A few weeks back, I was invited to attend a dinner hosted by the lovely team at Redsalt Restaurant to sample their new winter menu for 2014. Redsalt Restaurant is part of the Crowne Plaza Adelaide on Hindmarsh Square just between Rundle and Grenfell Street.
Notebook cover, table setting, open kitchen
The restaurant was spacious, open and modern with staff all very accommodating, friendly and attentive. The large window panes spanned from the floor to the ceiling which allowed for a lot of natural light inside the venue and in turn, promises a view out into Hindmarsh Square from the dining area inside.
Winter menu launch menu
Redsalt Restaurant is a part of Eat Local SA whereby they use the finest locally sourced ingredients with a focus on fresh SA produce to create their seasonal menu. Were we all in a treat or what for the evening!
Bread and butter, and olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Blocks of pink Himalayan rock salt were presented on the table with a variety of bread slices on offer, accompanied with it were curls of soft butter and a dish of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Is it only me that this happens to, but whenever I dunk my bread pieces into the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, my bread is soaked in the olive oil with either a smidgen of balsamic vinegar hanging on or none at all! It doesn’t stop me from trying though… 🙂
Not long after, we were all presented with our own ‘chef’s tasting plate’. A lot of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ were echoed around the table as it all looked so pretty whilst the chef shared a few words with us before we dug in.
Starters, chef’s tasting plate
The chef’s tasting platter offered mini versions of a few of the entrees on offer in their winter menu. Pretty huh?
Beetroot cured salmon and lime crème fraiche
This mini bite was a part of the ‘Salmon trilogy; $19.50‘ on the winter menu. So pretty and dainty with a pop of colour from the flower, sashimi lovers will be pleased; the salmon flesh was fresh and sweet with the lime creme fraiche bringing out the beetroot notes.
The other parts of the salmon trilogy consisted of a pan seared salmon with sesame seeds and wasabi cream and classic salmon tartar with crispy organic sourdough. The sear on the salmon was incredibly light and delicate that I had forgotten that it was even seared to begin with. The sesame seeds provided a nice crunch whilst the wasabi cream added a different texture and a hint of heat to the mouthful. The salmon tartar was my favourite out of the trio. The tiny pieces of salmon melted away whilst the sourdough was super crispy and the sprig of dill added a burst of freshness.
The pan seared scallop with parsnip puree, chorizo, lime and chive gel was all sorts of yum! The right amount of sear with a light crust whilst the scallop was still juicy, plump and sweet and the puree was sa-moothhhhh~ The chorizo bits added a touch of salt and the lime and chive gel left a refreshing note at the end. Last but not least, the sticky balsamic pork belly with sautéed calamari, spring onion and tarragon salad. Look at that glazy sticky sauce. Delish! The pork belly had a bit of fat on it but not enough to have that melty mouthful of goodness, instead the meat was a bit dry and on the chewy side. The springy flesh of the sauteed calamari added a chewy textural element and had a nice sauteed glaze to it.
Our next plate was much the same, the ‘bites’ were mini versions of some of the mains from the winter menu.
A trio of bites: Roman style potato gnocchi, goat cheese and lime ravioli & black squid ink and lemon risotto
The Roman style potato gnocchi wasn’t your average looking gnocchi. Instead of the pillowy plump of gnocchi we’re all quite used to, we were presented with a pan fried gnocchi disc on harissa paste with half a Kalamata olive, rocket and parmesan salad and sweet balsamic. A different kind of gnocchi, but a tasty one. I enjoyed the sear on the side which added a slight char to the bite with the olive, rocket and parmesan salad adding a burst of brightness and freshness.
The goat cheese and lime ravioli was a pocket of flavour. Paired with butternut squash puree, sage and toasted pine nuts, the ravioli oozed cheese once sliced into and the intense smell wafted out. I’m usually not a huge fan of goat cheese but this one was just palatable for myself although it did leave a strong lingering aftertaste behind. I quickly got on to the risotto to disperse the flavours.
Black squid ink anything is always an intriguing and interesting sight to see. The black squid ink and lemon risotto with marinated calamari and fine herbs was vibrant and fresh with a good balance of textural and visual contrast; the risotto itself was slightly creamy and was cooked just right, not too hard and not too gluggy.
Behind the scenes, food blogger in action
Roasted duck breast: braised savoy cabbage, shitake broth, spring onion salad and pancetta crisp; $33.50
Succulent pieces of just pink roasted duck breast with light fragrant flavours from the cabbage, salad and broth. Just look at the clarity in that broth!!
200g Angus pure beef tenderloin: garlic pomme puree, smoked quail eggs, asparagus madeira and truffle jus; $40.00
Oh them smoked quail eggs. So teeny tiny yet they had so much smokey goodness although I found them to be overcooked which left the egg whites on the rubbery end. The cooked steak was cooked wonderfully at medium rare with charred asparagus and velvet-like buttery puree.
Pan seared Cape Jervis snapper: parsnip puree, kimchi, sweet and sour ginger sauce; $28.00
You can see from the picture alone how crispy the skin was on the snapper. The fish was well cooked with the flesh still moist and sweet, its accompaniments of smooth parsnip puree, pungent bursts of kimchi and sweet and sour ginger sauce made for a well balanced dish.
Classic bouillabaisse: market fish of the day, snapper, scallop and calamari; $31.00
So. Much. Flavour. With all seafood components cooked perfectly.
Braised beef cheeks: garlic pomme puree, mixed wild mushrooms, smoked lardon and port jus; $29.00
The standouts from the 5 between us 5 were the bouillabaisse and beef cheeks. Oh those beef cheeks would be the perfect winter warmer over dinner. So rich, tasty and comforting. The braised beef cheeks literally melted away with each mouthful and the puree was devilishly sinful, smooth and buttery. The mixed wild mushrooms gave the overall dish great texture and an earthiness flavour profile whilst the smoked lardon and port jus added another depth of flavour.
When dessert came out, I told myself that I was to only have 1 of the doughnuts and leave the other behind just so my stomach didn’t burst on the way out.
Coffee semifreddo: frangelico froth and cinnamon doughnut; $12.50
Unfortunately, that was not to happen! I did manage to leave 1/2 a doughnut behind though that I very much wanted to have but I resisted! Puffs of light airy dough with a crispy casing and then rolled in cinnamon sugar paired with a delicious coffee semifreddo with frangelico froth. Oh, and a smear of berry coulis to add some tartness and cut through the sweetness of it all. In the famous words of the stranger, ‘omnomnomnomnomnomnom‘. I would’ve gladly had 2 pots of that coffee semifreddo! SO. GOOD.
A really enjoyable and delicious dinner hosted by the hospitable people at Redsalt Restaurant. I got to sample a lot of the dishes they currently have on offer in their winter menu and I got to do it all in the one sitting! The menu itself is reasonably priced considering that they source fresh and local produce around SA therefore supporting local farmers and producers; and the food prepared and served looked amazing and tasted as good as it looked.
I’m looking forward to having them braised beef cheeks again in the near future. *hint hint nudge nudge stranger* 😉
16 Hindmarsh Square
Adelaide SA 5000
P 08 8206 8828