Wined and dined at Andre’s Cucina & Polenta bar with the stranger… yup, Andre, the one from Master Chef Season 1 – he opened up this little beauty on Frome Street, in the lobby of the Mantra Hotel.
We opted for the tasting menu at $55.00 per head which allowed the chef to feed us eliminating that stressful task of perusing through the menu and choosing what to eat – cause we all know how hard that can be sometimes – so many options, so little money and not enough stomach space!
The restaurant decor was warm and inviting as were the staff. Dimly lit lighting, hues of red accents with dark wooden furniture filled the venue with a blackboard on one of the walls listing their seasonal main courses.
First up, the carpaccio of pink ung, vanilla bean oil, mint, broad bean and lemon. Strong bold flavours, thinly sliced fish that literally melted away in the mouth accompanied by pops of broad beans, micro herbs for some extra freshness and colour with a sweet aroma of vanilla and a little bite from the lemon. Winning!
Baked gnocchi with white truffle, mushrooms, stringy cow cheese and chilli flakes
This was so so soooooooooo good! The gnocchi was delightfully soft and pillowy, and they were liberally covered in stringy cheese goodness. I still dream about this particular dish and know what I’m ordering the next time I’m back at Andre’s!
Baked gorgonzola and wilted spinach polenta
The polenta dish arrived and it smelt of strong smelly cheese, oh gorgonzola, why you so smelly?! Looks like I was on my own with this dish; the polenta was soft and creamy with welcomed bites of wilted spinach to help with the richness of the gorgonzola cheese but it still proved to be quite heavy and after a few tamed spoonfuls, I had to admit defeat! I was secretly hoping for the polenta with Italian sausage and tomato sugo – but there’s always next time when I opt for their a la carte menu.
L’agnello: slow roasted lamb shoulder with salsa verde, salsa al pepperoni
And to end off, Andre’s famous house made banana donuts, filled with couverture chocolate, dusted with cinnamon sugar and served with a house made vanilla bean custard. As great as they sounded, we thought these were okay. The banana wasn’t intense enough for me and the batter was slightly thick and heavy. The vanilla bean custard was mainly left untouched as there was enough sweetness from the donut itself from the chocolate and the cinnamon sugar.
Overall, great food and experience with friendly and knowledgable staff. The whole concept of Andre’s polenta bar is that food is designed to share which is perfect, cause I for one, love sharing food. Ever thought about heading to Andre’s Cucina and Polenta Bar? Stop putting it on the back burner and hop to it!
Andre’s Cucina & Polenta Bar
94 Frome Street
Adelaide SA 5000
P 08 8224 0004