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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The Curious Squire

Today on the Dining Diaries…

After a couple of false starts, we are curious no more!
Music and interesting decor made for topic of conversation and
Burgers and yummy finger foods to die for!

5teatdrink153curious3Diners today we were at The Curious Squire in North Adelaide; A hip, US-inspired hub for burgers, slow-cooked BBQ steaks, wings and ribs, plus craft beer and cider.

We have driven past this place so many times and even attempted to dine but they were always fully booked and it just never happened. Tonight we got lucky!
We really were only lucky because we had come fairly early. Our table was going to be booked a few hours later and there were reserved signs over most of the tables we saw.

I love the look and feel of this place. Rock music was playing, people working looked like they were enjoying their jobs and lots of other customers were around having a good time. It wasn’t so loud to be distracting though, just enough to make you want to be a part of it.


I love the dark furniture and the streaming light coming from the windows. There’s plenty of interesting things to read on the wall about James Squire himself!

The table numbers are large cards and there’s even a wall of cards in the dining room! I’m not sure what the significance is of a deck of cards but it would be something to look into.


The server who greeted us was really so very lovely and did as much as she could to make sure we could be served today.
We were left with some menus and after not eating for most of the day, were drooling in anticipation.

I couldn’t go past one of the specials that was written up on the board behind the bar.
Ben & Lamb burger; Toasted Blue Bun, Smoke pulled Lamb, Potato skin, mint jelly, lettuce, tomato and onion.
I probably should have paid more attention to the “mint jelly” part of that description!

Hubby ended up ordering the Trio of Sliders -pig mac, mother clucker and american cheeseburgerers;

But before those dishes came, we got some entree’s to start…

We had to try their wings! American Buffalo Wings – crispy fried chicken wingettes with our curiously different take on the famous frank’s hot sauce with ranch

On Wednesday’s they sell these for 50 cents each!

We also got the Cheesy Macho Nachos – 12 corn tortilla chips served with queso, refried beans, smashed avocado, sour cream and added texas chilli on the side.

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I’m not much for wings but hubby definitely is and he just loved these.

Hubby said they had a strong vinegar based sauce and they were perfect!

Just like the way he makes them.

Although I don’t eat wings I tried one and could see they had been cooked well and everything was fresh and crispy. I was almost converted!

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The Nacho’s were also really well done.

The cheesy sauce was gooey and oozed a little to the nacho’s below.

Again, all the sauces were fresh and the nacho’s themselves were large (not broken) and crispy.

The texas chili on the side was soooo delicious!! Again, a little too hot for my liking but I have a low tolerance. Hubby just loved it! The meat in there was so tender and the sauce had a beautifully sweet tomato taste. I couldn’t help dipping my fries in there later even though I knew it was hot!

The one thing that did bother me a little was that our mains were brought out before we were even halfway through our entree so we had a table full of food that was now all going to get cold. Perhaps it was just a mix up in the kitchen.

Hubby’s sliders looked good and deceivingly small…
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These buns were all full of flavour. They are not stingy when it comes to filling!
I also love the way they bring the food out on those silver trays.

Hubby said he really couldn’t fault a thing, it was all really great tasting. There was one he particularly liked that had a mustard sauce in it.

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My burger was equally good! I wasn’t quite sure how a “BLUE” burger was going to look or even why you would want to do that though. It’s green in the picture, but when you bite into it, the inside is blue.

I instantly tasted the mint jelly and wished I’d asked to not have that in the burger. Thankfully, there really wasn’t a lot of it. The potato skin was more like a slice of cooked potato rather than skin but that too was ok.
It’s a really big burger so probably not something you’d order on a first date!!! I ended up having to take some of the insides out and eat them separately.

Overall, I’m so glad we came here. It’s seems to be a buzzing place and you really don’t mind spending your money when you know the service, food and atmosphere are going to be good!!
I definitely recommend going down to The Curious Squire and having a look at what they have to offer but go on a Wednesday if you can to take advantage of that wing special!!

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

Till next we chow…