“Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness.” – Auguste Escoffier
That was the quote on the first page of Redsalt Restaurant’s menu for the evening, welcoming us to a selection of new summer dishes the kitchen specially crafted for the season. Last week, I attended their media/bloggers dinner courtesy of the Crowne Plaza Adelaide, where all drinks and dishes were on the house. With a bright and clean ambiance that flowed from the hotel lobby and a cordial kitchen staff (as well as the company of other friendly bloggers), it turned out to be an evening that was hard to forget. But let’s talk food. 🙂
Cold Pea Soup
We started the evening off with a very simple cold pea soup. I’ve had my fair share of pea soup, so I wasn’t expecting it to be anything more than just a dressed up pea puree. But the combination of ingredients that went into the classic summer dish was perfect: goat cheese cream, fresh peas, mint, and pepper crisp made every spoonful refreshing and tasty. The mint and goat cheese were both just subtle enough to not overpower the sweet peas, but the pepper crisp gave each spoonful a nice, lil kick right at the end. I was only too sad it came in a small sample size.
But I’m glad it did because I was soon greeted with the Chef’s tasting plate to whet our appetite. The colors in front of me were the first thing that caught my attention. There were greens, reds, purples, yellows, a touch of Korean, a bit of Italian, and combinations I’ve never heard of: creativity on a platter that reflected the style of Red Salt’s chef.
Chef’s Tasting Plate from left; Prosciutto-wrapped mozzarella with olive smash and kimchi, Smoked Coorong Mullet with pink peppercorn, Heirloom tomato salad with balsamic ‘spheres’, French Duck and Pork Rillette on toasted baguette, and Beetroot and cashew cheese ravioli
All five were delicious, despite the interesting combinations. For example, the salty prosciutto and spicy kimchi was a pleasant surprise rather than salt overload. My favorite, though, was the beetroot ravioli filled with cashew cheese (say what!). The thin slices of fresh beetroot were the right amount of sweet and the cashew cheese filling was light and the perfect consistency. So tasty!
Pork Neck; $29.00
Then came the mains. Mm mm mm. I went for the pork neck. I never gravitate towards pork on the menu, but something told me I wouldn’t be disappointed. It might have been the description that drew me in. Accompanying the pork was sweet potato puree, pickled radishes and granny smith salad, and port reduction. Suffice to say, disappointed I certainly wasn’t. Sooo yummy. The cuts were super juicy and tender. The granny smith apples complemented the pork so well and the pickled radishes kept every bite refreshing. My favorite part was the sweet potato puree and the little “popping” apple juice spheres sprinkled on top of the pork neck. Each ingredient together worked really well. But it reminded me more of a cold weather dish with its autumn ingredients (like apple and sweet potato). It would be delish year-round nevertheless 😉
Coffee Trilogy; Chocolate and coffee mousse with almond croccante, Nonna Lucia’s tiramisu, Coffee and grappa ice cream; $19.50
Okay, last but not least: DESSERT! Excitement overcame the table when the dessert plates rolled out. It was my lucky day – coffee, coffee, and more coffee… and put together in such a pretty presentation, as well! I expected the coffee ice cream to taste like, well, coffee ice cream – like the ones we buy from the freezer section of the grocery store. So when I ate a spoonful, the coffee and grappa together was a literal wake-up call. The grappa was a little strong, but it complemented the coffee and served to be a good palate cleanser. My neighbor also joked that it would take an hour to get the almond croccante (think an almond brittle) out of his teeth. The croccante really was heavenly but a sticky mess that discouraged me from taking more bites than I wanted to. Sitting atop the croccante was the chocolate and coffee mousse, which was maybe a little too sugary. I also thought it was too sticky and thick for mousse. But otherwise, just the right amount of coffee and chocolate put together. Lastly, the tiramisu was on point. Finally a tiramisu that truly tasted homemade from the mascarpone to the lady-fingers. By the time I finished my dessert, I was all coffee’d out but one happy girl.
In the end the quote they chose turned out to be perfectly appropriate. Good food was what they promised, and good food was what they served. I had never been to Redsalt, but with their menu and all that I had tasted, I’m eager for the oncoming season and more than likely, a second trip back in the near future.
[dbites was invited as a guest to Redsalt Restaurant]
Redsalt Restaurant | Crowne Plaza Adelaide
16 Hindmarsh Square
Adelaide SA 5000
P 08 8206 8828