BarZaar

Today on the Dining Diaries…

A Lamb Shank creates food envy,
A wonderful server makes us feel right at home and
Good food at a reasonable price right in Unley!

BarZaar

Diners today we were at BarZaar on Unley Rd and what a good little place this turned out to be!

We had seen this place popping up on our Facebook news feed and were actually thinking it was referring to another establishment. I’m so glad we looked into it a little further today.

The first thing you notice as you walk in is that it’s like an older type dining room with a modern feel. There’s lots of orange and brown colours. I was still trying to work out if I FullSizeRender[4]liked it or not when a nice young server came and spoke with us.

He gave us some menus and said he’d be back to take our order. He was super attentive, informative and helpful and made us feel welcome and comfortable.

From our table we could see the outdoor area and noticed this cute little herb garden. There was a sign there saying the chef grows his herbs there but anyone is welcome to take what they need as well. How cool is that!!

It was way too cold to consider eating in that outdoor area today but I bet it would be a great place to sit in the Summer time… if you don’t mind traffic noise that is.

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There is some association with the SANFL Sturt Football Club but we didn’t really find out anymore about that. If you’re supporter, you probably already know about this place!

I was happy when they brought bread to our table.
It seems fewer and fewer places are doing that.
Not only did they bring bread, but it was crunchy and had those delicious sesame seeds on top.
Yum!

We decided to share a starter. Hubby chose the Lamb Kofta. I must admit, I was too busy faffing about to see it on the menu so I wasn’t really sure what he’d ordered but I thought it would probably be yummy.

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And they really were yummy!!! They brought out a sauce to have with them. I thought it was like a tzatziki but hubby thought it was more like sour cream and chives. I think I was right. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a menu online so I can’t confirm it.
Either way, these were really delicious. They were flavourful, held their shape and just glorious when dipped in that refreshing sauce!

For main I thought I’d try the Lamb Shank! It’s been ages since I’ve had one but what sold it to me was that it was served with couscous.

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It looked soooooo good when it came out! As soon as I put my fork to it, morsels of lamb fell away from the bone. It was exquisite! I could see hubby was getting jealous… I’ll get to that in a moment. Not only was the shank really well cooked, but the couscous was just so delicious! It had bits of eggplant, capsicum, onion and I think there were sultanas in there too? Such a beautiful combination of flavours. I could have had a plate full of only that!

Hubby was pretty food conservative today and went for a chicken parmigiana.

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Even though he had this pretty and colourful plate in front of him, he kept looking over at mine. I pinched one of his chips and thought they were really seasoned well!! Nice, crispy and were just tasty.
He said the meat was well cooked and there was certainly a generous amount of cheese on there! The salad was also really well dressed. I just can’t eat bits of lettuce and tomato if there’s no dressing on them but so many cafe’s do that!

Even though he was eating his meal, he was still eyeing off mine and jealousy can be a cruel master so I let him clean my shank bone. What a good wifey am I.
He eagerly took it and got the remaining bits of meat off.

BarZaar is not some fancy place, it’s an every day bistro on Unley rd and if you’re looking for a good honest meal, you just can’t go past it!

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

Till next we chow…

 

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Aldgate Pump Hotel

 

 

Today on the Dining Diaries..

I find where the Play School “round” window went!
Stone grill dishes make our mouths water and
A little seasoning never goes astray….

Aldgate Pump HotelDiners today we are in Aldgate at the Aldgate Pump Hotel. I wondered how it got it’s name. What did the “pump” part of it mean?
Well as it turns out, a century or so ago, bullock drivers, travellers and colonists would travel from Adelaide past the pub. At that time, the trip from Adelaide to the pub took a good part of the day. A hand-pump and trough outside gave horses a welcome drink while their owners were inside refreshing themselves with something to eat and drink.

Although it didn’t take us half a day to get here, we were looking forward to being refreshed ourselves.
There are lovely pubs scattered throughout the Adelaide Hills and we weren’t disappointed by what we found at the Aldgate Pump Hotel.

I was a little dismayed as we walked in though, to see dated carpet and older style furnishings but the longer we sat there, the more I realised that it’s part of the charm that the locals expect.


The staff were friendly and we found a nice table that let us enjoy the views to the greenery outside.

The menu sounded a little ambitious at first glance. Were they trying to be something they’re not or could they really deliver?
The most interesting aspect of the menu is the Hot Rock  section. In fact we saw a couple of dishes coming out and the sizzling sound of that meat cooking on the hot rock was really making us question our menu choices!

In the end we decided to go for the chef’s selection : Trio of Dips as a starter.

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Look at that beautiful colour! I have to say, these are the best selection of dips we’ve had in a while. Each dip had a wonderful texture and we were given quite a generous amount of each! We guessed the flavours as being (from left) beetroot, sundried tomato and tzatziki. The pita bread was fresh and warm and we were almost full after sharing this plate!

We both really felt like a good pub burger today so hubby went for the Pulled Pork Burger, and I went for my usual Steak Burger.

The Pulled Pork Burger made hubby’s eyes light up when it came out.

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There seems to be a generous amount of pork in there! Unfortunately hubby said it was really lacking in seasoning and flavour. We both found the burger bun to be a little…
I’m not sure how to describe it, only to say it seemed like it had been thawed out and reheated.

My Steak burger looked pretty good when it came out too.

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I can’t remember seeing it on the menu but there were fried onion rings in there! Sadly, these too could have used some salt but it was still exciting to see.

The meat itself was beautifully cooked; Tender and succulent just as it should be. The rest of the burger had flavour enough so I really enjoyed mine.

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While we were dining I glanced over and saw what reminded me of the Play School Window!

Those Australians, who like me, grew up with ABC’s Play School will know what I’m talking about.

All in all, we had a nice dining experience here despite the lack of flavour in some of the food. I just think they might be trying to be something they’re not.
People come to this place for the charm and the history and I think that’s what they need to promote.
While they say “change is as good as a holiday” I think they need to be calculated changes and the skills to cope with the changes have to accompany them.

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

Till next we chow…

Brunelli – Rundle Street

Today on the Dining Diaries…

A beautiful dessert display entices me,
“Grande Piatte” section of the menu entices hubby and
Food envy abounds!

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Diners today we are at Brunelli’s Cafe on Rundle Street in the Adelaide CBD.

This location has been a popular site for hungry Adelaidians  as it was formerly Cafe Buon Giorno. In fact, I have been known to mix the two places up and I won’t mention how recently that’s happened!
Their website says that they were the first to introduce Wood Oven Pizza to Adelaide in 1989. It’s hard to believe that Wood Oven Pizza’s haven’t been around longer…

In any case, we were hungry and it was well past lunch time but Brunelli’s Cafe, like most Cafe’s, have all day dining so we went in.

To be honest expectations weren’t overly high. We just wanted a good honest meal.

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You can’t help but notice the gorgeous selection of desserts as you enter.

I could feel my hips widening as I walked past.

Staff noticed us right away and we were welcomed and shown to a table.

The menu is pretty extensive and reasonably priced.

We were going to choose an entree to share but after seeing those cakes I persuaded hubby to just get mains, and then if we were still hungry, we could order some cakes or ice cream. Yum!

The menu has a section called “Piatto Grande” which means very big plates! I thought hubby would like that so I pointed it out to him. He was really hoping fora  yiros (kebab) before we walked into Brunelli’s so was drawn to the Open Lamb Souvlaki which was in the Piatto Grande section of the menu.  Marinated braised lamb pieces served with Tzatziki and pita bread. Also comes with chips and salad.

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I thought it looked great when it came out!

It was presented beautifully and the salad was dressed well, I could see it glistening!
The chips looked fresh and that meat looked really good too.

I love how they’ve got capsicum through the meat.
I tried a little bit and it was such a great accompaniment for the lamb. Hubby was really happy with how it had been seasoned.

Everything was cooked well. I don’t know why my expectations were low, but this was a good honest plate.

Before walking in I had a bit of a craving for a burger but I could smell cheese and tomato and changed my mind. I needed pasta!
I love how they allow you to choose what pasta type you want, and match it to whatever sauce you want.

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I ended up choosing Fettucini with the Sorentina Sauce. Sorentina sauce, according to their menu, is a traditional tomato and basil sauce with bocconcini cheese.

I didn’t think I’d like the bocconocini in it but I was wrong…

The first thing I noticed was the strong smell of basil. I just love basil! The bocconcini had started to melt so was a delicious gooey mess.
If  you like your pasta cooked al-dente, you would have been disappointed with this dish and it was definitely overcooked but I don’t mind it that way myself and it was fine for me.

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I forgot to mention that they actually brought out a couple of slices of bread after we’d ordered!

So I was able to mop up that sauce with some of the bread. The bread basket also had a little container of Parmesan cheese so I was able to put on as much or as little as I wanted.

Another bonus!

We kept looking at other people’s plates, wondering what they were eating. There was definitely some pretty food coming out! Although we were very happy with ours, we couldn’t help but wonder what the other plates tasted like.

With such a big place, it would be easy for the staff to be impersonal but everyone we interacted with was really friendly and welcoming.

Brunelli’s is a great place if you’re after a no fuss, casual dining experience. Next time I might even try one of those sweets!

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

Till next we chow…

Mediterranean Ristorante

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We experience “outside” dining inside, thanks to the flies that insisted on joining us,
This place has oil and they ain’t afraid to use it!
Overall great food, great service and some enticing menu items beg us to revisit.

MediteranneancafeBrighton3-3-1024x768.jpgDiners today we were at Meditteranean Ristorante, a cute little place on the corner of  Broadway and Partridge Street in Glenelg.

Our day had been messed up again and we hadn’t had lunch. Although it was before 5pm, they said they were serving dinner which was a huge plus for us.

The staff greeted us as soon as they saw us and were friendly and inviting.
We chose to sit indoors as the sun was a little warm and there were flies everywhere!
Unfortunately, because the doors are open, there were flies all through the inside of the restaurant too and this would have been my biggest negative of the whole experience.
It’s just not comfortable when you have to keep swatting flies away before they land on your food.

The restaurant itself has a really comfortable feel with wood and maroon tones throughout. Some of the furniture looked a little worn but it just added to the comfort feel of the place.


We were given some menus and it was one of those menu’s where the more you read, the more you change your mind on what you’re going to order. There were so many things I could have had on there and in the end, went for a boring option (But one I enjoy) I really want to go back and try some of the other yummy things I saw.

Hubby decided to get an entree and salad. He chose and entree from the specials board.
Char-grilled haloumi pieces topped with fresh prosciutto, rocket, pistachios. Served with warm pita bread. Being an haloumi and prosciutto fan, he just couldn’t go past this dish!

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This was the first dish that came out and look how pretty that looks on the plate! You almost don’t want to eat it for fear of messing it up!

He said it had a wonderful sweetness to it and loved the pistachio’s that were mixed throughout. What you see on the plate there alongside the balsamic glaze is honey! At least that’s what it tasted like and hubby said the flavour combinations of all the elements together were just divine.  This was definitely his favourite.

He also had the Mediterranean Salad – House Special Chicken; Char-grilled marinated chicken served with mixed lettuce, tomato, cucumber, roasted capsicum, olives and feta with a white balsamic dressing, topped with tzatziki and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

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We both thought there was a good amount of chicken on there when the dish came out. The chicken was tender and seasoned well. The salad was dressed really well too and the tzatziki put a Mediterranean flair on the whole thing! His only complaint was that it was a salad and would have liked more lettuce leaves as a filler to make it look a little more substantial.

Boring me went for an old favourite, Fettuccine Ragu – Slow cooked tender braised chunks of beef with onions, carrots, celery and garlic in a rich red wine and tomato sauce.

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They brought out the Parmesan cheese so I was able to sprinkle that on myself. This was a real comforting dish. The pasta was cooked al-dente and the sauce was thick and rich. The beef was braised nice and was tender and flavourful.
My only complaint was that the sauce had a lot of oil in it which had pooled around the bottom of my plate. By the end of the meal I could taste it. It wasn’t overly unpleasant but I just kept thinking about my arteries clogging up.

Throughout our meal different servers came to check that everything was good and asked if we needed anything. They were attentive without being overbearing.
I should also add that the menu had fantastic wine choices too!

I’m really glad we finally got to visit this place as it’s been on our radar for quite some time and I’m eager to go back… maybe on a day where there aren’t too many flies around!
If you do visit, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed and it’s only a hop, skip and a jump from Jetty Rd, Glenelg and the beach so you’ll have plenty to do once your meal is done!

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

Till next we chow…

The Windsor

Today on the Dining Diaries…

 

It’s been a long time since I was the youngest person in a dining room,
We suspect the salad bar was filled with leftovers from the nursing home down the road and
An odd combination of flavours turns out OK in the end.

front3Hello Diners and I’m sorry to say this will not be a stellar review today. The team dined at The Windsor Retirement Home.

Probably our biggest dissatisfaction came from the fact that they are heavily geared towards Seniors.
The reason we came here in the first place was that hubby had been hearing ads on AM radio for The Windsor and how they had just renovated etc etc… The ad also mentions they have a salad bar – but hubby didn’t reveal that to me until we were actually entering the establishment…

Now in hindsight, there are two red flags there. One, the ad was on AM radio and two, they have a salad bar. I’m sure the Windsor is a wonderful place for seniors to gather and if you are one and want to give it a go, you’d probably love it, but I’m NOT a senior and I wish we had gone with our instincts and left – but we didn’t so here is the review.

img_6999First the good. It has a big clean dining area (with carpet).
I’m really struggling to come up with more. The food wasn’t terrible but I’ll get to that later.

So we grabbed a couple of menus and took a seat. The server had also told us “Specials are on the board” but the board was blank. Hmmm, I think that could have been another clue  for what was to come…

The menu was ok. Hubby and I chose a couple of items and I went to stand in the line of seniors to order and pay. The line grew longer and longer and didn’t move. I tried to see what was going on at the start of the line and discovered an elderly gentleman was disputing the price he’d been charged. You see the Windsor have a regular menu and a Senior’s menu. Apparently there was an issue because he’d ordered a Parmigiana and there was a two dollar surcharge for that. At least, I think that was the gist of what I was hearing. It just went on for ages then another server came over to explain the charges to him and the line just got longer and longer.
Nobody apologised to those waiting in line and no one moved us over to another register so we could order while the man continued to dispute this two dollar charge.

Finally I ordered and went to sit back at our table. That’s when I realised I was actually the youngest person in this place.
Hubby and I went to check out the salad bar and it was pretty average. Lots of mushy things in there – things that don’t need a lot of chewing.

Our mains looked pretty good when they came out. Hubby ordered the Windsor Stack – Layers of crumbed chicken on papadams with tzatziki and sweet chili sauce.

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Hubby said that it was a little weird at first because there was a pappadam with chili sauce and tzatziki – flavours that you normally associate with different cuisines but he really liked it. He said the chicken was cooked well and all those different flavours made it really interesting to eat.

I chose the Vegetarian Frittata – topped with tomato and grilled cheese.
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When it came out I thought they’d brought me out a chicken parmigiana! And I have to say that the topping was the best thing about this dish. The tomato and cheese were just delicious! The frittata was ok – It just didn’t seem to have the right consistency. I’m not sure I would have liked it at all if it didn’t have that grilled cheese and tomato on top. It was a generous portion so I was happy with that.

Hubby and I ate quickly and were eager to leave as we just felt so out of place. I could almost imagine seeing nurses and  carers coming out of an invisible nurses station to assist the remaining diners with their food and take them back to their rooms.

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

Till next we chow…