Papparich

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We’re lured by the promise of a free Roti,
We encounter an ordering system I can get behind and
There’s a reason why a “comfort zone” exists…

Diners today we were at Papparich on Gouger st in Adelaide.
We just happened to be walking past and saw some interesting dishes and happy people enjoying each other’s company and thought, well why not?
Hubby and I aren’t adverse to Asian style dishes however it’s normally not our first choice but we saw a sign that said we could get a free roti if we downloaded the Papparich app and, well, everyone likes a bargain right?

First thoughts on entering this restaurant is that the workers seemed rushed off their feet! We were sat at a table that we weren’t too happy about as it was right where the servers were rushing in and out from. Hubby asked if we could sit along the bench but we were told, “no, that’s not for you, that’s for banquets only”.
There were a few single tables with benches too so hubby said, “how about the one on the end?” only to hear “no that table hasn’t been cleared yet” as a reply. We looked at each other because it sure looked like it had been cleaned but we got the message, she didn’t want us to sit anywhere else but at THIS particular table.

She didn’t explain the ordering system to us, or ask if we’d been there before to know how the ordering worked. We soon found the notepad though that listed the instructions…
Make your selection from the menu, write down the menu code on the notepad, then press the buzzer and a waitress will  be there in seconds to take your order.
I have to say it’s pretty efficient and means you can take your time ordering what you want without worrying about the waitress coming every so often to see if you’ve made up your mind yet.

We could see the kitchen on our right (pic on left) and the unattainable bench seats on our left (pic on right)

We looked through the menu and chose a few things. We did also download the app to get the free roti. It was kind of helpful to have a picture of the meal we were ordering on the menu so we had a bit of an idea what we’d be getting.

I should also mention they have some pretty interesting drinks on the menu! We watched them going out too and I almost wished we’d ordered a couple to try…

Hubby ended up choosing some beef skewers for us to share to start.

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They probably look more impressive in this picture than they did when they were first plonked down in front of us. And I do mean “plonked”. In fact she almost slid it across the table in an effort to get back to the serving area to get her next order.
They were busy.

I wasn’t a fan of the skewers. I found the meat too dry and the satay sauce didn’t taste like satay to me. The raw onion and cucumber on the plate added interesting colour but not much else.
They weren’t awful but they definitely could have been better and certainly could have been served up better.

Hubby and I both chose dishes with prawns in them for our main.
He went with the Pappa Char Koay Teow – This wok-fried flat noodle dish comes with prawns, fish cakes, egg, bean sprouts and chives.
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Again, this dish probably looks nicer in the picture than it did when it was put in front of us. Oh look, you can see two of the three prawns that were in the dish in this picture!
Hubby said it tasted fine but there was nothing special about it and it was a disappointing presentation

The Beef Rendang was what caught my eye.  Biryani Rice with Beef Rendang and Sambal Prawns
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I got five prawns on my plate so I was happy even if they were on the smaller side. I also loved the Beef Rendang. The meat was cooked really well. It was really tender and full of gorgeous flavour. Yum!
I wasn’t a huge fan of the rice but only because I didn’t like the flavours in there. That’s just a personal thing. The rice itself was cooked well and was fluffy and light.
Presentation was okay…. I guess it’s probably not easy to make something that’s sloppy look good, but it doesn’t matter because it was tasty anyway.

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As for our free roti….

Well it was good I guess.
I have a feeling though that next time hubby and I see a “free x if you download our app” sign, we’re probably going to keep walking by….
This place is obviously popular so don’t let my review stop you going to try it.
It was just not for us and although it’s fairly cheap, I don’t think we’ll be going back here.
Have you been to Papparich?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!
Till next we chow…

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Himeji Restaurant

Today on the Dining Diaries…

Beautiful memories of Japan resurface,
Slight horror at realising shoes were going to have to come off and
Waiting a long time for our meals benefits us as staff proactively offer us a selection of desserts for our patience!

DSC03909.jpgDiners today we were at the lovely Himeji Restaurant on Grote st, in Adelaide’s CBD.

What a little gem of a place this is. Walking in we were immediately hit by amazing aromas. The restaurant was full and there was a lively atmosphere happening.

I’d been so excited to come here, especially after looking through their website and seeing how passionate the chef was about the food and wanting to bring a true Japanese experience to the people of Adelaide.

fullsizerenderWe were a party of four tonight and were ushered into a room that had two tables in it.
I’m not entirely sure why, perhaps something to do with the flooring, but we had to take our shoes off in this room.
They supply a little side cupboard for diners (pictured right, next to the chair) to keep their shoes on. Luckily, none of us seemed to have stinky shoes otherwise it could have been a bit awkward!!

While the male folk perused the menu, we women went for a little walk and I was impressed by how authentic this restaurant was, at least by appearances.


I’ve been to Japan twice in the last two years and this really did seem like the type of place I could walk into in Tokyo.

I’m not sure if it was the room we were tucked away into, or if it was due to the “busy-ness” of the night but the waiter seemed to take a very long time to come back and take our order. We decided to share a few things to get a good idea of the type of food they served.
Although our room was small, it was all closed off and we found ourselves competing to be heard with the nearby table. It didn’t really take away too much from our experience but I definitely will ask to be seated somewhere else when I visit here again.

Not only did we wait a long time for our waiter to take our order, but it was well over an hour before the first food came. I noticed that the same thing happened to the other table that was sharing our room.
We weren’t complaining about it and in fact, as they brought our first dishes out, the wait staff apologised and said they’d spoken to the manager and were going to be offering us a selection of desserts at the end of our meal.

How lovely was that!! We hadn’t even complained and we didn’t even look grumpy! They proactively noticed a situation and offered something to make it better. Big ticks to you Himeji!

When our first dishes came out, Gyoza (pan fried dumplings), we couldn’t help but rip into them. We were just so ravenously hungry.

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It’s true, things do taste better when you’re starving and these were just so amazing! They were very fresh and still very hot! Lovely soft yet slightly crisp outer with beautiful tasty goodness inside.
I ate my share way too fast and could only hope the next dishes were going to be coming out very soon!

When hubby and I were in Japan we really wanted to try authentic Ramen. What we had at Himeji was slightly different to what we had in Japan but that could be due to the meat in the dish we ordered.

Tonight I had Hakuryu – Himeji Original HAKATA Tonkotsu Ramen – Himeji original Tonkotsu soup which has been cooked for more than 8 hours, resulting in a creamy broth. Served with very thin straight noodles. With toppings of half boiled egg, pork loin, bean sprouts, wood ear mushroom, and spring onion. Flavoured with a dash of garlic oil.

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Everything I ate was tasty and I just love noodles however I found the broth to be too fatty. Now that’s probably the way it supposed to be and something I just wasn’t aware of? I can’t remember eating ramen like this in Japan, however the flavours were definitely Japanese and I did mostly enjoy this dish.
There was a very strong pork taste throughout and you can tell that a lot of care had been taken in the cooking process.

Hubby decided to go for a Bento Box so that he could sample a few different things.

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It looked quite impressive when it came to the table! There was also a soup that came with it that I wasn’t able to capture in the photo.
You can see hubby’s hand protectively near the plate, anxious to dig in as soon as the photo is taken!

As per the menu description, this was the SHOGUN Dinner Bento Box – Sashimi / sushi roll / cold noodles / Karaage chicken / Gyoza / Takoyaki / Japanese omelette / Agedashi Tofu/ Miso soup / choice of Teriyaki Salmon rice or Eel rice

This dish proved to be a winner with lots of selections. I tried a few of the items on there and again thought everything had been made fresh and was bursting with flavour. My particular favourite was the Gyoza (As per our entree) and the Teriyaki Salmon rice! What I loved most were the different flavours. Spices and herbs that I wasn’t used to and just couldn’t pick. I could have had a plate full of that rice alone!

The waiter asked if we were ready for our complimentary dessert and it looked amazing when it came out!

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Our only “complaint” was that it was a little difficult to share between four people but we each got to try a little of all six dishes.
I wouldn’t be able to tell you exactly what each one was but the ice cream (top left)  was definitely my favourite.

I should also mention that the prices at Himeji are very very reasonable. In fact, I’m really looking forward to going there again soon to try a few more dishes.
Luckily for me, they are open for lunch and situated very close to my work building!
Oh yes, they’ll be seeing me!

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

Till next we chow…

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…

The Office

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We walked in with low expectations and were pleasantly surprised,
Christmas lights/decorations pretty up the dining area and
Who needs a band for entertainment when you can people watch..

f2027b20a2769a270d0f692a091ffa98Diners today we were at The Office on Pirie St in Adelaide’s CBD.

It was another one of those days where we couldn’t agree on where we wanted to go for dinner and as the clock continued to tick over on this particular Saturday evening, our options were being limited even further.

Finally we settled for The Office. I called at about 5pm to make sure they weren’t booked and was told I couldn’t have a 6pm or 6.30pm booking unless I was ordering the seafood platter. The next available time they had to reserve a table was 7pm.
Honestly it didn’t really make sense to me, perhaps he misunderstood what I’d said?
When we got there, there was a work group having their Christmas break-up party downstairs, and upstairs in the dining area, there was a table of about ten people.
So my guess is they wouldn’t have had the staff to cater for us if we’d come earlier. That’s the only thing I could think of because there were many tables available.

fullsizerender3Now the staff were very friendly and lovely and a girl brought us some menus. I do like the dining area which is like a balcony overlooking the bar. It was also prettied up with lights. I don’t know if this is how it always is, or if they’ve just put these up for Christmas but it looked nice.

The menu seemed to have your usual pub fare with a good amount of pizza options on there too.

I saw some plates coming out and they looked really good. That’s always a positive sign.
Oh and I should add that I thought the prices on the menu were very reasonable too!

We decided to start off with some nachos. My greedy little eyes were quite excited when we saw these being delivered to our table.

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This was quite a generous serve for the price. Not only for the size of the serve, but for the amount of cheese and salsa that was not only on the top, but actually through the nacho’s as well. The salsa was a little too sweet for my liking but that is only personal preference. It’s been a while since we’ve enjoyed good nachos so I’m glad we’ve found a new place where we can satiate our nacho cravings!

When it came to mains, although there were a few things I could have gone for on the menu, I went with the mushroom risotto. I’ve wanted to have one for a while but usually, if there is a risotto on the menu it’s a Seafood one and I don’t like to eat things with tentacles…

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I really don’t know how this mushroom risotto could have been better. The rice was perfectly cooked and the risotto had a lovely creamy but firm consistency. The cheese on top was a perfect addition and I’m sure if I’d had the chance to add the cheese myself I would have ‘Over cheeseed’
If you love mushrooms or are a vegetarian I would highly recommend this dish. Risotto is not an easy dish to make so the fact that the chef  produced one of this quality says a lot about him.

Hubby went for one of his staples, the Salt and Pepper Squid.
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As soon as he started eating it I heard sounds of gastronomic pleasure so I knew he was enjoying it.
He said the Squid was tender and not chewy and it all looked really good on the plate. There was also plenty of dressing on the salad, and a good amount of tartare sauce.

I found myself thinking that it was a shame that there weren’t more people dining here. I guess The Office is known more as a bar than a restaurant, but perhaps that needs to change.

While we were dining a work group were having their Christmas function and that was really interesting to watch.You can perhaps imagine the type of things we were seeing as this group of people continued to drink more than eat.
There was a live band starting about the time we were finishing up but we had been thoroughly entertained by the Christmas party revelers!

All in all, kudos to the chef (and yes I did tell the wait staff we had really enjoyed our meals here)

If you are thinking about dropping into The Office for a meal I would recommend you do so. Great food at great prices!

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

Till next we chow…

Pizza e Mozzarella Bar

Today on the Dining Diaries,

We discover pizza in Naples must be just ‘ok’
“Hype” can have a negative affect and
When the moon hits your eye and it ain’t a pizza pie, there’s no amore’ to be found.

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Today the Dining team were in Adelaide CBD.

We have heard a LOT of buzz about the Pizza e Mozzarella Bar situated in Pirie st.
I had even previously tasted a slice or two when a pizza had been taken back to the office by one of my work colleagues and had been impressed.

I had also heard Matt Preston from the Australian version of Masterchef say that this place has the best pizza outside of Naples

I didn’t want to let past experience sway me though, and just wanted to judge my dining experience on the present – as with all my reviews.

My reviews aren’t meant to be a be all and end all, just a written account of my opinions on the day I went into an establishment. FullSizeRender (44)

When you first walk into the Pizza e Mozzarella Bar, you walk into an invitingly warm room. The smell hits you first.

Woodfired pizza’s cooking means there’s a heavenly smokey smell throughout, with hints of garlic and tomato.

FullSizeRender (43)The carpet and mismatched water glasses make you feel like you’re at your nonna’s place.

It definitely whet’s your appetite!

A waiter addressed us as soon as we walked in, set us at a table and explained the specials to us. He was very thorough and persuasive because I ended up choosing the meatball entree that he suggested. Hubby went for the Capricciosa Pizza.
You can also view their menu online which I usually find handy.

When the dishes came to the table I was pretty excited. I could smell the tomato and basil coming from mine and it had been smothered in a gorgeous sauce.
I couldn’t wait to try it!

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The meatballs were pork and veal (from memory) mince and had mozzarella cheese in the middle.

It’s not in the photo but this dish also comes with four slices of continental bread which is just heavenly!! So deliciously fresh and soft.

I started mopping up my sauce with the bread before I’d even tasted the meatball!

That sauce was just divine and probably the best thing I had in this place tonight.

I’m sorry to say that while hubby didn’t have an awful experience with his pizza, he didn’t love it either.

FullSizeRender (46)The dough was really spongy and fresh and tasted great. The only problem was, the centre of the pizza was watery and soggy.

He wasn’t able to pick up a slice. Maybe that’s how they do them in Naples? Although I’ve been to Naples and I don’t remember the pizza’s being like that.

I felt really disappointed for him because I knew he must he was looking forward to having some good pizza.

The pizza had a bit of a rustic look. He also felt like there wasn’t enough toppings. The photo doesn’t really bring out how barren the pizza was. However, I can attest to the fact that in Italy, the pizza’s are like that. Hubby has a Canadian/American background and I’ve seen the way they pile on the toppings over there then smother it was cheese and more cheese. Sadly this pizza was barren however, what was on there DID taste good.
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The music that was playing when we were there was eighties and nineties pop. I would have thought they could have gone for something Italian – something more authentic. It was sometimes a distraction.

I was told they make that beautiful bread I ate in-house and in fact, I could buy some to take home if I wanted.
The restaurant also does cooking classes which may interest some people. Their website gives you more information.

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For the dollars that this place asks, and for the reputation that it has, I would have expected a little more and I’m sorry to say we were a bit disappointed and not entirely full when we left.

After strolling through the city, we went to the Adelaide Central Markets and made everything right again with a couple of treats!

Love the Adelaide Markets!

Have you been to the Pizza e Mozzarella Bar?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow…