Alma Tavern

Today on the Dining Diaries,

We venture past a point we hadn’t gone before,
Hubby eats cous cous and actually loves it
We don’t have a Mark Ricciutto sighting but there’s always next time!

almafrontDiners today we were at The Alma Tavern on Magill rd at Norwood.

We have actually been here a few times in the past ten years or so but each time we walk to the restaurant part, we look in, then turn and walk away. It just hasn’t felt like a place we wanted to dine in. I may be a little unfair to the Alma in saying this as it wasn’t anything I could put my finger on, it just didn’t do it for us.

However as I had recently heard a few good things about it and being a Mark Ricciuto fan (part owner and ex Adelaide Crows Captain) I wanted to go down and see for myself.
I’m so glad I did!

The Alma has a great outdoor bar area. Lots of screens showing different sports and great seating with good music playing. We walked through there to get to the restaurant.
This time, instead of turning the corner into the restaurant and turning to walk back out again, we actually went in. alma1

A really nice guy met us and showed us to a booth. I can only describe him as a young blonde Mr Bean. A very lovable Mr Bean! He was so helpful and polite.
So far so good!

The dining room was really comfy and bright. Lovely soothing colours.

We felt comfortable right away.

The menu had some really fantastic options on there and I was having a little trouble choosing.
We ended up starting with Panne – warm crunchy bread loaf with Adelaide Plains extra virgin olive oil & whipped butter

img_7185Bread is just bread right? WRONG! This bread was delightfully warm and doughy yet crunchy on the outside and it was a decent serve.

The olive oil was just too good. I ended up having my bread just dipped in that while hubby had the whipped butter (hidden in the pic)

I was really excited for the mains now. I’d been watching other food come and it and it all looked so good! Most of the food I’d been seeing was really well presented and colourful on the plate so it made me wonder what ours was going to look like.

Hubby ordered the CHAR-GRILLED LAMB & CHORIZO SKEWERS –  SA lamb & smoked chorizo skewers with capsicum & Spanish onion & lemon, served on a fresh tomato, cucumber, Kalamata olive cous-cous salad with charred lemon, honey mint yogurt & beetroot crisps

img_7184

This photo doesn’t do it justice. What you see on top are the beetroot crisps. That was the first thing he (and I because I just had to) ate and they were soooo good!! So crispy, full of beetroot flavour and sweet! I could go through a plate full of those easy!
Hubby said his meat was really tender and tasty. What I was most surprised about, was that he ate the cous cous! He normally turns his nose up at cous cous and thinks it not to be real food. This was just exceptional though, especially with a bit lemon squeezed through. The salad with tomato and spinach was really nice too. Those tomatoes were also sooo sweet and it was just all so fresh and begging you to eat it! Well done Alma!

I didn’t have diners envy though because mine was just as good and maybe even better.
I chose the CRISPY SKIN ATLANTIC SALMON – pan seared Tasmanian salmon dusted with mixed dukkah spice, served with a spiced beetroot puree, lemon & herb cous-cous, topped with a tomato, sweetcorn & coriander salsa, orange aioli & charred lime

img_7183
Everything about this was perfect. Look how pretty it is on the plate. It was well presented and the quality of all the ingredients could not be faulted. That was definitely the crispiest skin I’ve eaten and it had so much flavour in there! The salmon itself was exquisite. Honestly, I can’t praise this dish enough. It was just heavenly.

Whenever hubby and I have an experience like this where everything has been amazing, I just have to tell the servers because I don’t know that they usually get that kind of feed back. I imagine they probably get a lot of comments about what people didn’t like. Give praise where praise is due I say!

So we didn’t see Mark Ricciuto this time, but I’ll keep listening to his morning radio show with Ditz Ditts and I’m sure there will be a next time!

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

Till next we chow…

Advertisements

Sussex Hotel

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We see a platter that captures hubby’s attention for the duration of our meal – unfortunately it was not on OUR table…
An unexpected salad bar sighting has hubby in raptures and..
We experience a burger without the works….

thumbDiners today we were at The Sussex Hotel. We got here quite by accident because we’d actually gone into another establishment a little down the road and after sitting down and looking at the menu for over five minutes, hubby and I looked at each other and said “you know, there is another place down the road….” And that other place was the Sussex!

I was so glad we’d decided to come here instead because from the moment we walked in the mood was different. The staff were really friendly and there were lots of people eating what looked to be good food! Hubby was sold as soon as he saw the salad bar.

dPic8They’ve got a couple of different dining areas. We chose to sit inside, but overlooking the nice outdoor area. There was a tv screen, music playing, people dining – all made us feel comfortable and welcome.

We checked out the menu but hubby was having a hard time because he couldn’t get his eyes off the table next to ours. They had ordered a share plate that just looked phenomenal. I later tried to find it on the menu online, and although there is a share plate listed on there, I don’t think it’s the same as the one we saw. A couple of girls had ordered it and it had all sorts of meats on there which was not in the description I saw for the share platter online – Ham, salami, that kind of thing! Hubby was almost begging me to get that with him but I just didn’t feel like eating finger foods. He contemplated getting it on his own I’m sure…

Hubby ended up ordering the Sussex Burger and I went for the Barramundi – oven baked, served with mash potato, wilted greens and beetroot hollandaise. The beetroot hollandaise sounded interesting to me!

dPic4So after ordering we went to check out the salad bar.

I must admit, I didn’t check out the cold salads really.

They had the general fare- scalloped potatoes, creamed cauliflower, broccoli and beans… It all looked ok. Some things tasted better than they looked – not sure if that’s a good thing. I was a bit disappointed with the bread. It was just regular sliced bread, not cute little dinner rolls as I would have liked.

Now on to our mains!

I always rib hubby that I order better than him and today, it was true once again.

sussesx1
I don’t think there is anything I could fault about this dish. Look at how pretty it looks on the plate. That beetroot hollandaise really is a gorgeous colour!
Looks are one thing, but this dish also had taste. From the greens on top to the Barramundi and mash on the bottom… everything was a pleasure to eat. I was really hoping hubby wasn’t going to ask me for  a taste because I didn’t want to share. The peppercorns on top of the barramundi lit up my tastebuds! The dish itself was also temperature hot which I loved. I would definitely have this dish again.

Hubby went for the Sussex Burger.

sussex2

It looked pretty good when it came out. Surprisingly, it was the only burger on the menu… unless we missed something?? Hubby thinks he even saw a sign boasting they had the best burgers in Adelaide (plural) but this was the only option on the menu.
As he was eating it he realised there was no cheese, no bacon, no egg… and we didn’t have the option of asking for these to be added either.
The menu does state that it comes with cheese, but there was none in hubby’s burger. He said the patty seemed too small compared to the size of the bread and seemed a bit mushy. He did like the bread though. I would have liked it toasted (it wasn’t).
Overall it was really disappointing for him. There was nothing “bad” about it, it just wasn’t what he’d expect to get when ordering a burger.

You have to remember that as he’s eating this less than perfect burger, he’s still ogling the next door table with that share platter. They had to end up getting a take away container as they weren’t able to finish it all and I had a teensy weensy bit of guilt as hubby kept muttering “I never get what I want” – which for the record, is a lie.

I feel that there were mostly positives about our trip to the Sussex today and I would definitely recommend this place – perhaps just don’t order the burger!

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

Till next we chow…