Today on the Dining Diaries….

Latin music transports us,
Wonderful flavours “wow” us and
We interact with passionate staff who treat us like old friends.

Diners today we were at Panacea at Marion.

I must admit, this was the place I was most interested in when the Westfield Marion addition/development was revealed.

I just love the look of it!
Lots of red exposed brick, wood and iron giving it possibly and industrial look? I’m not up with decor but I do know what I like and what makes me feel comfortable and at ease and this place does it for me!

We were greeted but lovely staff, handed some menus and went to take our seats.
The choices on the menu were a little different to what we were used to but they did seem really good and we had a bit of a hard time deciding what we were going to go with.

In fact out lovely waitress came and went a few times while we were still trying to decide what to eat and drink and that’s not usual for us! She was patient and answered all the questions we asked about both the restaurant and the food.

Finally we decided to start with Meatballs – pork & veal cooked in a rich tomato sauce,  as suggested by our waitress, and also a serve of Patatas Bravas – crisp fried potatoes with fresh salsa & sherry vinegar.
For main I chose the fish of the day special  – Atlantic Salmon – and hubby, much to my surprise, went for the Gnocchi. Unfortunately, I didn’t write down how it appeared on the menu and it’s not on their online menu so I can’t tell you exactly what it came with, only that it had cauliflower and cream in it as well.

The first plates came out fairly quickly.

How good do those potatoes look!!!

The salsa doesn’t look like much but it gave those potatoes such a unique flavour.

I wish I was experienced enough to tell you what herbs and spices were used, but whatever it was, it was just a magical pairing.

The potatoes were crispy on the outside yet soft on the inside and that salsa was sweet and just so delicious!

I was so glad we’d chosen this…. and equally glad I had taken my half and put it on a separate plate before hubby got his hands on it…

fullsizerender3Our second starter was the Meatball dish as suggested by the waitress.

Again this dish really impressed.

We had four good sized meat balls on this plate and they were as tender as you can imagine and full of flavour.

What I loved most of all though was that sauce!! The tomatoes were so fresh and sweet. It was so lovely to eat and the bread they brought out with it was crispy and toasty warm. I wish they’d given us a bit more bread actually!
It was a wonderful way to start and I was super excited to see what would be coming out next….

I’m pretty sure my choice was the best out of our two mains.

That salmon could not have been cooked better. The skin was crispy and the inside was just perfectly cooked. It looks like a small piece of the plate but it was really deceivingly substantial. I was really hoping hubby wasn’t going to ask me for more (I did let him have a teensy taste)
fullsizerender1The potato rosti was also a great accompaniment.
I’m not a huge fan of hollandaise sauce myself as I usually find it too thick and too creamy but they had a generous amount on here for those that do.

Because I loved this so much I thought I’d show you another picture of my dish from a different angle. See how big that serve is?

Again the herbs and spices used were just perfect. I’m not a big fan of coleslaw but if you do like it, you would have loved what was on my plate. It was very creamy and I felt my hips widening just looking at it!

Hubby’s Gnocchi looked interesting .

It was a little bit deceiving because he would go to get what he thought was a gnocchi, and it would turn out to be a piece of cauliflower.
He too said the flavour combinations were amazing. Pairing gnocchi, caulifower and walnuts is probably a brave thing to do but it really worked, especially when covered in that gorgeous creamy sauce.

One thing I was disappointed in was that I didn’t notice the Sangria on the drinks menu until we were well into our mains!!
There are also a good selection of pizza’s on the menu and I’m curious to see how they taste.

When I went to pay the bill, I told the server that everything was really good, the owner heard and came to tell me about some of the other food  items on the menu and to talk about his personal favourites, and then the chef came out too to hear what the feedback was about the food. Their passion really shines through and I loved seeing that!

Panacea, I will definitely be back and this time it will be for Pizza and Sangria!!

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

Till next we chow…


Feathers Hotel

Today on The Dining Diaries,

When nothing else is standing out, Sliders give an unexpected and welcome kick,
Overhead fans leave us shivering on an already cold night.
We ponder what the opposite of cosy and warm is….

FullSizeRender (62)Diners today we were at the Feathers Hotel. I didn’t know a lot about this place and I tried to get some information from their website but unfortunately it’s still under construction.

Their facebook page claims that Feathers is a fresh and exciting eatery.

It’s definitely fresh!

It was a bitterly cold day in Adelaide when we visited and we could see a fireplace inside the restaurant. Sadly, there were no empty tables near the fireplace so we sat ourselves a few tables down and hoped to catch a bit of escaping warmth.
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On first impression the dining room looked clean, fresh and modern. Geometric tiles on the floor and well thought out seating to maximise but not squash in the number of customers.

Music was playing and a TV screen was on to distract – At just a little past five, this place was filling up fast. There were already a few tables full when we arrived and a few more people came with young children while we sat.

Our server was lovely but she seemed quite anxious to have our order. I ended up choosing the  Papardelle Ragu – KI braised lamb shoulder in a red wine, roast tomato & vegetable sugo w/ herbs & pecorino
Hubby went for a few entree’s instead. He chose Pork Sliders – Slow roasted pork shoulder, house slaw, chipotle mayo in a sweet bun and  Arancini Balls – Semi dried tomato & basil w/ marinara sauce & vegan parmesan

I have to say, I was surprised at how busy it was at this time of night. It’s obviously a well loved place but for me there was something missing and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
Overhead fans were on – probably to push warm air down but there was no warm air and we hoped the food would be able to warm us up when it came.

FullSizeRender (61)The food didn’t take too long to come out.

Hubby was pleasantly surprised by his Sliders.

They were a good size so his eyes were pleased immediately.  They didn’t skimp on the pork – It was tender and smothered in what they described as a tangy sauce, but it really gave a good kick!  Hubby said it reminded him of BBQ Ribs sauce.
The coleslaw gave your mouth a bit of relief but it was really a well balanced taste.

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The Arancini Balls were equally good.

Moist and full of flavour, yet crunchy on the outside. The texture was perfect.

We’d had these elsewhere a few times before and thought they were stodgy but the ones we were served at The Feathers were really lovely and not stodgy at all.

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My Lamb Ragu looked good when it came to the table.  I did think it looked a little small or perhaps lost in the plate that it was served in.
I was also a bit disappointed that I couldn’t smell that tomato and basil sauce. There were basil leaves on top but I think they’d just been thrown on there at the last minute. I couldn’t taste basil and I certainly couldn’t smell it.
The pasta was cooked al dente, and there was a generous amount of tender lamb throughout.
This was not a bad dish, it just wasn’t memorable. It was okay.
I think what made this experience not so great for me were those overhead fans because my dish cooled down almost immediately and was cold by the time I was finishing.
FullSizeRender (58)No pizzazz, no style, no aroma, not enough cheese and became cold almost immediately.

We also ordered a side of fries which were neither here nor there but the garlic aioli was kind of nice.

Efficient staff were by to pick up empty plates the moment you put your fork down.

Even though there was nothing too wrong with this place, I don’t think there was a lot right either. There was just something missing.
Perhaps it’s in the name? The Feathers. You think of something warm and soft – cosy – comforting.
While there is nothing wrong with this place, it’s not cosy. It’s the opposite of comforting and cosy. It was a little impersonal and I hesitate to say that as our server was a lovely young girl and these comments are definitely not a reflection on her.

I would probably go here again but next time order something different and see if that changes my mind about the food – and perhaps I won’t go until Summer time unless I can reserve a spot by the fireplace!

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

Till next we chow…

Pizza e Mozzarella Bar

Today on the Dining Diaries,

We discover pizza in Naples must be just ‘ok’
“Hype” can have a negative affect and
When the moon hits your eye and it ain’t a pizza pie, there’s no amore’ to be found.

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Today the Dining team were in Adelaide CBD.

We have heard a LOT of buzz about the Pizza e Mozzarella Bar situated in Pirie st.
I had even previously tasted a slice or two when a pizza had been taken back to the office by one of my work colleagues and had been impressed.

I had also heard Matt Preston from the Australian version of Masterchef say that this place has the best pizza outside of Naples

I didn’t want to let past experience sway me though, and just wanted to judge my dining experience on the present – as with all my reviews.

My reviews aren’t meant to be a be all and end all, just a written account of my opinions on the day I went into an establishment. FullSizeRender (44)

When you first walk into the Pizza e Mozzarella Bar, you walk into an invitingly warm room. The smell hits you first.

Woodfired pizza’s cooking means there’s a heavenly smokey smell throughout, with hints of garlic and tomato.

FullSizeRender (43)The carpet and mismatched water glasses make you feel like you’re at your nonna’s place.

It definitely whet’s your appetite!

A waiter addressed us as soon as we walked in, set us at a table and explained the specials to us. He was very thorough and persuasive because I ended up choosing the meatball entree that he suggested. Hubby went for the Capricciosa Pizza.
You can also view their menu online which I usually find handy.

When the dishes came to the table I was pretty excited. I could smell the tomato and basil coming from mine and it had been smothered in a gorgeous sauce.
I couldn’t wait to try it!

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The meatballs were pork and veal (from memory) mince and had mozzarella cheese in the middle.

It’s not in the photo but this dish also comes with four slices of continental bread which is just heavenly!! So deliciously fresh and soft.

I started mopping up my sauce with the bread before I’d even tasted the meatball!

That sauce was just divine and probably the best thing I had in this place tonight.

I’m sorry to say that while hubby didn’t have an awful experience with his pizza, he didn’t love it either.

FullSizeRender (46)The dough was really spongy and fresh and tasted great. The only problem was, the centre of the pizza was watery and soggy.

He wasn’t able to pick up a slice. Maybe that’s how they do them in Naples? Although I’ve been to Naples and I don’t remember the pizza’s being like that.

I felt really disappointed for him because I knew he must he was looking forward to having some good pizza.

The pizza had a bit of a rustic look. He also felt like there wasn’t enough toppings. The photo doesn’t really bring out how barren the pizza was. However, I can attest to the fact that in Italy, the pizza’s are like that. Hubby has a Canadian/American background and I’ve seen the way they pile on the toppings over there then smother it was cheese and more cheese. Sadly this pizza was barren however, what was on there DID taste good.
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The music that was playing when we were there was eighties and nineties pop. I would have thought they could have gone for something Italian – something more authentic. It was sometimes a distraction.

I was told they make that beautiful bread I ate in-house and in fact, I could buy some to take home if I wanted.
The restaurant also does cooking classes which may interest some people. Their website gives you more information.

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For the dollars that this place asks, and for the reputation that it has, I would have expected a little more and I’m sorry to say we were a bit disappointed and not entirely full when we left.

After strolling through the city, we went to the Adelaide Central Markets and made everything right again with a couple of treats!

Love the Adelaide Markets!

Have you been to the Pizza e Mozzarella Bar?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow…

Turning Japanese – Part Ten

Only a few more days left of this vacation and I’m sad to be leaving but also a little homesick.

I mentioned in a previous entry that Denny’s had lounge music playing while we were eating breakfast. What I’ve noticed since is that a LOT of places have lounge music playing. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin… that kind of era.
For a country that is so advanced when it comes to technology, they seem to be stuck in a bit of a time warp.
Here in Osaka we found a mall where breakdancers congregate in the basement and work through their routines. It’s quite something to watch!

Unfortunately today is raining crazily. We were going to go to the Shitennjoi temple but looks like that won’t be happening today.

We walked to our regular mall and surprise, surprise, didn’t go to the food court, but we DID go to the supermarket where we are fast becoming regulars.
We grabbed a coffee and some sweets from there and sat and had breakfast trying to figure out what we were going to do in all this rain.
I took pictures of some of the desserts/cakes. They remind me of what is sold through the Bread Top chain if you’re familiar with that..


Very delcious and light but probably really heavily processed too. Lots of people were buying these things and eating them in the seats provided by the supermarket.

This afternoon we bought tickets for a baseball game that was happening at Kyocera Dome, right near were we’re staying.
I have never really watched a game although I did play it once or twice in Primary School. I soon found myself getting into it though!! I was chanting away with everyone else for the home team – Orix Buffalo’s. It was so exciting!

Because it was late when the game was over, we didn’t eat anything too interesting for dinner – We ended up going back to the food mall and getting an enormous bowl of noodles – the same dish we had a couple of days ago.

I’ve seen these little desserts around the place – I’m not sure what they are, but tonight I found them in the supermarket so I bought some.
I wish I knew more about them but there are no English words on the packaging and no one who speak English that I can ask.
I took the chance and just bought them.

They didn’t taste as I was expecting. I’m suspecting they may have lychee in them? I really don’t know. There was a bit of a rubbery taste to them. This is them cut in half


If anyone knows what they are I’d love to know!

Hopefully it won’t be raining tomorrow so we’ll be able to get down to the temple.
Only a few more days left here and so many foods still to try!