Patch Kitchen & Garden – Dinners After Dark

Having settled into its Adelaide Hills home since its launch in November 2013, Patch Kitchen & Garden has become a popular breakfast/lunch/coffee haven for locals and tourists. Patch is renowned for its use of locally sourced seasonal ingredients and wholesome, delicious menus that explore a kitchen’s natural connection to the garden.

Emphasising the garden-kitchen connection Patch has an outdoor heated marquis that looks over the garden and is a perfect place to hold a function for up to 32 people.

Patch Kitchen & Garden is pleased to announce an expansion to their offerings and have introduced “Dinners After Dark”. Adelaide Food Central was invited to sample the new tantalising dinner menu and we were in for a treat!

We loved the Twice Cooked Beef Cheeks and their rich, indulgent soft meaty centres. Having been twice cooked, the tender centres were offset by a barky outer crust. A velvety celeriac puree pairs well with the meat and sliced pickled onions provide relief from the richness of the meat and puree.

The Karaage Fried Chicken is the polar opposite of the beef cheek. Fragrant and light this Asian influenced dish shows off the kitchens diversity. Four pieces of chicken thigh are presented in a light salt and pepper coating. The chicken is served with a salad of carrot and cucumber that has a fragrant sesame dressing and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

I’ll be honest I’m not a big fan of eggplant, so if I enjoyed the Mediterranean inspired Baked Eggplant, those who like the vegetable will be sure to love this. The skin of the eggplant is roasted to produce a leathery, chewy skin and a soft flesh. Nestled in a roasted tomato sugo that is well reduced and thick, the dish is finished with parmesan crisps which exude cheesiness and are delightfully crisp. A scattering of fresh basil leaves, grown in the restaurants garden are pungent and sharp, tie all the elements together.

A pearl barley and pea risotto offsets the Roast Free Range Chicken Breast. The thrill in the risotto is in its many textures. Some pieces of barley have quite a bite and others slippery or melting, making it enjoyable to eat. The chicken breast has been pan fried to give it a delicious crispy skin and it its then finished in the oven. We loved the heirloom carrots, not just for their splendid colour but how they bring even more earthiness to this homely, wintery dish. Finished with some grilled leaks that are dark and sweet and a rich reduction sauce this dish paired well with a glass of red wine.

A tower of shredded Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder is glazed with a sticky, sweet reduction. As expected the lamb is succulent and tender. A slab of rosemary potato gratin sits next to the lamb and has a delightful cheesy crust. So often the potatoes in a gratin fall to the sad demise of being overcooked and soggy. There is none of that here, the gratin holds firm with rosemary zinging on the palate. Marinated artichoke provides an acidic element for contrast, but for me the best part of the dish was the heavenly confit garlic cloves. Their soft buttery texture made them easy to spread on a mouthful of lamb, a bite of potato or alone with a little glaze.

Sitting on a bed of a tomato and chick pea stew is a generous slice of Pan Roasted King Fish. The skin is cooked to crispy perfection and the flesh inside was nice and soft. The chick peas are quite al dente and chorizo adds smoky warmth. My favourite part of the dish was the strips of preserved lemon rind that delivered an unexpected zing that brightened the stew and tied in nicely with the fish.

It’s easy not to notice the majesty of the Apple Tart on first impression. A shard of almond praline, studded with thyme leaves rests against the unimposing dessert. But look closely and you see that the tart is actually layers and layers of paper thin apple slices atop a flaky pastry base. A unique and pleasing winter dessert, its technique must be marvelled.

Chocolate lovers, you will adore the Warm Chocolate Brownie that is so chewy I had a little ache in my overworked jaw when I was done! We all know that one of the greatest culinary pairings is chocolate and orange – here a bitter orange sauce is dolloped. It has a marmalade like flavour and takes what is already a fabulous rich brownie to another level.

I love a Tart dessert to finish a meal and the quince crumble met my needs well. An exciting crumble topping is studded with whole pistachios and retains crunch despite sitting atop the stewed fruit. There is no doubt that quince is the trendiest fruit of the season and this crumble is an impressive way to showcase the fruit.

Patch Kitchen & Garden is offering dinners after dark every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We found Patch Kitchen & Garden the perfect place to escape the bitter winter cold and we left feeling nourished and satisfied with warm bellies and warm hearts.

Words by Kate Wilkinson

WHERE: 143 Mount Barker Rd, Stirling

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Categories: Dinner, Event, Modern Australian

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