Last week, Adelaide Food Central was invited to the Holdfast Hotel to try the new additions to their refreshed pub menu. Located on Brighton Road this popular pub has always been a favourite with the young residents of the area.
We began with some dishes from the starters menu including the Tomato Carpaccio with a herb and kalamata olive salsa, drizzled with balsamic. A very simple dish and one that is great for those vegetarians. A layer of juicy tomatoes which was accompanied by a beautiful olive salsa and a zesty balsamic. A fresh salad dish that it great a side to accompany your main.
The second delicious dish was the Thai Fish Cake: salmon fish cakes with beans, chilli, coriander and nam jim sauce. I am always a little bit cautious when it comes to Asian style dishes at pubs, but I really enjoyed these fish cakes. I loved the bursts of lemongrass, which was hinted throughout the dish. The beautiful side salad of beans chilli and my favourite coriander helped to add that extra bit of flavour.
Next up was the famous Onion Rings, a favourite of ours at Adelaide Food Central, which came with a smoky Texan bbq dipping sauce. Onion rings are becoming quite a hit with pubs around Adelaide so it is vital that they get them right. It is safe to say that the Holdfast Hotel hit the nail on the head and has our tick of approval. The crunchy coating around the subtle onion was balanced to make sure not to phase out any flavour.
Ending the starters menu we tried the Chargrilled Souvlaki Squid Salad with rocket, cucumber, Spanish onion and cherry tomatoes. This dish was quite unique and nothing I had really seen before on a pub menu. But as I have just gotten back from five months in Greece, I was happy to see something Greek inspired on the menu. The squid was cooked perfectly, not to chewy or squeaky and paired well with the fresh elements of the salad.
The next group of dishes we tried was my favourite section, the seafood, which included Satay Prawns tossed with capsicum, bok choy, Spanish onion and peanuts with rice pilaf. It was very hearty and it is one that will leave you will a full stomach and a smile on your face. The light satay sauce coating the prawns helped to give the other less vibrant flavours a little more kick.
Did I hear Seafood Platter? Yes I did, with oysters, SA king prawns, smoked salmon, souvlaki squid and prawn cutlets with chips, salad and brandy cocktail sauce. One of my favourite selections of the day, how can you go wrong with an insanely good seafood platter? The oysters, being my favourite, were fresh, straight from the sea and went well with the acidic lemon. The other elements of the platter were fresh, delicious and something you would not want to miss from this menu.
The last new dish on the seafood menu was the Seared Atlantic Salmon Fillet with an avocado and mango salsa and coconut rice with lime. I was never really a huge fan of fish and would rarely order it from the menu, but dishes like these are helping me to get my appetite back up. The fish was cooked perfectly, and I loved the addition of the avocado and mango salsa, as the sweet complimented the subtle fish. This is one I would recommend to those wanting to have an healthier alternative.
Now here comes the big boys food from the grill with the 400g Rib Eye: with baked chat potatoes with coleslaw sour cream and cheese and a garlic and chive butter. This dish was by far the most impressive when it was laid out in front of our hungry eyes. The large rib eye steak was cooked perfectly, with a juicy middle. The large baked potato with sour cream was a fantastic addition to the dish as it made it a little different to your typical steak and chips. A hearty dish that I highly recommend giving a try.
We ended our meal with a taste of the Pub Favourites including the Crispy Skin Pork Belly with fennel cabbage, caramelised apple and a red wine jus. Pork belly is one of my favourite past time foods to eat, so I was excited to dig into this bad boy to see how it tasted. The crispy skin gets me every time, and always puts a smile on my face. The juicy belly paired well with the light fennel cabbage salad with the apple and red wine jus.
We ended on the Chicken Mignon: with sautéed broccoilini kipfler potatoes and a seeded mushroom cream. I was really excited to see this dish on the menu, as it is something that Mum used to make for me when I was little. The chicken was wrapped around a juicy piece of bacon and topped with crunchy potatoes and a crisp broccolini. There is nothing to fault about this dish and was one of the favourites on the menu.
Thank you to the team at the Holdfast Hotel for having us along to try your beautiful additions to the menu. We enjoyed everything and will certainly be back for a cocktail or two.
Words by Tomika Salerno
WHERE: 83 Brighton Rd, Glenelg