Caffé Primo – New York Bar and Grill

Today on the Dining Diaries

We narrowly avoid an explosion of bread
I remember that eggplant is the best vegetable in the universe and
Hubby doesn’t order the steak and survives the experience… barely….

primo2Diners today we were at Caffé Primo … or maybe New York Bar and Grill… or maybe a combination of both. I think it’s actually a Primo’s within New York Bar and Grill. I’m not quite sure.

Being locals, hubby and I have come to this location quite often in the past. The nachos were just THE BEST!! But that was well before it was ever a Primo’s.

We were on limited time today and just wanted a quick bite to eat so as we were in Marion Shopping Centre anyway, we decided to lunch at Primo’s.

primo3We were there quite early so there were only a few tables filled. One of them had about three or four mothers and their children were playing in the play area within the restaurant.
I think this is a really great idea as it gives parents a chance to catch up and great to keep the kiddies entertained too!

I love the feel of this place. Most, if not all of the old New York Bar and Grill interior is still intact. It doesn’t feel like a Primo’s, it feels like something different!

primoWe got to sit in the nice spacious booth and took a look through the menu. I think there’s a pretty good choice on the menu and most things are pretty well priced.

Now it was entirely my fault as I didn’t notice on the front of the menu that it says a garlic bread is complimentary with all lunch meals. It’s there, right at the top of the menu, but I just didn’t notice it.

I almost ordered a bruschetta to have before my main but I’m so glad I didn’t when I saw the garlic bread/mini garlic pizza coming out.
I think, even though it is clear, it would be a good idea for the servers to mention that the diners will also get a garlic bread with their meal when they go to place their order.

primonybg3In any case, it was really good!

It was just like a mini garlic pizza!

Great toasted focaccia with liberal amount of garlic butter on there.


Probably best to stay clear of it if there’s to be hope of any kissing afterwards though!

Primo’s has a reputation of bringing out food quickly and today was no exception.
I thought both dishes looked pretty sensational when they came out.

Hubby chose the Chef’s Salad. I wasn’t sure I was hearing right when he ordered it. I didn’t even have to try to persuade him to get something non steak like, he did it all on his own! And I think he made a really good choice as it looked really really good.

The menu describes it as following: Tender pieces of chargrilled chicken with pan seared garlic prawns, smoked salmon, avocado, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, onion, capsicum & lettuce with a balsamic seeded mustard dressing.
He’d asked for the dressing on the side.
So how did it taste? He said it was good and fresh. The dressing was quite creamy and he liked that.
He looked a bit wistful after eating it for a bit and said it didn’t have what he’d expect a good salad to have – and that is cheese, olives and bacon…
Personally I think he’s speaking as someone who normally says “salad is not a meal” and no matter that there were prawns, chicken and salmon in there, I think he felt like it wasn’t a real meal.
I think it looked amazing and would be a great choice for someone wanting a healthier option.

I chose to have a pasta – Fettuccine is my go to pasta – and I chose the Melanzane sauce.
Eggplant, mushroom & roasted capsicum tossed with caramelised onion in a basil & garlic napolitana sauce.

Honestly there’s not much I could fault about this. The pasta was cooked perfectly, the eggplant was absolutely divine. Every ingredient in there is or became my favourite thing. The one teeny complaint is that the Parmesan cheese, if that’s what it was, was below par. It looked and tasted like the “Parmesan” cheese that you can buy from un-refrigerated packets in the grocery store. It didn’t spoil the dish for me though as I devoured that thing and I was really really hoping hubby wasn’t going to ask me for some.
He kept looking into my plate saying “That’s not fair, I didn’t get olives” but I didn’t get olives either, he was eyeing off my eggplant.

When we left I was really pretty full and the place had filled up quite fast.

Primo’s, it may not be fancy but it’s one of those places that will rarely let you down!

Have you been to Primo’s at New York Bar & Grill Marion?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…

The Union

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We’re Knock, Gnoch, Gnocching on heavens door,
I have Coriander; that wonderful burst of flavour that says “surprise I’m here!”
We experience beef two ways – Tender and/or chewy with a touch of gristle.

union-hotelHello fellow diners, today we were at The Union Hotel – That wonderful little pub on Waymouth Street in Adelaide’s CBD.

It was about 2pm on a Saturday afternoon so I called ahead to make sure they were still serving. We had come here a couple of weeks ago on a Sunday only to find they don’t open on a Sunday! That was a bit of a shock…

After calling I learned they were serving lunch till 3pm so that was good for us! When we got there we found there was only one other table being used.

I thought that was a bit sad because it looked like a really nice place. It was a clean and comfortable dining area and the staff seemed friendly and ready to help.

We sat inside although they do have a nice outdoor eating area too – too bad there’s a carpark that adjoins it though I’m sure it would bring nice shade in Summer.

We decided to start with a bowl of wedges because we like eating wedges!
Unfortunately, although the wedges themselves were crisp and fresh, the amount of chili sauce and sour cream did not match the amount of wedges!

Hubby and I made it work though by agreeing I wouldn’t have any chili sauce or sour cream.
It’s called compromise – Next time it’s my turn!

For main, hubby ordered Chilli Chorizo Gnocchi- Pan Fried Potato Dumplings, Chorizo, Capsicum, Garlic, Sofrito, Black Olives, Baby Spinach & Aged Parmesan

I was a little shocked but glad he was exploring foods he wouldn’t normally order.

I went for the Beef & Cashew Stir Fry – Asian Vegetables, Garlic, Chilli & Coriander

The food came out relatively quickly. I was a bit surprised that they didn’t come to check how our meals were going, given that they had so few people in the dining room. It did feel a bit lonely out there I have to say! Glad there was music playing….

Both dishes looked pretty magnificent when they came out.

Hubby’s gnocchi was just so delicious!

I even got to try one!

It was like a little pillow of softness in my mouth.

They were just so tasty.
It’s not always easy to get gnocchi right and these were really cooked well.

Hubby really enjoyed the strong spicy and delicious flavours.

He would have wished to have had a bit of a bigger serve but that’s only because we like to eat big!

I rushed taking this picture of mine because I just wanted to dig into it!  It smelled so good!

The first bites were just magical. Tender beef with glorious explosions of coriander! I’d forgotten that coriander had been mentioned in the menu description and was pleasantly surprised.

The other thing that was mentioned on the menu were cashew nuts and unfortunately I don’t think there were enough of these but maybe that’s because I really really really love cashews!

The more I ate, the more I realised the meat was a bit hit and miss. Some pieces were juicy tender while others were tough and chewy and a couple even had gristle on them.
It didn’t stop me from enjoying this dish though as the sauces and spices really made for a great taste and it’s not something I usually order.

I’ve been to The Union after work a few times and have always found the staff to be friendly. They have pizza specials through the week and a few times when I’ve been there they’ve even brought out pizza samples to encourage people to order them.
What I ate seemed pretty good and I would probably get one if I found myself there during the week.

All in all I would recommend the Union if you’re wanting a nice casual meal and I’m sure I’ll be back in the not too distant future!

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

Till next we chow…


Today on the Dining Diaries,

The “specials” mustn’t have been special enough to mention,
One person’s “substantial” is another person’s entree size and
I’m still chasing the moussaka dream….

FullSizeRender (21).jpgDiners today we were at Ellenika Traditional Greek Taverna on the Marina Pier at Glenelg. This location has had a few changes in ownership over the last few years and I had been interested to come and visit since it became Ellenika.

It really was a gorgeous Spring day in Adelaide today and the Glenelg pier was streaming with people. We were quite early for lunch and the first thing I noticed as we walked into this establishment was the Greek music playing. I loved that! As I’ve always mentioned, if you’re going to pick a cuisine, you should also have that nation’s music playing.

The restaurant is decorated in the usual Greek “Blue and White” although I didn’t seem to capture that in the photos below. I thought the atmosphere was pretty good and I was eager to have a look through the menu.

Now I had searched for a website online but all that really came up was a Facebook page. That Facebook page however, did show a menu and on that menu was Moussaka!! I’ve been dying to have a good moussaka for quite some time. Every time I order it, it’s never what I expect its going to be.
When we were handed the menu’s today though, there was no moussaka on there! I must admit, I was a bit disappointed. I asked the waitress when she came to take our order if they had Moussaka. She checked with the kitchen and said they’d run out last night and were prepping some for tonight – so – no Moussaka for me right now. Ah well.

There were lots of yummy sounding things on the menu though and I even tried a Greek wine which ended up being quite pleasant.

After we’d ordered, I noticed the specials board and kind of wished I’d changed my selections.  I don’t know why the waitress didn’t mention them before we ordered.

As there was no Moussaka and I felt like eggplant, I chose the Imam Baildi – Whole Eggplant filled with caramelised onion and tomato oven baked and served with a side of tzatziki and continental bread.
Let me draw your attention to the fact that this says “Whole Eggplant”. This dish was only $14 though so it made me think it wasn’t going to be that big. I asked the waitress and she said “Oh no, it’s a main and it’s quite substantial!”
OK… I took her word for it but as I wasn’t quite sure, we ordered a trio of dips for entree and a serve of spanokopita.

Everything on the menu was very reasonably priced in my opinion – in fact, surprisingly so.

When the entree’s came out I thought they looked delicious! The dips (from left) were potato garlic, fish roe blended with lemon juice and olive oil and tzatziki.
All the dips were divine!!! Very creamy and full of substance and flavour. The pita was warmly toasted and it was all very lovely and filling.

The spanokopita was equally delicious. Flaky pastry surrounded a warm and flavour filled filling. It had a nice strong spinach taste and was sitting on a bed of sweet tomato sauce which I mopped up with some of that pita!
Both plates were very delicious and hubby and I wondered if we’d now ordered too much because we still had our mains to come!

For main, hubby chose Souvlaki Hirino – Two skewers of tender pork fillet, marinated and skewered cooked on the chargrill and dressed with lemon oil. Served with roasted lemon potatoes and Mediterranean vegetables.

FullSizeRender (26)
It looked pretty good! Hubby was pretty much happy with everything although he said if he had to be picky, the pork could have been marinated more and it was perhaps a little dry. However the flavours were amazing and he enjoyed eating it.

My substitute Moussaka dish was the Imam Baildi as previously mentioned

FullSizeRender (27)
Now I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t look like a whole eggplant to me and remember this is a main. The waitress specifically said it was “substantial” which was her exact word. I know I can be a big eater but this is not a substantial meal. And it certainly isn’t a “whole” eggplant as the menu suggests. Where’s the rest of my eggplant?

Once I got over the size I really enjoyed this dish. It had a strong eggplant taste and the bread was perfectly toasted continental bread. I could have done without so much tzatziki however that would have left almost nothing on the plate.

In summary, the things I’ve “picked” on have been small. Let me say again, the prices here are really good and the staff are super friendly and really want you to enjoy their food.
I would have no hesitation in recommending this place if you want to have a Greek experience! Well done Ellenkia, we’ll be back!

Have you eaten at Ellenika?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow….

Yelp – Food Porn Tour

img_6945Diners today I was very lucky to be included in a Yelp Event. The Yelp Adelaide FoodPorn Tour!

It was my first Yelp event and I was bursting out of my skin with excitement! All I knew is that we would be meeting at Nola’s. I didn’t know how many people were invited or where the dining destinations were. It was all to be revealed on the day!

So with a great deal of enthusiasm and perhaps a little nervousness I went down to Nola’s and met a whole bunch of lovely people.
As one of the others said, we are bunch of people from all walks of life with one thing that binds us all – We love food!

Before we started food tasting, we were given a basic cell phone photography tutorial. It was pretty good and I picked up a tip or two!

I tell you it was the hardest thing, watching the food being photographed by my fellow foodies and not being able to tuck into any of it right away! It was almost torture to be able to smell it! It looked and smelt sooooo good!
Nola’s had prepared a few tasting plates for us. I wasn’t sure what they all were but everything I had was pretty tasty and as with most of the places we visited today, I’m eager to go back and enjoy different items off the menu at my own leisure.

The baked oyster was probably the most memorable thing for me. I don’t normally eat oysters and if I do they’re “Kilpatrick” style.
This oyster was called a “New Orleans Baked Oyster straight outa Comte”. It had Pecorino, romano and other cheeses, herbs and spices and it was really delicious! It had a wonderful texture and by that I mean, I couldn’t taste or feel the slimy oyster going down my throat…. It was something I hadn’t tasted before and I really enjoyed it.
Below are a few more pictures of the food we sampled at Nolas

The bottom right was one of the desserts we sampled – Banana Foster: Sweet waffle with whiskey cream, caramelised banana, parfait and toffee. The best thing about this dish was the whiskey cream soaked waffle! I could have had a whole plate of that to myself! As we were sharing with about twenty others I had to show some restraint…
Thank you Nola’s, I look forward to coming back!

yelp8Next place on the Food Porn Tour was Culshaws Restaurant
This was a very different place than Nola’s! Immediately we knew we’d walked into an elegant place! The staff were ready to serve and gave us a brief explanation saying their main focus is to showcase South Australian produce and they even serve their version of the iconic South Australian Pie Floater! We were lucky to get a taste of that today!


This was really a lovely dish but you had to make sure you had the elements all together. The beef was wonderfully thick and flavourful. If it wasn’t paired with the pea puree it may have been a little dry but coupled together it was a fantastic match.
I did try the pea puree on it’s own and didn’t enjoy it as much as it had a very strong lemon taste but together with the pie it worked a treat! It wasn’t what I was expecting and was a very refined version of our pie floater!

Our third stop was SOI.38. If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time you’ll know that I don’t normally have Asian foods. Not really for any reason, it’s just not the first thing I think of when I want to have something to eat – So going to SOI.38 today was a treat!
I love the wooden floors and the black and yellow decor gave it a funky feel. I was really excited to see what we were going to eat here.


I was right to be excited!!! I almost couldn’t wait till my fellow tour members finished photographing the food to be able to dig in!! It looked and smelt so good.
The first three dishes we were given to sample were Pork Short Ribs with garlic, pepper, chili and spring onion – It was crispy, flavourful and hot!!
The second was Street Style Mota Sriracha Chicken Drumettes. They also had lots of flavour and were hot!!! Good dishes to clear the sinuses!
The third dish was Flat rice rolls with chicken. I heard a few people say that they thought the flat rice was too thick but I actually liked this and it was a nice breather from the hot food I had just eaten. Pictures below

We were brought out more dishes to share – Green chicken curry and Crispy curried rice ball salad.

I loved the coconut taste in the curry. Both of these were again, full of flavour and also hot!
Out of all the places we visited today, this is the one place I’m most eager to go back to.
There were a few more dishes that came out that looked sooooo good but unfortunately we were already late for our fourth stop so we didn’t really get to try them. SOI.38, I will be back!!


Fourth Stop was Hide N Seek Thai Bar.

This place has only been around for about twelve weeks. I loved the feel of this place as we walked in. It had a kind of Industrial but also warm homely feel.

We had the upstairs part so I took a photo that hopefully will give you an idea of what it feels like in there.

At Hide n Seek we were given a sample platter that had four dishes on there.
Green Papaya salad, Mince Chicken Salad, Crispy chicken wings and Sticky rice.

I Loooove anything with rice in it so I was eager to try the Sticky Rice. I put my spoon in there and noticed it was almost rock hard! My spoon was able to stand upright in the bowl! At first I thought, “Oh no, this isn’t going to be good” but I was really pleasantly surprised and this dish ended up being my favourite of the four. The other dishes were not to my personal preference but they were done well and I would not discourage anyone from coming here to try them! We all have different tastes after all.
The photo below shows the four different dishes we sampled.

The staff here were really friendly and were enthusiastic to tell us about their new business and answer any questions we may have had for them. I really hope this business does well and takes off as I think it will be a great little place in Adelaide.


yelp18Last stop on the Yelp Food Porn Tour was The Propoganda Club. This place was soooo elegant and plush!

As you turn into it from the street there is a staircase leading down and a glorious chandelier to light your way!

There are a few different areas downstairs. We were put in an area where you would probably sit and have drinks. It was all soooo rich! I felt like I was on the set of an American Soap Opera.
The lighting was dim, the music was smooth and even the people in there looked like they were older and richer. Not to say that they were, but that’s what it feels like when you’re in there. You feel very special!


The staff were VERY quick to say that although it’s got a glamorous feel, they are friendly and down to earth and they really were!

They told us that their menu is designed for sharing plates.

They brought the food out and unfortunately I wasn’t able to sample any of it but I did take a couple of pictures and it looked sooooo good!!! The desserts especially looked really really good.


What I DID have was an espresso martini! It was the first time I’ve ever had one though I’ve seen them about before and always wondered what they tasted like.

Being an Australian with Italian background, I’m used to a strong espresso taste and have often taken an espresso without sugar before.

To me, this tasted like a cold espresso. It was soooo delicious!! I could have had a couple in quick succession but probably better I didn’t because although I couldn’t taste the alcohol, I felt it’s influence not too long after!!

I’d love to come back to The Propaganda Club and this time try some of the food. I just really loved that atmosphere and loved how the staff made you feel pampered and special.

If you have read this entry up until this point I have to thank you!! Although it was longer than I normally post I did want to write a little bit about each place we visited and share a few photos that I took along the way.

I really want to thank Yelp Adelaide for having this opportunity to experience foods and places that I normally wouldn’t.

If you end up visiting any of these places or you have in the past, I’d love to hear about your experience!

Till next we chow…

Benjamin on Franklin

Today on the Dining Diaries we find out that…

A bagel trumps a brioche bun when it comes to burgers
I don’t like being called “darling” by someone I don’t know, even if I am rather sweet & darling and
Sitting next to a window that looks into the kitchen is like driving past an accident – You can’t look away even though you know you may not like what you see.

20150122_122906.jpgDiners today we were at Benjamin on Franklin. This is not to be confused with “The Franklin Hotel” which is also on Franklin Street in the CBD.

It was a lovely warm “end of Winter” day and the Benjamin makes good use of that by having indoor, outdoor and an atrium eating area. We chose to sit in the atrium in relative comfort but still being able to see the sun outside and feel the fresh breeze tickle our skin.

It took us a little while to get to our table though because there was no staff ready to greet us as we came in and we stood around like lost sheep. Eventually I asked if we just take our own menu’s and find a table ourselves and the young girl said “Oh no darling, I’ll take those and show you to a table”. I couldn’t really blame her as she was busy behind the counter when we came in but surely they saw that we looked lost and someone could have told us that they’ll be with us in a minute? And “darling”??? Yes I’m rather sweet but unless you’re older than me or my husband, please don’t call me darling. In her defense, I’m sure she was just trying to be nice.

I loved the decor of this place – I’m not sure what it’s called but there was wooden furniture and exposed brick.

ben8We were seated next to a window that looked into the kitchen.
At first I was really excited, but then I became a little anxious that I was going to see something I didn’t like. I didn’t have to worry though as everything was going pretty smoothly in there. In fact we saw lots of yummy food and wondered if we’d made the right choices ordering what we did! The parmigiana’s alone were massive and there were a lot of them going out! They seemed to have a really good system in there.

ben5We started off with a duo of dips.

The menu didn’t say what they were and when they were brought to our table we weren’t told either which was a little disappointing.

I did ask when they came to take away the empty plates and was told they were roasted capsicum/semi dried tomato and a corn salsa one.

I preferred the corn salsa while hubby liked the capsicum dip so that worked out well!!

They were both really tasty and had a lovely consistency.

The bread was also warm and toasty.
A really nice way to start a meal.

There was groovy jazz music playing while we ate which also really gave the place a nice atmosphere. I was glad we’d chosen to come here today.

Now onto the mains! The menu was pretty good in this place. While they did have a lot of pub favourites, they put their own spin on things. For example, I chose to have the Corn Fritter Bagel Burger. I LOVE bagels! And yay, finally a place that will give you a burger and NOT put it in a brioche bun! I  also thought a corn fritter burger would be something a little different and interesting so that’s why I chose that.

It turned out to be a really good choice! The first picture is an overhead shot and in the second, I was trying to show the corn fritter.
If I was to say anything negative, and it’s only minor and probably personal, I found that it was difficult to eat as there were two corn fritters in there. But that is really a minor thing and ultimately I like to have more rather than less… but just be warned if you eat this, you may have to pull it apart. I LOVED the bagel. It was everything a bagel should be. This was really a pleasure to eat.

Hubby decided to go for an old favourite, Salt and Pepper Squid.


He went through a phase where he ordered this all the time but it’s now been a while…
He said everything was seasoned really nicely. That round thing on the bottom left of the photo is actually a caramelised lemon. It looked interesting on his plate but hubby said that it felt a bit slimy and that made it difficult to squeeze over his food.

All in all, I was pretty impressed with this place even if I did get called darling, and would be eager to go back and try different things off their menu. I thought the prices were reasonable, all the staff we interacted with were friendly and there was definitely good stuff happening in the kitchen!!

Have you been to Benjamin on Franklin?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Til next we chow.