The Strand

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We enter with low expectations and are wowed by great food.
It may look impressive when a server appears to memorise your order but it doesn’t mean they will actually remember it and
Big juicy prawns make me a happy girl

FullSizeRender[4]Diners today we were at The Strand which is located on Jetty Rd at Glenelg.
I don’t know why I’ve never been here. Like many people in Adelaide I’ve walked past it many times as I stroll Jetty Rd but to me it’s just been another cafe so we just kept on walking by.

Today was different and hubby and I actually stopped in to get a quick bite before he went off to work.

Our first impressions were that it seemed like a funky place. We walked inside and were met by a server who gave us some menus and followed us back outside. We decided to sit in the “outdoor” area because the heaters were on and it just looked comfortable. Plus FullSizeRender[3]we could engage in a bit of people watching which is always interesting.

I liked the decor.

Colourful bench seats and wood slat walls.

We immediately felt right at home!

First impressions of the menu were pretty good. There were some good choices on there but probably pretty much cafe fare. I was mildly annoyed that the server took what felt like forever to come back and actually take our order. In fact, while we were sitting there hubby got a google alert, notifying him that it knew he was at The Strand and perhaps he’d like to write a review? It also gave him the opportunity to read what other people had said about it and a recurring theme were those who were sitting outside felt like they’d been forgotten about.

Eventually someone did come to take our order. I always get a bit nervous when they  memorise it. I mean seriously, I know you can do it but I’m really not going to be offended if you get a pen and paper out.
We gave him our orders and I also asked for a glass of wine and off he went with our order firmly stuck in his mind. Or was it?

While we waited a long time to put our order in, we didn’t have to wait long for the food to come out and it did not disappoint!

Hubby ordered “Agnello Alla Griglia” Lamb Back Strap marinated in chermmoula spices, served with Kipfler potatoes and yoghurt sauce (chermmoula spices are Spanish spices including parsley, coriander, garlic & lemon)

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FullSizeRenderI couldn’t decide what photo to use so I’ve added them both!

Hubby was very excited when this plate was put in front of him. He was surprised that it wasn’t served as one piece however he said it was just delicious.  The lamb back strap was cooked perfectly and just tasted so good.
It really was beautifully presented.
The potatoes were good and he loved that there was a generous portion. He also, unexpectedly, loved the crispy bits of sweet potato! All in all, this dish was a winner.

I felt like I hadn’t had pasta for a while so I went for the “Pappardelle Gamberi”. Fresh ribbon pasta with pan friedprawns, springonion,babyspinach in a rosesauce

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I’m not sure why I haven’t captured it in this picture but there were six juicy prawns in there!! What a lovely surprise!! They were so full of flavour and so meaty I was almost full just after eating the prawns!
Oh and what I haven’t mentioned was when I was looking on the menu, I was trying to pick a pasta that didn’t have a cream sauce. I asked the waiter if there was any cream in the rose sauce and he said yes a little, but also said he could ask the chef to make it without! So that was a plus for me!
And I really loved the flavours that were through this sauce. I enjoyed this dish a lot!! The pasta was so well cooked and just exactly what I’d been looking for today.
They also left a nice little dish of Parmesan on the table so I was able to keep adding as I went along. YUM!

One little disappointing thing was that I was halfway through my meal when I noticed I didn’t get my glass of wine. You see, memorising is not always a good thing!!
I asked another server who was close by about it and she went to get it right away. I’m not really complaining about it as when we went to pay for our food I noticed they hadn’t charged us for the wine so it’s all good in the end… and it was a lovely drop I have to say!

So there you have it, there’s our review of The Strand.
My recommendation? If you, like me, have walked past it a million times and not stopped in, why not give it a go? Perhaps don’t sit outside if you’re in a hurry… but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in the food.

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

Till next we chow…

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The Rezz Hotel

Today on the Dining Diaries…

The definition of “large” needs a redefinition,
I’m presented with Beef Cheeks to die for and
Lovely staff but they clearly have one eye fixed on the clock.

FullSizeRenderDiners today we found ourselves at The Rezz Hotel in Newton.

I can’t tell you how many times this place has been recommended to us and it was well worth the visit!

It’s situated near the pretty Thorndon Park Reserve that I used to run through quite regularly when I lived in the area.

I’m not sure if it’s been refurbished lately but it looked quite modern, new and clean as we walked in. There’s a cafe and a Bistro area and hubby and I turned to go to the Bistro.

There seemed to be a lot of (older) people in there including a couple of big groups. I liked the big open windows onto to greenery outside. It just gives you a nice feeling.
Hubby and I were hoping for one of the booths but although the booth tables were free, they weren’t made up so we just sat at the table we were brought to.

I had already looked through the menu online so I had an idea of what I wanted but hubby still needed some time. I had called ahead, and asked what time they serve lunch to and was told 2pm. I’m sure the website said 2.30pm. In any case, It was 1.45pm when we arrived and at 1.52pm, the waitress had been to our table twice and was tapping her pen on her pad. I understand there are times for a reason but we were told we had until 2pm to give an order and felt like we were a little under pressure to choose!

In the end, I ordered some Beef Cheeks and hubby went for a Greek Salad and some Pork Medallions.
We listened to the easy listening music while we waited and watched as the server diffused a situation at one of the group tables. I thought given the amount of people in the room she did really well.

We probably waited a little longer than I would have liked but my food did NOT disappoint!

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Beef Cheeks – Slow cooked in Marsala, served with herb mash, broccolini and baby carrots.
Well every little morsel of this was just divine. I even gave some to hubby because I could not believe how good it tasted and wanted him to try some.
You can’t see it in my picture but it was actually a really decent size piece of meat. The last time I ordered beef cheeks, most of it was fat. It was really disappointing but this one was just one delicious mouthful of meat after another. So tender, just melting effortlessly in my mouth. I tried not to show it too much as I know hubby was a little disappointed in the size of his dish. The vegetables were fresh and slightly firm and the herb mash along with that sauce was just so beautiful. I could eat that every day!! Superb.

We were going to share the Greek Salad but as I felt hubby needed it more, I only took a bit to taste.

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It certainly looks very colourful but the menu specifically states that there’s a vinaigrette but neither hubby or I could taste any dressing. The elements look kind of shiny, like there’s some dressing on them, but there really wasn’t. However, having said that, the elements in the dish were very fresh and tasty on their own so it wasn’t awful, it was just lacking.

And now to hubby’s Pork Medallion….
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I should have mentioned earlier, that when we were looking for a starter, or something to have with our mains, the server said “oh they’re really big serves, you probably won’t need anything else
If you enjoy food, you know you can never trust anyone who says that and that’s why hubby was really disappointed when he saw his dish.
The menu description read – Pork Medallions – Cooked with mushroom, brandy and green peppercorns and cream sauce, served with crushed rosemary, kipler potatoes and spinach.
As to what was on his plate, hubby said everything was perfect, even the spinach. He thought the sauce was really nice and a great accompaniment to the meat and loved the thin slivers of mushroom.
Unfortunately it just didn’t seem to fill him and if we hadn’t been specifically told “they’re big serves” he maybe wouldn’t have been so disappointed. I’m sure a few extra potatoes on the plate or if we’d ordered a side of wedges, it would have made all the difference but he felt like he hadn’t really eaten.

Still, even after all that, everything we ate, apart from the missing dressing on the salad, was just perfection and I’m really looking forward to coming here again and trying their  Moroccan Lamb dish! Yum.

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

Till next we chow…

Rostrevor Pizzeria

Today on the Dining Diaries…

A Surf n’ Turf is really a Turf with a touch of Surf
Boiled veggies  (including cabbage) in water constitutes Minestrone and
Wonderfully welcoming staff and great aromas over promise food quality expectations.

FullSizeRender[4].jpgDiners today we found ourselves at Rostrevor Pizzeria. I used to live in the area but have never been here before! In fact, I’m not even sure I knew it existed and that’s why I was further surprised to learn that they’ve been around since 1988!
Since that time their restaurant has been featured in some local newspapers and they’ve won a few awards which they proudly display on one of their walls.

Hubby and I parked and as we approached the restaurant, we could already see the staff inside, eagerly looking out at us. It was like they couldn’t wait for us to come and try their food.  We opened the doors and immediately the gorgeous smells hit us. Pizza, tomato, garlic, basil…. everything you identify with Italian cooking.
I’m also pretty sure everyone that was working there greeted us! It was such a lovely welcome! It made me feel like these guys have a good working atmosphere and they’re proud of their food and what they produce and really want to share it with their customers.

I really, really, really wanted to like this place. I really really did.

We sat in the dining area which is separate to the “take away” area. We were first in the dining room but there were a few other tables of people by the time we left.
I asked the server a few questions about the menu and she was pretty knowledgeable.

Because I wasn’t too hungry and it was cold, I decided to go for the Minestrone and a serve of bruschetta.
Hubby chose the Surf n’ Turf.
Maybe if we’d chosen pizza’s this review would have been completely different but we’d had pizza just recently and didn’t particularly feel like having it again….

They did have one of my favourite wines on the menu so that was one thing I enjoyed!

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The restaurant is pretty comfortable to sit in and had a bit of a modern feel.

Not really very Italian and in my opinion, an Italian restaurant should always have Italian music playing.

This one didn’t have any music playing and the lack of background noise was quite noticeable.

The description of the Minestrone on the menu says “Thick Italian Vegetable Soup”
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Honestly, I wanted to like this sooooo bad. It wasn’t thick. It says “vegetable” so I wasn’t really expecting beef but I always put a bit of beef in my minestrone soup. There was no pasta in this either. Instead, what I got was some boiled veggies, including cabbage minus salt.

Ok, no time for tears, I really love bruschetta and was looking forward to this one as the server has confirmed that it was just toasted continental bread drizzled with olive oil, with tomato and basil on top. Perfect. Just as a good authentic bruschetta should be.

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The bread was nice and toasty but sadly that’s where the compliments end. I couldn’t taste the olive oil although I think I did see that some had been drizzled on there. The tomatoes weren’t “sweet”. In fact they barely had any taste but that could be a seasonal thing.. but the most unforgivable thing was the lack of fresh basil. I just could not taste it. I could see green flecks of something on my tomato. Was it just not fresh? Not basil? I don’t know!! But again, I was really disappointed and it’s such a shame as the service was pretty good.

Now onto Hubby’s Turf with a touch of Surf.

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Now it’s not like we order this regularly so maybe our expectations are wrong. See the two little prawns on top of the meat? That was the “surf” part.
The meat was ok. Beautifully tender in parts and full of gristle in others. I didn’t mind the taste of it but the heavy garlic sauce on top was a bit of a turn off.

I couldn’t see any pizza’s coming out from where I was but there was a fairly regular stream of people coming in to pick up pizzas. Maybe that’s where we went wrong… maybe we really should have had a pizza…

Unfortunately, even though there is obviously a lot of history here and the staff were so very lovely, I can’t see us ever going back to try any of the pizzas but please, if you’ve been here and have a different experience, I’d love to hear it!

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

Till next we chow….

BarZaar

Today on the Dining Diaries…

A Lamb Shank creates food envy,
A wonderful server makes us feel right at home and
Good food at a reasonable price right in Unley!

BarZaar

Diners today we were at BarZaar on Unley Rd and what a good little place this turned out to be!

We had seen this place popping up on our Facebook news feed and were actually thinking it was referring to another establishment. I’m so glad we looked into it a little further today.

The first thing you notice as you walk in is that it’s like an older type dining room with a modern feel. There’s lots of orange and brown colours. I was still trying to work out if I FullSizeRender[4]liked it or not when a nice young server came and spoke with us.

He gave us some menus and said he’d be back to take our order. He was super attentive, informative and helpful and made us feel welcome and comfortable.

From our table we could see the outdoor area and noticed this cute little herb garden. There was a sign there saying the chef grows his herbs there but anyone is welcome to take what they need as well. How cool is that!!

It was way too cold to consider eating in that outdoor area today but I bet it would be a great place to sit in the Summer time… if you don’t mind traffic noise that is.

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There is some association with the SANFL Sturt Football Club but we didn’t really find out anymore about that. If you’re supporter, you probably already know about this place!

I was happy when they brought bread to our table.
It seems fewer and fewer places are doing that.
Not only did they bring bread, but it was crunchy and had those delicious sesame seeds on top.
Yum!

We decided to share a starter. Hubby chose the Lamb Kofta. I must admit, I was too busy faffing about to see it on the menu so I wasn’t really sure what he’d ordered but I thought it would probably be yummy.

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And they really were yummy!!! They brought out a sauce to have with them. I thought it was like a tzatziki but hubby thought it was more like sour cream and chives. I think I was right. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a menu online so I can’t confirm it.
Either way, these were really delicious. They were flavourful, held their shape and just glorious when dipped in that refreshing sauce!

For main I thought I’d try the Lamb Shank! It’s been ages since I’ve had one but what sold it to me was that it was served with couscous.

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It looked soooooo good when it came out! As soon as I put my fork to it, morsels of lamb fell away from the bone. It was exquisite! I could see hubby was getting jealous… I’ll get to that in a moment. Not only was the shank really well cooked, but the couscous was just so delicious! It had bits of eggplant, capsicum, onion and I think there were sultanas in there too? Such a beautiful combination of flavours. I could have had a plate full of only that!

Hubby was pretty food conservative today and went for a chicken parmigiana.

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Even though he had this pretty and colourful plate in front of him, he kept looking over at mine. I pinched one of his chips and thought they were really seasoned well!! Nice, crispy and were just tasty.
He said the meat was well cooked and there was certainly a generous amount of cheese on there! The salad was also really well dressed. I just can’t eat bits of lettuce and tomato if there’s no dressing on them but so many cafe’s do that!

Even though he was eating his meal, he was still eyeing off mine and jealousy can be a cruel master so I let him clean my shank bone. What a good wifey am I.
He eagerly took it and got the remaining bits of meat off.

BarZaar is not some fancy place, it’s an every day bistro on Unley rd and if you’re looking for a good honest meal, you just can’t go past it!

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

Till next we chow…

 

The Rex Hotel

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We experience feel good “feels” as good as a nanna’s hug
We find the salad bar is more like a boiled veggie buffet and
Great food surprises and delights!
d66b3d7ce9584a6ff41e7ea3eb0ccfdc_featured_v2Diners today we find ourselves at The Rex Hotel.

To be honest I’m not sure I knew this place existed. Hubby suggested it as we were in the area and had a ravenous hunger, so we stopped in.

It seemed to be quite busy when we stepped in. Looking at the other diners I’d have to say the average age was probably about fifty five.
Still, there was something very embracing about the Rex Hotel. It was as comforting as going to nanna’s house when you were a kid. I almost expected someone to whip up a secret stash of boiled sweets and hand them to me as I walked through the door.

It was a very relaxed atmosphere and the staff and other diners were just so friendly. We even struck up a conversation with the couple dining next to us. It just felt like we were at a family or work function! Comfortable and predictable.

Hubby and I were soon perusing through the menu and I was impressed with the selection and the prices.

We ordered our food and made our way up with hopeful expectation to the salad bar. I know I’ve said negative things about salad bars in the past but there’s always that expectation isn’t there? Maybe this one will be a good one? Sometimes you do get lucky.
Today was not a lucky day.

It wasn’t awful, probably just boring. Some peas and carrots, broccoli etc. There was even some sliced potatoes in cream. I’m pretty sure it was supposed to be scalloped potatoes but it tasted like over boiled potatoes in fresh cream. Even though this part of our dining experience was not great, the meals we ordered seemed like they came from another kitchen!

I ordered Hokkien stir fry with added prawns.

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I could barely contain myself when this was put in front of me as it smelt so good!!! The added prawns were $6 extra and there were six of them on my plate. I guess that’s a pretty good deal.
They tasted soooo good! So juicy and full of garlic goodness that disgusted impressed my family for the rest of the day
The rest of the dish was pretty good. I particularly liked the snow peas as they just added so much flavour and freshness to each mouthful.

Hubby, the steak man, couldn’t go past the 500 gram Graziers Rump. It just looked so massive when it came to the table.

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The size of it actually is what initiated conversation with our neighbouring table.
To be fair, hubby did share some with me and I’m so glad because it was just so flavourful and tender. A beautiful cut of meat!

I hope it’s clear that although this hotel is clearly catering to an older crowd, I would happily come here again as the food (apart from the average salad bar) was great and the people, including the other diners, were just friendly. There’s a sense of familiarity about this place.

Like you’re stepping back to a time where things were simpler.

No doubt, hubby and I will visit this hotel again in the near future!

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

Till next we chow…