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It’s about time Mr Black

5 Apr

 

Koko Black Adelaide Shopfront

Finally…finalllyyy… FINALLY…Koko Black has dragged its feet all across Australia, through (almost) every major Australian city and finally arrived in lil’ ol Adelaide.!

 

A sharp intake of breath as I coincidentally sauntered pass this chocolate nirvana on a weekend stroll down Rundle Mall. The realisation…no longer will I have to lug packets of Koko Black’s much celebrated hot chocolate flakes from various counterparts interstate. No more ‘hot chocolate rationing’ in my household, a wee drive/bus trip to town will fix my sweet cravings just fine; and what perfect timing with cool seasons knocking at out door. Huzzah*

 Koko Black Chocolate Display

Today marks the first day Koko Black begins trading in Radelaide, and already this cozy loft on the corner of Adelaide Arcade is abuzz with delicious activity. Chocolate truffles, eggs, beverages and desserts abound. So much to get stuck into. But me? I’m perfectly satisfied with a cuppa hot choc. Unassuming, but in my opinion, the best around..

photo (16)

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Pasta Deli – Italian Concept Store

6 Mar
Pasta Deli Interiors

Pasta Deli Interiors

Glossy surfaces, bright lights – enter through the gleaming glass doors into Italian deli Mecca. Just 2 weeks into service, ‘Pasta Deli’ stands tall and proud where the old Glynde fire station once was, demanding the attention of all.

Is it a cafe? A pasta shop? An Italian gourmet supplier? Well, it’s everything you want it to be; call it – an Italian SUPERSTORE. Pasta Deli is a gelateria, cheese shop, deli, gourmet store, pasticceria and coffee bar all housed under one roof. Neat! Now, you can pick up dinner whilst enjoying a cuppa, silence the kids with gelati and browse for gourmet gifts all in one enjoyable sweep of the store.

Food Display

Food Display

My dad and I sauntered in for a late afternoon drink and were immediately impressed with the sheer size of the facility. The venue has a large production kitchen which churns out ready-to-go meals (mostly pasta dishes) which can be stored in the freezer for a rainy day, eaten on site or bought as takeaway. Fresh pasta is on offer for purchase (it IS called Pasta Deli..) and a bounty of salads and antipasto sit deliciously on display. The counters heave with imported Italian cheeses whilst cured, cold meats abound. Gourmet condiments and tidbits temp patrons from every corner. So much to eat, so little time.. (and belly space). Service is friendly and helpful, with many offering tastings (score!). However, one does get the sense that the staff are pretty new and there are still a few kinks to work out. Hopefully, efficiency can be polished and the smiley service maintained when business picks up and busy-ness sets in.

Bounty of Cured Cold Meats

Bounty of Cured Cold Meats

We were pleased with our coffee (Segafredo beans the staple here) and at $3 for a regular cappuccino, I’ll say many would be happy to make this their regular coffee stop. I also had a nibble on a petite cannoli – light, crisp pastry though the filling was a little dense. This, with the coffee however, made for a fairly gratifying afternoon pick-me-up.

So if you’re in the area, I’ll definitely recommend checking ‘Pasta Deli’ out.  Pop in, take a breather and grab a bite (or two). Mangia bene, vivi felice! [go on, google it*]

xo Amanda

Cheesy Business

Cheesy Business

Pasta Deli
31-33 Glynburn Rd
Glynde South Australia 5070

Who’s Yo Mama?

1 Dec

Mamachau Exterior

Chalkboard paint slathered on walls, steamers and boilers on the go, throw in a couple of colourful Ikea-hacked stools and you have yourselves a quirky mod-Asian takeout joint. October threw open the curtains to Mamachau, a hole-in-wall daytime feeding spot in the semi-bustling hub of Adelaide’s CBD.

If you’re on Facebook enough, chances are you would have at some point been stricken with a bout of food envy. Happy snaps of fluffy white buns jammed with glistening slivers of pork belly (Mamachau’s Asian Tacos) were enough to send me traipsing  across town for a feed (yeah, like I HAD to go all the way into town to post a letter..).

Masterstock Pork Belly Asian Taco

Masterstock Pork Belly Asian Taco

Straight up, this place is intentionally a “takeaway” institution (less staff, less overheads..a sensible move on the owners part) but kindly provides some seating to a fortunate few. Mamachau’s mantra is to bring a “fresh, healthy take on Asian takeaway” and they certainly do so with cool salad combos, deliciously hearty “Feed Me RiceBowls”, hand-made cold rolls & their pièce de résistance – Asian tacos (or better described as ‘steamed Chinese baos’). This modish take on steamed baos was made famous by the brilliant David Chang of Momofuku fame. I for one, am certainly glad that the “21st-century contemporary bao” has made its way to Adelaide shores.

My little snack of master-stock pork belly Asian taco ($3.50) & a side of spiced lotus root chips ($3) certainly did not disappoint in the flavour department. A squishy white bun gave way to soft & gelatinous hunks of pork belly, intermingling with the crunch of toasted nuts & pickled mustard greens. The lotus chips definitively more-ish; “television snack” material. Certainly up your alley if you’re a chippy type.

With every flavour & textural facet satisfied – yes, I’ll have five more rounds of each please.

Spiced Lotus Chips

Spiced Lotus Chips

Quite literally, although these tasty morsels are bang-on delicious, they are exactly that… – morsels. Each ‘bao’ is akin to the size of a chicken wing, and bearing in mind that you can get a three-piece pack of KFC Wicked Wings for the same price, product value is certainly up for contention (oh dear, I know the price by memory.. Wicked Wing Junkie much?).

There are combos up for offer; for instance the Asian taco combos which yields 2 ‘baos’, one side and a drink. This will set you back $11.50, and my guess is you’ll probably be reaching for the cookies & nuts by 3pm. So if you’re famished, my advice is to opt instead for one of their rice bowls and add an onsen egg.

Mamachau's Menu

Mamachau’s Menu

As a whole, Mamachau is a vibrant addition to the CBD lunch scene. Be prepared to fork out a few more dollars than your average takeaway. That said, it’s perfect if you’re after a light, healthy-esque & likably left-field lunch.

Mamachau on Urbanspoon

Kefi – A Greek Wonderthing

6 Aug

I might anger a few. I might even cause a minor riot. But one simply struggles to sleep at night without  hooting the horn on the sensation that is Kefi. No doubt Kefi’s loyal following would be a tad miffed that with more people in the know, snagging a table at the already “packed-to-the-brim-busting-at-the-seams” mecca of deliciousness would be that much harder.

Oh, turmoil.

Truly, the tables in this buzzing eatery are so close together that one can literally reach over and swipe at a neighbor’s juicy saganaki (and indeed, I want to). The back of our chairs were constantly bumped by waiters bearing towering platters, and there were plenty of laughter and happy chatter in the air – a hub of jolly mayhem. My kind of dining.

Old black and white pictures dot the shady walls, a prologue of the meal to come.  And what a meal it was. Kefi is the sort of place where one craves to order everything on the menu. Ah, the annoyance of practicality.

Dips and pitas were quickly ordered – fluffy flatbread with the bubbly aeration resembled in good focaccia, sourced from a specialist producer in Melbourne – great to have on the table for a large party. Char-y octopus tentacles were tender yet meaty to the bite and served atop a fresh tomato and cucumber salsa-like salad. The Mixed Skaras included juicy Greek sausages, smoky lamb cutlets, grilled pork cutlets, and lamb and chicken skewers with potatoes, tzatziki, salad and more of those pillow-y pitas thrown into the works. The fulfillment of every individual’s meat fantasy.

Other dishes that had us salivating at the edge of our tables were the saucy meatballs, salmon spanakopitas and Herculean platters of hot, golden crisp calamari and prawns. Be warned that the gargantuan sizes of Kefi’s dishes stretch to obscenity – no doubt you will receive your fill and roll away a very satisfied (and albeit garlicky) blimp.

Service is prompt though a touch hectic, yet genuine and personable. Such a pleasure to find sincerity in the front-of-house, a dying trait in the service industry.

There is only one word to sum up Kefi, and that’s generous. In a world that’s rather cold and sometimes grey, it is lovely to find a small gem where fun, food and laughter runs abundant. So leave your troubles at the door, and be prepared for a true feast (in every sense of the word).

Kefi Greek Cuisine

61 Tapleys Hill Road, Glenelg North

Tel: 08 8350 9199

Kefi on Urbanspoon

Defrost yourselves: ‘Go-in Hotpot Train’

15 May

So the days have been incredibly wet, mighty cold, and rather “ick”. Noses have run amuck (this writer’s included), with many feeling quite literally “under the weather”.Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is officially hotpot season.

It is during such  times that places like Go-in Hotpot Train receive resounding praise. This dime-sized eatery is best defined as a mash-up between a sushi bar and a hotpot restaurant because it is, essentially,  just that. Picking up where ‘Sushi Train’ left off, the ingenious entrepreneurs of Go-in Hotpot decided to preserve the restaurant’s abandoned conveyor belt  and create a novel hotpot sensation, where diners select their own hotpot ingredients as they travel up and around on a moving belt. Ah, the resourcefulness of the human mind.

Saddled up to the counter, spying morsels of passing ingredients like a predator eyeing its prey – is a visual treat in itself. The meal kicks off with each diner ordering their preferred soup base, each with his/her own individual pot. Meats and seafood are denied the trip down the runway (for health/hygiene reasons, understandably) and are ordered off the menu. But with everything else, it was open season!

Various tofu, fungi, meats and veggies quickly found their way into our bubbling laksa broths. Of particular fancy were the homemade “balls” (i.e. fish, pork etc.). On the contrary, the round knobs of what appeared to be deep-fried buns were rather difficult to down. These factory-dehydrated buns received their ceremonial boiling (as instructed by the wait staff), after which they resembled hot-sloppy socks with a plasticky taint. We quickly moved on to more favourable commodities, like the sheafs of stiff glass noodles that softened to a translucent goodness upon immersion in piping hot soup.

All in all, it made for a simple, cheery evening. Warmed, satiated, and filled with our year’s worth of MSG, we left fairly satisfied with our $15pp  meal.

The restaurant brims with a hungry host on most evenings, and as they don’t take reservations, try to get there early to avoid being left out in the cold. Perfect for that mid-week catchup whilst all is wet, windy and wild; heed the call of this restaurant’s name and simply.. Go-in.

Go-in Hotpot Train
38 HINDLEY ST, ADELAIDE
Ph: 8212 1858

Treasured Relic – The Apothecary 1878

2 May

Whilst this kinky European-inspired wine bar did not originate out of the 1800’s (contrary to what its name may imply), the Apothecary 1878 has undisputedly stood the test of time, drawing a legion of faithful patrons to its shadowed corners since its opening in the year 2002.

The restaurant is the namesake of the 133-year old pharmacy cabinets that line the darkened walls of the Apothecary’s front bar. These aged, mahogany cabinets bear and boast rows of decorative antique wine bottles with many dating back to yonkers of an age. The setting bursts with character, quirky without being too kitsch; chandeliers drooping lazily overhead whilst bums rest on velvet sofas and dark Thonet chairs.

Wander along the narrow stairs tucked away from the main bar area, and you’ll discover nooks and crannies for various activities of wining, dining, and celebrating. The uppermost chamber is a private function room, bold red walls and gold ornaments reminiscent of an old-Victorian cigar room, whilst the lowest level features a dining space for more intimate soirées.

The main draw of the venue is its wine selection, and with a list showcasing pages upon pages of local and international fare, the Apothecary’s wine offering is sure to please both “New” and “Old World” drinkers.

The food – quintessentially Adelaide (or so this writer labels it). Uncomplicated. Satisfying. Not too stuck up its arse to the point of pretension, yet managing to stave off the usual humdrum of standard-fare. Diners can have a pick of ‘starters’ or ‘shared’ dishes to nibble alongside their wines. We commenced our feasting with apple cured salmon served with crisp fennel sheafs and parmesan (excellent with a dry white), and baked chevre with eggplant and almond sauce, which was meltingly warm with the toasted almonds giving a rich nutty kick (those who dislike goat’s cheese however, might wrinkle their noses). The pork and veal meatballs cooked in a heavy tomato was, whilst tasty, not altogether ground-breaking.

Potter Prawn & Caperberries

On the flip side, our table demolished every speck of the potted prawn with caper berries and toast, the sweet pureed flesh driving one diner to wipe out the inner crevices of the pot with her pinkie (classy..).   Relishing in sheer umami-ness was the brined and chargrilled chicken thighs, smoky from its joust with flames and served atop smooth, garlicky skordalia. Two lip-smacking thumbs up.

Mains of roasted eye fillet with bordelaise sauce was cooked to a rare-ish rosy pink (as desired) and pleasing in all its meaty glory. Its side of blue cheese spinach gratin however, almost overshone it – its musky heartiness promising a joy to those fond of the curd. The crepe-like cannelloni of chicken liver and rabbit was indeed – very “livery” with a sustained meaty creaminess that though I believe a few may question, was something I personally enjoyed.

The Wine Breakdown – The 2010 Tscharke ‘Girl Talk” Savagnin from the Barossa carried like blooms on mineral rock, a clean, dry palate of apple and citrus, which worked excellently with most entrees. Red was a 2007 Antinori ‘Peppoli” Sangiovese Merlot Syrah from Tuscany, full of ripe cassis and spice, a paradox of complexity and easy drinkability – a reasonable pairing to our various mains.

Service is efficient and fair. Things do however, get fairly hectic over the weekends, so I’d suggest a weekday drop in. Also, on the side note: The Apothecary dishes up tapas/supper for those seeking a late night snack or a beverage to wine down the day (pun intended).

A rose amongst the thorns of Hindley, this is one place to take out-of-towners to. Eat, drink and be merry.

Apothecary 1878 on Urbanspoon

Apothecary 1878
(08) 8212 9099
City Centre
118 Hindley St
Adelaide, 5000

Love that bean – Steven ter Horst Chocolatier

12 Apr

Photo courtesy of Ms Elysia Ang

Chocolate. A tongue’s best friend, the waistline’s worst enemy. Or so, that’s how the myth tells it. Thankfully, many scientific discoveries of late have confirmed the health benefits of the cacao bean, thus restoring the conscience of an entire generation of chocolate eaters.

Adelaide has seen the likes of many chocolate establishments in the past, but few have succeeded in highlighting the decadence, nay,  the refinement, of the art that is – chocolate making. Until now..

Enter Steven ter Horst, artisan chocolatier. Having firmly established itself at the Adelaide Showgrounds Farmers Market,  the label set shop in Malvern late last year; knocking out an exquisite collection of hand-crafted chocolates, with a strew of decadent cakes, tarts and cookies on the side.

Steven’s moulded chocolates/truffles lean noticeably towards the “dark side”, with more use of milk and dark couverture and less of white. Pristine and lustrous, these moulded chocolates were the product of an expert’s hands. Each was impeccably tempered with a near textbook-perfect outer shell, giving way to luscious fillings of ganache. The Fleur De Sel comes highly recommended with a decadent, oozy centre of Maldon salted caramel. Other favourites include the Jeanette (raspberry ganache with a hint of creme de framboise), Petit Cassis (Blueberry and creme de cassis ganache) and Lady Jane (fresh lemon milk ganache).

Olio (extra virgin olive oil) was bizarrely entertaining as it uncovered a savoury quality in the chocolate, whilst the ginger number a good-natured wildcard. Overall, the use of fresh South Australian ingredients found its translation in all of Steven’s chocolates as every flavour rang true.

Photo courtesy of Ms Elysia Ang

Gleaming alluringly, the chocolate tarts and petit gateau behind the glass have a dangerous gravitational pull. We fell in temptation to the Hazelnut Heaven mousse cake; a treat of sinful proportions with smooth as silk praline mousse and vanilla currant bavarois atop a crunchy Gianduja base.

To quench your thirst midway, sample the house-made sparkling ginger, orange and lemonade. Specialist coffee (Coffee Barun) and tea (Tea Forte) are also on offer as warming accompaniments.

The melding of dark-wooded fittings against the canvas of white walls, ornamented with embellishments of vintage suitcases, decorative moulds and cookbooks, form a breezy, contemporary setting for an intimate tea. It’s a cosy nook, with seating for few, so grab em’ whilst you can.

Interior

In the weeks to come, the shop will unveil their Easter specials, so pop in for a peep at their beautiful chocolate eggs or pick-out a gift box of 24, 12 or 4 chocolates for a loved one. There are also plans to develop a small macaron range at the shop (they currently make them to order).

So, whether you’re searching for a sweet fix with that finished sparkle, or simply a charming corner to mingle – scoot over to the newfound gem that is Steven ter Horst. Mr Willy Wonka would be so proud.

Steven ter Horst Chocolatier on Urbanspoon

Steven ter Horst Chocolatier
221D Unley Rd,
Malvern 5061,
SA.
(08) 8373 1330
Opening Hours:
Mon – Wed (9am till 5.30pm), Thurs – Sat (9am till 9pm), Sun (11am – 5pm)

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