Adelaide Food Central was invited by Astonish Patisserie to taste a few items off their new brunch menu that was introduced earlier this month. All food and drink were provided free of charge.
Astonish is run by a chef who graduated from the prestigious pastry school, Le Cordon Bleu. Until recently the restaurant was only known for its desserts, wines and coffee, but now they have released a new savoury menu to cater for the hungry day time lunch crowds. They have also added a few new dessert options which includes a fondue that is available in dark Belgian chocolate or Japanese green tea matcha, only to name a few. They also have an extensive list of smoothies and ‘refresher’ mixed drinks including sangria.
The décor is simply beautiful and quaint, and the lounge area is like an old library room from a house in the English countryside. The restaurant can seat 50 customers, but for busier nights, the furniture can be re-arranged to accommodate smaller or larger groups.
This is a little fun take on the classic chicken Caesar salad. The sliced chicken breast, small glass of house-made Caesar dressing, and croutons, come on a plate with baking paper and mason jar, which contains vegetables and shaved parmesan. The idea is to place the chicken and dressing in the jar, screw the lid on tightly and ‘shake’ (hence the name) the jar vigorously to combine and coat the ingredients with the dressing before you overturn it onto the plate and top it with the croutons.
Astonish has done the classic chicken Caesar salad justice. It is extra flavourful with the addition of the shredded bacon pieces and the high quality shaved parmesan gives it a little bite with its fruity and nutty taste. The grilled breast chicken is moist and succulent. However, the house-made dressing is what brings the dish home. It is creamy, full of flavor owing to its perfect balance of complimentary flavours of garlic, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and seasoning. The crunchy, rustic croutons also added a great texture to the salad and soaked up some of the dressing making it even tastier.
I quite like this dish and feel it is a great option, not only for vegetarians, but also meat-lovers who want something meat free and looking for something substantial and delicious. The roasted pine nuts add texture and a lovely nutty flavour. The spinach and rocket were perfectly sautéed and not soggy. The waffles themselves also contained spinach and were crunchy on the outside but nice and fluffy in the inside. The shaved cheddar was plentiful although I would have liked more of the balsamic vinaigrette. It was a little dry having to eat all the green salad without much dressing.
These chicken wings were absolutely finger-licking delicious! The chicken wings are marinated overnight to help develop it’s flavours. The marinade is a harmonisation of Asian flavours which contained hoisin, ginger, soy sauce and garlic, and then slightly westernised with a dash of barbecue sauce. The wings were juicy and tender, owing to the fact that they were slowly roasted for over an hour in order render out the fat, and to allow the skin to be nice and crispy.
I am a fan of this particular dish and I have tried this dish a few times at other cafes and Astonish’s version comes up in my top three. The thick slices of crusty baguette bread dipped in the spicy, rich tomato relish and the runny egg yolk was delicious! The melted mozzarella cheese was nice and plentiful. The chorizo added a real, delicious smoked flavour and the Thai basil, spinach added those simple final touches to this perfect dish. Highly recommended!
The smoked salmon on a layer of cream cheese on bagel is a timeless, well-loved dish common at most brunch cafes. The smoke salmon is cured well, and the cream cheese is smooth and rich, which is the way it should be. The capers added a nice tangy, citrus flavour to the dish. The house-made poppy seed bagel is dense, chewy in the middle and the exterior is nice and crispy.
I must give extra praise for that house-made brioche bun. It really is beautiful to look at with its brown colouring and high-shine glaze. It tasted delicious and rich due to its high butter, milk and egg content and it had all the hallmarks of a good brioche bun. Out of all the burgers on the menu the Peanut Lover would have to be the most intriguing one and the presence of the rich peanut butter is not too over powering. The double beef patty was juicy and well-seasoned and the pickles added that much needed sharpness.
Along with the new savoury items they also introduced a sweet option to their brunch menu. I am not sure what the star of the dish here was. Naturally it should be the house-made blueberry jam but the cream cheese filling was decadent, impeccably sweet and smooth. I think they both were the stars of the dish. It was simple a dish that was well-executed.
Astonish has a really cosy feel about it. Throughout my many visits, the staff have always been polite and ensure that everybody’s dietary requirements are met. The portion sizes at this place are generous and the pricing is cheaper than the average brunch cafe. Astonish are now open at lunchtime from 11:30am to 2:30pm, and then re-open from 5:30pm. Their offerings are of a very good quality and the prices are more than reasonable.
Words and Photos by Linh Nguyen
WHERE: 393 King William St, Adelaide