The Strand

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We enter with low expectations and are wowed by great food.
It may look impressive when a server appears to memorise your order but it doesn’t mean they will actually remember it and
Big juicy prawns make me a happy girl

FullSizeRender[4]Diners today we were at The Strand which is located on Jetty Rd at Glenelg.
I don’t know why I’ve never been here. Like many people in Adelaide I’ve walked past it many times as I stroll Jetty Rd but to me it’s just been another cafe so we just kept on walking by.

Today was different and hubby and I actually stopped in to get a quick bite before he went off to work.

Our first impressions were that it seemed like a funky place. We walked inside and were met by a server who gave us some menus and followed us back outside. We decided to sit in the “outdoor” area because the heaters were on and it just looked comfortable. Plus FullSizeRender[3]we could engage in a bit of people watching which is always interesting.

I liked the decor.

Colourful bench seats and wood slat walls.

We immediately felt right at home!

First impressions of the menu were pretty good. There were some good choices on there but probably pretty much cafe fare. I was mildly annoyed that the server took what felt like forever to come back and actually take our order. In fact, while we were sitting there hubby got a google alert, notifying him that it knew he was at The Strand and perhaps he’d like to write a review? It also gave him the opportunity to read what other people had said about it and a recurring theme were those who were sitting outside felt like they’d been forgotten about.

Eventually someone did come to take our order. I always get a bit nervous when they  memorise it. I mean seriously, I know you can do it but I’m really not going to be offended if you get a pen and paper out.
We gave him our orders and I also asked for a glass of wine and off he went with our order firmly stuck in his mind. Or was it?

While we waited a long time to put our order in, we didn’t have to wait long for the food to come out and it did not disappoint!

Hubby ordered “Agnello Alla Griglia” Lamb Back Strap marinated in chermmoula spices, served with Kipfler potatoes and yoghurt sauce (chermmoula spices are Spanish spices including parsley, coriander, garlic & lemon)

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FullSizeRenderI couldn’t decide what photo to use so I’ve added them both!

Hubby was very excited when this plate was put in front of him. He was surprised that it wasn’t served as one piece however he said it was just delicious.  The lamb back strap was cooked perfectly and just tasted so good.
It really was beautifully presented.
The potatoes were good and he loved that there was a generous portion. He also, unexpectedly, loved the crispy bits of sweet potato! All in all, this dish was a winner.

I felt like I hadn’t had pasta for a while so I went for the “Pappardelle Gamberi”. Fresh ribbon pasta with pan friedprawns, springonion,babyspinach in a rosesauce

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I’m not sure why I haven’t captured it in this picture but there were six juicy prawns in there!! What a lovely surprise!! They were so full of flavour and so meaty I was almost full just after eating the prawns!
Oh and what I haven’t mentioned was when I was looking on the menu, I was trying to pick a pasta that didn’t have a cream sauce. I asked the waiter if there was any cream in the rose sauce and he said yes a little, but also said he could ask the chef to make it without! So that was a plus for me!
And I really loved the flavours that were through this sauce. I enjoyed this dish a lot!! The pasta was so well cooked and just exactly what I’d been looking for today.
They also left a nice little dish of Parmesan on the table so I was able to keep adding as I went along. YUM!

One little disappointing thing was that I was halfway through my meal when I noticed I didn’t get my glass of wine. You see, memorising is not always a good thing!!
I asked another server who was close by about it and she went to get it right away. I’m not really complaining about it as when we went to pay for our food I noticed they hadn’t charged us for the wine so it’s all good in the end… and it was a lovely drop I have to say!

So there you have it, there’s our review of The Strand.
My recommendation? If you, like me, have walked past it a million times and not stopped in, why not give it a go? Perhaps don’t sit outside if you’re in a hurry… but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in the food.

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

Till next we chow…

Two Bit Villains

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We find that “meat” is a menu item
We discover homemade sodas in any flavour that you can imagine and
We learn that drinks taste better when served in mason jars.

Diners today I took a leap out of my comfort zone and dined at Two Bit Villains. For those who aren’t familiar with this funky little place in Adelaide Arcade, Two Bit Villains is a vegetarian restaurant.

It’s definitely popular with the younger crowd! In our last review, the team brought the average age of diners down but today, I definitely raised the average age of diners. The staff were super friendly despite my age and showed us to a table. It was choka block full!!! We were lucky to get a seat and this was at 1.30pm on a Wednesday afternoon.

Looking around, it kind of has a pacific island paradise feel… from the fifties. The walls are covered with bamboo and there are plants, retro furniture and miss matched chairs throughout. It was really a groovy place and I was really excited to taste the food here!

The menu was a little daunting for a vegetarian novice like me. I don’t know that I’ve ever been anywhere that is exclusively vegetarian before. I had to wonder why they have to make everything sound “meaty”. Why can’t things just be what they are? They had “meat” repeated on the menu a few times. I get that they’re probably trying to appeal to meat eaters but I think their food is good enough to stand on it’s own and not pretend to be something it’s not.

FullSizeRender (81)I loved their drinks menu!

Such interesting choices including a whole range of different home made soda flavours.

We chose the apple pie soda and it was just so delicious!

Unfortunately this one I photographed wasn’t served in a mason jar but I’m almost positive it would have tasted even better if it had been.

I ended up going for the Smokin’ Sweet Potato Pot Pie. Creamy sweet potato mash on top of a rich flavoursome slow cooked tomato, quinoa and vegetable casserole.
My accomplice chose the El Bandido Burger. A bitey black-bean and quinoa patty, lettuce, tomato, cheese and a swirl of our special chipotle mayonnaise and vegan cheese.
When I placed the order I was asked if I wanted vegan or gluten free options. Big tick there!! Even though my answer was no, I love that the diner has the option.

The menu stated that the Potato Pot Pie would be at least fifteen minutes to allow for baking. I love that they give you that notice! It didn’t really seem that long when it came out but it looked really hearty and delicious. I took a couple of photos so you can see what it looked like when it came out to me, and what the inside was like after I’d had a few bites.

This dish was really hearty and a wonderful Winter dish. I really loved the taste of the creamy mash and the textures of the different vegetables underneath it. Although the serve looked a little small when it was first brought to the table, it really was a generous dish and I felt quite full after it.

The burger was equally delicious
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In fact, I had a bit of diners envy after I had a taste because it was  more than I would have expected. I loved the sesame seeds on top of the bun which had been lightly toasted for a nice crunch. There was a slight taste of chili – just enough to wow your mouth and complimented the wonderfully flavoured bean patty.

This dish really exceeded my expectations and if I find myself here again, this is going to be my first choice!

We both had a serve of those shoe string fries on the side and I’ll mention them because they were crisp and seasoned really well too. Honestly, there really wasn’t much I could fault about this place and looking at the amount of people in here, most people must think the same! It certainly has a “buzz” about it and is definitely worth the visit!

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

Till next we chow…