The Oxford Hotel has launched their new winter menu and Tempting Palates were invited to taste the innovative culinary creations of Head Chef Symon Conway-Lydon. Once again there’s something to please the health conscious or those that want to excite their palates with new flavours and textures.
Symon has the perfect creative palate for combining spices and flavours that are unique or different to what you would expect. Symon explains, “I’m inspired by Adelaide’s chilly wintertime and wanted the new dishes to embrace both local and international food trends, whilst using fresh homegrown produce." The new additions of starters are the Porcini Fries, Crunchy Pepper Chicken Wingettes, Mushroom and Feta Arancini Balls and the Mac n Cheese. The Porcini Fries with its insatiable truffle oil flavour and the Chicken Wingettes with tangy lemon sauce had us licking our lips before we could get stuck into the main dishes.
The Arancini Balls with mushroom, feta, onion jam and aioli have to be the best combination yet. The crispy exterior is a perfect match with the sweet onion jam. The Mac n Cheese with the addition of winter veggies was a nice surprise. The pumpkin and carrot gave it a lovely sweet flavour while the croutons on top gave it a crunchy texture.
The Wonderfood Salad, Ravioli and the Mapo Tofu are just two of the new healthy options we tried. Once again Symon works his magic and turns a salad into a flavour explosion. The Wonderfood Salad has lettuce, roasted chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, carrot, citrus labneh, shallots, hazelnuts, avocado, cous cous and lemon verjuice dressing. He sure knows how to bring out the flavours with his ingredients.
The Ravioli was the resounding favourite from everyone. The ravioli is filled with pumpkin, sage and ricotta while the sauce is pesto, tomato and basil based tossed with toasted pine nuts and portobello mushrooms. This pasta dish has lots of tasty natural flavours and crunchy textures.
The Mapo Tofu with spicy mushroom ragout, silken tofu cake and wakame is more of a ragu in texture but has plenty of Asian spices and flavours to excite the taste buds. This dish is very filling and the perfect choice for a nice winter warmer.
The new burger is the Crunchy Chicken Burger with avocado, tomato, lettuce, wasabi aioli and sweet chilli on a nero bun. The chicken, while nice and crunchy on the outside, is super juicy on the inside. This is a good honest great tasting chicken burger. Nice to get your hands messy and satisfy the tummy!
The three mains we tried were the Herb Crusted Chicken Breast, Grilled Duck Breast and the Kingfish. The Herb Crusted Chicken with roasted pumpkin, butter & sage fregola, brocollini and maderin gel was another well cooked, well executed dish. The pumpkin adds a lovely sweetness while there's a subtle spicy kick from the herb crust that adds another dimension.
The Grilled Duck Breast with parsnip mash, pickled cabbage puree, blistered beets, kale chips and a hazelnut crumble was divine. The duck was cooked perfectly and the parsnip mash was a silky delight. There's so many elements that make this dish interesting; the sweetness from the pickled cabbage puree, a lovely nutty flavour from the hazelnuts and a crunchiness of the kale chips. This was our favourite from the mains.
Lastly the Kingfish with prawns, mussels with spiced Sugo Primovera, parmesan cracker, chilli nuts and toasted Turkish bread. This big pot will satisfy the seafood lovers. Fresh ingredients are the key to make any seafood dish and this is what you get here! Big fresh juicy prawns and a generous serving of Kingfish along with the spiced Sugo Primovera make this a standout.
The Oxford Hotel under the reigns of Head Chef Symon Conway-Lydon has transformed pub food into a work of art. Each new menu just exceeds expectations and it gets better and better every time. We regularly dine at the Oxford with our friends so we are excited to be visiting more often after tasting the Winter menu. If you like food with simple, yet exciting flavours made with a creative flair, then head on down to The Oxford Hotel.
Where: The Oxford Hotel 101 O'Connell Street, North Adelaide.
Kitchen Open Hours: 7 Days a Week Lunch 12:00pm - 3:00pm and Dinner 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Hotel Open Hours: Monday - Friday 11:00am ~ Late and Saturday & Sunday 10:00am ~ Late