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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Portobello

What a nice little treat for us today! Through a set of circumstances, hubby and I found ourselves at Portobello, a great little cafe in New Port.

Portobello boasts waterfront views and when we arrived, we were greeted by friendly staff – always important – and shown to a table that made the most of the gorgeous day outside.
I did have to wonder what kind of business they do here as the location isn’t that easy to get to. Having said that, the instructions on their website are really clear and easy to follow, but just the fact that they have to have instructions would be a little worrying for me.

The restaurant seems to have a good layout with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. We noticed a thermomix on the servery counter and wondered what they would use that for.

I personally loved the choices on the menu. This was my kind of menu! Lots of good Italian dishes. Pasta, pizza, risotto.
We ordered some wine then decided to start with everyone’s favourite, wedges, followed by Beef Ragu Rigatoni for me, and the Grain Fed MSA Portherhouse for hubby.

Our taste buds were definitely watering as we saw other people’s food coming out. Everything looked delicious!

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Wedges with Sweet Chili Sauce and Sour Cream

The food came out sooner than I was expecting considering the amount of people there.

The wedges were just fantastic. They were crisp, crunchy, fresh and hot! Nicely seasoned, thick wedges accompanied by sweet chili sauce and sour cream.

The only negative hubby had was that there wasn’t enough!

Wedges are wedges and though they were done well, are a pretty common item on the menu so usually not something I’d go out of my way for.

The mains on the other hand… my mouth is watering again just thinking about it!

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Beef Ragu Rigatoni

My Beef Ragu Rigatoni was just divine! The gorgeous aroma’s coming from it almost knocked me out before I’d even tried any!

The meat was so tender and so so flavoursome.
The pasta was perfectly cooked al-dente and my serve was so large I actually shared some with hubby.

The sauce was rich and I loved the odd mushroom I found on my plate.

Really a very delightful dish and just what I was craving today.
I was very sad when it was all gone!

 

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300 gram Porterhouse

 

Hubby’s Porter-house was really tasty but again he was disappointed in the size as he saw this dish being brought out to others and their serves looked bigger.
We could have been mistaken.
Food envy is a real thing!

Hubby said it was really tender, perfectly pink inside, and had a really nice flavour but he could have done without the red wine sauce.
I had a taste and actually really loved it so I guess that’s just one of those things that does come down to exactly that – taste.
His meal had steamed broccolini and rosemary baby potatoes. The broccolini was still firm – perfect, and the baby potatoes were very crisp and tasty too. Again, his only negative was that there wasn’t enough.

Our waitress was lovely. She was attentive without being intrusive and answered a few questions I had about Portobello.

In summary…
The Good: The food was more than delicious – Better than any I’ve had in a little while. Flavoursome and cooked with love.
The Bad: None really except maybe hubby’s serve was smaller than he was expecting and although I didn’t mind the short walk to the restaurant, I wouldn’t want to do that on a bad weather day.
The Ugly: The only ugly was probably how full and fat I felt as I walked out of there! But I was very satisfied and I’d love to go back and try out a few more delicious items from their menu.
Have you been to Portobello?
Does your experience match mine?
I’d love to hear your thoughts, please let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow…