The Coal Cellar and Grill on Victoria Square launched its Winter Food and Wine Series on Tuesday Night.
The menu will feature three themes throughout June, July and August: Pork and Pinot, Beef and Barossa and Ribs and Rockford.
We were lucky enough to taste the Pork and Pinot menu, featuring in June. The menu consisted of Coal Grilled Pork Cutlet, Chipotle BBQ American Pork Ribs and 12 Hour Slow Braised Pork Belly. The dishes were hearty and warm – exactly what you’d expect from a winter menu.
The Coal Grilled Pork Cutlet was a wonderful dish to start, with deliciously tangy piquant sauce and creamy potato to match. While pork cutlets are usually in danger of being boring or too fatty, this was perfectly cooked and had just the right amount of fat to make you want more without making you feel guilty!
The Pork Belly was a promising dish featuring honey, ginger, soy sauce and pork crackling. While it was still enjoyable, it did not shine as brightly as the others. The crunchy Asian greens and sweeter flavours provided some refreshing flavours, however the pork itself was a little dry and we found ourselves searching for more crackling.
The Pork Ribs were the star of the evening, with melt-in-your-mouth, fall-off-the-bone texture and deliciously sweet, sticky chipotle sauce to match. They were paired with thick-cut Texan chips and ranch dressing slaw which just balanced the dish perfectly. We all agreed that we would absolutely return for this dish. (Hot tip: the chips were a great tool to mop up the sauce afterwards!)
Of course, you can’t have a Pork and Pinot menu without the Pinot. The Coal Cellar and Grill has a cellar boasting over 500 wines, featuring over 90% South Australian wines. While the dishes in the June menu weren’t necessarily paired with the Pinots on offer, they certainly complemented each other well.
We tried the 2014 Henschke Giles Pinot Noir first. As the most subtle of the three wines, it was a good start, and featured red fruits from the Adelaide Hills. It contained the acidity of a typical Pinot without being too strong, and was a good representation of South Australian pinot noir.
The 2012 Kooyong Estate was our second glass. This wine was much fuller and more complex than the first, featuring more earthy flavours that pair well with a main meal.
Our final glass was the 2015 Felton Road ‘Bannockburn’ from Central Otago, New Zealand. This wine was the strongest of the three, featuring much darker, rich flavours like plum and cinnamon spice.
Coal Cellar and Grill is a unique restaurant in that they cook using (surprise, surprise) coal! The restaurant orders a tonne of coal per month, and the chefs start at 5:30am each day to heat up the coals and get ready to cook.
Executive Chef Daniel Fleming said they were excited to combine their famous grilling techniques with “techniques synonymous with winter cooking such as slow-braising to less mainstream methods such as dry ageing.”
The Pork and Pinot menu provided some great insight into what the next three months will bring. With such a promising showcase and the Hilton’s 19-year butchery history, this season is sure to please.
The featured menu runs from the beginning of June until the end of August. Visit their website for the menu and more information.
Words by Olivia Henry
WHERE: 233 Victoria Square, Adelaide