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Lunch review: 2KW Bar and Restaurant

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2KW is arguably the best place to have lunch in Adelaide right now.

It offers a fresh perspective on eating and drinking in the city, and it’s quirky, being located on the rooftop of a significant building with a view over the high sandstone walls into the Governor’s garden.

In all directions, Adelaide is looking good.

2KW view

A view of Government House. Photo Nat Rogers/InDaily

And after a couple of heatwaves, a 20-something-degree day with a light breeze feels like heaven up there.

2KW is not large, but it offers five entertaining areas – the Loggia Bar, the Garden, the Cabanas, the Terrace and the Restaurant. While each space offers sunshine and fresh air, they also have a sense of intimacy. The setting and vibe is casual, yet it is also quietly sophisticated, with understated quality in furniture and fittings.

2KW ladies who lunch

The Terrace. Photo Nat Rogers/InDaily

Inside the restaurant, bi-fold windows and doors open up the space and there is a choice of conventional tables and chairs, high tables with bar stools, and window seats.

2KW has gained some notoriety as a tourist attraction because of its unique position, so don’t be surprised if you see a few people shuffling through dressed in singlets and thongs; just don’t try doing the same or you might be asked to leave – 2KW has the same dress rules as just about every other licensed venue in Adelaide.

2KW snapper sashimi

Pink Snapper Sashimi. Photo Nat Rogers/InDaily

The restaurant menu also offers diversity. Its elegance is masked by casual presentation, but executive chef Nick Finn says he and head chef Dan Lawrence work very hard behind the scenes, putting in lot of thought into the menu. “I source the ingredients, while Dan is the artist,” says Finn.

Finn is not too proud to say he came from the kitchens at The Highway Inn, another venue in The Palmer Group’s hospitality portfolio.

The bar menu is a pared-back version of the restaurant menu, with bespoke Barossa Fine Foods charcuterie, South Australian oysters and calamari, gourmet pizzas and a selection of small plates for sharing.

2KW croquettes

Spinach, Kefalotyri Sheep Cheese Croquettes. Photo Nat Rogers/InDaily

With the restaurant menu, you can share a selection of small, medium or large plates, order three courses in the traditional way, or go all out with the “Chilled Crayfish Indulgence – French baguette, Cognac and horseradish crayfish sauce, sauce gribiche with salmon caviar, frambroise pickled shallot, Josper-grilled baby cos leaves” (POA and 24 hours’ notice required). InDaily chose to share a selection of small and medium plates.

Favourite dish: Slow-Cooked Grilled Octopus with confit kipfler potatoes, chorizo and romesco sauce ($24). Finn is very proud of the Josper – a charcoal oven and grill – and the dishes it produces. Smoky and tender octopus and potatoes were served on a bed of Catalonian-style red-pepper sauce with spicy chorizo and micro-herbs.

Other dishes: Pink Snapper Sashimi with green harissa, coriander and finger lime ($18). Sweet, chunky strips of snapper served on a gentle green harissa sauce and garnished with baby coriander and tiny pearls of finger lime for citrus pop.

2KW king brown mushrooms

King Brown Mushrooms with cauliflower. Photo Nat Rogers/InDaily

King Brown Mushrooms with cauliflower, pickled garlic, sherry dressing and olive oil shortbread ($20). A delicious salad of king brown, shimeji and chestnut mushrooms served with a sweet crumble of shortbread. A really interesting dish, but surpisingly rich.

Spinach, Kefalotyri Sheep Cheese Croquettes with beetroot and turnip pickle ($10). The sharpness of the grated beetroot and turnip served to cut through the richness of these two fist-sized balls of gooey spinach and cheese. These were all good flavours, but the croquettes could benefit from being half the size.

2KW ligurian panna cotta

Kangaroo Island Ligurian Sugar Gum Honey Panna Cotta. Photo Nat Rogers/InDaily

Something sweet/to drink: Kangaroo Island Ligurian Sugar Gum Honey Panna Cotta with pineapple and macadamia soil ($16). Crushed macadamia and pieces of pickled pineapple, sprinkled with powdered freeze-dried raspberries and petite mint surround the most delicious floral creamy custard jelly. Finn brought the pickled pineapple back from a pickle shop in SoHo, New York. It’s bright orange with a caramel flavour and a subtle sharpness that cuts through the sweetness of the panna cotta.

There are three other desserts on the menu and also an artisan cheese selection, but when the photographer puts her hands to her mouth and whispers “food gasm” after a mouthful of the panna cotta, why would you want to try anything else?

2KW cocktail

Governor’s Garden – vodka, honey, lemon, almond and fresh flowers. Photo Nat Rogers/InDaily

There’s a tight wine list, with fun cocktails and by-the-glass wines poured straight from the barrels of four local feature winemakers. There is also a separate, very extensive wine list for the buffs.

2KW Bar and Restaurant
2 King William Street
Ph 8212 5511
Open Monday to Friday, 10am ti;l late and weekends from 12pm till late.

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