2016 – My Top Ten List

2016top10.jpgDiners I thought it might be a nice way to finish of the year, by listing the Top Ten places we dined at this year.

These are listed in no particular order and are included for a variety of reasons.
If you hover over and click on the name of the restaurant, you will be taken to our blog entry for that establishment.

I’m sure you all know but I want to say again that these reviews are based on our experience on the day. There are so many variables that could change a dining experience but I can only comment on what happened to us the day we went into a certain place.

Carmel’s at McLaren Vale

carmels2Oh there were lots of reasons why we loved Carmel’s!

From the service to the menu, to the way our food was cooked and presented, it was just a fantastic experience.

Carmel’s is the place that gave me the courage to go from ordering my meat medium-rare to rare.

I will also admit that I’m charmed by the McLaren Vale region so that probably has an influence in including Carmel’s in our Top 10 list but even so, there isn’t too much that this restaurant does wrong.

The Unley

IMG_5499We loved The Unley because of many things, one of which was the way it made us feel as we walked in.
Decorated in a modern style, with friendly staff throughout; We really felt welcome here.

Besides all that, the food that came out was presented beautifully, tasted amazing and was generous in size!
Everything we want from a dining establishment!

Portobello

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I can’t go past Portobello as it was one of the first restaurants after I started reviewing, that really left an impression on me.

Even looking at that pasta is making my mouth water – I can remember and almost taste how beautiful that ragu sauce was.

I love when staff are passionate about the place we’re dining at too and the server we had definitely was – telling us about the history of Portobello.

It’s a shame that this restaurant is a little difficult to get to but I really hope people get down there and try it out for themselves.

Le-Riad

FullSizeRender (19)With Le-Riad we became a bit more adventurous.

Instead of the usual Pub or Italian restaurant, we visited a restaurant where the cuisine was Moroccan and we were definitely won over!

The staff treated us and each other like family (and I suspect they were) and were very proud of the food they brought out; and so they should be!

The meat, so tender, so full of flavour. Le Riad was a wonderful dining experience from the moment we walked in, till the moment we walked out.

Lockleys Hotel

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There were a few things that set Lockleys Hotel apart for us.

Firstly, the service was just amazing. We had arrived early and yet the servers went above and beyond to accommodate us, even when we said we didn’t mind.

We just weren’t expecting to be wowed and yet we were.

We were also impressed with the amount of diners who must have been regulars as many of them spoke to the servers as if they knew them.
Besides all of this, the food itself was amazing with such attention to detail that left us very impressed.

Two Bit Villains

FullSizeRender (80)With Two Bit Villains, I experienced my first Vegetarian Restaurant.

I’m certainly not opposed to having a meat free meal, in fact, I often do, but I’d never been to a place that was exclusively Vegetarian.

I loved everything from the decor, to the staff, the menu and those amazing soda selections!!

Again, you can tell that the staff are proud of the food they’re bringing out of the kitchen and all this good feeling is very infectious!

I’m so glad we went to Two Bit Villains. It’s definitely a little gem in Adelaide Arcade.

Coopers Alehouse

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We weren’t expecting much the day we went to Coopers Alehouse and it had been a bit of a stressful day, but all was forgotten as we relaxed into our surroundings.

It was busy when we were here and immediately we noticed that the food coming out of the kitchen looked amazing and they seemed to be generous serves.

We definitely over ordered by accident, but everything we had was cooked so well and I had to be impressed because there was a lot of staff, trying to do a lot of things yet it all worked really well.

This is definitely a place to visit.

Parlamento

par1Ah the good old Adelaide icon, Parlamento. Everyone knows Parlamento in the CBD! Most people have probably already been there too!!

I walk past there most days and had always wanted to try out the food because it seems to be always busy so they must be doing something right!!

And when I visited for myself I could see why. Again, the love of what they do shines. They are passionate about their food but not only that, they want YOU to be passionate about their food too!

We had a lovely rapport with our waiter and that made the whole night really special.
I still can’t stop thinking about Jacki Weaver and that carafe of wine though….


Nonna and I

fullsizerenderThis place is still recent in our memories and I’m still gushing over how good everything was here.

From Chef Khalil’s passion, to the food he served, it was absolutely a perfect dining experience.

Out of all the places I’ve reviewed, this is probably the one that I’m most keen to revisit.


Fedoras Restaurant

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Last, but certainly not least is Fedoras Restaurant, another place that took us completely by surprise.

Again, the attitude of all those working from the guy in the parking lot, to the people behind the bar and wait staff made an amazing different.

We were treated as if we were the only ones dining in that restaurant that night.

There were four in our party when we were at Fedoras and each one of us got an amazing meal – That’s not always something that easy to do!

So there you have it, the first Spoon You Fork Me Top 10 list!
I hope we’ve given you something to think about for the next time you’re looking to dine out.

There were many more places I could have mentioned but alas, there is only room for ten in a Top Ten list!

The Spoon You Fork Me team are going to take a little holiday break, but don’t despair, we’ll be back with you early in the new year with lots more views and reviews to come!!

We wish you much love and happiness as we enter this holiday season.
Stay safe, and eat well!!
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Till next we chow….

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Coopers Alehouse – Gepps Cross

Today on the Dining Diaries…

Big carpark, big dining room, big serves!
We break the “not so good” review curse (and no salad bar.. connection??? I think so!)
And, our hunger is satiated before our shared entree is devoured!

FullSizeRender (84).jpgMy fellow diners, today I put my foot down and said “no salad bars!!!” and because we were in the area, we took ourselves to Coopers Alehouse at Gepps Cross. What a good choice that turned out to be.

The first thing we noticed was how big the car park was! We wondered if it was a shared carpark with another business but if it was, we didn’t see it.

We walked in via the outside area by mistake, but I’m glad we saw it as it’s really quite large, comfortable and has a lot of heating – Not to mention the huge screen TV that had the footy on! What a perfect place to sit and watch a game with your mates!

Walking into the dining area, we were again impressed by the size and it was full! Mostly every table was taken and we were lucky to get a seat.
We grabbed some menus and went to our table. Lots of good selections on there.
I ended up going for the Braised Lamb Shanks (Yes I did note the plural!) With mashed potato, sautéed chorizo, green beans & red wine jus
Hubby “steak man” chose the Graziers Black Angus Porterhouse; char-grilled to your liking accompanied by chips, sauce & mustard.
All menu items have a “suggested” beer pairing but neither of us are beer drinkers so we didn’t pay much attention to it.
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Because we were ravenously hungry we decided to split a margarita pizza as an entree. We thought it would be a 9 inch size or smaller and be enough to whet our appetite but when it came out, it was much more than that!

It was huge! And it was covered in cheese. This picture doesn’t do it justice. Half of this pizza each was going to be a meal in itself! The first thing I noticed were the aromas – Strong basil and tomato scents that pleased my inner Italian. The crust was not thick and not thin either. Just right! and cooked really well. I can’t remember when I last had a pizza this good. With so few toppings it was really so tasty! I was just expecting to have a little something before my lunch and got so much more.

I looked around to see what other people were eating and noticed the serves all seemed rather large. I wish I’d seen that before we ordered! Having said that, we weren’t the only people to share a pizza as an entree.
The wall behind the bar was interesting. Not sure what the style is called. Steam Punk? I thought it looked good anyway.

Our mains came out quite quickly.

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The steak looked pretty good!

Hubby likes it “medium rare” and always orders his sauce on the side. I don’t see the point of ruining the taste of a good steak and prefer my sauce on the side too.

He feels it was more rare than medium rare but I thought it looked perfect.

He said it was tender and seasoned perfectly and really enjoyed it.
The mushroom sauce was nice – not too rich and a nice accompaniment for the meat.

FullSizeRender (88)The lamb shanks looked equally good!

I’ve wanted to order lamb shanks when I’ve seen them on recent menu’s but something else caught my eye. Today I was persuaded because I knew I’d be getting two.

They were just perfect. The meat was tender and falling off the bone. The mash was just amazing! Wonderful flavours mixed through there as I wiped it up with the jus. The chorizo also, surprisingly for me, added a bit of heat to the taste. It was a wonderful dish!

Everything we had was reasonably priced making Coopers Alehouse a really good place for families to go to.
The other great thing about Coopers Alehouse Gepps Cross is that they have all day dining. That’s perfect for people like us who, by the time we stop to eat, have realised that it’s past “kitchen open” hours.

I would highly recommend this place and would be interested to hear what other people’s experience have been. Coopers Ale House – Shank you very much (Yeah I heard that collective groan)

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

Till next we chow…