Lately I have been writing several local pubs. It is interesting to see many of our local pubs are offering quality dishes with local seasonal produce. This is a good thing to improve the food standards in these venues and re-image the South Australian pub scene.
So, tell me, which pub is your favorite?
I don’t have a definite answer for my preference as all the ones I experienced were quite good. Last week, Tina and I went back to a venue that I wrote about back in 2013 and experience new styles at this so-popular place, The Warradale Hotel.
The Warradale Hotel is an iconic pub in the City of Marion and has won the AHASA Award for Excellence in 2013. The hotel has modern decors and facility with art displays. The internal view looks a bit different to my last visit in 2013 with improved and sophisticated designs in lighting and the seating area.
The venue has five different menus, including bistro, platter, garden, tavern and senior. Each menu has its own distinctive features. Items on the bistro menu have seen some Asian influences. It is interesting to see how this place has evolved from a heavily European cuisine influenced menu in 2013.
One difference between this hotel and other pubs is that it has an all-you-can-eat salad bar, serving high quality salads and condiments. I quite enjoyed it during our last visit so we decided to have the salad bar option again.
This is a snapshot of what I had for salads. I would confident to say that all the smallgoods are quite good in quality and flavour.
We experienced the bistro menu on the day we visited. The bistro menu contains a large variety of dishes from starters to grills, mains and desserts. To taste their food in a wide and broad spectrum, we decided to go with starters, oysters and mains.
Blue Swimmer Crab Sliders, $14 – Port Broughton-caught crab meat tossed in lemon on a brioche bun with shredded iceberg lettuce & a pickled ginger mayonnaise.
When I looked at the starters menu, this dish first came to my sight. You probably know I am a big fan of crabs especially the freshly caught ones. The wow factor for this dish, apart from the crabs, is the toasted brioche bun. It was so crispy and incredibly soft and made my mouth watering at all items. The filling lettuce provided crunchiness while the ginger mayo neutralised the crab flavour. The crab was very fresh and chilled, dragging all elements of the dish together. Recommended!
While I quite enjoyed the crab sliders, Tina adventured for Zucchini flower.
Tempura Zucchini Flower, $10 – filled with a smoked mozzarella risotto on an heirloom tomato carpaccio.
This starter was so fragrant! We were able to smell it from long distance away. The tempura zucchini flower was deep fried and filled with a smoked mozzarella risotto. This is an interesting setting for me as the zucchini flowers I’ve seen before were deep fried as a stand-alone item or stuffed with cheese. The risotto in this dishes was lightly seasoned and complemented the crunchy flower perfectly. Taking a bite of this together with the tomato carpaccio essentially takes this dish to a new level of freshness. Yum!
From the starters, we moved onto oysters. I order oysters wherever I go to taste the different ones around Adelaide. The ones below are fresh from Coffin Bay, delivered fresh on the day.
Natural Coffin Bay Oysters, $18 (1/2 dozen)
These oysters were delivered fresh on the day and served on ice. I was actually surprised with the big size as many coffin bay oysters these days are small in size. The flavour was top notch – it was a combination of saltiness, sweetness and sea juices – simple yet sophisticated flavours! Absolutely love them!
Kilpatrick, $20 (1/2 dozen) – served with shaved Barossa speck & spicy BBQ sauce.
Served on rock salt, these kilpatrick oysters exhibited saltiness and smokiness from the speck portions, which were crispy and crunchy to balance the tenderness of the oysters. The taste buds are definitely tantalised with each bite of them.
At this point, we have been excited by the quality of the food and were really looking forward to the mains.
Roasted Pork Belly & Seared Jumbo Scallops, $36 – with carrot & ginger purée, raisin & caper sauce
This dish was mind-blowing! Look at the size of serving, huge right?! The big size was not the winning point for us but rather the quality of the dish. The pork skin was crackled to perfection – It was so crispy that a crunch bite led to lots of development of flavours. The pork was roasted greatly and one can easily detect the delicate pork flavour. The flavour is further enhanced with the addition of the raisin and caper sauce which contributed to the concentrated sweetness to neutralise the fat component of the pork. The giant scallops were good but for our taste, a bit extra salt was added at the table. Recommend!
While Tina enjoyed the pork belly, I quickly ventured the scotch fillet, which again excited me.
Scotch Fillet [300g], $38 – grass-fed, 100-day grain finished, farmed North-Eastern Queensland, Argentinian chimmi churri sauce
On the menu, there are three steak options, a petite sirloin, a scotch and a rib-eye. The sirloin and the rib-eye are from South Australia. I was almost going for the rib-eye which was 450g so I thought it would probably be a good idea to have the scotch, just in case it was too much.
Medium rare as my normal preference. It was absolutely premium quality steak with the tenderness and juiciness locked inside while the flavour eased out quite promptly. It was well seasoned so I did not need to add salt and pepper. The chimmi churri sauce was hot so dipping the beef in gave another experience of the classic pub fare. The handcut chips were infused with truffle which brought in extra fragrance to the meat. High recommended and my favourite of the night!
To accompanying the food, we decided to go with a single wine rather than pairing. The choice was made because we saw our favourite rose in Australia, Rockford Alicante Bouchet ($50)! This rose is absolutely fruity with a creamy after-taste on the palate. It exhibit strong strawberry and wild berry flavour and each sip is so pleasant! I have written about them for many times so I will not taste much word here, but if you do want to find your favourite rose in Australia, give this one a go and it will worth the dollar! 🙂
The experience at The Warradale Hotel is pleasant and exciting. Besides the quality food and wine, the service was great and attentive. Water is always topped up and dishes were cleared quick. Most importantly, the waitresses knew their food well and were able to talk to the customer a lot on the dishes. I can clearly see enthusiastism and love in these great people.
The Warradale Hotel
234 Diagonal Rd
Warradale, SA 5046
P 08 8296 1019