One of South Australia’s premier estates, Mount Lofty House, has just undergone a rejuvenation project. The highly anticipated renovations of Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant (HVR) and the Arthur Waterhouse Bar and Lounge will bring a food and wine experience like to no other to the Adelaide Hills 165 year old heritage listed icon. HVR will bring a new era of dining to Mount Lofty House with its sprawling historic gardens and magnificent views of Picadilly Valley. The Arthur Waterhouse Bar will provide a fresh and fun atmosphere, all in a space that was once a hangout for high society.
Leading the culinary charge is Head Chef Wayne Brown, formerly of Sake, Quay and Tetsuya in Sydney, Brisbane’s Urbane and Singapore’s Waku Ghin and Guy Savoy. For Brown, it’s about the simplicity of the ingredients which is in line with the “valley to verandah” ethos of HVR. The food on offer will constantly evolve and change with the seasons. Most of the ingredients will be locally sourced throughout the Adelaide Hills and through his network of national and international connections. Adelaide Food Central, along with other invited guests, were invited for an exclusive media preview prior to their official opening. All food and drink were provided free of charge.
Dinner started off with a selection of amuse bouche; bite sized appetisers to tempt the taste buds. The first dish came in the form of Chicken Skin and Southern Squid. The Southern Squid was like a prawn cracker while the Chicken Skin was dry with lovely smokey flavours, similar to what you find on an overcooked piece of charcoal chicken.
Continuing on with the appetisers were the Wagyu & Caviar, and Fermented Daikon. The wafer thin slice of wagyu beef was like a delicate piece of beef jerky, while the Fermented Daikon was similar to the liquid version of kim chi juice.
The Kingfish with cultured cream and yuzu kosho was Japanese inspired. The slices of kingfish had a smooth and silky texture, and the subtle heat from the yuzu kosho added some excitement to the dish.
The Ocean Trout Confit was served with beetroot and fermented blueberry. The large morsels of ocean trout had a silky smooth texture, which was heightened by the crispy skin. The natural sweetness of the beetroot and blueberry added depth to the dish.
The Ox Tongue smoked over binchotan was the highlight of the evening. Perfectly seasoned with smokey chargrilled flavours, the meat was juicy and succulent, and reminded me of a Vietnamese dish I regularly have. The thin slices of apple ginger added a sweet and crunchy element to the dish.
The Dry Aged Duck with foie gras, apricot marmalade and kinome was also a favourite. The duck meat was nice and pink, and the skin perfectly crisp. The foie gras was similar to a pate, and added plenty of the depth to the dish. The apricot marmalade was the sweet component, and worked well with the game meat.
Come dessert time and we were greeted with the Soured Plum with custard creme and citrus wizz fizz. The wizz fizz was like a sherbert that complemented the sourness of the plum. The custard creme was smooth and creamy, and balanced the tartness of the dessert.
Last but not least were the petit four which were spectacularly served on pieces of wood. The Passionfruit Meringue Pie was served on a lolly pop stick. The ball of meringue was soft and delicate, and provided a much needed sugar fix. The Seeded Chocolate came in the form of tiny little balls all stuck together. The sweet was rich and decadent with a high cacao content. The Nectarine Pop has to be eaten in one mouthful. Once inside your mouth there was an fruit flavoured explosion which was a feast for the senses. Lastly was the Wattle Seed Crunch, a more upmarket version of a Toblerone.
When it comes to fine dining restaurants, HVR will be on a league of their own. With a wealth of experience in the kitchen utilising the best South Australian produce, a new high class fit out and magnificent views across the valley, it’s all the more reason to visit Mount Lofty House. For a unique, fun and utterly indulgent experience, this is the go-to destination in Adelaide, and it’s only a 15 minute drive from the Adelaide CBD. Adelaide Food Central would like to thank the staff at HVR for their kind hospitality, and Cassie Young PR for organising another amazing event.
WHERE: 74 Mount Lofty Road Summit, Crafers