Bistro Blackwood has been getting oodles of attention lately after being rated by a leading newspaper as South Australia's hottest restaurant. So on a recent work trip to Adelaide, with the restaurant in easy walking distance of my hotel, I couldn't resist the opportunity to try it out myself.
Relaunched on Rundle Street late last year, Bistro Blackwood is the brainchild of Scottish chef Jock Zonfrillo who loves to work with ultra-local and indigenous Australian ingredients. So you'll encounter menu items like eucalyptus adding complexity to smoked potato with charred leek, and saltbush and macadamia starring alongside fire-pit smoked pumpkin.
Bistro Blackwood has a warm, casual interior. Image by Bistro Blackwood.
Starters include a much sought-after mortadella sandwich served with red wine vinegar, and a green olive and herb bath ($12); organic roasted beets with quinoa, chickpea skordalia and winter leaves ($16); and risotto carbonara ($22).
Mains at Bistro Blackwood pack a heftier punch. Think Moroccan fire-pit beef with chard, labneh and herbs ($46); lamb shank osso buco with smoked mash, biodynamic vegetables and pancetta ($35); or hog head macaroni cheese ($33).
Jerked Half Chicken with papa's rice and hot slaw. Image by Bistro Blackwood.
I chose the salad of fresh leaves and herbs with fire-pit squid tossed in house-fermented chilli ($38). The ultra-tender Port Lincoln squid offered warmth and delicate sweetness, while slivers of mandarin and casava chips (much like prawn crackers, but with a subtler flavour) added extra interest. While the quality of the food was undeniable, I'd suggest that the portion size was not commensurate with the price tag.
Tarte Tatin with apples and vanilla ice cream. Image by Blackwood Bistro.
Bistro Blackwood features a cracking wine list, as well as a good selection of beers, ciders and aperitifs for all tastes - negroni, espresso martini, and the intriguing Davidson plum sloe gin sour.
As for desserts? Enjoy snappy re-interpretations of old classics, such as lamington ice cream with red fruits and chocolate ($15); profiteroles with salted dulce de leche and crème fraîche ($14); and a chocolate brownie stack with mandarin, macadamia and salted caramel ($15). If you're feeling romantic, or particularly famished, consider the tarte tatin with apples and vanilla ice cream for two ($30).