I am an Australian freelance writer living in Adelaide.
Published January 11th 2012
Having seen print advertisements for this new restaurant, I was led to believe it was sleek and modern, possibly worthy of an impressionable first date venue- visiting during daylight hours for lunch set a very different scene. Located opposite the cinemas in Eastland Shopping Centre, Balsamic offers great food but at ridiculous prices considering its location and dare I say, clientele.
I enjoyed an open chicken and avocado sandwich with roast chicken, avocado, salad leaves, swiss cheese and mayonnaise served on half a Turkish bread roll and with chips ($14.90). The chips were probably unnecessary, given I was going for the roll-for-lunch usual but I liked the serving of half a roll as Turkish bread can feel really heavy once eaten. My friend ordered the Thai Prawn Curry main meal ($26.90). The serving could have been larger given its price, but the prawns did come on a bed of coconut rice, asian vegetables and with papadums.
I would have happily devoured several meals from their tasty menu, were it not for the price. Try the carnivore's dream in the New York Deli pizza with smoked chicken, salami, bacon, chorizo,Virginian ham and mozzarella with bbq sauce and bolognese. Or duck risotto with mushrooms, spinach and semi dried tomatoes in a duck and star anise stock. The mains are pretty standard with a porterhouse or eye fillet steak, parmagiana and fish and chips. Yet the kids menu is a standout, with twelve meal options, guaranteed to satisfy even the fussiest kid.
Don't forget a visit to the toilet. Wash your hands in deep, fancy basins that sit in front of a full length window that overlooks a very green, lush Ringwood, surrounded by trees.
If you can time your visit once the sun is down, I'm sure the sense of intimacy and romance Balsamic is aspiring to is achieved. The bar toward the back in the lounge would also come alive. They also offer take-away on the majority of their dishes.