Glam Adelaide was invited to sample the new lunch offering at one of our favourite dining destinations, Press* Food & Wine. It’s safe to say, our lofty expectations were once again exceeded. Whether you’re in the city and looking for a nice bite to eat or you’re after a casual yet finer dining experience perfect for business lunches, then Press* is totally your answer.
Press* consistently find the right balance between fine dining, innovative cuisine and fantastic, quick service, with an open, warm and communal layout that just beckons you in. The food is contemporary, whilst refined; unique, without being complicated and the new lunch selection is no exception. It will no doubt build on their already stellar reputation.
The lunch menu varies in terms of the size of the group, but generally consists of dishes from the “Raw” section, a salad from the “Smaller” section and one or two selections from the “Wood Grill” before finishing on one of the desserts.
You can either let Press* take the wheel and opt for the tasting menu or you can choose dishes that suit your schedule, particularly if you’re dining at lunch. Service is reasonably quick despite the complexity of some dishes. The restaurant is particularly well suited to corporate lunches that go beyond the uptight constraints of old school dining, but still impress with fantastic dish presentation, unique flavour combinations and engaging service.
We tried the Swordfish sashimi to start with. Out came a generous serving was that was soft and gelatinous with a flavour. It caressed the midpoint of subtlety and richness. The savoury note from the dill was the element that surprisingly shone through in combination with the underutilised fish, creating the dominant structure of the dish. The bittersweet grapefruit brought a fresh texture, rather than a sweet acidity, and the buttermilk espelette gave the dish a salty component, whilst tying it together as the liquid element. For context, the unique dish brought more complexity than a tuna tataki with less of the expected acidity of a ceviche.
The quinoa, pearl barley, beetroot, goats curd with black garlic was a wonderfully balanced dish. The beetroot and goats curd classically contrast, but the pearl barley provides an earthy texture for the dish and the flavour also works magically with the sour curd of goats cheese. The black garlic brings a sweet warm undertone which finishes off this understated but special number.
The pepper rump with pureed carrot and charred corn worked predictably well, but in predictability can come a a reassuring satisfaction. The meat was cooked to perfection, the gradient stretching from the hardened crust to the succulent pink middle was as picturesque as it was tasty. The sweet carrot puree was as creamy as it looked and the corn added a grittiness and provided the much needed carb component to balance out the protein. A side dish of pureed spinach added a pleasant green element which complemented the main better than a salad could.
To finish, we sampled the chocolate mousse with vanilla cream, blackberries and pastry tuile. The dense chocolate mousse was offset by an equal serve of buttery vanilla cream with the vibrant blackberries and a fruity reduction adding a burst of acid to change the complexion of the dish. When all elements amalgamate in one mouthful with the light pastry tuile the dessert is dynamite.
Press*, yet again, prove that it belongs in the top echelon of dining experiences in South Australia with a unique and diverse menu that ticks all the right boxes. Make sure you stop in soon and see why we gave their new dishes the seal of approval.
Press* Food & Wine are located at 40 Waymouth Street, Adelaide. You can contact the folk on 8211 8048 or check out what they’re doing on Facebook and Instagram.