Adelaide – The Food Trail (Abridged)

8 07 2010

5 Days, 900km on the road and 15 meals later, we had conquered Adelaide, or at least what I thought to be the parts worth exploring. So this will be a short post on the sights and sounds Adelaide’s FnB industry.

Wine drinkers would definitely have heard of Jacob’s Creek. It’s one of the many vineyards found in Barrosa Valley, 70km north of Adelaide City. Since it is winter, the vines have shed all their leaves so the entire stretch looks very bare and somehow, rainbows are so common in Australia!

The tour included a wine tasting session at the visitor centre. The list was pretty extensive with at least 20-30 types of wines produced by Jacob’s Creek. I learnt quite a bit from the host about the different wines and it’s textures. My favourite was the Sparkling Moscato Rose which I found to be very light and fruity. Good for white meats and fish I guess? 

In a bid to act a little more refined and atas, we visited Blessed Cheese @ 150 Main Road, McLaren Vale, which has won numerous Food & Tourism Awards over the years.

It’s not just for the Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous. The Hoi Polloi can eat Cheese Platters while sipping Wine too! The last time I had a cheese platter over wine was at Wine Connection last year, whose cheese platter is quite a fair bit more meagre in comparison. A trio of Brie, Blue and Cheddar, Almonds, Dried Fruits and Minced Quince(which is a local fruit which tastes heavenly, somewhat like jam with honey).  

I didn’t realise it then, but Bracegirdle’s is actually an Award Winning Chocolatier for the last 3 years running at the Royal Adelaide Show, not to mention also housing the State Barrista Champion among their ranks. The address for the branch I visited(there are 3 branches in total) is 26 Kangarilla Rd, McLaren Vale for anyone who is interested.

At roughly $2 a piece, I thought that this was quite a steal for quality chocolates.

My favourite dessert of all time, the Sticky Date Pudding. The ones I have tried so far normally come coated with butterscotch or caramel but pairing it with decadent chocolate instead, wow I’m in heaven. Totally beats any Sticky Date Pudding I have tried in Singapore.

Common fare normally found in Cafes; Chicken Schnitzel and Fish & Chips. This was taken at a hotel cafe at Kangaroo Island, an island south of Adelaide City. The Fish used is caught locally and are called Whiting. The whole fish seems to be just filleted into halves and fried with some bones intact but it’s crispy so it’s totally fine.

This picture was taken at perhaps the most classy restaurant named Restaurant Bella in Kangaroo Island. South Australian Kingfish – Oven Baked, Harissa Spiced, Ferguson Lobster Macademia Nut Crust, Roast Vegetable Cous Cous in Carrot & Orange Butter Sauce(AUD 34). Wow that’s a mouthful of a name. I didn’t really know what was Harrisa or Ferguson Lobster then(I just checked it up on wiki), but this sure was tasty and light on the palate.

Some random Seafood Platter(AUD 50) we got at the only eatery on Granite Island, a stone’s throw away from Victor Harbour. This was meant for 2 but the portion is super big that even 3 guys couldn’t finish it!

On one of my friend’s friend recommendation, we took a drive down to Chocolate Bean located at 18 Union Street in Adelaide City. There are 2 floors and it’s a real nice place to chill or study and it has wi-fi!

5 of us shared the Chocolate Filth(AUD 18) which came as a platter consisting of Death by Chocolate Cake, 2 Shots each of White & Dark Chocolate Soup, a shot of Mousse, some Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, Cream and more melted Chocolate. Chocolate spamming is fun!

I haven’t tried the Nandos in Singapore but in Adelaide and Sydney, Nandos in a fast food joint. It’s fascinating to watch the hordes of people queuing for Nando’s in Singapore during meal times, since I didn’t think much it at the Adelaide outlet. KFC ftw haha.

That’s more or less the truncated food trail of the Adelaide leg. Chocolates, Cheeses, Wines, Seafood and more Chocolates!

Bon Appetit!

Nu Thai – Best Green Curry Everrrrrrrr

7 07 2010

Spicy & Sour are not my thing, so Thai food and I have just been superficial acquiantances. To me, Singapore’s Thai Express and Lemon Grass more or less sums up Thai food, the use of big flavours found from not so extravagant ingredients that can be readily harvested in the equatorial regions of South-East Asia. You won’t ever get a Papaya Salad with Truffles or Sharks Fin Phad Thai, so Thai food has never intrigued me. It’s just Basil Chicken, Phad Thai, Curries, Salad and that’s it, or is it? 

It’s came as a surprise, never would I have imagined that my disdainful attitude towards Thai food would be altered in Adelaide.

Maybe it shouldn’t be all that surprising. After all, Nu Thai, which lies in the heart of Adelaide’s Chinatown, has won accolades in the South Australian Awards for Excellence, Best Thai Restaurant(winner for 4 years, finalist for the other 2) from 2004 to 2009 among many other awards.

The shopfront really doesn’t look like much and doesn’t strike me as an award-winning eatery but a step inside the restaurant immediately changed my view; it was packing full house that my party of 5 could only be accommodated al fresco admidst the blistering winter zephyr. Ok it wasn’t that bad, they provided heaters for us and I was 4 layers deep in clothes too!

I shall start off with the dish that made the night and changed my impression of Thai food totally. The Green Curry Chicken(AUD17.90+). Cooked with Eggplant and Basil, the curry was tantalizingly creamy with a light spice. No doubt best curry(including Chinese and Indian and other Thai ones) I have laid my tastebuds on. This wasn’t the time to be courteous, we all lapped up the curry zealously and shamelessly and all was gone in an instant.

Green Curry Chicken(AUD17.90+)

Grandma’s Crispy Pork with Spicy BBQ Sauce(AUD18.90+)  is something else you can consider ordering. The serving was generous and it was a great accompaniment to the Free-Flow Steamed Rice(AUD3.00+).

Grandma's Crispy Pork(AUD18.90+)

The Basil Chicken(AUD17.90+) is something one can easily replicate at home. Just a simple stir fry of Minced Chicken, Chili, Garlic, Thai Basil & Snake Bean.

Basil Chicken(AUD17.90+)

We though the Tofu would be the main component in the Stir-Fried Tofu with Beansprouts, Garlic, Chives and Chili(AUD11.90+) but apparently this wasn’t so. It’s more like Tao-gey fried with Tao-kwa with some Maggi Sauce.

Stir-Fried Tofu with Beansprouts, Garlic, Chives and Chili(AUD11.90+)

I didn’t like the Mixed Seasonal Vegetables(AUD11.00+) and wouldn’t have ordered this if I had known the tofu dish was actually mainly made up of vegetables already. There was a pungent putrid smell of bamboo shoots which I have yet to encounter anywhere else.

Mixed Seasonal Vegetables(AUD11.00+)

Now that I think back, clearly not every dish we had was awesome and deserving of being labelled as Best Thai food. But then again, my party was on a budget and refrained from ordering pricier dishes that I think would have provided a better representation of the food served here. Neither did we order the recommended accompanying wine for each of the dishes. Still, the green curry was really unbelievably delectable and anyone who plans to visit Adelaide must try it at least once. 

Bon Appetit!





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