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Published November 22nd 2016
The Maid has all your summer needs sorted
While Adelaide has had a slow start to summer, it looks like it's finally here and ready to stay! And what better way to celebrate the launch of The Maid Hotel's new summer menu than starting it off on a Saturday morning under a blanket of sunshine and good vibes!
I was fortunate to have attended the Maid For Summer Launch event that was held on November 19, courtesy Mercy Me Marketing . All guests were invited to congregate in the beer garden, where the music was pumping, the drinks were flowing, and plates after plates of delicious looking and tasting food made its way from the kitchen to our starving (and well-satisfied) bellies.
We've lived through the treacherous winter season, which was filled with lots of shades of black, white, and grey. But now that summer's here, it's all about bringing back (several) pops of colour. So, upon looking at some of the creations by young chef Sam Spiniello, it is apparent that the chef and his team wanted the dishes to only be fun-filled but flavoursome to the max. I'm sure everyone who knows me well enough knows how much I love food. But, here's where it gets real - I haven't had food this good, which has brought me new levels of happiness because of its presentation and taste. After all, that's the combination we all crave for, right?
Inviting sunshine and fresh air in the Maid beer garden
Chef Spiniello has successfully shaped his career in the culinary industry through work experience and influences drawn from notable chefs such as Greg Fox and Jamie Pavley. Overall, the new menu boasts of edible flowers, appealing colours, and fresh flavours from ingredients that are proudly grown and produced in South Australia.
Chef Spiniello and his team have done a fantastic job at capturing summer through a wave of versatile dishes. Maid For Summer is a powerful menu that incorporates several elements of surprise. Unique and unusual dishes have made it to the spotlight.
Take the Hendricks Cured Tasmanian Salmon with baby capers, dill and creme fraiche - not only does it sound like music to the ears of fellow Gin lovers like myself, but it also looks delectable. Cured with beetroot, the salmon presents with a gorgeous shade of red. The salmon is delicately sliced and presents with a rich melt-in-your-mouth characteristic, complemented with the capers, dill, and creme fraiche.
It still amazes me that Australia is the only country in the world that eats their national animals. And rightly so - the meat from kangaroo in the Paroo Kangaroo Fillet that was cooked medium rare, sous-vide at 57 degrees celsius was juicy and well-seasoned with the herb and pepper sour cream. Served on the side was the duck fat roasted kipfler potatoes, radish and snow pea tendril. Overall, a winning combination of ingredients!
While these dishes certainly possess the exotic category, it was pleasing to see some of the classics make an appearance, with a personal touch and a fun twist by chef Spiniello and his team of culinary wizards.
Who doesn't like some good ol' Southern fried chicken? Well, the team at The Maid have taken it one step further to bring you the Southern fried chicken burger. Combining crunchy and crispy fried chicken fillet, cheese, bacon, salad and chipotle aioli on a toasted black brioche bun served with chips on the side, what's not to love about this meal? Looks filling, tastes amazing. Simple as that.
The Southern fried chicken burger (Pic courtesy: The Maid Hotel)
There's also the free range chicken with blue cheese, which is served with cauliflower puree, asparagus, cherry tomatoes and crispy kale. What a nutritious meal - comes with perfectly cooked chicken and a colourful combination of vegetables.
A recent favourite that I only discovered a couple of months ago, the roasted pumpkin and sage Arancini balls looked appetising in its simplest form. Served with Arborio rice, beetroot and feta cream, these are basically the savoury version of Christmas in your mouth.
Of course, as summer kicks in, we find ways to cool down, and what better way to do that than to sip on some gorgeous looking cocktails! Picture yourself lounging on the cushiony seats in the beer garden at The Maid with a cocktail in one hand (or both, if you're a risk taker). There you go - an excellent and fierce combination. Lead Mixologist Matt Holding has channelled the vibes of summer goodness from chef Spiniello by introducing his own spin of 4 intoxicating drinks:
2x Gin-based cocktails - The Red Lady with Star of Bombay Gin raspberries, citrus and Cointreau and Basil Smash with citrus and sugar. Both these drinks possess a strong flavour that is perfect to give you a delightful buzz.