Mid last week, the stranger and I had the pleasure of being invited as guests to the 2015 Degustation Release dinner at Adelaide’s favourite fine dining restaurant Windy Point Restaurant. We were invited by executive chef and general manager, Justin Miles with our host for the evening being the ever so charming and fellow foodie friend, Dougal McFuzzlebutt.
Little ol’ Adelaide from the Windy Point Lookout
Our evening was spent in The Starlight Room with panoramic views of Adelaide whilst we enjoyed a 7 course degustation dinner, complete with matching wines and lovely company with other fellow food bloggers. Bet you didn’t know that Adelaide is one of only two cities in the world where the skyline twinkles during nightfall? …The other being San Francisco for those that were curious. 😉
After some mingling and catching up with some familiar faces, we took our seats and our amazing dinner began.
House made olive bread with Hindmarsh Valley butter
The best way to start off any meal… bread! And a warm one at that! Pre cut house made olive breads were presented on wooden boards with slices of Hindmarsh Valley butter and a smidgen of black salt sprinkled on top. A warm slice for each diner and a slather of delicious butter that melted with ease on each piece; the bread was amazingly fresh and soft with a toasty crust and hints of flavourful black olive pieces throughout.
Chilli French beans
Paired wine: NV Canard-Duchêne Cuvée Léonie Ludes, Champagne, France
Our first course, which turned out to be the favourite from the night for the stranger, was the Chilli French beans. Fried green beans with rosemary and garlic custard and mushroom pangrattato. It sounded so simple, yet it packed a punch of flavour. The fried green beans were reminiscent of a Chinese fried green beans dish I’ve had in the past, where the beans have been fried until they appear ‘shrivelled’ yet not overdone, still holding moisture, having a bite to it and not on the mushy side with a slight caramelised sweetness coating each bean. The chilli was noticeable but not enough for one to reach for a glass of water and the crunch from the mushroom pangrattato and parsnip crisps (I think), were delightful and playful with each mouthful. The rosemary and garlic custard was smooth and paired well with the chilli beans although we couldn’t distinguish any rosemary flavour. That aside, a splendid start!
Dining table and bloggers
After having a look at our menus, the stranger and I got very excited at the next course of ocean trout carpaccio as we had loved it the first time we had it.
Huon ocean trout carpaccio
Paired wine: 2014 Rockford Alicante Bouchet, Barossa Valley, South Australia
Just like how we remembered it. Pure sublime deliciousness.
The ocean trout paper thin slices were vibrant in colour yet delicate and buttery on the palate with a hint of smoke from the smoked paprika oil. The artwork on the plate was then decorated with crossed lines of squid ink aioli, dotted with flavourful punches of citrus airy crisps and surprising bursts of salt from some fish roe, all of which was finished off with contrasting colours of edible flowers and micro herbs. Splendid. And the best part, I didn’t have to share this time around.
Diners ooh-ed and ahh-ed as the retractable roof was pulled back which lit up The Starlight Room during our dinner… I didn’t even know that there was a retractable roof! Lovely and very romantic having dinner under the stars and overlooking the city skyline.
St Vincent Gulf Snapper Fillet
Paired wine: 2012 Turkey Flat MVR, Barossa Valley, South Australia
Third course in, and things were starting to get progressively a little bit heavier and meatier. A beautiful piece of St Vincent Gulf snapper fillet pan fried sat on top of tender olive braised octopus, a flavourful skordalia accompanied with a side of smoky sweet leeks. I found the crispy skin of the snapper to be a bit too salty for my palate, especially when paired with the olive braised octopus. Aside from that, an impressive dish, with a lot of the comments around the table favouring the olive braised octopus and smoky leeks.
BTS: The thought behind our dinner was mightily impressive with a table set aside, complete with lamp so us bloggers could take photos of our plates without the use of flash in the dimly lit dining room. Great atmosphere, but not so great for photos! 😛
Eunju Gui pork belly
Paired wine: 2010 Tomich Hill Family Reserve Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Pork belly! One of the strangers favourite cut of meat… but Eunju Gui pork belly? What is Eunju Gui pork belly? I had an inkling that the dish was going to have a take on Korean flavours as the words sounded Korean, but after having a look at the menu description, I didn’t see any Korean flavours or influences so thought it must’ve been something else. Turns out, the pork belly dish is named after a previous chef who used to work there… ahh, that makes more sense now! The melt in the mouth tender pork belly was served with a sweet pineapple chutney (sitting on top), slightly sticky apple caramel and a small pile of refreshing crunchy carrot salad. The carrot salad, although it was refreshing and crunchy, I thought it lacked flavour from the dressing and was searching for a twang of salt or tang. Apparently my neighbours carrot salad was on the ‘salty’ end of the stick, so we suspected that I may have gotten the top part of the salad where the dressing had drained to the bottom of the bowl, and they had the bottom of the salad where all the dressing had drained to. This course reminded us of a similar Vietnamese dish that mama bear makes at home but much more subtle in flavour and refined in terms of presentation.
Lacquered and confit duck leg
Paired wine: 2012 Louis Latour Pinot Noir, Cote-d’Or, Burgundy, France
A glossy lacquered and confit duck leg was the main star of our next course. The meat was incredibly tender and fell off the bone with ease, it was accompanied by a mini tart of duck and spiced pumpkin and a pile of kohlrabi remoulade in julienne strips. A lovely balance of textures and flavours, especially with the subtle sweetness lent from the tart pastry and pumpkin.
Fullblood Sher wagyu rib and sea scallop
Paired wine: 2012 Handcrafter by Geoff Hardy Lagrein Limestone Coast, South Australia
Okay, so the wagyu rib in the picture above looks quite dark and burnt, but it was far from it… that was just the lighting which made it appear quite darker than it actually was on my camera. The fullblood sher wagyu rib was incredible. Tender, soft and so flavourful… you can just imagine the marbling of fat that must have been in that piece of meat giving it this richness and flavour. So good. And then that massive plump of a scallop, perfectly seared and juicy… I wasn’t sure which piece of protein was my favourite on the plate! The puree smeared on the plate was of carrot, a velvety, smooth and sweet one at that as well as an amazingly delicious charred broccoli, bright citrusy orange segments and peanuts. I’d be happy to have my vegetables like this for every meal!
Belgian chocolate and hazelnut palet
Paired wine: Valdespino El Candado Pedro Ximenez Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
Our last course for the evening was of course, dessert. A Belgian chocolate and hazelnut palet, just enough to satisfy those sugar cravings; and a small sphere of blood orange sorbet with brandy snap crumb, the perfect refreshing bright bite to round off a delectable meal and cleanse the palate.
What an amazing dinner with the service being swift, friendly and non invasive throughout our night. The menu changes often to utilise the fresh seasonal produce in SA, so it’s no suprises that the formal restaurant has won a number of awards over the past few years. It’s also easy to forget how close the restaurant is from the heart of the city (15 minute drive), so if you’re in need of a venue to spend a special occasion with a loved one or dear friend, Windy Point Restaurant should definitely be an option on your list. 😉
[dbites was invited as guests to Windy Point Restaurant]
Windy Point Restaurant
Windy Point Lookout
Belair SA 5052
P 08 8278 8255
Mon-Sat dinner from 6pm till close