I can’t believe it’s been nearly 18 months since my last visit to La Bonne Table. The Adelaide food scene is thriving and finding time to revisit places can often be a difficult task, especially when you’re constantly visiting new eateries. However, when I walked through the front door, it all came back to me as to why this is one of the trendiest restaurants and bars in Adelaide. They decor is industrial with a funky, modern vibe, and none of this has changed.
What has changed is the menu. It’s been revamped and they’ve moved away from the tapas style sharing dishes and gone back to basics with entrees, mains and desserts. They’ve also introduced 5 course small degustation ($69 or $99 with matching wines) and a larger 8 course degustation ($95 or $150 with matching wines). The food is still modern with Asian and European influences, and the focus is on cooking techniques and the use of fresh, local produce. Adelaide Food Central was invited to sample the 5 course degustation today. All food and drink were provided free of charge.
The first dish today was the Amuse Bouche which is fried school prawns, raw asparagus, pear, pine nut and cocktail sauce. The prawns that I had must have been in highschool because they were a decent size. This dish was all about the crunchy textures, that of the prawns, asparagus, pear and pine nuts. The pear added some natural sweetness which was balanced by the tangy cocktail sauce.
Next was the Heirloom Tomato Textures. It consisted of several varieties of tomatoes, labneh filled boconccini, balsamic and pecan. Inside the firm piece of boconccini was yoghurt with a thick consistency. It had a distinctive sour taste that was balanced by all the other elements on the dish. The tomatoes ranged from being sweet to tart, and the candied pecan added a touch of sweetness to the dish. Very light and refreshing.
The third course was the Pork Belly with washed kimchi, silken tofu and Jerusalem artichoke. The pork belly was perfectly executed. The meat was tender and juicy while the crunchiness of the skin was exactly right; not too hard and not too soft. My other favourite part of the dish was the crispy artichoke skin. Someone should packet these and sell them! The washed kimchi was not very spicy at all and reminded me of a sauerkraut. The tiny drops of gochujang sauce not only helped the presentation but added more depth to the dish.
Next up was the Denuded Scotch Fillet with glazed carrot, gochujang sauce, smoked potato cream and beef glaze. As requested, the beef was cooked medium rare. It had a silky smooth texture and simply melted in my mouth. The carrot had a lovely natural sweetness, while the smooth potato cream had a prominent smokey flavour. What brought it all together was subtly spicy gochujang sauce and the flavoursome beef glaze. A real masterpiece!
Dessert was the Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwich. There are so many interpretations of the ice cream sandwich, but I felt this one was more to my liking. The sandwich itself was firm but spongy and it surrounded a thick, creamy layer of ice cream. The chocolate sorbet was decadent as was the caramel, but it was all good.
One thing that is rare with restaurants is their consistency. I’m glad to say that La Bonne Table is consistent with their high standards. Each dish was carefully thought out and perfectly executed. The presentation, serving size and quality of the ingredients are all there. A 5 course fine dining experience for $69 is unheard of and represents great value for money. Combine that with exceptional service and relaxed atmosphere, and this place ticks all the boxes.
La Bonne Table is one of my favourite restaurants in Adelaide and is a must visit.
WHERE: 128 Wakefield St, Adelaide