As one of the most stylish and sophisticated bars in Adelaide, Loft Oyster and Wine Bar has always been known for it’s extensive wine list and delicious selection of cocktails. While oysters and other small plates were a source of sustenance, the bar has decided to develop their food offerings further with the introduction of a new dinner menu. With the former head chef from the highly regarded Celsius Restaurant & Bar, we were taken on a wonderful food journey as they showcased their new dinner menu with matching wines and cocktails.
The Pulutan is a Phillipine inspired charcoal mezze that contains whole prawns, baby squid and pork belly. The prawn was simply the star of the dish. It was well marinated, juicy and succulent and the smokey charcoal flavours in the meat were heavenly. The squid, on the other hand, was overcooked and rubbery. The pork belly was also disappointing. When I think pork belly, I think crunchy skin which wasn’t the case with this dish. I also would have preferred a leaner cut of pork with less visible fat. As with the squid, the pork was overcooked and the meat was dry.
The East 8 Hold Up Cocktail contains vodka, aperol, pineapple, lime and passionfruit. I personally prefer a sweeter cocktail and this was well suited to my tastes. The natural sweetness from the pineapple juice was prominent and it worked well with the Pulutan.
The Sherry Cobbler contains pimms, curacao, fino sherry and cucumber. This drink was also matched with the Pulutan, but it wasn’t quite to my liking.
The Poached Chicken with Ginger Broth and Wild Rice was delicious. The chicken was moist, tender and succulent, and subtle in flavour. I’m not really a fan of ginger but there was none to be seen. All the ginger flavour was infused into the broth, and for me, that’s the best way to have ginger.
The 20th Century Cocktail contains gin, lemon, kina lillet and cacao. Apart of sweet cocktails, I don’t mind sour ones either. The drink was quite zesty and was perfect with the chicken.
The Sous Vide Duck Breast came with beetroot, brussel sprouts and calve nero (Italian cabbage). The duck breast was tender, succulent and perfectly cooked. The meat was a pinkish tinge throughout, although I would have preferred the skin of the duck to be crispy. I know the method of cooking doesn’t allow this but crispy duck skin wins over fatty duck skin anyday.
The natural sweetness of the beetroot was well complimented by the subtle bitterness of the brussel sprouts. Another highlight of the dish was the deep fried lemon slice. It was both crunchy and zesty, and delicious. I think they should package these lemon slices and sell them individually.
The White Rabbit Cocktail contains brown butter rum, smoked maple, fresh lemon and orange juice. As mentioned earlier, I love sweet cocktails and this was full of orange juice. This drink was a perfect match for the duck.
The Beef Sirloin came with mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and chorizo. The beef was lean, succulent and perfectly cooked. The meat was medium rare with a consistent pinkish tinge throughout it’s centre. The natural sweetness of the cherry tomatoes were well balanced by the smokey flavours of the chorizo. A very well executed dish.
We got a chance to mix our own drinks as we were given a glass of Vodka Soda and a wooden board of assorted flavourings. We were then told to taste what we liked and then mix those flavourings into the drink. While it was interesting and fun, the drink was a total disaster. I think I’ll leave it to the experts to mix my drinks!
The dessert was Turon, which is a Filipino banana and cinnamon sugar pastry with chocolate sauce. The pastry was firm and flaky, and baked to a dark golden brown. The crunchy texture of the pastry complemented the soft and delicate banana filling. The banana retained it’s natural sweetness although you could detect notes of cinnamon in the mix. The chocolate sauce was rather mild but it was well balanced by the sweet berries.
There were several elements in the Pulutan dish that require fine tuning, but other than that, all the other dishes were delicious and well executed. The cocktails and wines were matched very well with each dish, although it does come down to personal preference as to what you like and don’t like. A great night was had by all and with the new dinner menu, I’ve now got another reason to visit this place.
WHERE: 1/128 Gouger St, Adelaide