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Published October 3rd 2015
The only place to have black volcanic salt from France
The Playford Restaurant is one of the fine dining restaurants that I haven't been to but have always wanted to go. Every time I drive past in the evening, the radiating golden ambient beckons me to go inside. The excitement started to build once I decided to dine in this venue as part of the Festival of Food promotion.
With much anticipation, I researched about the restaurant and found that they have won numerous awards over the years. This year alone they have won Best Restaurant Accommodation Division awarded by AHA SA, Best Restaurant in a Hotel awarded by SA Restaurant and Catering, was given the Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor and was also the Two Glass Winner for Gourmet Traveller Australian Wine List of the Year.
Upon entering the venue, we were greeted by a lovely young lady who found my booking with ease. She then handed us over to our waiter for the night who looked after us very well. It's special to have someone give you great care in such detail.
Not only the service was of high standard, the food and wine also surpassed my expectations. The wine list was extensive as well as impressive. I could see why they were the Two Glass winner for wine list of the year.
To start, we had agave nectar and oat sourdough with cultured butter and black salt. I have never been more excited over bread and butter in my life. This was more than just bread and butter – it was heaven. It must have been the combination of the honey with the softest butter sprinkled with black volcanic salt that came from France. Immediately, my tasting standard was raised much higher.
Agave nectar and oat sourdough with Hindmarsh Valley Dairy cultured butter and black salt
The entrée tasting plate offered smoked barramundi with apple kimchi and miso; goat's cheese mousse, radicchio, basil and lemon jam; and lamb belly fritter with sauce paloise. The barramundi and apple kimchi were individually very well cooked. Together, the flavours danced, tantalising my tastebuds. The only downside was that it was a little tricky to find the right proportion of each element on my fork so that the kimchi didn't overpower the smokiness of the salmon. The mousse was very light and refreshing after the pungent kimchi. It was presented beautifully in exactly three small mouthfuls of each component, creating a perfect balance of sweet, salty and sour, with a soft aftertaste of basil. The lamb belly fritter was a little disappointing compared to the other two. It did not look as appetising, and did not impress in taste either.
Smoked barramundi, Goat's cheese mousse, and lamb belly fritter
For main, I had the Atlantic salmon with quinoa, parsley, radish salad and garlic yoghurt. The salmon was well seasoned with soft Middle Eastern spices, and cooked perfectly. It was flaky and soft. The freshness and light citrus flavours of the salad complimented the spices of the salmon. The garlic yoghurt added another dimension to the dish.
My friend ordered the Tasmanian char grilled beef fillet with mushroom and bacon fricassee and beef jus. The grain fed beef was extremely soft and juicy, cooked rare to how it was requested. When eaten together with the mushroom and beef jus, it had the perfect classic beef and mushroom combination.
Tasmanian beef fillet with mushroom and bacon fricassee and beef jus
For dessert, I could not go past rhubarb crème brulee, one of my all-time desserts that I must try everywhere. When it came out, I was a bit skeptical as I wasn't sure how thick the bottom layer was from looking at the bowl. Once I cracked the caramel layer and dug my spoon in for the first time, I sensed some relief, seeing the custard layer had good texture. My first mouthful only had the custard and caramel, with no rhubarb insight. From then, I could tell that it was a little too sweet for my liking as the caramel layer was quite thick and my mouthful quickly became just chewing the caramel topping. The rhubarb did reduce the sweetness, but only when I got to it eventually. The vanilla cream and smoked rhubarb twirl were beautiful and also helped cut the sweetness. However, overall it was slightly too sweet for me.
Rhubarb creme brulee with vanilla cream, rhubarb crisp, and pear reduction
After having a dining experience there, I must admit The Playford Restaurant is now a favourite in Adelaide for silver service. I can't stop thinking about the salted butter. It was most definitely the standout of the night. I almost want to befriend the chefs just so I can get my hands on the black volcanic salt!