Windy Point has long been the destination for P-plated teens embarking on a sub-woofer-backed romance.
Thankfully, however, very few of these romantic teenagers can afford or perhaps appreciate the joys that are to be experienced at the Windy Point Restaurant.
Perched on one of South Australia’s best view points, Windy Point Restaurant has had a mixed history, but in recent years it has scooped a bunch of restaurant awards. I can see why.
After the twisty 25-minute drive from town, we arrived at the giant car park surrounding the rather nondescript restaurant, or so it seemed from the outside anyway.
Greeted at the door, we were taken to our table. The room is a semi-circle of three tiers – tables and chairs nearly all facing the sensational 180-degree views of Adelaide and its surrounds. The chairs are large and comfortable, tables are set smartly, and staff are unobtrusive, attentive and well presented.
Menus come in giant form. The wine list is extensive, although parts are pricey. It features a large range of cocktails, and wine and bubbles by the glass.
By the bottle, there isn’t much that isn’t on the list. A heavy South Australian focus has an impressive top end: three vintages of Grange, an ’04 Hill of Grace, and two years of Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay.
The food focuses on quality produce, mainly South Australian. It is a well-rounded menu, with so much kitchen terminology and unfamiliar language it comes with its own glossary on the back.
I start with Coffin Bay oysters, which are served in a group of 20 in a multitude of ways: natural, bloody Mary sorbet, flying fish roe and cucumber and grilled Kilpatrick style. They are fresh and the accompanying condiments are well prepared and don’t overpower the oyster, but they seem to be lacking their natural salty liquor.
For mains, the “lacquered and confit duck leg on ras el hanout pumpkin velvet, kohl rabi remoulade and glaze” is quite a meal (you can see why a glossary is necessary). To put it more simply, it is confit and roasted duck leg, sliced into sections, on a Moroccan spiced pumpkin puree and celeriac in vinaigrette.
It is beautifully presented, the pumpkin puree is smooth and lightly spiced, the celeriac adds a welcome crunch while the duck itself has crisp skin and wonderfully oily flesh.
A 350g Chateaubriand is cooked and rested perfectly, served sliced and sitting in a bed of creamed spinach with three delicious homemade sauces – horseradish cream, hollandaise and barbecue – on the side. It is a mountain of meat and a meal for the hungriest of carnivores.
All this does come at a price, however: the duck is $38, while the Chateaubriand leaves you 50c change from $50.
During all this, the service was excellent; glasses were always full and once sparkling water was ordered, it was poured the whole night.
The restaurant was quite busy, but other-table conversation was muted and the ambiance was increased as the roof slid away to leave a ceiling of glass and views of the night sky.
We finished off the night with the chocolate mélange for two, a miniature assortment of everything chocolate: mocha panna cotta, white chocolate cheesecake, butterscotch crème brûlée, chocolate mousse cornetto, glace cherry and chocolate parfait, and a hazelnut chocolate palet.
It is a sugar overload but the textures and the extremely impressive presentation had other diners sneaking envious looks.
The big question I had for Windy Point was whether it could serve food and drink that could at least compete with the views (which no doubt add a premium to the price of the food served). And you would have to say yes, it does – the food is delicious and with a flair many modern Australian restaurants lack.
It is obvious that the chefs Kyle Wood and Justin Miles are very well-travelled and enjoy creating unique dishes with good-quality produce.
It is pleasing to see that Windy Point is not happy to simply rely on the tourist market and one-time diners; it is definitely a place worth visiting for something more than just the view.
Four out of five.
Windy Point Restaurant
Belair Road, Belair
Tel: 08 8278 8255
Open for dinner only: Monday to Saturday from 6pm
(Go to the website for cafe hours.)
Cuisine: Modern Australian
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