Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Le Riad Restaurant, Adelaide

314b Pulteney Street
SA 5000

We were out hunting for a spot to eat on a quiet Sunday evening in Adelaide near our accommodation and werne't finding anything pushing out buttons, until we spied Le Riad, right next to The Coopers Alehouse on Pulteney Street. It had been a good while since either of us had eaten North African food, so after a quick scan of the menu we pushed open the big wooden front door and headed inside.

The decor reminded me of Parisian Moroccan eateries with lots of wall hangings, carpets and decor almost to excess! We were shown to a table towards the back, near the exotic bar area.

In the end we both opted for similar dishes, with my selection being the Seafood tagine which combined squid, prawns and fish with tomato, garlic, lemon and capsicum cooked with hot Moroccan spices and herbs topped with parsley. The dish came out bubbling and the flavours combined nicely. The tagines came with rice or bread, and I made an error selecting the bread, as the half a khobz was pretty small, and extra serve of rice wasn't much more substantial and overpriced at $4.

The fish tagine consisted of simmered chunks of fish in a spicy tomato, onion, garlic and herb sauce with capsicum and olives.

The meal was reasonably priced overall coming in just over $50. The service was friendly and efficient and Le Riad is a good option if you are keen for some North African cuisine at this end of Adelaide.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Manee Siam, Adelaide

150 Goodwood Road
SA 5034

Our friends took the six of us along to Manee Siam which is one of the regular local haunts. We sat out the in the front courtyard.

The menu covered all the Thai classics, along with a few other options, and after a bit of indecision we made our choices of a selection of  dishes to share. We started with veggie spring rolls, which were warm and crisp and were served with individual sweet chilli sauce.

The 'Golden Bags' were more exciting, filled with minced chicken and prawn stir-fried with chopped water chestnut and wrapped with crispy golden pastry.

Then we moved on to the mains, which were also served with a huge tureen of rice. The Pad Thai was traditional with its stir fried rice noodles, chicken, bean shoots and egg served with peanuts, and the flavours seemed pretty authentic.

The Massaman curry chicken had plenty of chunks of poultry, potatoes and roasted peanuts in its mildly spiced creamy coconut milk sauce and was my winner of the night.

The stir fried prawn and vegetables with chilli and fresh Thai basil  was packed with plenty of broccoli and a good number of prawns along with plenty of basil to provide flavour and chilli for some heat.

The dinner came in around $120 as we had BYO'd and given that had filled 6 of us great value. The service was friendly, and pretty attentive given we were away from most of the other diners. I can see why our friends are regulars.

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Little Miss Mexico, Adelaide

188 Grenfell Street
SA 5000

Adelaidean friends took us along to  Little Miss Mexico which is through an archway off Grenfell street. It's a pop up bar and restaurant with a bit of a food truck vibe, and it will be closing very soon - 28/4/14!

'Inside' is actually mostly outside with little shelter from the elements, but this wasn't a problem on the warm Saturday lunch time we visited. A lot of the furniture was fashioned from shipping pallets, the overall feel being a sort of laid back and grungy/hipster cool, with central American elements.

The menu was fairly straightforward, with a few specials also on offer.

The six of us made our choices then we ordered at the bar and the food arrived as it was ready. The chicken quesadillas with corn and fennel salsa and sour cream were 'lovely' if a little heavy on the cheese.

Both the beef burritos ordered went down well, they were packed with the meaty sauce, rice and 'slaw with a little guacamole, sour cream and salsa.

I had the veggie burrito featuring a mix of kale, beans and tomato, along with the rice, 'slaw, guacamole, sour cream and salsa. It was wholesome and satisfying, with the components complimenting each other well.

The special was a Mexican Scotch Egg, made with a chorizo sausage meat, which was a winner with Stu.

The hot wings were suitably spicy and pretty plentiful for the $10.

The char grilled corn with smoked chilli mayo was another winner, it was a good thing we'd ordered more than one serve!

The food was great value overall, even if the drinks were a little on the pricey side... The place is certainly super laid back, and if you can get there before it shuts (or at a resurrection!) it's certainly worth a go.

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Balti House, Adelaide

167 Goodwood Road
SA 5034

The Balti House on Goodwood road in Millswood south of center of Adelaide was set up by its Bangladeshi owner, Sultan Ahmed, to fill a void in the supply Balti style Anglo - Indian currys that originated in Birmingham. The menu also covers other Indian dishes and caters to most spice needs. We visited on a Friday evening and when it was reasonably busy when we arrived around 8 but quietened down after this.

We started off with a few papadams, with mango chutney, raita and one of the freshest and best onion salads we could remember.

The chicken sagwala had a different look to many of the saags I've previously sampled, maybe it was the fresh spinach rather than the almost pureed version that is more common. The flavour was good, with some heat and plenty of garlic.

The Chana Massala was packed with chick peas cooked with onions, tomatoes and spices.

Although simple the Tarka Dhall of lentils cooked with fried onions and garlic was subtly flavoured with a hint of nuttiness.

The chapati was super fresh and had a great slightly chewy texture.

The naan bread certainly reminded me of British style curry's, it was huge and had a familiar puffiness, nit often found in Australia.

Despite ordering probably a little more than needed I managed to do my usual mopping up of the final parts of the dishes! The service was attentive and efficient. The bill came to Just under $60 including a glass of wine and a beer. If we lived nearer, I'm sure we'd be regulars here!

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Baveras Brasserie, Geelong

Cunningham Pier,
10 Western Beach Foreshore Road,
Geelong, Victoria 3220

At the end of Cunningham Pier, which juts out into Corio Bay, Baveras Brasserie is apparently the only place you can dine on the water in Geelong! We ended up there as our reservation at the sister restaurant Black Sheep had to be moved due to the arrival of a new oven, however this was done seamlessly, and money was put on to our tab at Baveras, which more than made up for the slight inconvenience.

Inside the decor mixed formal and relaxed touches, with some interesting pieces of furniture. There were several other tables of diners there when we arrived just after 8 on a Thursday before a long weekend.

We took a while to figure out what we fancied to eat, too much chatting with our old friends. The menu offers a few Aussie standards along with plenty of fish, seafood and quite a few asian influenced options. We ended up sharing a few dishes as entrees. The Soft shell crab in bhajji batter came with spiced cauliflower and chickpeas and a lemon zest yoghurt. The crab was fine, but I enjoyed the chickpeas and cauli more!

 The smokey eggplant croquettes sounded wonderful on paper but weren't particularly memorable. They were served with, a  sweet paprika, turmeric, soy mayonnaise and lime wedges.

The flash fried baby calamari was accompanied with cumin salt, tzatziki and lemon. The squid was tender and the flavours worked well.

Both the ladies went for the seafood linguini which featured Portarlington mussels, prawns, scallops and market fish, and seemed to go down well.

I had the whole baby snapper which was presented spectacularly sitting curled on the plate, in a panang coconut broth, along with mussels, and a sprout, coriander and lotus rootlets salad. The skin was crispy and the flesh moist, the curry was mild but nicely flavoured, and the salad and mussels worked well with the dish. Some rice on the side might have been a good addition.

Despite not being on top form Phil managed to make a good dent into the battered flathead tails and chips, which came with dressed leaves and a green tartar.

The service was good all night and tolerated our early indecision well. Eventually when we came towards the end of the meal no more drinks were offered, but there weren't many other tables still occupied by that stage. The bill came to around $250 including a bottle of wine and several beers, which seemed like good value. We'd certainly think about dropping in again if we were in town, and it would be great to be there in daylight to catch the views.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014


3-5 Fitzroy Street
St Kilda
Vic 3182

We visited Sapore at the beach end of Fitzroy Street after booking on via dimmi special offer. It was dark on the evening we visited, but during the dayor at sunset the views across the bay would be great. Approaching and entering the restaurant the frontage seemed small, due to the large pillar in the middle of the building, which contributes to part of an interesting architecture.

Inside, the walls and ceiling are almost all curved, with the central column merging into to an oversize beam. This creates an interesting space, which is painted in strong colours. The tables are reasonably closely backed and there were a fair number of diners seated for a Tuesday night. The Autumn menu was distinctly Italian featuring plenty of seasonal locally sourced produce. While we enjoyed our drinks we were offered freshly baked bread rolls with great olive oil, and a few olives.

We shared the crumbed South Australian sardines, tartare sauce and shaved fennel bruschetta, the strong flavours combining beautifully on the toasted bread.

The arancini of the day, served on aioli, had a rich tomato led flavour, along with some cheese and ham, they stood out as some of the most original and enjoyable I've tried.

The seafood linguine was loaded with plenty of uber tender calamari, fish, mussels and prawns chilli and parsley.

I had the special of gamberi spaghetti with a crab, tomato, basil and chilli sauce. The prawns were both plentiful and perfectly cooked, and the sauce complemented them perfectly and had a definite spicy kick.

After the 50% food discount the bill came to $70, (the 3 drinks we'd had were full price), for the quality of the meal, that was amazing value. The service was great, all the staff were friendly, knowledge and attentive, with out getting in the way. Sapore is well worth a visit, especially if you can nab a special deal!

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Royston Hotel

12 River Street
VIC 3121

On a quiet backstreet corner at the Burnley end of Richmond, the Royston Hotel is fairly discreet in its presence.

Through the door we headed right, where we'd reserved a table wood paneled dining room which had an almost French Bistro vibe. We began to peruse the menu which has a mix of pub classics and some different options.

Rick had been hanging out for a burger, so went for the double patty Wagyu beef number which was also stuffed with cheddar, bacon, salad, pickles and mustard and served with fries. He looked like he enjoyed making his way through most of it.

I had the beer battered trevally fillets with salad, fries, tartare sauce. Unfortunately the fish was a little oily and I ended up thinking that the marlin from the specials may have been a better option.

 and was very tender.

The green bean salad also featured peas, mustard seeds, tarragon and a light oil dressing.

The service was friendly and happily tolerated our slow menu decisions and our loitering after eating.  The bill with a one or two drinks each came to $150. The Royston is an atmospheric back street Richmond local that is a great option to dine at if you fancy some good pub food.

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