Main entrance signage, bistro dining decor
The Warradale Hotel has just been newly renovated and is a multi award winner at the annual AHA|SA Awards for Excellence this year. It was awarded 2013’s Best Bistro/Casual Dining – Metropolitan, Best outdoor or Non-Enclosed Facility and Best Redeveloped Hotel. I, along with my plus one, was invited to dine at the bistro all expenses paid, and as always, this does not influence what I post below. The hotel underwent extensive renovations in 2012 with the inclusion of a new bistro, three new bars and a new bottle shop; unfortunately I have never been to the Warradale before so I could not compare the before and after but the new venue space was pretty snazzy! The bistro area had funky décor with black and wooden accents with pops of red from their menus, large windows letting in natural light with green plants peeking through the window panes, the area was large and open with plenty of seating available, an all you can eat garden salad (!!!), large glass windows between the kitchen and dining area so patrons could peer into the kitchen and vice versa, a four tier dark and milk chocolate fountain (!!!) and clearly defined separated areas for the bar and beer garden. Oh, and the restroom female/male character icons were pretty clever and funky too – don’t walk into the wrong one folks! (I wish I got a photo of them – hehe)
The tiger and I arrived early to an empty bistro but it didn’t take long before the whole space was filled with families and friends enjoying lunch over a beer and/or a glass of wine! Just a tip but I think reservations would be highly recommended! 😉
The Warradale Hotel menu
As per usual, I had a squiz at the menu online before our lunch date and had an idea of what I wanted to dig into but my hungry eyes are always bigger than my stomach! We thought we’d take it easy and order from the entrees and starters section before delving into anything ‘heavier’ and ‘larger’.
Natural oysters; $25.50 dozen
First up, a dozen of glistening natural oysters with wedges of fresh lime on a bed of rock salt and sprigs of parsley for some colour and presentation. Wonderfully fresh with the oysters leaving a taste from the sea on our palates.
Smoked salmon and tomato bruschetta; $6.50
There are just some things I can’t go past without ordering when I dine out, green tea anything, steak tartare, pork belly, carpaccio and salmon. Old habits die hard, so an order of smoked salmon and tomato bruschetta had to be put through. A slice of delicate smoked salmon atop a slice of crusty baguette with a heap of diced tomato, onion and basil with a drizzle of olive oil, finished off with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of watercress. Yeah, how could anyone go past that?! Fresh, vibrant, light and full of flavour. Simplicity at its best!
Duck liver parfait topped with port wine jelly, apple and celery waldorf salad and warm flat bread; $14.00
This was delicious! I’m a huge fan of pâté’s, maybe cause it’s a spreadable meaty paste that requires little to no effort to chow down or maybe cause it just tastes really really good; this one in particulat was delectable! The duck liver pâté was chilled and set in a small bowl (which tells me that they’ve made this themselves – major thumbs up), the spread was rich and full of flavour topped with a sweet port wine jelly with a sprinkle of capers (?) set inside. I literally slathered the accompanied warm flat bread pieces in an inch thick layer of pâté and savoured each bite as it melted away on the tongue with an after sweetness that lingered on the palate left behind from the port wine jelly. Oh yeah, the apple and celery waldorf salad provided the contrasting crunch yet I couldn’t get away from the duck liver parfait and almost reached the bottom of the small bowl before our monster appetising plate (see below) even came out.
Appetiser plate; $30.00
An appetiser plate of McLaren Vale mixed olives, spicy chorizo, assorted dips (avocado, spiced pumpkin), cheese and spring onion croquettes and roasted almonds in chilli salt to send our stomach capacity into over drive. That’s right, we were stuffed to the brim by the time this came out but still made a good dent into the plate. Our favourites were the croquettes and spicy chorizo but we didn’t warm too much to the dips, especially the spiced pumpkin one. :/
Oh yeah, that salad bar that I mentioned earlier. Along with the usual stuff of lettuce, salad leaves, tomatoes, cucumbers and what have you, they had other goodies like potato bake, lentil salad and roast pumpkin along with a variety of different dressings. Now that’s what I call a gourmet salad bar.
Seeing that there was no physical way that we could even venture into the mains part of the menu, we were happy to sit back, relax and make some room for dessert. You know, that back up stomach for sweet treats, everyone’s got one of those hidden somewhere. 😉
Dark chocolate crème brûlée with port and star anise poached pear and almond tuille; $12.00
Yay to the dark chocolate crème brûlée and almond tuille but nay to the port and star anise poached pear (overwhelmingly spicy)! The dark chocolate crème brûlée was all sorts of winning, a not too sweet, not too bitter dark chocolate crème with a thin toffee top that cracked upon a light tap of the spoon. The fresh raspberries and mint leaves were vibrant and the perfect complement towards the richness of the chocolate mousse and sweetness from the toffee as they were tart, juicy and wonderfully fragrant.
Affogato with a shot of Baileys, espresso and a shot of dark chocolate
This was all sorts of yum, the shot of Baileys surely woke me up! I poured the espresso shot into the glass of vanilla speckled ice cream accompanied with a large spoon shaped toffee and sparingly enjoyed the dark chocolate with the affogato. The dark chocolate instantly hardened when it made contact with the cold affogato which instantly threw me back into the 90s when Ice Magic was all the rage back then. Remember Ice Magic anyone?! A simple and interactive dessert for the inner child in me that still got to be an adult with that Baileys shot. 😉
A delightful and relaxing lunch experience at the Warradale Hotel was enjoyed by both the tiger and I; we were well looked after by Christa who was super friendly and very attentive. The awards they won this year were well deserved and can be seen through the professionalism of the staff and the experience we had in their bistro, it’s a shame the venue is a bit far from home but should some shopping needed to be done at Marion in the future, a stop at Warradale Hotel would definitely be on the cards whether it be for some pub grub or a drink to be enjoyed in one of their three bars.
The Warradale Hotel
234 Diagonal Road
Warradale SA 5046
P 08 8296 1019