Adelaide: food out

EATING OUT

Chianti Classico  is still my favourite breakfast place in Adelaide. Sophisticated menu, impeccable service. However, there are many great sounding places that we didn’t get to this time. Unlike other trips we stayed in our own place and sitting in one’s backyard eating breakfast under the shade of a vine has its attractions.

Ichitaro is is a world-class Japanese restaurant on King William St Hyde Park. Its lunch menu on Fridays and Saturdays is plain unbelievable value and its evening offerings are masterly in taste and presentation, whilst remaining excellent value too. Whereas we will be able to go to London for good breakfasts when we are back in Geneva, nothing will replace Ichitaro.

Mrs Q Gouger St. Good Asian fusion, nice surrounds, overly attentive waiters ( large place, we were early), generous serves, will be back.

Vietnamese Laundry We dropped in for a quick lunch the other day, tried the salads, a really nice heat to them, excellent value at $12 or so per serve.

Lucky Lupitas  We almost didn’t get here, it’s up towards the North end of O’Connell’s St and we had to walk past the enticing smells from a Greek restaurant to get there. We managed, but only just. Just a quick meal, but it was darn good – Manny said it would hold its own in California which prides itself on its Mexican. I can only compare it with the dire Mexican interpretation that New Mexico inflicts upon unsuspecting tourists. No wonder the Mexicans want to build a wall.

Katsumoto is a simple cafe in Gays Arcade, it does cheap unpretentious lunches. We can’t go past the eel and the eggplant to date.

Larry and Ladd There will be a moment in your life when you need a toasted cheese sandwich that very moment and I can only wish, even upon my enemies, that they find Larry and Ladd close to hand. Their plain toasted sandwich is practically life-saving.

Naturally we tried out some of the places close to us. In no particular order:

Sublime East Ave. Everybody should live on a short street with a cafe at the end of it!

Carnevale East Ave. Even closer than Sublime. You can get freshly ground coffee/beans to take home, as well as all the usual things onsite.

The Middle Store Winston Ave. Sort of Lebanesey, nice!

Dear Daisy  Leah Street. Cute, and like the others named above, all nice places to hang out.

Bar Fifty 8 Brand new, a couple of us grabbed coffee there on our way back from lunch at the Rice Bar and it was declared excellent. It has a good look about it and we look forward to lunch there some time.

Pickle in the Middle I just love this breakfast dish and haven’t yet managed to get past it: Breakfast greens 16 Poached egg, shredded kale, Asian greens, snow peas, whole oat kernels and lentil sprouts, toasted seeds, watermelon radish, orange. If you ask me it sounds weird at best, but honestly? It’s fantastic!!

By Blackbird Still haven’t been here – it has a dark look from the street which somehow puts me off – but a friend brought their cakes around recently and they are stunning. In the posh cake French style Manny thought they were at least as good as anything he’s had in Geneva. We are going to have to bite the bullet and go there one day.

A small intro to the next two. One of the things that makes Adelaide special is non-licensed cafes that open at night, generally specialising in dessert. The atmosphere is totally different from places that serve grog. Long may they thrive!

Eggless Cafe Famous doesn’t begin to describe this place. We had to go three times before we joined a queue small enough that we could actually get in when it opened! The first time I swear it was about minus 2 degrees, strong wind, rain, we got there a few minutes after opening time and yet the best we could do is put our name on the waiting list and try coming back in 45 minutes. Which we did not do. Instead we went to….

Spats Cafe  A blast to the past if ever there was one. Seventies written all over it. We love it and to have both this and Eggless Cafe (which is so very different from Spats) within a short walk of each other is very lucky for us. Spats isn’t quite as crowded as Eggless, but it’s close. You can book.

I can see there are many eating out experiences we’ll be leaving for our next visit, this one coming to a close soon. I pray that Adelaide doesn’t end up like Melbourne with too many cafes and not enough anything elses. For now, it has a great balance and more on that next post.

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2015 Australian visit III: best club sandwich

I have unaccountable urges from time to time for club sandwiches. The Sofitel in Lyon’s club sandwich last year failed to relieve the urge in a felicitous way.

I was lucky to share the Mandarin‘s club sandwich in Geneva recently and it was better as its price no doubt reflected.

MANDARIN CLUB 29.-
Jambon, Blanc de Poulet, Tomate, Œuf,
Bacon, Laitue, Fromage, Frites ou Salade
Ham, Chicken Breast, Tomato, Egg, Bacon,
Lettuce, Cheese, Fries or Salad

For those who insist on translating those francs into Aussie dollars that’s over $40. So it was no great surprise to me to see the headline here today:

Geneva club sandwiches remain ‘priciest in world’

But the best I’ve had for many a year was at a lovely improved French cafe in Toorak, Mossman Green Tea Rooms. What’s improved? Well, firstly it has a sensible non-French name. Secondly the food is wonderful, unlike any I’ve had in Paris the last several visits I’ve made.

The Mossgreen Club Sandwich $24
Grilled chicken breast, crisp pancetta, egg, tomato, herbed mayo with cress served
on toasted brioche with shoestring fries and winter garden salad

Not the thing for a romantic encounter, it’s only fair to warn you – though I guess what club sandwich is? This one was all over the table – and me – by the time I’d got to the end of it. My elegant luncheon partner Janina watched with aplomb as the destruction took place.

Unfortunately I didn’t get another chance to go back to Mossgreen Tearooms, but it’s at the top of my list when next in Melbourne.

Elegant, light surrounds. Excellent tea served meticulously. Perfect.

2015 Visit to Australia Part I: the eating winners

Best overall:

Ichitaro King William Road Hyde Park SA

Simply the best Japanese by far either of us have eaten outside a couple of particularly special meals in Hakodate. We went here five times in a week, sampling both the excellent value lunch menu a couple of times and the wonderful, exquisitely presented dinner menu. I’m guessing this is considered a medium-priced restaurant locally. Here in Geneva we’d weep with joy if we had something near us selling this sort of food at near the price. Australians just don’t know how lucky you are.

Best overall ignoring price:

Ezards at the Adelphi in Melbourne

I have wondered if Ezards could be as good as it used to be, but a sampling of their Express Lunch menu knocked those doubts out of my head.

EXPRESS LUNCH MENU $55

The waiter took care to advise is that the serves were small and that’s certainly the case. Three courses still left room for dessert. I wondered if Ezard has toned down the flamboyance of the desserts, which appealed to me more than they used to in the days I could trot in for a meal on a whim.

You are not only paying for stunning food requiring the utmost expertise to prepare. You are paying for surroundings which permit a civil meeting. No loud music, no bad acoustics. no crammed together diners.

We went to a huge number of restaurants on our trip this year. More to come…

Danish smørrebrød

Speaking of things Scandinavian, as I have been lately, in Melbourne at the beginning of the year we happened upon a smørrebrød at Denmark House in Melbourne.

We started out in the bar, cooling down after walking in from forty-in-the-shade before heading into this lovely setting:

Denmark House smorgasbord (5)

Stylish surrounds and an excellent value meal. The cinnamon buns are brought in from Denmark. They were good, but I’m a bit surprised that there aren’t wonderful local examples to hand. For a change, I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Danish smørrebrød
Danish smørrebrød

Denmark House smorgasbord (4)

Denmark House smorgasbord (9)

Denmark House smorgasbord (10)

Denmark House smorgasbord (11)

Denmark House smorgasbord (12)

Denmark House smorgasbord (8)

Cowderoy Deli

Continuing on with catching up on our record of the last trip to Oz, I don’t even know if you are allowed to go to Cowderoy Deli without kiddies in tow. The deli opens up onto the park and playground. The food, as you can see, caters for the clientele!

'Excuse me? Waiter?'
‘Excuse me? Waiter?’

Cowderoy Deli (2)

Cowderoy Deli (3)

Cowderoy Deli (4)

The French Brasserie

The French Brasserie, Malthouse Lane, Melbourne

The French Brasserie, Malthouse Lane, Melbourne

It isn’t hard to do French better than the French do it – even the English manage this small feat. We were pleasantly surprised to discover this lovely French brasserie in the top end of town. We went for their express lunch – 2 courses and a glass of wine for $35. The staff was kind enough to change my wine for a cup of tea. Terrific value.

French Brasserie (1)

French Brasserie (3)

Postscript: alas, we didn’t manage to get back this year, maybe 2015.