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The Forager: SA's choicest food news

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Today, Afghan restaurant Parwana to open a city outpost, Penfolds revamps its menu, a raw-food supper club opens,  and plenty of food and wine events to keep everyone busy.

Parwana in the city

Great news for the very many fans of Parwana Afghan Restaurant at Torrensville – the family behind the restaurant is opening a city outlet to cater for lunch-time diners.

The award-winning restaurant has become popular for its combination of home-style Middle Eastern food, friendly service and family atmosphere. Now, three daughters of the family – Durkhanai, Zelaikhah and Zahra – are branching out to open their own place in the growing food hot spot of Ebenezer Place in the East End.

Parwana Kutchi Deli will open in the next couple of months next to Hey Jupiter and across the lane from Sad Cafe.

Durkhanai says the place will have a few tables, but will be focused on lunchtime takeaway. The food, while broadly familiar to those who have dined at Parwana, will be Afghan street food.

“Minimal seating but tasty outcomes, we hope,” she says. “It’s something my sisters and I have wanted to do for a long time.”

She says the food will suit the young city crowd, while also being authentic and true to the tastes she grew up with.

“It’s really exciting that it’s happening.”

Rundle Street diners should also be excited – it will add a new dimension to the East End’s booming food options.

A Parwana offshoot is coming to Ebenezer Place, off Rundle Street.

A Parwana offshoot is coming to Ebenezer Place, off Rundle Street.

New menu at Penfolds

Penfolds Magill Estate Restaurant took off like a rocket last year, with critics raving about the whole experience (InDaily’s Frank Grenfell gave the place his maximum five stars).

The Forager can also vouch for the quality of the experience. While everything is impeccable, from the surroundings to the service, the food remains the star, as it should be (particularly at these prices).

The team in the kitchen has now tweaked the menu to ensure it’s making the most of seasonal ingredients.

Thankfully, the bread (quite possibly the best I’ve ever tasted) remains, as does a wonderful cucumber dish served with tomato ice (complex prep, but clean, beautiful flavours) and wagyu (designed to team perfectly with Grange).

Head chef Emma McCaskill took The Forager through the new menu, which features a lot more local seafood including mussels (cooked in a crepe-like batter  with leek ash), smoked trout bagels, a Japanese-style egg custard with blue swimmer crab meat, and a kingfish dish.

Then there’s a new quail course that sounds irresistible: local quail cooked over charcoal and served with Japanese eggplant pureed and then charred on the plate, with apples pickled in ginger beer, and garnished with candied walnuts. Wow.

“We try not to manipulate the ingredients too much,” says Emma. “But we do use technique to get the most out of it.”

There’s also some tweaking to the wine packages. Go here for more information and booking details.

The dining room at Magill Estate.

The dining room at Magill Estate.

Raw food degustation

The global raw-food trend has slowly been taking off in Adelaide. It’s based on a belief that cooking food removes some of its essential nutrients.

Now adherents and the curious can sit down to a six-course raw-food degustation at the Raw Suppa Club, courtesy of Nettle Raw Botanical Foods.

Nettle’s Tina Esca will prepare a six-course degustation – all of it 100 per cent raw, vegan and free from gluten, dairy, wheat and sugar.

Esca says she uses a very broad range of techniques to turn organic produce into varied, delicious and texturally diverse dishes.

For example, a pea and mushroom “risotto” uses finely processed raw cauliflower in place of rice; “poached” pears are actually soaked for  a long period and served with raw ice-cream; “roasted” mushrooms are transformed with a food dehydrator.

Esca says all comers are welcome – and there won’t be any “preaching”. Using her vast array of kitchen gadgets, she says just about any mainstream dish can be emulated with a raw version.

“It’s about showing people how you can eat very tasty food that’s not meat or processed,” she says.

The first Raw Suppa Club will be held in the private dining room at the Hungarian Club on Osmond Terrace, Norwood. It will become a monthly event – or more frequent, depending on interest. Details and bookings at the Nettle website.

Produce can be transformed into varying textures without cooking, say raw food advocates.

Produce can be transformed into varying textures without cooking, say raw food advocates.

Small bites

Chef Simon Bryant will be conducting cooking demonstrations at the Prospect Farmers’ Market on Thursday (February 6). Details here.

The food truck festival, Fork on the Road, is on again this Saturday (February 8) with a special movie-themed event in Whitmore Square from 4pm. As well as food, wine, beer, cider and music, there will be a screening of the wine documentary Red Obsession. More details here.

Get along to the Carnevale Italian Festival at the Showground this weekend (February 8-9) for all your home-style Italian favourites, from porchetta, to pasta to zeppole. Details here.

The Love Langhorne Creek event this weekend (February 8-9) will see the region’s cellar doors showing off “alternative” varieties. Varieties such as Malbec, Graciano, Montepulciano and Vermentino will be served with food from around the world. For example, there will be Argentinian empanadas at Bleasdale, Spanish-style prawns at Lake Breeze, and French chocolates at Rusticana. More details here.

Meatballs and craft beer will be the combo served at the Adelaide Food and Wine Festival’s “Sunday session” on the weekend (February 9). Get down to the Riverbank (adjacent to the Dunstan Playhouse) from 11am to partake in the “meatball melange”. Details here.

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