Red Ochre Barrel and Grill is partaking in this year’s Festival of Food.
The beautiful restaurant sits atop a floating pavilion on the River Torrens, and not only offers spectacular city views but also showcases fresh produce and great service.
The Red Ochre menu also focuses on innovative Australian cuisine with a key emphasis on using native ingredients in each dish.
We were served Bread to start. The organic wattleseed sourdough was served with eucalyptus smoked butter. The bread was light, fluffy and warm, while the wattleseed fragrance came through but was not too overpowering and gave a lovely lifting tang, while the creamy and smooth butter paired perfectly with the light bread. The slight smokiness from the butter was also evident but not too prominent, just a subtle, light tang to compliment the light wattleseed.
The Entrée Tasting Plate was a beautiful dish, with lovely aromatic smells. First we tried the Honey Soy Glazed Mushrooms, which was served with water chestnuts and a lemon myrtle dressing. An almost meaty flavour came from the mushrooms that had a lovely, deep tang from the honey soy marinade. A slight sour spice came from the pickled onion sliver that garnished the top, while bitter notes came from the lettuce leaves pairing with the slight lemon vinegar tang from the lemon myrtle dressing. The crisp lettuce and garnish, balanced out the warmer earthy tones of the mushrooms.
The Chicken and Warrigal Terrine was made with spinach and sunrise lime, and was served with a smoked sesame wafer. The chicken was lovely and smooth with a light, fragrant lift from the warrigal greens. Prominent salty tones came from the smoked sesame wafer crisp that held lovely crunchy texture and balanced perfectly with the smooth, savoury chicken. The sunrise lime added a lifting tang that helped to tie in the savoury and salty flavours.
The Kataifi Wrapped Tiger Prawn was served with a lemon aspen aioli and sprinkled with tom yum powder. A lovely crisp crunch came from the fried kataifi that balanced texturally with the soft meaty centre of the tiger prawn. The kataifi also had a slight char on the outside, giving a smokier, earthier flavour to balance. The warm and meaty prawn paired perfectly with the fresh, crisp carrot and the tom yum powder that gave a slight spice and kick to the dish. The lemon aspen aioli tied in each element, adding a smooth tang to balance with the lighter flavours of the tiger prawn and the kataifi.
The main dishes were beautifully presented and were of a generous serving.
The Kangaroo Loin was served with a pistachio and wattleseed crust, garlic swordtail, warm beetroot and orange salad, and a beetroot caramel. The Kangaroo meat was lovely soft and tender, with a slight char on the skin adding smoky tones to the deep and rich meat. The kangaroo meat, paired well with the sweetness of the beetroot and the juicy orange wedges. The pistachio and wattleseed topping, gave lovely earthy flavours that complimented the rich meat as well as the lighter, fresher tones of the fragrant salad. The beetroot caramel was something I have never had before. The slightly sweeter notes paired well with the tang beetroot relish, and balanced out the earthy flavours of the meat and the pistachio crust.
The Air Aged Duck Breast was a confit duck leg parcel and breast, served with taro chips, aniseed myrtle and orange sauce. The confit duck leg parcel held strong deep juicy flavours while the meat was soft, pairing well with the lovely slightly crisp lettuce wrap. The breast was also cooked well; lovely tender, and the meat tasted slightly sweeter that balanced with the crisp skin of the potatoes and its soft centre. The cooked vegetable greens held a slight crunch and balanced the richer flavours of the duck. A lovely earthy balance overall. The aniseed myrtle and orange sauce was not too strong, and gave a lovely sweet tang to balance the deeper flavours of the duck and the earthier flavours of the greens.
For dessert, we were served a delicious Petit Four. The tea macaron was made with a lovely caramelised Adelaide Hills honey cream centre. It was also served with two fruit purees on the side. The macaron had a lovely light and crisp outer with a nice slightly chewy centre. The filling was smooth, creamy and light; the perfect balance after a big hearty meal. Prominent coconut flavours added a slight sweetness that wasn’t too overpowering and balanced well with the sweet tang of the honey. The plum puree was light and sweet, complimenting the smooth coconut, while the other, held tartier flavours and balanced out the sweetness of the whole dish. The presentation was beautiful, including flowers and a dark chocolate swirl on the plate.
Red Ochre Barrel and Grill gave us a wonderful selection of dishes, all beautiful in presentation and packed with flavour.
But not only do they serve lovely food, in a fine dining setting, the view of the River Torrens from their dining room is one you won’t easily forget.
For fine dining specials as a part of the Festival of Food, Red Ochre offers a three-course dinner for just $37.50 per person from Monday to Thursday, and on Friday for just $42.50 per person.
So check out the Festival of Food app today to get access to fine dining at an affordable price. The app is available on both iPhone and Android.
Words by Cyndal King
WHERE: War Memorial Drive, North Adelaide