There have been a few changes to Festival of Food this year. First of all, the Festival of Food season has started earlier this year and is running for a period of 4 months. Secondly, it now comes in the form of a smartphone app and validation is done by punching a code for that particular restaurant. The participating restaurants are still the same, as is the format. As I’ve already covered Red Ochre in my previous reviews, I’ll get straight into the food.
The Bush Tomato Gazpacho consists of local crab and native cucumber. The gazpacho has a thick consistency and the chunks of crab and cucumber are soft and yet firm. The bush tomato is sour and it dominates everything else in this dish.
The Prosciutto Wrapped Ham Hock, Native Lime and Pistachio Terrine was served with a muntrie chutney. Probably my least favourite of the entrees. The prosciutto was a bit stringy and the terrine tasted a little bland. The chutney added some sweetness and the underlying vegetables were nice and crunchy, but all in all, it didn’t impress.
The Miso and Sesame Encrusted Yellow Fin Tuna was my favourite of the entrees. The tuna was silky and smooth, and the crunchiness of the sesame was well complimented by the sweetness of the Japanese seaweed.
Pork Belly is easy to get wrong but the Twice Cooked Rolled Pork Belly was cooked to perfection. The meat was tender and succulent, and the pork skin was crunchy without breaking any teeth. The sweetness of the apple and caramelised onion puree complimented the pork and the native apple celeriac provided a nice crunchy texture that was not too dissimilar to coleslaw.
My friend had the Pan Seared Ocean Trout that was served with buttered pearl barley, apple, cauliflower and green sauce. While I didn’t get to try this dish, I was told the trout was cooked to perfection, and the dish was well executed.
The Chia Pudding Shot was served with a Davidson plum jelly, coconut and pepita seeds. This dessert was more about the textures than the taste. The plum jelly did add some sweetness but there just wasn’t enough of it.
I had the Macadamia, Chocolate and Honey Nougat Parfait. The parfait was soft and delicate and you could taste the sweetness of the honey and crunchiness of the macadamia nuts. I thought the sweetness from the toffee and caramelised popcorn seemed to overpower the ingredients of the parfait.
My friend had the Wattleseed Pavlova which was a meringue rolled in a macadamia nut and native spice crust, passionfruit sorbet and lemon myrtle poached fruits. I managed to try some of the pavlova which was nice, but we both agreed that the sorbet didn’t do much to compliment the pavlova.
The staff were friendly and the service was very good. The atmosphere was relaxed with the breathtaking views of the River Torrens being a highlight. The Festival of Food this year was $34.50 per person with an extra $9.90 for the dessert. Not bad value for fine dining, but not quite the perfect experience.
WHERE: War Memorial Drive, North Adelaide