loved my lamb shank pie (especially the pastry). If you are thinking to have a modern Thai fusion food, this cafe is probably a good place to go. ทานให้อร่อยนะครับ (Bon appetit)!

Address: 105 Patridge Street, Glenelg
Trading hours: 9am-4pm (Sun), 8am-4pm (Mon-Tues), 8am-8.30pm (Wed-Sat)

Sabai Cafe on Urbanspoon

Love, Victoria 

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Brunch by the Beach

Australia is blessed with the sexy coastal line, stunning blue-green seas and relaxing beaches. The view of the sea never fails to mesmerise me, especially after I visited the famous Whitehaven Beach at the Great Barrier Reef region.
Whitehaven beach
South Australia beaches have their own wonders too. They are great places to relax with family and friends, take a dip in the sea during summer and watch sunset, not to mention the exciting add on of having a brunch by the beaches. 

Glenelg beach 

The two popular brunch places found by this beach are the Zest Cafe Gallery and Grind It

Zest Cafe Gallery is situated 5 minutes walk from the beach. Greeted by the vine tree at the cafe, it grabbed my heart to be fond of this place. 

Cafe exterior - view from my seat
I ordered the Zesty Eggs, poached eggs and salmon on toast with homemade Hollandaise sauce. The smoked salmon was arranged nicely in an elliptical shape. Eggs were poached perfectly with the egg yolks oozing out when I broke open the eggs. The Hollandaise sauce was good with a tinge of zesty flavour.
Zesty Eggs
Oooohhh! I have a thing for runny egg yolk and a preference to spread these gooey goodness onto a toasted sourdough! They work just so perfectly.  
Runny yolk 
The Cappuccino was a good coffee to start off my day at the beach. The mini pastry accompanied with the coffee was a wonderful creation too. 
Cappuccino with pastry
Do order the Hells Eggs if you have a chance to do so. It looks amazing too! 

Address: 2a Sussex Street, Glenelg
Trading hours: 7.30am-6pm (Mon-Sat), 8.30am-5pm (Sun)

Zest Cafe Gallery on Urbanspoon

Grind It is another popular brunch place at Glenelg. The seatings can be quite limited because this cafe is constantly being swarmed with patrons looking for a heartful meal. 
Paintings on the wall
I ordered the French Toast for that morning. Guess what? Two plump and golden looking french toast landed on my plate. Besides that, there were mascarpone and toasted almonds being scattered around the toasts. Shredded pear was also seen to top the toast. 

Okay! The hero of the day was the french toasts. They were dipped with eggs and pan fried in butter, resulting in a crispy outer layer and soft bread inside. I would actually prefer the bread to be thinner though so that I could have a mouthful of crispiness. The sweetness of this whole dish came from the marriage of mascarpone, maple syrup and shredded pear. I particularly loved the shredded pear because it introduced texture to the dish. The nuts and mascarpone also accompanied well with the french toast.   
French toast
If you are looking to get a sweet brunch, french toast from Grind It can be in your bucket list. 

Address: 4 Moseley Street, Glenelg 
Trading hours: 7am-5pm (Mon-Sat), 9am-3pm (Sun)

Grind It on Urbanspoon

Semaphore beach 

Whipped bake bar is situated along Semaphore Road leading to Semaphore beach. It is a great place for coffee meet up. On the display cabinet, there are plenty of cakes and pastries to choose from to go with the coffee. Besides that, wraps and rolls are also available for lunch.  
Whipped Bake Bar
I ordered the sweet potato rosti with smoked salmon, baby cos salad and goat curd. I wasn't very impressed by the presentation when it arrived. It was served on a pretty old wooden board, whereby the traces of knives can be seen. I expected the rosti to be crispy on the outside but it wasn't cooked to my preference disappointingly. I felt like as if I was eating a compacted mashed sweet potato. However, the flavour was there and the salad was fresh. With just a dollop of goat curd to heighten the flavour of salad, it might be a bit lacking in some ways. 
Sweet potato rosti
Address: 35, Semaphore Road, Semaphore
Trading hours: 7am-2.30pm (Meal), 7am-5pm (Coffee) Mon-Sun  

Whipped Bake Bar Cafe on Urbanspoon

Love, Victoria 

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Lawash Bakery

In Therbaton, lies a Middle Eastern restaurant, Lawash Bakery which has received a lot of good reviews from its diners. On a fine Friday afternoon, I decided to fulfill one of the items on my eating wish list by visiting this popular bakery.

Upon reaching the restaurant, I can see the long queue of customers waiting for their takeaways. I took a glance over the exiting customers, most of them had rolls on their hands. 

The restaurant sells different types of kebabs which come with oven baked bread and salad. In addition, they do offer meat mince rolls. The rolls are the popular options for takeaways whereas the kebabs are popular among the in-house diners. 

I opted for Chicken Al Fahm, an Arabian chicken dish which is coated with spices, then charcoal-grilled. The serving was generous for the price I paid. For $8, I got half a chicken, big piece of bread and some salad. In addition, 2 dipping sauces were included as well. 

Chicken Al Fahm 
The chicken had a lovely charcoal crust on it. Believe it or not, as I was lost searching for the shop, it was actually the smell of charcoal that drew me over to the restaurant. I thought that the chicken would be even nicer with more seasoning onto it. The meat still had some moisture in it and was not overly dry.

There were two types of dipping sauces, yogurt based and chilli based. The yogurt based sauce was a bit runny to my preference. The chilli based sauce took me a while to get used to it due to its unique smell. But, on overall, the dipping sauces gave kicks to the taste of the dish.

The oven baked bread had some essential charcoal/burnt crust on it. I torn the bread into few pieces, wrapped the chicken and salad with it, and dipped the combination into one of the sauces, it was a great mouthful of Middle Eastern flavour. 

Chicken Al Fahm and bread
It was a satisfying and stomach filling meal. I shall go back to try its kebab again. Till then, cheers!

Website: -
Address: 115 South Road, Adelaide
Trading hours: 9.30am - 9.30pm (Mon-Sun)

Lawash Bakery Kabab Shop on Urbanspoon

Love, Victoria 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Red Door Bakery

Pies and sausage rolls are typical Australian cuisines whereby you can have them for breakfast, brunch, lunch or high tea. To get one of the best sausage rolls in the town, you gotta have to visit the Red Door Bakery. There are two shops each in the suburbs of Goodwood and Croydon. Nevertheless, I love to go to the latter which is the pioneer. 

Situated conveniently near to the train line as well as 5-10 minutes drive from the city, this bakery is the all time favourite for Adelaideans. Coincidentally or not, the entrance door is painted red, signifying the name of the bakery. 
Red Door Bakery
There are various options offered by the bakery, including pastries, desserts, sourdoughs, toasts, pies and sausage rolls. The popular items here are the pork and sage sausage roll, creme brulee tart, salted caramel chocolate cake as well as the chilli jam! 

During my visit there, I ordered the Hay Valley lamb and Morrocan eggplant sausage roll. I opted for additional chilli jam ($1). The chilli jam came in a spoon and there was nothing that I can fault it. The Moroccan spices was strong and complemented the lamb well. The flakiness of the pastry was demonstrated as I cut through the sausage roll with my knife. It was beautiful and fell apart into pieces.  
Hayvalley lamb and Moroccan eggplant sausage roll
My friends ordered the Berkshire free range pork and sage sausage roll. It was the dish of the day. Among other sausage rolls, the chilli jam accompanied the pork sausage roll especially well. The pork sausage was flavoursome and well seasoned. The flavour was further enhanced by the presence of sage. 

We ordered the traditional chicken pie with the tomato chutney as accompaniment. Tomato chutney was not as amazing as the chilli jam. The chicken pie, again, had the beautiful pastry covering the chicken. As compared to the lamb and pork in the sausage rolls. the chicken was more moist. I still love the pork and sage sausage roll though. 
Traditional chicken pie; Pork and sage sausage roll; Lamb and Moroccan eggplant sausage roll
We ordered the creme brulee and salted caramel chocolate cake for dessert. The creme brulee had a lovely top crisp. Using the back of the spoon to knock at the top, the crispy caramel layer cracked into pieces, indicating a good creme brulee. The custard was light and the tart casing was great too. 
Creme brulee tart
The salted caramel chocolate cake had a layer of set chocolate on top and few sprinkles of sea salt. It was a dense and moist chocolate cake with gooey salted caramel in the middle. The caramel had the right consistency and went well with the chocolate cake.  I really love the addition of the salt on the cake itself as it provides another dimension of taste as you eat the cake in a whole. 
Salted caramel chocolate cake 
Red Door Bakery is definitely the best bakery in Adelaide/SA. The hot cross bun made by the bakery during Easter period was crowned as people's favourite for the year 2014. I can't wait for the next Easter to try it out!  

Address: 22, Elizabeth Street, Croydon. 
Trading hours: 8am-4pm (Wed-Sun)
Red Door Bakery on Urbanspoon

Love, Victoria