Just outside the CBD sits The Mile End, the familiar corner hotel on Henley Beach Road. 2015 marks 175 years for this historic building and as a celebration, we were invited for a tasting of its brand new menu matched with beer and wines crafted by Chef David White.
But first, the Hotel looks nothing like what you might expect. This year, The Mile End rings in their milestone with a renovation project to recondition the building to its original design. While the exterior has been stripped and restored to its famous bold colours, eclectic pop art pieces have been added throughout the dining area, juxtaposing the now exposed old brick walls, making The Mile End a collection of old and new; a modernized version of a landmark building rich with history. Walking in, the interior was certainly a looker, setting the hotel apart from Adelaide’s many pub establishments.
With that, the menu too was a pleasant surprise. Take your classic dishes, add in fresh local fruits and veggies, and you’ve got a refreshing take on your South Australian restaurant favourites. From Italian-inspired to classic kangaroo steaks, The Mile End’s menu offers something for everyone.
Trilogy of Smalls: Spanish Chorizo, Sofritto Arancini, Goat Cheese Croquettes, & Ciabatta; $30.00
Beer: Mismatch Archies Golden Ale
Sparkling: Babo Prosecco, Friuli Italy, NV
We kicked off the evening with the kitchen’s selection of three items from their small plates section of the menu which consisted of chorizo, croquettes, arancini balls and ciabatta bread.
The goat cheese croquettes were flaky on the outside but filled with soft, mild and warm goat cheese on the inside, which paired well with the cinnamon and pear chutney topping. The salty Spanish chorizos sit atop a creamy capsicum Romesco sauce and the arancini is crunchy and light in flavour, filled with Sofritto, a medley of lightly fried vegetables. So far so good.
Roast Beetroot, Pear & Haloumi Sliders with rocket and walnut pesto; $16.00
Beer: Lobethal Bierhaus Czech Style Bohemian Pilsener
Shortly after our table devoured the shared platter, we were each greeted with a bite-sized beetroot, pear, and haloumi slider. Each of this vegetarian slider comprised of soft, buttery bread sandwiching a slice of haloumi, beetroot, and pear. I found the pear slice was quite thick (may have been canned pear), however, and its sweetness overpowered the haloumi, beetroot, and even the pesto.
Warm Chicken, Pancetta & Pear Salad; $22.00
Wine: Longview Whippet Sauvignon Blanc, Adelaide Hills
More pear was found in our next dish and it was delish! Thin, fresh pear slices on our warm chicken, pancetta and pear salad drizzled with sherry honey vinaigrette – every bite was light, refreshing, yet flavourful due to the slightly salty crispy pancetta atop a bed of peppery greens and nutty, earthy ancient seeds and walnuts. Add in creamy feta, slightly sweetened by the dressing. This was my favourite of the night. The salad is also gluten free – definitely not your average pub menu salad!
Crab Linguini; $26.00
Wine: Mesh Riesling, Eden Valley
…And the dishes kept comin’. Up next was linguine with hand-picked blue swimmer crab in sun blushed tomato rose sauce and a side of grana padano. The latter is a type of cheese similar to parmesan, but slightly grainier. Good blend of tomato rose sauce and small crab pieces, though I wouldn’t complain in the event I found bigger chunks of crab in my pasta 😉 The pasta was very mild in flavour, so I ended up stirring in all my cheese.
Red Kangaroo Tenderloin; $26.50
Wine: Samuel’s Gorge Grenache, McLaren Vale
This was also the evening I had my first kangaroo experience. Thanks to The Mile End, I can now say it was a delicious one! The Paroo kangaroo tenderloin was chargrilled to a perfect medium-rare, tender, and without a trace of gamey-ness in taste. Rubbed in wild pepperberries accompanied with carrots and pumpkin, this dish serves as a satisfying and hearty winter meal.
Chocolate Urge flourless chocolate torte; $10.00
Beer: James Squire Jack of Spades Porter
Fortified: Valdespino Pedro Ximinez Black Sherry
Now for dessert… flourless chocolate cake! Three words have never been sweeter together. Dense, rich, and moist, the torte is plated with chocolate fudge, pop rocks, and whipped cream. Mm mm good.
So friends, if you’re looking for schnitzels and burgers (which are also available on their menu), there are plenty of pubs in town. But for a breath of fresh air from your average sports bar eats, The Mile End offers diversity and fresh ingredients on the menu, setting it apart from your typical hotel establishment. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
[dbites was invited as guests to The Mile End Hotel]
The Mile End Hotel
30 Henley Beach Road
Mile End SA 5031
P 08 8443 4756