Brunelli – Rundle Street

Today on the Dining Diaries…

A beautiful dessert display entices me,
“Grande Piatte” section of the menu entices hubby and
Food envy abounds!

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Diners today we are at Brunelli’s Cafe on Rundle Street in the Adelaide CBD.

This location has been a popular site for hungry Adelaidians  as it was formerly Cafe Buon Giorno. In fact, I have been known to mix the two places up and I won’t mention how recently that’s happened!
Their website says that they were the first to introduce Wood Oven Pizza to Adelaide in 1989. It’s hard to believe that Wood Oven Pizza’s haven’t been around longer…

In any case, we were hungry and it was well past lunch time but Brunelli’s Cafe, like most Cafe’s, have all day dining so we went in.

To be honest expectations weren’t overly high. We just wanted a good honest meal.

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You can’t help but notice the gorgeous selection of desserts as you enter.

I could feel my hips widening as I walked past.

Staff noticed us right away and we were welcomed and shown to a table.

The menu is pretty extensive and reasonably priced.

We were going to choose an entree to share but after seeing those cakes I persuaded hubby to just get mains, and then if we were still hungry, we could order some cakes or ice cream. Yum!

The menu has a section called “Piatto Grande” which means very big plates! I thought hubby would like that so I pointed it out to him. He was really hoping fora  yiros (kebab) before we walked into Brunelli’s so was drawn to the Open Lamb Souvlaki which was in the Piatto Grande section of the menu.  Marinated braised lamb pieces served with Tzatziki and pita bread. Also comes with chips and salad.

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I thought it looked great when it came out!

It was presented beautifully and the salad was dressed well, I could see it glistening!
The chips looked fresh and that meat looked really good too.

I love how they’ve got capsicum through the meat.
I tried a little bit and it was such a great accompaniment for the lamb. Hubby was really happy with how it had been seasoned.

Everything was cooked well. I don’t know why my expectations were low, but this was a good honest plate.

Before walking in I had a bit of a craving for a burger but I could smell cheese and tomato and changed my mind. I needed pasta!
I love how they allow you to choose what pasta type you want, and match it to whatever sauce you want.

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I ended up choosing Fettucini with the Sorentina Sauce. Sorentina sauce, according to their menu, is a traditional tomato and basil sauce with bocconcini cheese.

I didn’t think I’d like the bocconocini in it but I was wrong…

The first thing I noticed was the strong smell of basil. I just love basil! The bocconcini had started to melt so was a delicious gooey mess.
If  you like your pasta cooked al-dente, you would have been disappointed with this dish and it was definitely overcooked but I don’t mind it that way myself and it was fine for me.

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I forgot to mention that they actually brought out a couple of slices of bread after we’d ordered!

So I was able to mop up that sauce with some of the bread. The bread basket also had a little container of Parmesan cheese so I was able to put on as much or as little as I wanted.

Another bonus!

We kept looking at other people’s plates, wondering what they were eating. There was definitely some pretty food coming out! Although we were very happy with ours, we couldn’t help but wonder what the other plates tasted like.

With such a big place, it would be easy for the staff to be impersonal but everyone we interacted with was really friendly and welcoming.

Brunelli’s is a great place if you’re after a no fuss, casual dining experience. Next time I might even try one of those sweets!

Have you been to Brunelli’s?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…

Taste of the Himalayas

Today on the Dining Diaries…

I have barramundi like I’ve never had it before,
One of my fellow diners invites our server to eat with us and
Authentic tastes amaze us. Where did these flavours come from???

FullSizeRender[10].jpgDiners today we were at Taste of the Himalayas and wow, did we get blown away!

I’ve driven past this sweet gem of a place so many times and just thought it wouldn’t be a place I’d like.

I was so wrong!

I was dining with a couple of girlfriends tonight and as usual, went to check out the restaurant’s website to get an idea of what the menu would be like.
I have to say I was quite impressed with the way the website was set out, giving a lot of information about what the food is and how it is cooked. They are obviously very passionate and I just love that! It made me more excited to taste the food.

We were greeted by a lovely waitress when we walked in. One of our party was still yet to come and when she did arrive, she greeted not only us with a hug and kiss, but also the waitress.
The lovely waitress just went with the flow and gave us some menu’s and explained a few things we might need to know about the food. She was so lovely my friend invited her to sit and have dinner with us but I don’t think her manager would have approved…


I love the classy and elegant design of this dining room. It has a distinct Nepalese theme but is not over the top or gaudy. What I assume was Nepalese music played softly in the background, giving us a beautiful calming feeling.

Looking through the menu I noticed that some of the items had explanations next to them. There were also little bits of information about the culture, such as the meaning of Namaste and beautiful pictures throughout.

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We ordered our rainbow drinks and took to the hard task of deciding what we were going to eat tonight.

Everything sounded so good.

We ended up starting with a tasting plate to sample a few different dishes…


The sharing plate contained a combination of Sekuwa, Samosa, Phulaura and Momo.
The menu says “Our traditional Nepalese dishes are served with a spiced tomato and sesame seed achar & a mint and yoghurt dip”
I could go and tell you about each individually but they were all divine!! Maybe I’m not used to eating this type of food but the combination of flavours were just amazing. I wish I knew what spices they had used! I tasted things I’d never tasted before.
My only complaint was that I could have done with a little more salt with the samosa but this is just a personal preference.
The mint and yoghurt dip was soooo refreshing! I was putting it on everything just so I could taste it.

Now we were all quite excited for the mains!

One of our party chose Daal Bhaat Massu – Typical Nepalese platter with a choice of chicken, lamb or goat. This platter is served with mustard green spinach, traditional black lentils, tomato achar pickle and rice

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 She had hers with chicken. There were no complaints about this dish. As you can see, it’s a fairly sizable portion and the flavours were just amazing.

Another chose from the sizzling section of the menu. Pole Ko Jhingey – King prawns marinated in a fresh selection of herbs and aromatic spices and delicately roasted in the clay oven

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It was sizzling and steaming as it came to the table!!! Those prawns were delightfully juicy and the onions added a beautiful sweetness to each mouthful. I would never have thought to put onions with prawns but it worked so well.

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She also got the Himalayan Guliyo Roti – Stuffed with coconut, sultanas and cream paste

Now this turned out to be a wonderful surprise!

I’ve never had roti like this before. It was like a delicious dessert.

The cream paste and coconut, along with the sultanas… mmm mmm mmmm!
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I went for a fish dish. Maccha Ko Takari – Barramundi slowly cooked in traditional Nepali spices with subtle hints of ginger, garlic, curry leaves and coriander, all blended to create a home-style Himalayan fish curry

I know I haven’t done this justice with my photo, but this plate was unbelievable.

That fish was just so tender yet so full of flavour. Like a big pillow of barramundi coming to rest in my mouth.
The sauces were gorgeous too and soaked into the rice I’d ordered as a side. If I could have changed anything, I would have added more coriander as I couldn’t really taste it even though it was meant to be in this dish.

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Taste of the Himalayas also have a takeaway menu so I ordered a couple of things to take home to hubby. I hope they don’t get eaten before he gets a chance to taste it…..
On Sunday they do a buffet. What a great way to get to sample all the lovely food they provide!!

The food was amazing, the staff were so lovely and even Chef Dharma came out to speak with us during the evening. I would have no hesitation in recommending this place.

Have you been to Taste of the Himalayas?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!!

Till next we chow…
Namaste

Gusto Ristorante

Today on the Dining Diaries…

Authentic Italian food soothes a raging craving,
Noise levels make it hard to communicate and
Befuddled servers amuse.

gusto-ristorante-norwood-restaurants-9aa4-938x704.jpgDiners today we are at Gusto Ristorante on the very popular Norwood Parade.

I tried to search for a website but couldn’t find one which is surprising as it’s a popular place and the server told me they’d been around for about fourteen years.

I may not have looked well enough though…

It was Friday night when we dined and most of the tables were full of people chatting and generally having a good time. We were shown to a table and given a couple of menus.

The wait staff seem pretty friendly although it did take them a very long time to come back and take our order.

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The first thing I noticed as I entered Gusto’s was the noise level. Maybe that has something to do with my age but it was difficult to speak over the noise of everybody else.

The decor seems simple but elegant maybe even semi industrial as there were exposed wires and cables here and there.

There didn’t seem to be anything overt to suggest we were entering an Italian restaurant, although there were pizza signs out on the street.

While we waited for the waiter to come back for our order, I couldn’t help but look at the food on other people’s tables and most of it looked so good! The serves were very generous (the pasta dishes in particular)

Finally our server returned and we were able to place an order. He dutifully took it and off he went.  About ten minutes later, another waiter comes and stands awkwardly at our table. He’s looking at a folder in his hand, then looking at us, then steps back, then steps forward again. I realised that he was holding someone’s bill.
“Did you ask for your check?” he asks timidly.
“No we haven’t eaten yet” I said smiling. It was a pretty funny moment.

We wanted to sample the food from their wood oven but didn’t particularly want a pizza so hubby chose to have the Calzone. Unfortunately I didn’t get the menu description because it was on the “Specials” menu.

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This picture probably makes it seem smaller than it was as the calzone was quite a decent serve. I tried some of the dough as that is my favourite bit and it was beautifully spongy and doughy on the inside, yet toasty and crunchy on the outside.
The server asked hubby if he wanted any chili’s with it and she brought it out in a bowl with olive oil.
fullsizerenderI hadn’t seen it presented like that before and hubby just fell in love with it!!

It was a great addition to his meal. He said the chili really enhanced the flavours that were already present.

I didn’t try any of the filling but hubby said it was just perfect. I could see that the filling was actually a substantial amount. Sometimes when you order a calzone you end up getting more air inside than filling.

It was satisfying and delicious and just what a calzone should be.

Being a good Italian girl I love my pasta but decided to step away from my usual go to of Fettucini, and ordered the Cannelloni di Ricotta, Spinaci e Zucca – Layers of House Made Pasta Sheets Filled with Pumpkin, Spinach & Ricotta Cheese Topped with Napoletana Sauce & Fresh Basil

fullsizerender1My picture does not do it justice at all. It looks like a mess of tomato sauce but honestly, this dish was just so divine!

I have to say though, the stars of this dish were the pasta and the pasta sauce.
The pasta was cooked beautifully and the menu states that the pasta is “house made”.
I specifically asked the waiter about this because it was so impressive and she told me that the owner’s mother makes all the pasta.
My little mind started ticking over thinking, if she’s making ALL the pasta on her own, for all the business this restaurant does, she must never do anything else in life than make pasta!!!
Later on another server told me that she only makes some of the pasta, but that they get the rest, including the pasta they use for the Cannelloni, from another supplier.

The sauce was a beautiful distraction also. I say distraction because I really didn’t notice the filling. I’m not sure I could taste it, there wasn’t that much of it there, but it didn’t matter to me as every mouthful of that pasta and sauce was enriching my Italian soul.

I’ve read a few reviews of Gusto’s and felt perhaps some were a little harsh. Based on my own experience I would have no hesitation in going there again.
It’s still a very popular place and I figure people wouldn’t keep going if they didn’t like what the restaurant had to offer.

Give me a good wine and a nice plate of pasta and you’ll find one happy woman!

Have you been to Gusto’s?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow…

Mediterranean Ristorante

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We experience “outside” dining inside, thanks to the flies that insisted on joining us,
This place has oil and they ain’t afraid to use it!
Overall great food, great service and some enticing menu items beg us to revisit.

MediteranneancafeBrighton3-3-1024x768.jpgDiners today we were at Meditteranean Ristorante, a cute little place on the corner of  Broadway and Partridge Street in Glenelg.

Our day had been messed up again and we hadn’t had lunch. Although it was before 5pm, they said they were serving dinner which was a huge plus for us.

The staff greeted us as soon as they saw us and were friendly and inviting.
We chose to sit indoors as the sun was a little warm and there were flies everywhere!
Unfortunately, because the doors are open, there were flies all through the inside of the restaurant too and this would have been my biggest negative of the whole experience.
It’s just not comfortable when you have to keep swatting flies away before they land on your food.

The restaurant itself has a really comfortable feel with wood and maroon tones throughout. Some of the furniture looked a little worn but it just added to the comfort feel of the place.


We were given some menus and it was one of those menu’s where the more you read, the more you change your mind on what you’re going to order. There were so many things I could have had on there and in the end, went for a boring option (But one I enjoy) I really want to go back and try some of the other yummy things I saw.

Hubby decided to get an entree and salad. He chose and entree from the specials board.
Char-grilled haloumi pieces topped with fresh prosciutto, rocket, pistachios. Served with warm pita bread. Being an haloumi and prosciutto fan, he just couldn’t go past this dish!

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This was the first dish that came out and look how pretty that looks on the plate! You almost don’t want to eat it for fear of messing it up!

He said it had a wonderful sweetness to it and loved the pistachio’s that were mixed throughout. What you see on the plate there alongside the balsamic glaze is honey! At least that’s what it tasted like and hubby said the flavour combinations of all the elements together were just divine.  This was definitely his favourite.

He also had the Mediterranean Salad – House Special Chicken; Char-grilled marinated chicken served with mixed lettuce, tomato, cucumber, roasted capsicum, olives and feta with a white balsamic dressing, topped with tzatziki and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

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We both thought there was a good amount of chicken on there when the dish came out. The chicken was tender and seasoned well. The salad was dressed really well too and the tzatziki put a Mediterranean flair on the whole thing! His only complaint was that it was a salad and would have liked more lettuce leaves as a filler to make it look a little more substantial.

Boring me went for an old favourite, Fettuccine Ragu – Slow cooked tender braised chunks of beef with onions, carrots, celery and garlic in a rich red wine and tomato sauce.

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They brought out the Parmesan cheese so I was able to sprinkle that on myself. This was a real comforting dish. The pasta was cooked al-dente and the sauce was thick and rich. The beef was braised nice and was tender and flavourful.
My only complaint was that the sauce had a lot of oil in it which had pooled around the bottom of my plate. By the end of the meal I could taste it. It wasn’t overly unpleasant but I just kept thinking about my arteries clogging up.

Throughout our meal different servers came to check that everything was good and asked if we needed anything. They were attentive without being overbearing.
I should also add that the menu had fantastic wine choices too!

I’m really glad we finally got to visit this place as it’s been on our radar for quite some time and I’m eager to go back… maybe on a day where there aren’t too many flies around!
If you do visit, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed and it’s only a hop, skip and a jump from Jetty Rd, Glenelg and the beach so you’ll have plenty to do once your meal is done!

Have you been to Mediterranean Ristorante?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…

Rob Roy Hotel

Today on the Dining Diaries…

Great atmosphere,
Great food and
Great music!

Short and sweet introduction today!
rob-roy-hotel-pda-20140331172210809_lrgDiners today’s review is for the Rob Roy Hotel on Halifax St.

This building is rich in history! It is thought that the original building was built between 1842 and 1850.

Hubby and I have been quite keen to get here and see what the hotel has to offer as we’ve always heard good things about it.

Walking down Halifax St you immediately notice the Al-Fresco eating area and how lovely and serene it looks. I could easily imagine wasting a few hours of the afternoon here on a nice Summer day.

Another great thing about the Rob  Roy is that they have all day dining on Friday, Saturday and Sunday which is perfect for hubby and I who tend to have schedules that mean we eat at strange times of the day.

We got there on a Sunday afternoon about 3.45pm and there were lots of people enjoying the sunshine outside, and quite a few inside too, waiting for the band to start.

The décor inside is pretty simple and clean. Lots of wood, black and copper colours which probably doesn’t show up too much in the photos I took.


There’s definitely a friendly vibe to this place.

The menu was pretty enticing! Lots of good choices and of course, pub favourites.

We decided to start with Prawn Beurre BlancPrawns, chorizo, garlic, onion, smoked paprika, dried chilli beurre blanc & bread

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While this wouldn’t have been my first choice for an entrée, it was a perfect way to start a meal. I was a bit worried that the chilli would make it too hot but they added just enough to give the dish a kick. I loved the pizza style bread the most and used that to mop up that absolutely delicious sauce. I even told hubby he could have all the prawns (although I did taste one and they were perfectly tender and flavourful)  and chorizo if I could have the rest of that bread.

For main I chose the Mexican Bean Burger Mexican chilli bean with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, chipotle mayo & coriander

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I just loved every bite of this burger! The bean patty was so delicious I think I want all my future burgers to like this! The sour cream and guacamole had been added to the perfect proportions and honestly there was nothing I could fault. I would probably have preferred a different style bun but that’s a personal preference..

Hubby chose the 350gram Scotch Fillet cooked medium rare however a waiter came out a little while after I ordered and said they had run out and would he mind if they cooked him the rib eye instead?
He tried not to show his elation and said “Well if I have no choice….” but was beside himself when the waiter walked away…

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When the meal came out, the waiter added that the chef was worried the size of the meat was smaller than expected so he added another piece. This was turning out to be hubby’s lucky day!!!!!
He was absolutely elated with everything on his plate. The meat was beautifully tender, the mash was seasoned beautifully, in fact, he added some of the garlic butter that was on top of his meat to the mash…

We’ve had some really good dining experiences lately and this was no exception.

We even lingered longer than we normally do because the band was playing songs from our era and we enjoyed an extra drink or two while listening to them.

It really was a great afternoon and I’d really encourage people do come on down and visit the Rob Roy Hotel and experience it for themselves.

Have you been to the Rob Roy?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…