The eagerly awaited re-opening of the Gallery occurred last night, as those in the know, ventured up to the top floor of the venue. The first two floors are yet to be opened to the public, however, the star attraction, the expansive roof top bar, was impressive to say the least. With double the floor space, and what turned out to be a beautiful evening, the top floor area provides views of the night sky and surrounding buildings. It was like being in your own little oasis. The decor is modern and casual with the polished concrete floors, timber furnishings and vertical pot plants. As night time fell, customers were treated to a spectacular screen projection on the wall of a nearby building. With dim lighting, funky tunes playing in the background and a full house, the atmosphere was simply vibrant and there was no other place to be seen then at the Gallery.
The Gallery offers a good wine selection with most of their red and whites being locally sourced. There is also a cocktail menu with a dozen or so items that are reasonably priced. In the previous carnation of this place, the food menu was quite limited with sliders being the star attraction. The sliders are still available (although I didn’t see the previously available Soft Shell Crab slider) along with a range of tapas and main menu items. Several of us decided to order several plates to share. Within 15 minutes of ordering, all the dishes came out at the same time and were immaculately presented.
I’ve seen fries presented in mini deep friers so many times now it’s just become the standard in presentation. The fries tasted exactly like what you would get at McDonald’s, even the salt content was the same. The fries were nice and crunchy, and something you really can’t get wrong.
The Smoked Duck was presented on a betel leaf with green papaya and pickled ginger. The duck meat appeared to be rolled up, smoked and then individually sliced. Duck meat is perfect for smoking because ducks are fatty and their meat is dark. This was evident in the subtle smokey flavours coming from the meat. The papaya and the ginger gave this dish a crunchy texture and the scent of ginger was prominent. The combination of ingredients worked but I personally wasn’t a fan.
The Pomegranate, Rocket, Cashew and Citrus Salad was dressed in a raspberry vinaigrette. There were no fancy names for this salad with all the ingredients stated clearly in the title. The mandarins and pomegranate seeds provided plenty of tart. The cashew nuts added a crunchy texture and the rocket added a slight bitterness. The raspberry vinaigrette brought the contrasting flavours and textures together to make a decent salad.
The Fresh Fig, Buffalo Mozzarella and Endive Salad was dressed with a pear reduction. The moist curdy texture of the mozzarella really worked well with the subtle sweetness of the fig. While the endive provided a crunchy texture, it was really secondary to the other ingredients.
The Spiced Deboned Quail was really semi-deboned. The quail was well marinated and deep fried until it had a nice golden brown coating. The meat was tender and succulent, although there wasn’t much of it. The ginger and coriander dipping sauce was delicious and made the dish well balanced.
The Petit Pork Belly was the highlight of the dishes ordered. The pork was succulent and tender, and the pork skin was adequately crisp. The Chinese cabbage and native apple berry compote were secondary in this delicious dish. I only wished the serving size was larger because it was so good.
The Sticky Lamb Short Ribs were my least favourite. I suspect the ribs were cooked in something similar to a cranberry sauce mixed with honey. The ribs were really fatty, and not only were they difficult to pull apart, the texture of the dish was quite chewy.
I’m not a big fan of tapas because you have to order a certain amount in order to get full. After all these dishes, I would have said I was about 40% full, and without all the alcohol, I probably would have went home hungry.
The venue itself is fantastic and I can see this place being very popular. They currently enforce a policy of no drinking while standing, which raised a few eyebrows, but generally the service was pretty good. The drink and food prices are fairly standard, and the atmosphere of the place was electric. I thought the tapas servings were a bit small, but that’s to be expected everywhere you go. Good for something to absorb the alcohol during your drinking session, but it’s advised to order a large plate meal if you want something more filling.
WHERE: 30 Waymouth St, Adelaide