Die hard foodies from around the globe anticipate the week-long Tasting Australia festival happening on a yearly basis right here in South Australia. Whether you book in for a one of a kind foodie experience or simply frolic around the Tasting Australia hub in Victoria Square, fun and full stomachs are always guaranteed. There is even a special treat for the food bloggers among us with "Words to Go" offering a three day experience meeting chefs and other leaders in the business as well as lots of food and beverage tastings.
On day 2 bloggers were invited for a special "Words to Go" dinner at Hilton's own Coal Cellar+Grill and got to taste a total of 19 (!) dishes as well as 4 wines. Saying that we were spoilt is a complete understatement.
We were served a Starters board consisting of Fresh Oysters, Squid Ink ocean trout with horseradish creme fraiche and beetroot, lemon myrtle tapioca, Crab cakes with Moroccan peas, Ras el Hanout dressing and Sangria marinated watermelon with feta, apple, pistachio crumble (left to right).
Also on the menu were Baked half shell scallops with truffle, cauliflower, caper berry salsa and dill butter and Confit Duck with apple & celeriac remoulade and blackberry jus.
The dishes weren't only presented beautifully but also full of flavour. Whilst the Sangria marinated watermelon dish was the most innovative on this spread, our favourite were the Baked scallops. Dare we say they were the best we have ever had? The wine matched with our starters was the 14 John Duval Plexus Marsanne Viognier, Barossa Valley.
For Mains we were served a meat board consisting of Caab Tomahawk steak with trio of mustards, charred courgettes and red onions, Paringa Farms Lamb cutlets with minted-mustard and sweet corn, Clare Valley Gold beef fillet with Buffalo curd.
And for the fish lovers among us, we also had Whole baby barramundi with fennel and lemon myrtle as well as Seared salmon with madarin gel, fennel and sultanas.
For Sides we had Garden greens with verjuice dressing, Green asparagus with parma ham crumbs and hollandaise and Confit garlic mash with truffle butter and chives.
The Tomahawk Steak has a marble score of 9 and you could really taste the high quality of this meat - we loved it. Our favourite fish dish on the night was the Seared Salmon with its beautiful crispy skin and the sweetness of the sultanas.
The hollandaise sauce on the asparagus was perfect and the creamy, buttery truffle mash made you go back for more and more. Could this get any better? Yes, with not one but two serves of wine. The 15 Massena "The Moonlight Run" Mataro Grenache Shiraz Cinsault and the 14 Sons of Eden "Kennedy" Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre, both from Barossa Valley.
Last but not least, we were in for a sweet treat tasting all 5 desserts currently on the menu at Coal Cellar+Grill. Yes, we were all full (and content!) but who can pass up dessert, right?
The dessert board consisted of Jafa Fondant with blood orange ice cream and yoghurt crisps, Strawberries and Cream with vanilla ice cream, peanut butter filled hazelnut meringue sandwiches and strawberry sauce and the Bomb "Australiana" with lemon myrtle, macadamia praline, wattle seed ice cream and Davidson Plum sorbet.
On separate plates we were also served Creme Brulee with raspberry, pine nut and basil and Raspberry Sponge with pistachio caramel crumbs and liquorice ice cream.
The desserts were matched with the 10 Spinifex Cordon Cut Semillon, Barossa Valley.
Wow, what a fantastic finish to an amazing night! It's impossible to pick a favourite when it comes to desserts so we suggest you try all of them (okay...could potentially cause a sugar shock!) but the most innovative component must have been the liquorice ice cream served with the raspberry sponge. You could really taste the liquroice a lot but it was beautifully balanced by the sweet and sour of the raspberry sponge.
It was hard to get out of our seats after such a feast but on offer was a tour of the magnificent wine cellar which is a glass window cube right across from the restaurant, next to the bar. This stunning wine cellar houses about 3000 bottles and most of them can only be reached by the in-built ladder.
It is fair to say that our expectations were exceeded on the night not only by the generosity but also the amazing food, staff and look of this restaurant. If you want to try any of the above - be quick as a menu change is planned in the next 5 weeks.
Where: Coal Cellar + Grill, The Hilton Hotel, 233 Victoria Square, City Centre, Adelaide
Open: Breakfast - Mon -Fri 6:30am – 10:30am and Sat - Sun 6:30am – 11:00am
Lunch - Mon - Fri 12:00pm – 2:30pm
Dinner - Mon - Sun from 6:00pm