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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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…