There’s a new dream team on the Adelaide dining scene and they’re set to knock the socks off of the competition. We chatted to Martin O’Connor, the new restaurant manager at the beloved Bistro Dom about his new role and what we can expect when dining in their fine establishment.
You know you’re in for a fantastic experience when you bring together two gentlemen who have worked at some of SA’s most reputable and awarded venues. Shane Wilson left his role as Sous Chef at famed regional restaurant Hentley Farm to take over the reins from Duncan Welgemoed (who went on to open award winning restaurant Africola!) and run Bistro Dom’s kitchen.
Combine Shane’s stylistic prowess with the front of house expertise of former Penfold’s Magill Estate award winning maître d’ Martin O’Connor (Maître D’ of The Year 2014) and you’ve certainly got a next level dining experience.
When asked about this big change Martin said he was ‘keen to get back to grass roots’ in a smaller venue that’s ‘just me and the chef.’ He also told us that he had been such a big fan of Shane for a long time, and admired him for stepping up to a Head Chef role and doing it so seamlessly.
This high level of respect and understanding between the pair is further solidified in their undying passions for great food and wine. Throughout our talks with Martin we couldn’t help but keep revisiting the topic of the stories behind the produce. The ‘paddock to plate’ mentality is a real focus at the new feel Bistro Dom. The team are focussed on bringing flair and modern high end dining to the table, but doing so whilst educating their diners on where their food came from and the stories that lead to the final product.
Both Shane and Martin are enthusiastic to break down this ‘front of house-back of house’ mentality that is so prominent in the hospitality scene. The more intimate dining space means that careful time can be spent communicating with customers about the inspiration and producers behind the dishes. This won’t just be by the wait staff either; their vision is that chefs and waiters alike will be able to communicate with their customers to create an all inclusive experience.
With such a heavy focus on local, sustainable and quality food, we’ve been told to expect the menu to change at any moment. ‘If we find a local producer with an abundance of incredible lamb for example, we’ll drop everything to create a hero dish with that lamb. And while we’re showcasing new and exciting produce constantly we also hope to continually create new dining experiences for our guests’ Martin said. We love the idea of the ever evolving experience and taking monotony out of the menu.
As a sommelier, Martin loves not only to educate people about wine, but also to help them find the drop most suited to them. He told us that within the new few weeks an entirely new wine list will be created to showcase a range of local artisan wines. Gone are the days of big brand names that dominate the market, this is all about falling in love with the little guy.
Now that we’ve gone on and on about the passion and grandeur of Bistro Dom, you’re probably thinking ‘Wow, I can’t afford this!’ but that’s where you’d be wrong. Martin and Shane and the team want their love for SA food and wine to be accessible to everyone. Their fabulous 5 course degustation comes in at just $85 or you can go all out with the 7 course degustation at just $135. For high end food of this calibre, these prices are an absolute steal! Plus no need to travel to the ends of the earth to enjoy a unique lunch or dinner, with Bistro Dom being located conveniently in the city centre.
Still not completely convinced? For the next few weeks only Bistro Dom is offering an amazing lunch special to let you have a taste of the finer things. For the incredible price of $30 for two courses or $40 for 3 courses you can enjoy an afternoon experience that will certainly have you coming back for more. Bookings are essential though, as at those prices we’re sure seats will fill up.
Bistro Dom has been wowing diners for some time now, but whether you’ve visited before or not, the new experience is bound to blow you away. Eating here is being treated like royalty, without being too pompous (imagine dinner with Prince Harry, not high tea with Queen Lizzie.) We at Glam love this amalgamation of fine dining and home style. It’s putting an end to underwhelming dining experiences and ensuring that guests walk away sharing the same passion towards local produce that the Bistro Dom team have. We can’t wait to see what’s in store.