I was ecstatic to say the least with its location on Unley Road, because I had no car parking dramas or car parking fees. First impressions count and interior design of this restaurant is a stand-out. A lot of thought was behind it, most notably the gorgeous chandelier in the dining area and the blending of wood against charcoal decor.
Stunning wood oven gave off a warm ambient glow
The fireplace, an added feature, would be getting quite a workout over the winter months, and flames from a striking wood fired oven (where many dishes are cooked) gave off a luminous glow.
We sat at a cosy table by the window and looking around noticed a mixture of people from couples, families, groups celebrating a special occasion to friends having the overdue catch up together. While taking in the surroundings of the restaurant, I was not surprised to see a large group of people that seemed to stay longer than planned, looking relaxed and soaking up the atmosphere.
Waitresses would have to be the most under rated in their industry, however in my eyes they can actually make or break a dining experience. The waitress who served us was not only friendly, but very knowledgeable when it came to the menu. She explained that many dishes are cooked in the wood fired oven, to bring out the best flavours and awaken the taste buds.
We started with an entree of Ostras Fire, SA wood fired oysters baked with shallots, capsicum, and chilli topped with crispy pancetta. Words cannot describe how sensational the fresh oysters and blending of the ingredients tasted - and this was just the start. Coupled with a bottle of 2004 Aldo's Block Cab Sav, this match just like the wine was a prize winner.
A meal without wine is like a day without sunshine. If you love wine, nothing compliments a meal than a good quality one. I came across Aldo's Block after a friend gave me a bottle for Christmas. With more labels than you'd find in a Kardashian closet, we've been led to believe that anything with a label means more expensive right? Not so.
I'll let you in on a secret. The wine industry's best kept secret. Aldo's Block Estate Winery was set up by former Chairman of San Remo Macaroni Company the late Aldo Crotti OAM some 50 years ago in McLaren Vale's prime area renowned for good soil. So passionate about the pasta he was making, Aldo wanted to complement it with an excellent wine - and that he did. If alive today what I'd give to share a plate of pasta with his wine and commend him on the smooth drop. Ready for the secret? For under $15 a bottle, it goes to show labels do not mean more expensive. Not bad for a small local boutique winery, let alone a 10 year old aged red.
For mains we ordered the grain fed eye fillet steak, beef ribs (served with chimichurri sauce and South American style roast potatoes), accompanied with a rocket and pear salad, sprinkled with roasted walnuts, parmesan and drizzled with lemon and olive oil.
The eye fillet was seasoned and grilled to my partner's liking and he couldn't stop raving about how it just melted in his mouth. I had a taste and totally agree - cooking the perfect steak is a skill.
The meat from the ribs, like well cooked fish, fell off the bone - tender, tasty, cooked to perfection and full of flavour. If you like fall-off-the-bone ribs that leave a clean bone, then these ribs are for you.
Last but not least, the night wouldn't have been complete without dessert. We were recommended to try the Churros, Spanish style donuts served with chocolate grand marnier sauce and dulce de leche. These were shared with a group of diners next to us who we started chatting to as the evening wore on.
Another popular dessert is the Nutella Surprise - Nutella wrapped in pizza pastry, with strawberries, whipped cream, and a mix of strawberry and chocolate sauce. I can see this being a hit with families as a treat for the kids.
Having been open for less than a year, Fire on Unley's reputation for good authentic Argentinian cuisine has spread like wildfire. It's no wonder - Chef Danny Salchelli former Head Chef at Gauchos, has many years experience in creating the 'perfectly cooked steak'.
This is Argentinian cuisine at its best, with a twist of Italian and the choice of wood fired oven pizza. Check out the menu for all the options.
Going to a restaurant is an experience that involves all of the senses – not just taste. Fire ticks all five boxes.
170 Unley Road, Unley.
THE DISH EVERYONE COMES BACK FOR:
The rib eye fillet.
Drop in and try a wood fired oven pizza with a glass of wine if you don't feel like a big meal. It's a pizza menu with a 'twist' and the fun is in trying to pick THE one!
Award for Excellence, 2014 Restaurant and Catering Awards.