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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Lockleys Hotel

Today on the Dining Diaries…

A stake steak right to hubby’s heart
A diner gets as fresh as the salad bar and..
I find out what lamb florentine is and marvel at this gastronomic brilliance!

lockleys-hotel-3494-1Today we are at the Lockelys Hotel.

Hubby and I were a little hesitant in coming here because we had the impression it was a dive.
In fact he said to me “We don’t have to stay there. If we get there and don’t like it we’ll leave”

But we didn’t have to leave and I’m glad. It ended up being one of our best dining experiences.

We had to wait for dinner service to start because again, we’d missed lunch and were ravenously hungry at 5pm.
We took ourselves into the Sports Bar to wait. It was very busy and loud and noticeably, I was the only woman in there.
The bar staff were lovely and the fireplace was heavenly!

We went over to the Bistro area when dinner service started and hubby was in heaven because unexpectedly, there was a  salad bar there and he’s just so enamored with them at the moment.
We were sat close to where diners were coming in and it soon became apparent that a lot of them were regulars. There was good banter between servers and customers and in fact, one cheeky old fella was chatting up a pretty young girl while his wife was standing next to him!
But it was all in fun.

The menu was simple but good. As I walked up to the counter to order I still didn’t know what I was going to have. Hubby went for the 400g Portherhouse Steak.
At the counter I noticed the specials board and I ordered the Lamb Florentine without really knowing what Florentine was… in fact, not knowing at all – no inkling – nothing.
I’m not normally that adventurous.

We watched other food coming out and it all looked sooooo delicious!!! So many people were ordering the sliders. The servings looked large and were just mouth watering.
While we waited for ours we visited the Salad Bar and although there wasn’t a huge selection, what was there was fresh and quality. There were only cold salads including a potato salad, beans, pasta salad etc etc but everything was tasty and it didn’t seem to be an afterthought as some salad bars tend to be.

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Then our food came.
They  both looked so good!
We have had food that looked good and didn’t taste good before though…
Hubby sliced through and saw that good juicy pinkness and was encouraged – the taste was even better than he could have imagined. Tender, melting in his mouth like butter.  He didn’t even want to have it with the sauce as he said that would ruin the taste.
He also said that every little bit of gristle had been removed and every mouthful was that tender goodness.
I wouldn’t know because he didn’t share any with me even though I shared mine. He said it was too good to share.

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I was equally happy with mine. I had no idea what it was going to be but when it came, I saw the lamb had been wrapped in pastry that was lined with spinach and bacon. Yum!

It was a big serve too! The first thing I tried was the mash which was just divine! It had mixed in with that wonderful jus and I don’t know what else was in there but it was just such a pleasure to eat.
The pastry from the lamb florentine just flaked away beautifully and the spinach was a really nice taste balancer. I really loved this dish and we both took our time eating our meals.

If I have to have any negatives it’s that there was no dressing in either of our salads and while the servers were nice and friendly, it did seem like they were just doing their jobs and not really interested in whatever you might have to say – but I’m being very harsh and this is a bistro after all. They certainly weren’t rude. I think they just would benefit from more experience.

The website site for the hotel says they have a new chef and this is a new menu. I’m not sure how long he’s been there but he’s a wonderful addition if this is the food he’s producing. It’s not often that hubby says “I want to come back here” after he’s only taken a few mouthful’s of food!! He even said that this is the best steak he’s had in at least six months so there you have it!

Definitely a huge recommendation for us.

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

Till next we chow…