Fasta Pasta – South Tce

Today on the Dining Diaries…

I went to an Italian restaurant and didn’t order Fettucini,
A scantily clad salad fails to excite
Cheap prices and friendly staff ensure we will be back anyway..

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Diners today we were at Fasta Pasta located on the corner of South Tce and Pulteney St.

We were time poor and just wanted something that was going to be quick and easy and Fasta Pasta was on the way and fit the bill perfectly!

This location is on the edge of the city’s CBD but still had a good crowd at 2pm on a Sunday afternoon. The staff were friendly and attentive. In fact two different servers greeted us as we wandered around inside trying to find a where we wanted to sit.

Eventually we sat on the Eastern side. We had a nice view of the exposed brick wall. Maybe it was the nice sunny day but with the sun streaming through the windows and the decor inside, it seemed very relaxing.

Sorry my photos are so bad but I hope you get an idea of what I mean.

I was determined to not order my staple of Fettucini. It was hard not to! I mean I am in a pasta restaurant after all!!
I did notice some interesting menu items including “Hamburger Italiano” which I was tempted  to get but didn’t. Maybe another time.

Hubby and I noticed the prices seemed very reasonable and we figured the serves would be small for that price, we got some fries to start to fill our rumbling stomachs.

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As we have come to expect, it was a simple but good plate of fries. Fresh, with a bit of tomato sauce on the side and the serving was quite generous.

We were almost done with those when our mains came out.

I did end up getting a pasta. I chose the Cannelloni. Pasta tubes filled with ricotta and spinach, oven baked in napoli sauce, finished with cream, basil and baby spinach.

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I really didn’t know how to make this look pretty. It looked kind of sloppy when it came out but even though we eat with our eyes first, I was still hopeful that it was going to taste good.
I didn’t expect the napoli sauce to be on one side and the cream to be on the other.

I found it strange that I wasn’t able to cut through the cannelloni with my fork. The pasta was quite tough in places. I ended up having to use the knife and when I ate it, found it to be a bit hard and crunchy in places.
While this was not unpleasant, it wasn’t what I was expecting in a Cannelloni dish.
The filling was pretty good. I could taste that ricotta and the napoli sauce was very fresh and enhanced the whole dish.
I’m not a fan of cream sauces although I know a lot of people are. I could have done without that on the plate but honestly, for the price of this dish ($15 main) I was certainly not unhappy with what I’d received.

Hubby went for a non pasta dish. He finds it hard to go past a Pork Belly when it’s on the menu!
The menu states “Roman style crispy skin, slow roasted Pork Belly served on mashed potato with rocket, red onion and sticky balsamic.

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When it first came out hubby said he thought it looked like they’d brought him a caramel slice.
The first thing I noticed was that the salad seemed to have no dressing. It just looked like some greenery thrown on the plate. Hubby shifted a few leaves and found a spot that seemed to have some balsamic on it. At least that’s what we hoped it was.
Hubby said the flavour of the Pork was nice although it was a little dry and the skin was definitely not crispy. He liked the mashed potato even if I thought it looked dry (I didn’t taste it)
Again, for the price ($19.90) this was not a bad dish at all. We wanted something quick, reasonable and fairly honest and that’s what we got.

While this may not be the most exciting place around, it’s very much family friendly and you pretty much know what you’re going to get every time you visit.

I’m sure this will not be our last visit to a Fasta Pasta restaurant.

Have you been to Fasta Pasta on South Tce?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Lion

Today on The Dining Diaries…

We’re thrown a little out of a comfort zone
We encounter a very special “Special” and
Good food soothes our hungry souls…

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Diners today’s review is for The Lion Restaurant on Melbourne Street in North Adelaide.

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the restaurant, or if not, the bar alongside it! I know I’ve whiled away an afternoon or two in the bar in my time but had never dined in the restaurant.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I had imagined it would be a bit pretentious.
Hubby and I noticed a sign that said a dress code applied and luckily, we normally look quite spiffy so it didn’t worry us.

We came in a little after 2pm but were told they take orders till about 2.45pm so that was good to know! The staff were lovely and if they had judged us walking in, I wouldn’t have known but hubby thought we were being talked down to a little. One of the servers asked us if we were celebrating a special occasion and I said “No we just want to get some lunch” I wondered then if that’s something they ask everyone or did we look  like a couple of bogans, wanting to have a once off nice meal in a nice restaurant to celebrate something? I did notice the wait staff had good rapport with other diners and that was nice to see.

In any case, if they were judgemental I don’t think they were overt about it and we settled in and enjoyed our surroundings. It did feel a bit “special” in a seventies type way. I thought the decor was a little seventies but hubby said he thought it was more Scandanavian. He’s probably right. I’m not usually a good judge of these things.

We were given some menus and the wine list.
At first I wasn’t sure I wanted anything on the menu. Nothing really jumped out at me. Hubby and I were actually on the verge of leaving but I felt a little embarrassed to do that and in the end was glad we’d stayed. A lovely server went through the menu and answered any questions we had. She also told us about the specials and I couldn’t go past the fish special which was Snapper.
Hubby decided to go for his usual, steak. More about that later!

We started off with a couple of dips. The server explained what they were but I couldn’t  remember all the fancy bits. Basically one was a cauliflower one and the other was some sort of Potato combination.
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I was pretty impressed when this came out! It looked like a decent serve. The dips themselves had a nice texture but I think they probably should have chosen different flavoured dips as they almost looked the same. The texture was the same and although they tasted different, by the end we didn’t really know what we were having.
They were very enjoyable though and had a lot of flavour!! I did really enjoy the dips and the bread and pita they served it with. The bread was toasty warm and the pita was crispy yet firm. Nice!

For main hubby ended up going for the Scotch Fillet on the menu, rather than the Steak special. Our server asked if he wanted potato puree or fries with his fillet. Hubby originally said puree, but after seeing a few other dishes come out, he asked the waitress if he could change and they graciously obliged.

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This Scotch Fillet was cooked perfectly! It was well seasoned and the mustard they provided added more flavour to the meat. There was also a decent amount of fries which made hubby very happy. I did wonder how it would have looked if he’d gone for the potato puree but he was very happy with his choice. I went for the Snapper Special.

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Unfortunately I can’t remember everything that it came with but it was so very delicious! The Snapper itself was beautifully cooked and I can only be sad because I wanted more!
It sat on a bed of some type of homemade pasta, sundried tomato, fresh tomato, mint, fennel, goats cheese, sultanas and probably more herbs and spices. There was also something crunchy in there that made the texture of what I was eating interesting. The crunchy things looked a little like maggots though so I had to not think of that every time I put a bit in my mouth!

I just think this dish was soooo pretty it was almost a sin to eat it and the flavour combinations worked wonderfully! I loved the unexpected sweetness of the sultanas. The ratio of all those ingredients was really very perfect.

The wait staff were attentive the whole time without being over bearing, checking that our meals were ok and asking if we wanted more wine/drinks.

Although a little on the pricey side, I think they strive to give you a special experience and I would have no hesitation in recommending the Lion as everything we had here was cooked so very well.

 

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

Till next we chow…

 

The North Adelaide Hotel

Today on the Dining Diaries…

Beautiful dining rooms, sadly devoid of diners,
A lamb pie worth bleating about and
When in doubt, choose a platter….

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Diners today we were at the beautiful North Adelaide Hotel on Tynte st in North Adelaide.

This gorgeous building is heritage listed and it was a pleasure just to walk into!

Lovely stained glass windows at the front while the back dining area has paved floors and lots of comforting wood!

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I want to also show you the massive tree trunk in the outdoor eating area!

It was too hot for us to sit out there today but from where our table was, we had a good view of it and I kept wondering if that’s what the  Far Away Tree from the Enchanted Wood would have looked like….

As I mentioned we felt completely comfortable and at home from the moment we walked in.
We got a couple of menus and settled ourselves at a table. A waitress came to bring us some water and I asked her a few questions about some of the menu items. She was very friendly and seemed genuinely wanting to speak about the food, instead of just doing a job and giving information.
I’m not sure if they are fostering a family atmosphere but that’s what it felt like!

I kept wondering where all the people were! Such a beautiful place, with nice friendly staff. They deserve to have more people there!
It was about 1pm on a weekday when we were dining there. Maybe it’s more a dinner and weekend type hotel.
For us as diners, I felt like we had the place to ourselves though and it was very relaxing.

After looking through the menu I decided to go for the Lamb and Guinness Pie. I could have had it as a “Floater” with mushy peas but even though I’m a true blue South Aussie, I just couldn’t do this. If you don’t know what a “Pie Floater” is you could always google it but just remember that once seen, it cannot be unseen….
The pie also came with Roasted Dutch Carrots and Gravy.

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Let me tell you right now this was the best pie I’ve had in a long time! I don’t normally like gravy but it was just perfect! The pastry was light, the lamb inside was tender. Everything worked a treat! If I was a harsh critic I might have said the lamb was a little dry but it was just exactly what I wanted on this particular day so I have no complaints.
Honestly, I could keep raving on about how good this was for quite some time. Hubby was saying I should try this or that from his plate but I just shook my head no hoping I wouldn’t have to return the favour. I didn’t want to share today!

Hubby was undecided and nothing on the menu particularly stood out for him today so he went for a platter and some beer battered chips.

I love how the fries have a “rustic” look. That’s pretty much how everything I cook comes out…
The fries came with a smoked aioli and tomato sauce. I couldn’t really taste the smokiness (yes I did taste some of his) but it was still nice.
The platter was on the menu as Fleurieu Platter – Dips, Cheese, Olives, Cured Meats served with pita bread.

Hubby kept looks for the “dips” as he could only see one, but there is definitely an “s” on that menu description. Unless the Olive Oil/balsamic bowl was classed as a dip?
The Pita was toasted but cold and hubby’s preference would have been for them to come out either toasted warm, or just soft.
Everything on his plate was beautifully fresh though and it did look pretty good! That dip had a Moroccan Season type flavour. I’m not sure what it was but I liked it more than hubby did (yes I tried that one too!)

You can’t see it in the picture but the platter also had half a pear and some rock melon on there. I think it was not bad value at $18! And those fries he ordered were $8.
My pie was pretty reasonable at $22

There were a few things on the menu that I wanted to try (including pierogi!) so I will definitely be back and if you haven’t been to the North Adelaide, I strongly urge you too!!

However, it probably is NOT a good idea to walk to the local supermarket and purchase a litre of icecream to eat in the privacy of your car (Away from prying eyes) after your lunch at the North Adelaide Hotel. Not that I’m saying we did that….

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

Till next we chow…

Napoli Pizzeria

Today on the Dining Diaries…

Too busy for more wine…
Too busy to keep up with orders and kitchen  but…
Not too busy to want to please….

Diners today we were at Napili Pizzerianapoli-wood-fired-pizzeria-mile-end-sa1.JPG.

You may have driven past it.

It’s located on Henley Beach rd, a few kilometres out of the CBD.

Walking in we noticed that if the tables didn’t already have someone sitting at them, they had a reserved sign on them. I didn’t think we were going to be able to eat in (they also have a thriving take away business) but the lovely girl who greeted us showed us to a table and said the people it was reserved for weren’t expected for quite some time.

There were lots of things I loved immediately about this place. First, the tableclothes!!

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Oh my god, can you get more Italian than that! Coupled with the Italian music that was playing, it was just perfect! I could also smell the pizza’s cooking and that was just making my mouth water. I couldn’t wait to see what was going to come from the kitchen!

We ordered some drinks and had a look through the menu. The waitress was very accommodating and answered any questions I had but it was clear that she had a lot of tables to look after on her own and was anxious to move on.

Hubby had his heart set on an antipasto platter, and a pizza to share so we did that.
The menu has it as “Antipasto A Modo Nostro” (serves 2) A selection of cold cuts, cheeses & Italian delicacies

“A Modo Nostro” means “our way” and I guess they really mean that because we got this lovely platter
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and a serve of garlic bread (also pictured) but thirty minutes later I saw another anitpasto plate with slightly different things on there. The menu didn’t state that you can choose different options but I guess there’s the possibility that the diners who got the different platter specifically asked for different things on theirs.

The food itself was lovely! Everything was fresh and it was a perfect platter to share over a lovely wine… the only glass of wine we were going to be offered by the way.
I had to feel sorry for the waitress as she really did have a LOT of tables to cover by herself. She did it with grace and style but I was a bit sad that I didn’t have the chance to order another glass of wine.

I joined their Instagram page while we waited for our pizza and looked at the pictures of food they’d shared. Now I was really looking forward to ours!
After lots of “dings” from the kitchen, our pizza was brought out to us

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People have different expectations when it comes to pizza and we all have different things we prefer.
The dine-in menu only gives you the option of a 12 inch pizza. If you’re taking away you can have a 15 inch but the waitress said they currently don’t have plates for the 15 inch so they don’t offer them on the eat in menu.

Our pizza was one with “the lot”
I wasn’t disappointed by it. In fact there was lots of things I liked about it. The crust was crunchy and beautiful to eat. I wish I could have had it with another glass of wine. The middle of the pizza however was a little soggy. You couldn’t pick up a piece, it had to be cut with a knife and eaten with a fork. Or you could have just rolled the whole thing up and eaten it that way.
Hubby would have loved more toppings, in particular, cheese. For me, I like my pizza’s fairly sparse and I do believe that is the traditional Napoli way so I wasn’t disappointed at all. You may remember I’ve mentioned before that the best thing I love about pizza is the crust while hubby likes the toppings so he eats the middle bits and leaves me the crusts. It works well for us…

Napoli Ristorante has many good reviews online and the waitress mentioned that every time they have a good review, the restaurant gets excessively busy. There are lots of things to love about this place.
Personally, even though I liked what I had, I thought it was a little over priced for what we got however it wouldn’t dissuade me from going back because…
when the moon hits your eye like a great pizza pie that’s….. Napoli Ristorante!

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

Till next we chow…

The Albion

Today on the Dining Diaries…

Seeing large serves going out as we walk into the Bistro proves deceptive,
Barramundi – Death by cream and
The Brady House lives on!

2808e8ab8d2ab861e3e0ed883cfa9f55Diners today we were at The Albion Hotel, on Churchill Rd in Kilburn

I was a little apprehensive I must admit. I just wasn’t sure this was the type of place I wanted to be going to.
I’ve never been to the Albion so my hesitation wasn’t based on anything concrete.

Turns out I should have listened to my intuition.

Walking in, it seems like an average type pub. There is carpet. There is a salad bar.
The thing I loved most about The Albion is that they have all day dining every day! I wish more places did this!
The staff were smiley and friendly.I certainly couldn’t fault that!

We walked past the kitchen as we entered and saw a couple of pasta plates about to go out and they looked like pretty decent serves! I was excited!
It didn’t mean, unfortunately, that the other dishes were large serves. I should have gone with the pasta…

I kind of liked the fake brick wall and mirror. With the light fixtures in the background it reminded me of the Brady House.
I didn’t go into the outdoor area however it looked like there was a nice space out there with a bit of greenery to make it pretty for those choosing to drink or dine outside.

Although I’m not a fan of salad bars, I have to admit that the selection they had here was pretty good. It was smallish, but they had the favourites. Lots of roasted veggies and the bread was toasty warm! Nice.

Because we had the salad bar, we decided to skip an entree and just order a main.

Hubby chose the Pork – King Henry Pork Cutlet 300g parmesan crusted with stir fried bok choy on mash & red wine jus

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I can’t say I was wowed by the presentation. It just looked like a bit of meat thrown on top of some greens. Hubby was soon tucking into it though and I could hear lots of “mmmmmm’s” so he was enjoying it.
He said there were great flavours throughout. He even enjoyed the Bok Choy which is not normally a favourite of his.

I decided to go for the Barramundi. Australian Wild Caught Parmesan Crusted Barramundi  on baby spinach & lemon parsley cream

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I wish I’d chosen the pasta.
All I could see when it was placed in front of me was that sauce. Manu from MKR  would have loved it… at least he would have loved the amount…
The Barramundi was drowned in a heavy cream sauce. It was so thick and a little gluggy.
I’m not a fan of heavy creamy sauces and I didn’t think, whatever was in this sauce, matched with the crumbed barramundi.
I couldn’t even eat the spinach as they were soggy in that sauce.

I didn’t think the prices that were asked for these dishes, matched what we received. Each dish was $27.90 but that did include the salad bar as well.

I wonder if the serves are small because of the salad bar?
Could be…
Even though the total experience wasn’t terrible (and again I want to say the staff were very friendly and helpful) it would probably take a lot of convincing to have me visit this place again.

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