Modern Fine Dining.
Dinner Review. Festival of Food 2012
For those who are unaware of the Festival of Food concept, it is an offer where eight Adelaide restaurants participate in a 3 course fixed price menu.
For main course there is a choice of approximately 5 options, with dishes from the à la carte menu also available by paying any difference above the advertised price. The entree and dessert are presented as tasting plates to give diners a sample of their offerings.
The participating restaurants, this time, are Urban Bistro, Panacea, British Raj Restaurant, Red Ochre, The Playford Restaurant, Windy Point Restaurant, Windy Point Cafe and The River Cafe.
After my recent breakfast visit to Urban Bistro with friends Nick and Athena, I thought it would be good to gauge if they could maintain their exceptional quality of food and service at a dinner time slot. We were the 3rd table to arrive by 6:30pm, but within twenty minutes the restaurant was at about half capacity - on par for a cold Wednesday night in Adelaide. From what I could see and hear, most customers were also there for the ‘Festival of Food’ experience.
The entree tasting plate showcased a trio of marinated yellow tail kingfish with prawn and gazpacho vinaigrette, chilli caramel pork belly with blue swimmer crab salad and mozzarella with pumpkin and saffron risotto cake with tomato jam. All three were fantastic and flavoursome, but the clear winner was the pork belly with its sweet crispy refreshing salad.
For mains we all chose different dishes as follows:
Athena: Confit duck leg with mushroom tar and cherry relish preserved orange salad.
Nick: Slow roast grain fed sirloin of beef, Yorkshire pudding tart and gratinated pumpkin puree.
Myself: Crisp skinned barramundi fillet with seared cuttlefish, snow pea tendrils and leek fondue.
The sheer silence that came from Athena’s side of the table was damning evidence that she was more than happy with her choice. When her mouth finally gained verbal consciousness, she confirmed the level of satisfaction. Nick’s steak was not quite up to ‘tender’ scratch and left him wishing he’d made a different choice. My crisp skinned barramundi was cooked to perfection with pork crackling-like skin, tender flesh and a velvety leek fondue which wasn’t overpowering. The snow pea tendrils added a sweet fresh burst and were the perfect accompaniment.
Dessert consisted of a plate of petit fours offering an almond flake biscuit, chocolate macaroon and lemon meringue tart. All three were sensational and not overly sweet, but the chocolate macaroon encased a soft butter chocolate cloud and took out the coveted “I don’t like dessert, but I liked that” award.
Overall service was prompt yet timely enough to allow the previous course to settle. Unfortunately I didn’t get to order a wine until my mains arrived which appeared to be due to some understaffing on the floor. When we were being served however the staff were extremely friendly, attentive to our needs and patient with our slow decision making. For only $31.50 each plus drinks it is certainly an affordable and appetizing array of food just on the city fringe.
I have every intention of making my way to all other Festival of Food locations, so keep an eye out for those reviews. For any of you lucky enough to be in possession of a Festival of Food brochure, I strongly recommend Urban Bistro and based on previous years’ experience I have great expectations of all other participating restaurants!
Lunch & Dinner Tuesday – Thursday $31.50
Lunch & Dinner Friday – Saturday $37.50
*Bookings and brochure essential. Quote ‘Festival of Food’ when booking
Where: 160 Fullarton Road, Rose Park, SA, 5067
Trading: Breakfast and Lunch Tue-Sun. Dinner Tue-Sat
Contact: 08 8331 2400
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