Walkers Arms

Today on the Dining Diaries

Empty dining rooms leave a lump in our throats,
An interesting menu makes selection hard and
Can a vegetarian dish really cost over $25?

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Diners today we found ourselves at Walkers Arms on North East Rd.

I have so many memories of Walkers Arms before the restoration. That is, when it still had the buffet restaurant with those delicious selections that you could avail yourself of, over and over and over again. It was a gluttons wet dream. It definitely was my favourite all-you-can-eat restaurant in Adelaide!

But like anything else in life, things change.

Hubby and I knew there no longer was a buffet part to this restaurant but were still interested to see how it had changed since it’s refurbishment. And as we liked the buffet food, the a la carte menu food had to be good too right?

We were struck by how few people were around as we entered. This place was hustling and a bustling on a Sunday in the past!!! In the past…. when the buffet was still happening… Today only a handful of tables were occupied and it was a Sunday afternoon. That can’t be good for anybody…


The picture on the right shows the now empty buffet dining area. I’m not to sure what the plans are for this area but it was sad to see it sitting there not being used. No doubt they will do something amazing with this space in the months to come…

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Hubby and I got a nice, heated, spot outside (pic on far left above) and started off with the classic, Salt and Pepper Squid with aioli and lemon

I thought this wasn’t bad value for money. The Squid had a nice texture to it and the aioli and lemon were just perfect.

It was a great way to whet our appetites.

The menu was pretty good. It had your usual pub fare plus a few different things. I was a bit undecided as to what I was going to have for mains but ended up choosing the Vegetable Tagine – Seasonal vegetables in Moroccan style sauce, cous cous, labna, preserved lemon, mint and dates.

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I thought there were beautiful flavours throughout. The vegetables were just gorgeous in the Moroccan sauce. The lemon was unexpected and added a bit of zing in your mouth. I enjoyed this dish a lot but I wasn’t sure if $25 was too expensive for a vegetarian dish. I know there’s a lot of work/elements that go into it, but when you consider that you can get a beef or chicken parmigiana for under $20 it seems a little over priced but maybe I’m wrong.  In any case I did enjoy it so I didn’t mind.

Hubby decided to go for the ribs. Unfortunately I couldn’t find them on their online menu so I can’t tell you how they were described on there.

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I thought they looked great when they came out! Hubby got that glazed over look again and could barely wait for me to take a photo before digging in.

He said they were very tasty. The sauce was kind of sweet but also had a tanginess to it.
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I wanted to see the inside after he’d cut into it and had to take a pic because it looked so good!

That even makes MY mouth water and I don’t usually go for ribs!

With regards to the empty tables, I hope what hubby and I saw on this day wasn’t the norm for Walkers Arms as the food was pretty good and I’d hate to see people not coming here anymore just because the buffet is no longer here.

In fact, I’m looking forward to going back and trying a few different items from the menu or I’d go back even just to sit outside in the comfy outdoor area and watch a game of footy on their big screen TV’s.

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

Till next we chow…

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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…

Le Riad

neo_img_imgp5747.jpgToday on the Dining Diaries…

Carpet and guns on the walls,
America Ferrera is now waiting tables and
Food that has us saying “we’re coming back” just after a couple of bites.

A “riad” is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard.

Le Riad is a place that’s almost hidden even though it’s situated on a main road and right by a very popular pub/restaurant. This place had been recommended to me by someone I trust so I was eager to try the food.
They advertise as having real Moroccan cuisine and when I looked at the menu on line, I knew I was going to have trouble ordering as everything sounded good and new (to me)

I wondered if I should even make a booking but when we got there I was glad we did as there was only one table available and that was for us. The place was packed!

The first thing we noticed was the deadened sound. In other places we go to, due to modern decor, every clang and chink is amplified as sound bounces off every surface but at Le Riad, the carpet on the floor and the rugs on the wall deaden it all.
It had me feeling a little unsettled at first!
The next thing we noticed were the guns on the wall. Although this unnerved us a little too, there was still something homey and comfortable about the place. We couldn’t put our finger on it just then but later we noticed that there were both families and couples dining and not one person (bar me) had their phone out! Can you imagine that? In a crowded albeit small restaurant, no one was playing with their phone.
I felt like I’d been picked up and thrown into another time and country.

It was also very red and very dark in there. I tried to take some photos but they were all poor quality, as with pictures of the food I took, there just wasn’t enough light.
Having said that, if your aim is to have a nice romantic dinner and you have no need to photograph your food, then you are in for a treat.

We looked through the menu and on each page I changed my mind about what I was going to eat. Everything seemed so exciting to me! Lots of authentic dishes to choose from.
I ended up ordering the Goat Tajine – Goat and mixed vegetables gently cooked with a mix of Moroccan herbs and spices.
Hubby ordered the Mixed Grill – Lamb, chicken, kefta, merguez sausage, served with hummus and bread.
And just because we wanted to sample more, we ordered Lamb Couscous – A traditional Moroccan dish.Couscous is steamed over spiced lamb and vegetables
I also desperately wanted to try some of the Moroccan bread they had on the menu but sadly they were out.

Our waitress was so lovely, friendly and accommodating and bore a striking resemblance to America Ferrara.

We arrived at the restaurant just before 7.30pm. At 8.18pm I noticed that our food hadn’t arrived yet. In any other place I would have noticed this a lot sooner but there is a lot to take in on your first visit to Le Riad.
You can only see so many dishes of hot steaming food going out to other tables before food envy sets in.
At 8.23 and tummies are really gurgling now… but let me add, we were happy. We weren’t grumpy, we were just more excited to try what we had ordered.
8.26 and America Ferrara look alike comes and sincerely apologises for the wait and offers us free drinks. Now how lovely is that! We hadn’t complained, we were sitting there smiling and talking, yet she still came over with this lovely gesture! Double ticks for that!

Ten or so minutes later our food came. I just love it when the first thing you notice about your food is the smell! It was heavenly and not like anything I had smelt before so it’s a little hard for me to describe. I don’t know what traditional Moroccan spices are.
It was definitely hearty and rich and just what you’d want on a fresh Autumn night.

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Goat Tajine

 

My Goat Tajine was exquisite.

Again, I have to apologise for the picture quality as it was really very dark in there.

Hopefully you can imagine how wonderful this dish was. Rich with flavour and colourful it was very very inviting to eat. I felt like I’d been transported to deliciousness heaven.
The goat was amazingly tender and I had to wonder why we don’t eat this meat more often.

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Mixed Grill

 

Hubby, being a meat lover, ordered the mixed grill and he wasn’t disappointed either.

A nice sized dish with lovely elements. The meat and bread had a charred smokey taste
The hummus was fresh and lovely when eaten with that crispy bread.

.There really wasn’t anything we didn’t like!

 

 

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Lamb Couscous

Lastly we sampled our Lamb Couscous. I must admit, I found it hard to find pieces of lamb but even so, it was equally delicious. The cous cous was light and springy and I loved the burst of coriander I tasted every now and then. I wondered later if I had ordered a chicken cous cous, if it would have given me a different flavour throughout as I didn’t think the lamb taste was particularly strong however still a very enjoyable dish.

All in all we loved our time at Le Riad. The restaurant is comfortable, the wait staff are lovely and I’m pretty sure this is a family run business. They genuinely want you to have a good time and to love the food as much as they do.

On Saturday’s they also have a belly dancer come in and do some belly dancing. It’s a shame we didn’t go on a Saturday! That would have been a treat!

I’m eager to go back and try some more items from the menu.

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

Till next we chow…