Anyone who’s experienced Adelaide during festival season knows it’s the best time of year; the city pulses with life, colour, culture and imagination!
The Oxford Hotel located in spirited North Adelaide, inspires us further with it’s highly anticipated new menu ‘The Festival Feats’ – a celebration of the audacity and creativity of the festival season. Owners of the hotel, Grant and Anastasia Murray, have released the menu to offer a creative twist and artistic flair to compliment the strong art philosophy of their beautiful venue and the mystical time of year.
Anastasia Murray says, ‘There’s such a big buzz in Adelaide around Fringe time and what would be more fitting than aligning our menu with the festive season seeing as we both promote creativity and celebrate art?”
Adelaide Food Central was super lucky to get an invite to the launch, promising tasting of the new menu, delicious cocktails, music, and gorgeous art installations. Food, drinks, music, and art – just about the most epic combo life has to offer.
The first tasting we snatched up were the Lamb Croquettes; filled with a pulled-texture lamb, along with pea & cashew and a mint aioli for dipping. The lamb was lovely, with that distinct lamb taste we all know and love, and the sweet burst of the peas were a great contrast. The focal point for me was the crumb! So crispy and crunchy, it was a good combination with the tenderness of the meat.
The Oxford’s Head Chef, Symon Conway-Lyden is responsible for the copious amounts of thought put into the new menu – he says his personal favourite is the Seared Scallops, which is served with bacon, shitake, shallots, asparagus puree and truffle oil… and I have to wholeheartedly agree!
The bacon on top was charred perfectly; add that salty smokiness with everything else and the melt-in-your-mouth scallop, it was definitely my top choice.
Symon credits his creativity and inspiration behind the dishes to his surroundings. “Whether it’s hunting for ingredients in the Adelaide Hills or strolling on the beach and smelling the fresh air, I use these elements when marrying a dish together to ensure every item on the menu reads as well as it tastes,” he says.
The Oxford Hotel is renowned for their versatile dishes, with many incorporating an Asian fusion twist – just like our next tasting, which was the Tofu Gado Gado. It’s an Indonesian style salad with tofu and coco peanut satay sauce. I definitely don’t mind a vegetarian dish on occasion, and I adore satay, so this did not disappoint. The tofu was so soft in texture and lovely to eat, so the balance of it with the crunchy elements of the Indonesian style salad was perfect.
And there’s a lot more where these delectables came from! Other crowd-pleasing dishes include the Jap Che Salad, with beef, vegetables, noodles and egg in Korean sauce – or perhaps the Chicken Breast would be more tantalising to your taste buds? With capsicum and pineapple glaze, pickled corn, avocado roquette salad, pomegranate dressing and beetroot infused basil seed.
Getting right into the quirky spirit of the season, The Oxford has even retitled their original menu headings to match the festive theme. Starters will now be known as ‘Opening Night’, Oxford Classics as ‘Gluttony’, Dirty Candy as ‘Earthly Delights’ and Desserts as ‘Encore’ – so fitting! The Oxford is going to be a prime spot for pre and post Fringe festivities this season with this inspired new menu and their convenient location.
Adelaide Food Central would like to thank The Oxford Hotel and Girl About Town teams for their hospitality.
Words by Marie Fiorita
WHERE: 101 O’Connell St, North Adelaide