With so many new restaurants and bars popping up all over Adelaide, it’s sometimes nice to just go back to a favourite with the guarantee of a good meal, a good time and of course, with good company. We did just that a few weeks back with a few fellow foodies at Andre’s Cucina & Polenta Bar (5th time back and definitely not our last!). As per usual, we opted for the ‘menu fisso’ ensuring that everyone got well fed and we all got to try a bit of everything from the menu. There has been a steady increase in price over the last few years with the ‘feed me’ option starting from $55 in early 2013, to $59 in 2013/2014 and now $62 per person. As more diners are out on Friday and Saturday evenings to celebrate the weekend, the restaurant has sitting times for both days, the first sitting at 6pm and the second at 8.30pm. On our visit, we booked ourselves in for the first sitting and had to be out by 8pm.
Have a look at our feast! Some old favourite dishes made a reappearance with some new ones popping up too. 😉
We started off with a carpaccio of black Angus fillet, walnut & taralli crumb, truffle pecorino & aged balsamic, one we’ve had before and one we’ll keep coming back for! Tender delicate pieces of black Angus fillet laid flat and covered the plate with a sprinkle of walnut & taralli crumb–an Italian cracker, truffle pecorino and drizzled with aged balsamic served with a side of bread to mop up all the goodness. So good!
We didn’t get an assaggini grazing board on our visit (first time missing out on the grazing board), but was treated to dishes from the ‘consigli’ (recommendations) black board instead in the form of mushroom, mozzarella and smoked potato arancini balls and a ball of buratta cheese–ooh lah la!~
It was amazingly delicious and quite possibly the highlight of the meal, a soft cream filled mozzarella cheese ball with pane carasau, sopressa, marmellata and thyme oil… or in layman terms, the freshest ball of mozzarella cheese with a gooey soft cream centre with thin crisp flat bread, salami, the tastiest onion jam and thyme oil. Bliss.
The flavours, the textures, the colours… the taste! All on point. That onion jam… oh boy!
Soft cream cheese oozy action shot!
Our pasta dish for the evening was a conchiglioni, roast pumpkin (yum!) filled pasta shells sitting on a truffle funghi sauce with pepitas and ricotta. The dish was finished off in the oven, giving some pasta shells a toasty dry crunch that I could have personally done without.
This was new and different for the lot of us. A confit duck leg which was cooked to perfection was paired with farro (food composed of the grains of certain wheat species), frangelico, chestnuts, pickled fennel and chilli that really packed some heat. The farro was a first for our table, a soft grain with a bit of crunch, its texture actually reminded me of pearl barley that’s found in a Vietnamese sweet soup dessert called Sâm Bổ Lượng. A very very tasty dish that was a hit with everyone, the only negative was that the dish was actually quite greasy and oily… must have been from the confit duck perhaps?
Polenta for the evening was the polenta con spinaci e gorgonzola dolce, a creamy soft polenta dressed with wilted spinach & gorgonzola dolce. Of all the times we’ve been to Andre’s, I haven’t been very fond of the polenta dishes and would only help myself to a few spoonfuls, but it all changed on this occasion. Something clicked and I was heaping spoonfuls after spoonfuls onto my plate of the light, creamy and fluffy polenta with wilted spinach and gorgonzola dolce… and I’m not even a fan of gorgonzola cheese to start with! It was light, flavourful and really comforting, a perfect winter warmer.
We knew we were nearing the end of our feast when the MSA iron steak ‘tagliata’, with the crispiest patate, parmigiano & balsamico came out. Perfect as always.
We had their famous Zeppole to finish off our epic feast, individual Italian donuts dusted with icing sugar, drizzled with caramel sauce and topped with a swirl of dulce de Leche and almond flakes. In all honesty, it was the only dessert that we didn’t want from their menu that evening but as our sitting time was drawing to a close, it was the quickest dessert for them to put together. They even asked us if we wanted it for take away as they needed to clear our tables asap!
Dinner was great, the food was tasty with another future revisit on the cards in hopes we get the buratta and confit duck! The only downside of having the early sitting was that the food did come out a little slow in half way through our meal, and as a result, we were kind of rushed throughout the last half of our meal and then out of the restaurant so the staff could clear the tables for the second sitting. Probably best to book yourself in the second sitting cause you can take your time and enjoy the delicious food!
Andre’s Cucina & Polenta Bar
94 Frome Street
Adelaide SA 5000
P 08 8224 0004
Tue-Sat 11.30am-3pm, 5.30pm-late
Please note that on Friday & Saturday nights, sitting times are: 6pm-8pm, 8.30pm onwards