It’s great to be back in Adelaide! During last week, Tina and I went on a trip to discover other parts of Australia with food adventures. However, at the moment I left the plane in Adelaide, I felt so glad to be back home. Surely, during this trip, I discovered many good food options and ingredients that other states have to offer but in comparison, the quality and sensory aspects including tastes of South Australian produce are much better! Anyway, in today’s post, I am going to review a dinner we had a couple of weeks back at Red Ochre Grill using Festival of Food.
Red Ochre Grill is located in the heart of Adelaide CBD on the bank of River Torrens. Within walking distance, diners at the restaurant can walk to most of the tourist attractions and Adelaide’s shopping precinct, Rundle Mall. Among local diners, the restaurant has gained very good reputations for their uses of local fresh and unique Australian ingredients. The restaurant was also featured, as “must eat” in Adelaide, in international magazines and Journals such as the SATC China national geographic. Red Ochre Grill and the River Cafe are both owned by Executive Chef Ray Mauger. The two restaurants are co-hosted in the same building, with Red Ochre on the second floor.
The decor shows that the restaurant is definitely a fine dinning venue. However, I especially liked the glass wall or whatever you’d like to call it. To me, it showed philosophy towards native Australian cuisine and some Aboriginal characteristics eg the color of the red ochre sign. For the dinner, we dined on the Festival of Food, which is a good program to get diners to experience 9 restaurants. Under the program, the dinner cost $32 per person including a tasting plate, two mains and a petit four dish.
The dishes are priced at fine dinning standard but are affordable. From the menu, it is obvious that the restaurant uses a number of native Australian ingredients and this is what they specialise in. We arrived at 6pm and got seated very quickly. Our waitress was friendly in explaining the details of each dish. The service was good for the night but as a general rule, when people gets really busy, small mistakes can occur but we accept them.
Our complementary bread – Crispy on the outside, soft in the center and it went well with the balsamic/extra virgin olive oil vinaigrette.
My allergy to alcohol gets worse these days and all I can drink at the moment is non-alcoholic drinks. I indeed miss my wines! Our tasting plate arrived soon after ordering. During the waiting period, I had a look around through the window. Amazing beauties! The river, the sun set and the city are just good combinations with each other.
The entree plate featuring (from left to right)
Crocodile fish cake with Vietnamese lemon myrtle pickle – I don’t know about how your crocodile taste. My homemade crocodile dishes taste pretty much like chicken, but this one tasted exactly as fish. The cake was moist with strong fishy flavours and a hint of citrus sourness.
Woodside goat’s curd noisette with liquid beetroot – The goat’s curd was creamy and full of flavour. Strangely I didn’t taste any goat cheese flavour until the very last bite. The liquid beetroot reduced the creaminess and hence balanced the taste very well on palate.
Potato and leek soup with pepper leaf chive cream – This warm and creamy soup has really fired up my appetite. With the leek flavour being brought out into the soup and the promotion of a mashed potato mouthfeel, this soup is perfect to start the dinner. The added cream did not only introduce extra flavours but also ensured the flavour of the soup stayed in the mouth for a long time. Yum!
After the entree was finished, we waited for about 15 minutes before our mains were served. For me, I chose a lamb dish whereas Tina had a duck claypot.
Native Dukkah Lamb Backstrap
The serve was huge! The lamb backstrap was cooked to perfection with pink color in the center and tasted very lamb especially under the effect of Australian native dukkah. The lamb shoulder, although being well done, was very soft to cut and went apart very easily. Once into mouth, the meat deconstruct very quickly and tasted very spicy. The Moroccan style ras el hanout spice enhanced the lamb shoulder’s flavour by diffusing the spiciness into the meat. All the good taste meat was complemented with native currant jus, which was a bit bitter initially, but went as a perfect match with the meat for the whole course. Well done!
This is a very oriental styled dish. The duck was braised in soy, aniseed myrtle, orange and chilli sauce. I love clay pots as they introduces extra flavours to dishes. The aroma was quite strong and came a mile away before serving. Well, at least when it came close to our table. The dish contained 4 duck legs, which were cooked to a level that the meat could be easily taken off the bone. All the spicy flavours have been pushed into the meat by the chef’s techniques and the meat tasted mild hot with moderate level of saltiness. The dish was accompanied with rice and greens which heavily reduced any remaining fattiness of the duck. Yum!
After the mains, the house made petite fours were served.
Red Ochre Quandong and macadamia rocky road
A typical rocky road chocolate with native Australian fruit and nut. Crunchy and sweet!
War Memorial Drive
North ADELAIDE, SA 5006
P 08 8211 8555