River Cafe, North Adelaide

We finally made some time to take advantage of the Festival of Food and dined at the River Cafe. The Festival of Food brochure came through the mail box a couple of months ago with 9 popular Adelaide locations offering great value deals for lunch and/or dinner. For example, a three course meal at River Cafe with the FOF set us back $32.50 per person for a Friday evening!

river cafe, river torrens

The cafe serves modern Italian food and is on a floating pavilion which sits on the water with views of the River Torrens and city.

river cafe, river torrens
Cranberry juice; $4.50

Having signed up to Dry July for the first time, I settled for a cranberry juice whilst The Stranger enjoyed his glass of red – the perfect beverage to warm ones belly on a winters night.

river cafe, river torrens
Wood oven ciabatta rustique with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic

Entree tasting plate:

river cafe, river torrens
Marinated prawn tail, red pepper dressing, fregola and crisp prosciutto

A plump juicy prawn each accompanied with springy and chewy fregola – a pearl-shaped pasta from Sardinia and a light red pepper dressing.

river cafe, river torrens
Cauliflower soup with Manchego crostini

We found the Manchego crostini to be quite chewy and soft when we expected it to be more ‘toasty’ with a bit of crunch to pair with the cauliflower soup; unsure if it was supposed to be like that (?) – Manchego is a cheese made from sheeps milk made in the La Mancha region of Spain.

river cafe, river torrens
Saffron and smoked mozzarella arancini with tomato sugo

Golden round spheres of fried risotto balls and melted mozzarella cheese in a tomato sugo to round up the entree tasting platter.

river cafe, river torrens
Gnocchi e funghi: pan fried potato gnocchi, sauteed exotic mushrooms, lemon and sage

Having ordered some delicious (entree sized) gnocchi dishes in the past, I thought I’d take a chance and order the mushroom gnocchi as a main this time around. Unfortunately my expectations were not met. The gnocchi was burnt with only a handful of mushrooms to be found, all of which was covered in a pool of oil.

river cafe, river torrens
Cotoletta di maiale: Clare Valley pork cutlet pan fried with apple and celeriac puree, red leaf salad, shaved fennel and apple balsamic

The Stranger’s main looked more appetising… and hey, look at that shard of crackling!

river cafe, river torrens
Crispy fried potatoes: rosemary, chilli and garlic aioli; $5.00 with Festival of Food offer, normally $9.50

Crispy fried potatoes… not so crispy! We left the bowl untouched for the rest of the night.

river cafe, river torrens
Mushrooms: portabello and pearl mushrooms; $5.00 with Festival of Food offer, normally $9.50

Firm, sweet and juicy mushrooms tossed in garlic butter, herbs, white wine and crisp shallots. A tasty side dish but like the mushroom gnocchi, a pool of oil/garlic butter was left behind on the plate. :/

river cafe, river torrens
River Cafe macarons: saffron and pineapple flavoured

river cafe, river torrens
Tiramisu; $8.50 with Festival of Food offer, normally $12.50

A delicious end to the evening, a soft and light dessert of tiramisu: a traditional Italian frangelico and tia maria sponge cake.


River Cafe
War Memorial Drive
North Adelaide SA 5006
P 08 8211 8666

Opening hours
Mon-Fri Lunch from 12pm
Mon-Sat Dinner from 6pm
Sun Closed

View Larger Map River Cafè on Urbanspoon

6 comments for “River Cafe, North Adelaide

  1. August 10, 2013 at 12:45 AM

    Shame about the gnocchi and the potatoes, D, but some of the other dishes look good. That meal deal is really good value though.

    • dee
      August 12, 2013 at 9:37 AM

      Yeah, the FOF voucher is pretty awesome! Only a month and a half of it left though and there’s still a few more places I’d like to try out. 🙂

  2. August 10, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    Just got the voucher yesterday. City is the last one for delivery but looking forward to take advantage of them. It’s a shame that their gnocchi has gone wrong.

    • dee
      August 12, 2013 at 9:38 AM

      Looking forward to seeing your experiences with the FOF offers.

  3. Fat Cat
    August 10, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    Gnocchi looks good, as an Italian this is pan fried in butter, sage and lemon juice, as a traditional dish.The butter is called a burnt butter sauce and the flavors are balanced with lemon.Looks nicely panned to me.I would have wanted it even more saucier,but that’s just me.Defiantly going to go try this dish..

    • dee
      August 12, 2013 at 9:42 AM

      I was expecting it to be pan fried but not burnt as some of the gnocchi was charred black on one side. Nevertheless, maybe it was just my dish (or my pickiness). Hope you enjoy your meal at River Cafe. 🙂

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