Having opened their doors to Adelaide in mid-2015, East of Norman has established itself to be one of the top lunch and dinner spots in the city-south region.
Being in the prime spot just on the edge of the CBD, East of Norman provides its guests with plenty of parking options and 180-degree views of the freshness outside, which brings in a lot of fresh vibes into the restaurant.
The service itself provided an inviting and friendly atmosphere. While the service could have benefited from better organization, the dishes started flying from the kitchen and it didn’t take long for the restaurant to be filled with the beautiful, aromatic scents from the scrumptious food that we were served with.
For our entrees, we were served the Kingfish Ceviche. This dish was a bit bland for my liking, but having never tasted kingfish before, I was happy with the way the different flavours mixed together to provide for a light, Summery appetizer. The fish itself was not super ‘fishy’ in taste and was subtle with the greens and seasonings.
Next, we were offered the Carpaccio of Venison & Emu Cumquat. This service was definitely one of those where I was trying several new forms of meat. While I didn’t expect to like emu, I was pleasantly surprised to learn otherwise. The meat was beautifully cooked and the seasoning really hit the tastebuds in the right spot!
We were then served with the Kangaroo tataki, with enoki mushrooms, warrigal greens and aioli. This was my favourite appetizer of the night. Being one who doesn’t normally eat kangaroo, I found this dish to be just that – appetizing! The kangaroo meat was so tender and soft that it felt like it was melting in my mouth. The mushrooms, greens and aioli provided this dish with the perfect blend of spicy and subtle flavours. This is a must-try dish for everyone who loves trying exotic meats, particularly those who may not be native to Australia!
There were two platters that were wiped out within minutes (and with good reason)! The cheese platter and the charcuterie platter were equally delicious and it was nice to see a variety presented on both boards. While the cheese platter had vintage and light forms of cheese to be enjoyed with crackers, the charcuterie meat platter had a range of bacon, salami, and ham that tasted divine with the crusty, toasted bread that was offered on the same board.
The pizzas at East of Norman were definitely the highlight at this lovely event. With a combination of some interesting but complementary ingredients, we were treated to a pizza feast of the best kind! While it was a first-come-first-serve style of offering, I was fortunate enough to have tried a bunch of pizzas.
The Pork Belly pizza with house made BBQ sauce, spring onion, coriander, enoki was my favourite pizza of the lot. The meat was tender and well cooked, the BBQ sauce was not overpowering and provided with a subtle smoky after-taste, and the cheese had some crispy and some seriously melted bits. The combination of these flavours overall worked brilliantly with each other. My only critic with this pizza would be to have the stems of the coriander cut off as they interfered with enjoying the pizza and would have been more enjoyable with a sprinkle of the leaves.
The prawn, zucchini and mint pizza was an interesting choice for me, considering that I had always sworn off seafood pizzas. However, this pizza was surprisingly not too bad! While the pizza itself could have used a bit more toppings, the prawn against the perfectly cooked cheese and the zucchini weirdly worked out to be a great pizza choice for someone who was feeling adventurous.
No meal is complete without dessert, which is why I was ecstatic to see that there were multiple options of dessert that were plated to complete this dinner service on the sweetest note possible.
The vanilla bean creme brûlée with caramelised white chocolate soil and macadamia ice cream was another palate pleaser. Crème brûlée is a very complex dish and not a lot of people or establishments are able to master the art of creating dessert such as this to perfection. Luckily, the chefs at East of Norman nailed this dessert dish and presented us with a fantastic creation that we couldn’t get enough of! The texture of this dessert was brilliantly balanced with being crunchy and super soft. The warm crème brûlée worked really well with the coolness brought about by the ice cream and thus, this dessert was an all-rounder.
The torched house made marshmallow with meringue crumble and summer berries practically melted in my mouth! It was so fluffy and light, and the summer nuts and berries that were accompanying the marshmallows provided this dessert with the ‘crunch’ and ‘pop’ factors without a doubt. This is such a lovely dessert dish that can be enjoyed by those with and without a sweet tooth, because it had the perfect balance of sweet and subtle.
The dishes served at East of Norman not only deliver in (exquisite) presentation, but also in (delicious) taste! The staff were extremely hospitable and accommodated to our dining needs very well, the ambience at the restaurant was chill and the service was a huge success overall, with happy faces and satisfied tummies everywhere. While it may fall in the more expensive range ($10-$25), it is definitely worth the hole in your wallet, in terms of quality and quantity!
Words by Fatema Sitabkhan
WHERE: 38 Sturt St, Adelaide