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

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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

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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…

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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…