Just like that, we’re almost two months into Spring already(!) …and in another two and a bit months, we’re nearing the end of the year!
Where did the time go?!
At the start of the season (or more specifically, in early September… I’m trying to keep the time since then a bit vague!), I was invited to the dinner menu media launch at The Loft Oyster and Wine Bar on Gouger Street. The all new dinner menu with matching wines and cocktails was put together by newly appointed Head Chef, Joseph Quiniones, former Sous Chef/Acting Head Chef at Celsius Restaurant & Bar and Edward, the Loft’s resident mixologist.
Champers to start
Bloggers and media personalities were in for a treat that evening! A 5 course dinner complete with matching wines and cocktails and a whole lot of fun.
Our first course came accompanied with a trio of drinks. That’s right, not one… or two, but three drinks!
To start, we were all presented a sherry cobbler with Pimms, Curacao, Fino Sherry and cucumber, a slight variation to the one I had around the same time last year at The Loft but still just as good. Very sweet and fruity, and a refreshing and bright finish thanks to the cucumber slices, oranges and mint leaves.
Sherry cobblers for everyone!
East 8 hold up cocktail
The East 8 hold up was one of my favourites from the night. A concoction of vodka, Aperol, pineapple, lime and passionfruit – I’m not a huge vodka fan but the East 8 hold up was light and refreshing with the fruit components masking a lot of the alcoholic taste and smell! I guessed that’s why I enjoyed it so much… drinks not tasting alcoholic are usually the deadly ones (eg. espresso martinis are silent alcoholic bombs!).
Our first course (and sponge to absorb the alcohol thus far) was a Philippine inspired charcoal mezze with a whole prawn, baby squid and pork belly which was paired with a glass of Mosquito Hill Pinot Blanc. THAT massive prawn was plump and juicy with a flavourful marinade and char on the outside and the baby squid was sweet and delicate. I found the pork belly to be chewy and a bit tough but my guess was that it sat on the pass for a bit longer than expected as our food wasn’t as hot as I think it should’ve been.
20th Century cocktail
The next cocktail for second course was a mix of gin, lemon, Kina Lillet and Cacao – look at that lemon peel twirl! G&T’s are one of my go-to cocktails so the 20th Century was right up my ally. I could only muster a sip here and there cause this was quite boozy, after all, I still had to drive myself home that night.
Poached chicken; $18.00
Accompanying the cocktail was a bowl of poached chicken in ginger broth with wild rice, garlic chips, spring onion and coriander; which was also paired with a glass of Mosquito Hill Sauvignon Blanc.
Dee-licious! The broth was so aromatic and flavourful; the chicken was sweet and juicy and them puffy wild rice (!) – oh sooooo good, crunchy and flavourful. Unfortunately, none of us had spoons so we couldn’t mop that bowl clean… and I didn’t want to be THAT person who picked up her bowl to slurp up all the yumminess… I really wanted to though! Instead, we all tried to scoop up whatever of the broth we could with our forks… Haha
White rabbit cocktail
A cloudy looking cocktail was next, the white rabbit cocktail with brown butter rum, smoked maple, fresh lemon and orange juice. A very interesting beverage with the tiniest hint of smoke and sweetness balanced with citrus of fresh lemon and orange juice.
Drinks, drinks and more drinks…
Sous vide duck breast with beetroot, brussels sprouts and calve nero
Then the duck came and ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ were echoed across the table.
What a sight! The sous vide duck breast was perfection, the meat was juicy and had soooo much flavour… and that golden skin… oh my! The sauce drizzled on top just pulled all the components together so well and the intense sweet tanginess from the freeze dried orange slice that was perched at one end of the duck… delish! Everyone savoured the duck in silence but not with a few grunts here and there as muscle power had to be used to slice through the duck meat as we were all given butter knives (read: blunt knives). Steak knives would have done the trick but hey, at least we were burning off some calories whilst we were eating… no? It paired particular well with the white rabbit cocktail and a glass of Mosquito Hill Pinot Noir with the citrus notes in both cocktail and mains carrying through.
Beef sirloin with mushrooms, chorizo and cherry tomatoes
Our final savoury course for the evening was a beef sirloin with mushrooms, chorizo and cherry tomatoes paired with a glass of Garfield & Thomas Cabernet Merlot. We were all getting quite full by this point, so the serving size of the beef was just right. The sirloin was cooked medium rare on a small pile of sweet, juicy and earthy oyster mushrooms and sweet roasted cherry tomatoes.
Edward had a surprise in store for us after our savoury courses were done.
First, we all got a glass of what I thought was oddly flavoured sparkling water… haha… it was not sparkling water…
Vodka soda water
And then a palette of ‘coloured gels’ was presented.
A DIY vodka cocktail board!
Using spoons, we were able to select which flavoured gels we wanted to mix in our vodka sodas and customise our own drink. What a fun, great and interactive idea! It surely got the whole table talking. The hard part for me was to distinguish what flavours were what… but I got there in the end! 😉
Paint palette of fruit gels: lemon, grapefruit, cranberry, blueberry, guava, raspberry, lemongrass and passionfruit
Final course was a caramelised banana spring roll, a Filipino banana in a cinnamon sugar pastry drizzled with chocolate sauce. My initial bite gave way to a hot, cooked and soft banana with a light, sweet pastry around it. After the second bite, I found the banana had a powdery texture that I wasn’t too fond of and the bottom of the pastry was chewy and quite tough to get through. I went back for a third spoonful but ended at that. The turon was paired with Kooinda Milk Porter (beer) and El Maestro Pedro Ximenez (sherry).
A great night, great food, great drinks and great company! Thank you Cassie from Be Young PR and Edward and the team at The Loft. I can’t wait to come back and make use of the balcony over the warmer months ahead!
[dbites was invited as a guest to The Loft Oyster & Wine Bar]
The Loft Oyster & Wine Bar
Level 1/128 Gouger Street
Adelaide SA 5000
P 08 8211 8887