Adelaide is a city of foodies. With so much amazing fresh produce (& wine) at our fingertips, it’s hard not to become a food snob. Our little everyday laneway cafes and restaurants offer food which rivals “gourmet” experiences interstate and overseas, so we’ve become accustomed to being well fed. It takes something special to excite me (I mean REALLY excite me) as a result. Luckily for me, Adelaide’s food scene just keeps getting better.
We began in style
The Adelaide Oval revamp has been wowing crowds since it opened earlier this year, and its latest offering, the Hill of Grace Restaurant has kept the bar high. This is fine dining at its best. I went along for a lunch, not knowing what to expect, but from the moment I was ushered past the world’s only complete collection of Henschke Hill of Grace wines, I knew I was in for a treat.
One side of the restaurant is all glass, facing out onto the spectacular view of Adelaide Oval. The bright airy atmosphere was a pleasant change from so many dark moody venues, and the well spaced tables ensure your experience is a private one.
With two options, the four course meal or eight course degustation available, we decided to indulge in the full experience and settle in for the afternoon. A pre-selected Henschke wine accompaniment was the perfect add on for us, although their strong South Australian wine list (160 options!) and Enomatic wine dispenser offer diners the unique opportunity to purchase a 50ml, 100ml or 150 ml glass of the world-famous Hill of Grace shiraz as well as additional museum and back vintage Henschke wines.
As soon as the dishes started arriving at the table, delivered by the well trained and friendly waiting staff, an incredible culinary journey began.
Kilawin, calamansi cooked kingfish, coconut cream, salt & vinegar prawn cracker
Head chef Denis Leslie, formerly from Hilton Adelaide who trained under food legend Cheong Leiw, has created a spectacular menu harnessing his strengths and cleverly using seasonal local produce. Dishes draw their inspiration from his Filipino heritage, while also including heavy use of native Australian ingredients and incorporating various French cooking techniques.
The dishes are each a work of art, crafted to impress your senses. Dietary requirements aren’t an issue either, and with a little notice, the kitchen will prepare equally amazing alternatives which will often look incredibly similar on the table.
Tamarind & buttermilk roasted quail, pickled kohlrabi, tamarind chutney
If you order the degustation, don’t rush yourself. We took four hours to work our way through the courses, which were perfectly matched to a variety of Henschke wines, including the spectacular 2009 Hill Of Grace. The portion sizes were perfect as was the timing between dishes.
Sisig, grilled pork, spring onion, soft egg
I’m smiling because that’s a glass of the incredible 2009 Hill of Grace
Beef fillet, roasted mushroom, butternut pumpkin puree, sour cherry jus, brandy soaked prunes, blackened pearl onion
Adobo pork belly, muntries, quondongs, crispy adobo, coriander
Toasted stout sour dough, stout & sour dough ice-cream, roasted dates & pecans, Henschke Prue’s Verjus jelly, feijoa custard, marshmallow
Red snapper, laing, cockles, shaved squid
For a newly opened restaurant, the team really have their process down pat, and the experience overall was one of an established, high end venue.
The Hill of Grace Restaurant is open to the public for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday as well as for lunch on Fridays. On major event days at Adelaide Oval continues to offer Audi Stadium Club members an outstanding dining experience. Hill of Grace is the perfect place for an impressive corporate lunch, a special occasion meal, a place to feed celebrities away from prying eyes, or just somewhere to indulge your senses and enjoy one of the best culinary experiences in Adelaide.
Find out more on the restaurant’s website here
Tres leche cake, kumquat marmalade, calamansi curd, calamansi sorbet, crunchy mandarin