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The Forager

Coal, spooky food and winners

The Forager

In this week’s Forager column, the Hilton seems to have finally fixed its foyer dining issue, Halloween food, local restaurants gain national recognition and much more.

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Hilton fires up new restaurant

Hilton Adelaide has finally thrown open the doors of its long-awaited new ground-floor dining venue Coal Cellar + Grill.

Guests, including former Grange chef and local food legend Cheong Liew, were welcomed via the Victoria Square entrance and led at first into the refurbished atrium bar, replete with low, tan leather lounges and a stylish retro feature light installation.

A glittering bar and glass cellar tower now divide the lobby from the dining space beyond. In line with recent hot additions to the Sydney dining scene such as Nomad and Firedoor, Coal is a dark dining cave complete with an open fire grill.

The fittings include pale timber and leather furnishings, with on-trend plaid carpet, gleaming copper highlights and Danish-style timber chairs. The grill section sits proud in the open kitchen to focus diners’ attention on the main event – meat.

The Grote Street side of the building features two private dining spaces which can be separated from the main space with sliding panel doors, and the centre section of the room has round tables with leather banquette seating. Coal opens up the full space previously occupied by the Grange but the areas are subtly separated to ensure a more intimate dining experience.

The restaurant will stay true to the Hilton’s long-standing commitment to showcasing premium South Australian ingredients and, although a wine list was not sighted at the opening, a glance through the glass walls of the feature cellar indicates that the local industry will be well looked after there as well.

At first look, Coal appears a welcome improvement on the Hilton dining experience. The Grote Street entrance will now also feel a lot more like entering a restaurant rather than a hotel lobby, something that will no doubt appeal to local diners. Most importantly, Cheong gave the refit a thumbs-up!

– Amanda Pepe

Old favourites clean up

Restaurant and Catering Australia’s national industry awards often turn up different results to those judged by critics and consumers.

Make of that what you will, but it’s hard to argue with some of the South Australian establishments that took national titles in the industry’s “Savour” awards this week.

Perennial business favourite George’s on Waymouth won best European restaurant, while Cucina Nuova at Henley Beach was named best family dining destination.

Chianti on Hutt Street – showing remarkable consistency over many years – was recognised as best Italian restaurant. The Favaro family had a big night, also winning best bar for neighbouring Bar Torino, a relative newcomer to Adelaide’s growing bar scene.

Among the other local winners was Golden Boy, which took home the best Thai gong.

Chianti_interior 930X600

Chianti on Hutt Street won best Italian restaurant.

Spooky food

Halloween, from a culinary perspective, doesn’t have to be just about lollies (particularly if you have a north American friend who knows how to cook a proper pumpkin pie).

This Halloween (Saturday, October 31), the Fork on the Road food truck festival will head down to Hart’s Mill at Port Adelaide from 4pm-9pm.

As well as the usual collection of street food, and beer and wine vendors, the organisers are promising to transform the historic precinct into a spooky celebration of food.

It looks like a good option for the kids, too (as opposed to having them wander the streets begging for sugar). There will be a Halloween disco, Halloween craft and lots more.

Find out more here.

Fork on the road resized

Just like this – only spookier.

A different kind of spooky

Mexican food continues to gather popularity in South Australia, with a slew of new cafes and restaurants  (some significantly better than others) opening in recent years.

One of the newest is Mexican Society, which replaces Mesa Lunga on the corner of Gouger and Morphett streets.

I haven’t been there yet but, frankly, I’ll need some convincing about the idea of mashing up Mexican and Chinese cuisines. The individual dishes – such as Tostones and Tostadas – may be great, but I’m not sure how they work on a menu alongside spring rolls (and even a slider).

The tacos include one with Szechuan fish, served with a chipotle and tamarind puree.

Spirited or monstrous? We’ll sacrifice ourselves to the cause and let you know.

What’s on?

The Great Food Rescue Race – November 6
OzHarvest has teamed up with Santos to launch The Great Food Rescue Race – a new way to get behind the work of OzHarvest, reducing food waste and feeding the hungry and homeless in Adelaide. Registration is $50 per person. For every team of five registering, OzHarvest can deliver an additional 500 meals.

Beer and Bubbles – November 7
This new boutique beer and sparkling laneway event in the East End will showcase more than 50 local craft beers, South Australian sparklings and a selection of international champagnes with tastings, street food and entertainment between 1pm and 6pm. Tickets are $35 per person. Bookings can be made here.

Langhorne Creek out of the barrel – November 7 and 8
This is Langhorne Creek’s annual springtime tasting event for new and special-release wines that are otherwise unavailable for tasting. Experience wine bottling at Angas Plains Wines, a wine and cheese-pairing masterclass at The Winehouse, food and wine and music at Bleasdale Wines, a pop-up tasting of Temple Bruer Organic Wine at the Langhorne Creek Memorial Hall and much more. See the full program here.

Picnic at Marble Hill – November 22
Tickets are now on sale for this one-day festival of artisan wine, food and music from the cool heart of the Adelaide Hills. A group of Adelaide Hills wineries and cider makers will showcase their drops alongside a range of local food producers against the stunning backdrop of the historic Marble Hill ruins. Proceeds go to the Cora Barclay Centre for deaf and hearing-impaired children, the Basket Range Primary School and the Cherryville CFS. Tickets are $15 for adults. More information here.

News, tips and information?

The Forager would love to hear about your news, events and suggestions. Please contact us at editorial@solsticemedia.com.au.

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