Husband-and-wife team Nathan Wright and Anna Thomas and Nathan’s father Tony (trading as NTA Hospitality) took over operation of the bar and restaurant in the Adina Apartment Hotels building on King William Street in January.
They renamed the former Treasury on King William restaurant Treasury 1860, after the date that section of the historic Treasury building was finished, and embarked mid-year on a refurbishment with the help of interior design team Studio-Gram.
Now the venue has been officially launched with a fresh look, a new chef, and a new food and wine offering based on Nathan and Anna’s vision.
“Our love is travel and food and wine – we really love the combination of those three and we’ve certainly travelled mostly on our stomachs and on our palates,” Anna says.
“So we looked at what would do justice to this beautiful venue, and it wasn’t a theme so much as it was an exploration.
“The thing we’ve loved the most on our travels, particularly through Europe, was the locally sourced food, the fresh produce … we thought that’s what we should focus on here.
“We wanted a fresh South Australian twist, but with lots of different inspiration from all around the world.”
So on the Treasury 1860 bar menu you will find Popcorn Crocodile with Cajun aioli next to Mexican Street Corn with lime mayo and parmesan, while the dinner menu features dishes ranging from Blackened Kangaroo Loin to Spiced Japanese Pumpkin and Pressed Confit Duck with a miso broth.
“We’ve come up with the catch-cry ‘locally sourced, globally inspired’ to describe what we’re doing,” explains Nathan, who has been in hospitality all his working life and was venue manager under the previous lessee.
The couple say new chef Matt Hopkins, who is originally from Aberdeen in Scotland, was on board with their ideas and has been able to draw inspiration from his own travels and experience working in restaurants in Scotland and elsewhere in Australia.
Treasury 1860 can cater for up to 300 people across three distinct spaces, including a large, leafy and tranquil courtyard that seats 170 and is surprisingly quiet given the proximity to busy King William Street.
The bar and restaurant seat around 70 and 50, respectively, and have been given a bright new look by Studio-Gram which complements the grandness of the heritage building and includes a neutral colour palette, woven leather seats, wooden tables and beautiful hanging lights.
The restaurant is also able to cater for intimate dinners and cocktail functions in the old Treasury tunnels below the Adina hotel.
The focus on SA producers extends to the drinks offering, with the taps in the bar all pouring local craft beers, a selection of SA craft spirits on offer, and a predominately South Australian wine list that looks beyond better-known winemakers and grape varieties.
“I’ve tried really hard to showcase some really high-quality, boutique winemakers – there are some on the list that aren’t small and boutique, but I didn’t want to go with a whole lot of wines that you could just buy at Dan Murphy’s,” says Nathan.
“We get a lot of international and domestic guests coming to the hotel … for us it’s about trying to highlight what each region can do.”
Treasury 1860 currently offers around eight white and eight red wines by the glass, plus close to 40 wines by the bottle, and with a wine room being built within the restaurant that number may grow.
The managers cite Coulter Wines as an example of the boutique wineries they are seeking to highlight.
“He [owner Chris Coulter] doesn’t have a cellar door but we went and sat down at his kitchen bench and went through his wines,” Anna says.
“I love telling that story to customers,” adds Nathan. “It’s a nice way of talking about the wine. Stories help sell products. It’s a nice little back-story about why we have it on the list, apart from the fact that it’s a quality Chardonnay.”
Nathan says that because of its location in the hotel building, the restaurant’s customers include national and international tourists, as well as locals, so they were conscious of trying to create a menu with broad appeal.
“We probably have one of the broadest demographics in Adelaide.”
While the lunch and bar menus include burgers, salads and pizza, the dinner menu is a more refined affair with a selection of small plates, large plates and sweets that will change depending on the seasonal availability of ingredients.
Among current highlights, Anna nominates the Venison Saddle with salt-baked carrots, spiced red cabbage, blueberry, jus and cacao, and the Blackened Kangaroo Loin with roasted cauliflower, raw turnip, beetroot puree, berries and salsa verde.
“In the smaller plates, the beef carpaccio is one of my absolute favourites … it’s served with a Bloody Mary sorbet and it has a wonderful cold kick to it.”
For the sweet-tooths, she suggests trying the dark chocolate mousse, served with cacao nibs and “a lightly sweet and salted popcorn”, or the coconut panna cotta with coconut snow and fingerlime caviar.
Treasury 1860 is at 144 King William Street. See opening hours here.
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