Since opening its doors in 1999, The Pot Food & Wine (then The Melting Pot), situated on the bustling high-end King William Road, has lived up to its name and stirred the proverbial pot.
In a time when Adelaide was closing high end restaurants to make way for its self-created cafe craze, Simon Kardachi, modern day restaurant legend, opened The Pot. Those that craved quality flocked to the spot to eat the best from the best.
Fast forward several years and today it’s modus operandi has changed slightly. Gone is the high end dining style, but what remains is the timeless passion for exceptional quality food and service. The man at the helm is Head Chef Ben Fenwick who’s constantly taking the hole in the wall location from strength to strength.
With fresh ingredients imported daily and a very fluid menu it’s hard to know how any of the chefs keep up. But this tight knit team share the dream of their head chef and work hard to present it as a reality on a daily basis. And to the diner, they do so seamlessly.
Coming from humble beginnings, Ben took to cheffing due to a lack of direction. A troublesome kid on a questionable path took his Mum’s advice to pursue a career in cooking. A decision which, as it turns, out was an exceptionally wise one.
After finishing his schooling at TAFE he and has family moved to Phoenix, Arizona and eventually Ben made his way to Sin City to chase the Michelin star dream. He worked in Las Vegas among the greats and learned a level of hospitality that is seldom seen in your average suburban restaurant.
But of course this is no average suburban restaurant. Ben’s passion lies in high quality South Australian produce and a trout to trough philosophy “There’s just so much flavour to be played with, and we’re so lucky in SA with the level of produce we have available.”
He followed his heart from the famed kitchen of Press* on Waymouth Street to the more intimate environment of Pot, where his passions could shine even further and that shared community experience you get from great food paired with great wine and great company can flourish.
What’s On The Menu
The menu’s unique flavour combinations and twists on classics boggle the mind and thrill the taste buds. Pair them exquisitely with the perfect wines and sit yourself at the chef’s table (overlooking the kitchen and chatting away to the chefs themselves) and you have a dining experience that could pull on any Glam gal’s heart strings.
So what were our favourites from the night you ask? Um, everything. No really. But, if we had to pick, to start get yourself a serve of red goat curry croquettes. Any type of croquettes are a winner in our books but these bad boys burst with elegant flavour and texture.
The chargrilled Woodville salmon belly with a golden egg, black vinegar caramel, chilli, shallot and coriander is an in house hero, and there’s no questions why. The fresh and spicy herbs cut right through the richness of both the egg yolk and salmon belly, whilst the crisp of the golden fried egg adds a brilliant crunch. Divine.
The sumac roasted pumpkin, zucchini and pepita salad with creamy whipped feta on top, is a dish that’s super hearty but without being heavy. Is that even possible? Well, we now think so. While we’re on vegetarian dishes, the asparagus, broccolini and green beans topped with crispy shallots and an egg yolk was a crazy modern day take on a vegetable carbonara of sorts (yeah, trust us on this one); but one that won’t leave you unbuttoning your pants at the table as you often find with the classic kind.
And of course to dessert. We were fortunate to be blessed with many on the evening, but the most impressive (as it is of any open plan commercial kitchen, if you ask us) was the lemon souffle. How, in a kitchen so loud, with a dish so delicate, does one manage to produce something so graceful? It must be magic, because this was potentially the lightest souffle in the history of souffles. So light, in fact that it almost tasted like meringue. A perfect way to end the night.
So what’s the secret to the extremely high level presented on the plate at The Pot? Chef Ben is probably too humble to say it’s pure talent (but we think that probably has a lot to do with it.) He reckons “it comes down to working with the best producers SA has to offer. That level of quality takes the food to the next level. It’s important to us to builds those relationships in the food community too, because really that’s what good food is all about: community.”
Well, this is a community we’re thrilled to be a part of. By changing the dishes frequently, it means we’ll never tire of coming back to The Pot.
Oh and most wonderfully of all? They’re on UberEats. So if you don’t feel like putting on pants to devour a serve of red goat curry croquettes, you don’t have to! But of course, the beauty remains in the whole experience here. So we’d recommend getting reacquainted with The Pot first hand, and if you must wear pants, make them stretchy.