Hotel Tivoli

I just noticed today that I have not been blogging for over a week :(. Sorry for the delay of this post. I was extremely tired last week due to the excessive lab work. 😦

In the last post, I talked about my experience with Cafe Paparazzi.  On the same day, we went to Hotel Tivoli to have dinner. Sometimes, people may think two bad things can’t just occur on the same day. Right? Although the experience @  Hotel Tivoli was not too bad, it was neither very good. As an icon for Adelaide, this pub has been very popular in the past 155 years. In 2008, it was transformed to what it is today. The decor of the restaurant is sophisticated with the high ceiling and this has created a feeling of upmarket pub. In fact, the restaurant even didn’t look like pub on its own. We were greeted by our waitress, got seated and presented the menu.

The menu was extensive with lots of options such as paella, salads, steaks etc. The entree section of the menu is called the shared plates and diners can combine two entree items in one plates to share. Good idea hah? So, after a while, we decided to have the chilli baby quid and cuttlefish, chorizo and piquillo pepper ($16).

Share plates (2) - Chilli baby squid/ Cuttlefish, chorizo and piquillo pepper, $16


The chilli baby squid was basically just salt n pepper squid. Where did the ‘chilli’ from? It came with Thai sweet chilli dressing. Well, this is different to chilli squid I had before. The dish often contains squid cooked in chilli sauce. However, there are recipes for cooking this dish as the way Hotel Tivoli did and it was not bad. The squid was salty and crunchy and the dipping sauce was hot with a little bit of sweetness.

The cuttlefish, chorizo and pepper dish was not bad too. It was spicy, soft and tangy especially with the grilled ciabatta. However, this dish was very very oily and made thinking the unhealthy side of the story. Both of the dishes were okay by normal restaurant standard but not fancy in taste.

The mains took 15 mins to arrive but they were really really really below my expectations. According to Dbites, I decided to have the 300G Coorong Angus Dry aged sirloin steak ($38).

300G Sirloin Steak Coorong Angus Dry Aged, $38


The serve was huge, I should admit. However, the taste was bland. The steak was cooked medium rare but it doesn’t taste anything like being dry aged. I am looking for that extra flavour which dry-aged beef should have. Although the beef was moist, it was not tender and tasted like normal pub meats. We all know the difference between pub standard steak quality and restaurant standard quality! Look at the salad, chef, what do you think?!!! The salad was bad. Yes, I mean it. It had no flavour except raw cabbage and raw corn!!!!! For $38, can’t you just serve some greens?!

Paella De Mariscos $26


Paella De Mariscos, $26. It means seafood paella. The dish came as shown above in a paella pan, hot and steaming. There were several pieces of mussels, prawns and squid. However, again, the paella was just a pub standard dish. The seafood should be cooked with the rice and the color of the rise should come from saffron. Whereas for this dish, I could only taste tomato sauce, tomato sauce and tomato sauce! Even the seafood was full of tomato flavour while the rice did not have any seafood flavour at all!


To be honest, although I didn’t like the main dishes ordered, the service was nice and faultless. Maybe my expectation was too high for this pub. Let’s face it – Hotel Tivoli is a pub. If judging the food using pub standard, it is a top one. If judging it using restaurant standard, it’s pretty disappointing. For me, I wouldn’t go back for sure. But now, the choices are yours. Do you like pub fare or restaurant standard meal?!

Food: 2/5
Service: 3.5/5
Value: 2.5/5
Ambience: 4/5

Total: 12/20


Hotel Tivoli

265 Pirie St
Adelaide, SA 5000

P 08 8223 4790




Hotel Tivoli on Urbanspoon


2 thoughts on “Hotel Tivoli

  1. I bought a scoopon voucher and went last week. Try the barramundi! They are beautifully cooked.


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