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Mayflower’s new menu, Age your own whisky, Mushroom Madness

The Forager

What’s new at Mayflower Restaurant – including chef’s signature share dishes and decadent café brûlot; a Twenty Third Street whisky offering with a difference; the return of East End Cellars’ Soup Kitchen, and Sean’s Kitchen’s Mushroom Madness.

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The Mayfair Hotel’s Mayflower Restaurant is warming up winter with some tasty new additions to its menu – including a selection of canapés and “chef’s signature share dishes”.

Executive chef Bethany Finn has built a reputation for serving fine fare that pays homage to a golden era of hotel dining, and tells The Forager that the share mains are inspired by dishes still being served in grand hotels in Europe.

Rather than labour-intensive offerings such as salt-baked chicken carved at the table, however, she has opted for simpler dishes made for two that celebrate Australian produce and don’t have to be ordered in advance – think Kingfish Tail Saltimbocca with lemon butter and sides, or Salmon Coulibiac with butter puff, spinach, crepes, mushroom rice and beurre blanc.

“It goes with what our style is … it’s kept as simple as possible but still classic.”

Tickling our tastebuds is the cottage pie made with Wagyu beef from award-winning South Australian producer Mayura Station on the Limestone Coast. Costing $88 (serves two), it is, Finn acknowledges, “a bit posh” compared with your traditional home-made pie.

“The beef has gorgeous flavour and plenty of jus and vegetables – it’s served in a big copper pan and piped with duchess potato with egg yolk in the potato so it comes up golden brown. It’s just a beautiful winter dish.”

Also proving popular on the Mayflower menu is a recently introduced selection of canapés designed to share as a starter or with a glass of Champagne, and including the likes of Truffle Gougere with gruyere and cheddar and Iberico Jambon with asparagus parmesan tartlet.

The decadent café brûlot. Photo: Meaghan Coles

To top off the dining experience over winter, the restaurant is offering café brûlot, a spiked decadence which Finn became familiar with during her time at the Hilton Adelaide’s former Grange restaurant. The hot liqueur coffee is made in the bar by flaming liqueur and then pouring it down spiced orange peel into hot coffee.

“It’s really old-school and comes out in a beautiful glass with a handle … just don’t drive home.”

Age your own whisky

Amid the myriad whisky experiences on offer, Twenty Third Street Distillery has come up with something special to tempt well-heeled fans of a dram.

The “Age your Own” experience – available at Twenty Third’s distillery in Renmark and its North Adelaide bar, Twenty Third Street on Melbourne (pictured above) – enables customers to personalise their own whisky by the barrel, selecting barrel size, strength and ageing time to create a custom blend.

The price starts at $4300 for a 20-litre barrel (equivalent to around 28 bottles) at 45 per cent alcohol and aged for two years, after which time you can choose to have it decanted into bottles or keep the barrel and tap. The most expensive option (we didn’t dare ask) is a 50-litre barrel, 65 per cent alcohol, aged for 10 years.

Twenty Third Street is part of the Bickford’s Group, and Bickford’s venues manager Renee Bezzina suggests the “Age Your Own” experience would be a good gift for a special occasion, adding: “We promise the patience pays off.”

You also get a private distillery tour, where you can see your individual barrel and sample your whisky during the maturation process before it’s ready to take home. More information is available by emailing visitor.centre@23rdstreetdistillery.com.au.

Mad about mushrooms

Photo: Sean’s Kitchen

Mushroom Madness has returned to Sean’s Kitchen this week, with the restaurant putting its “finest fungi forward” in a special menu offering.

You’ll find everything from pine mushroom risotto with thyme, shallots and parmesan (pictured), to popcorn oyster mushrooms, mushroom ragout fettuccine, chef Sean Connolly’s famous “orgy of mushrooms”, and roasted porcini mushrooms with polenta, cavelo nero, brown butter and sage. The mushroom menu is available daily (evenings only) until July 7.

Another indulgence for fungi fans is being offered by Penfolds Magill Estate Restaurant during the Adelaide Hills Winter Reds festival, with a Winter Reds and Truffle Dinner featuring a five-course meal by head chef Scott Huggins. Tickets are $175, with the evening being hosted by Penfolds ambassador Zoe Warrington and Adelaide Central Market’s Mushroom Man and truffle expert Marco Marinelli.

Return of the Soup Kitchen

East End Cellars is bringing back its “Soup Kitchen” from today, with a menu of weekly Wednesday soups from top SA chefs raising money to help the Hutt St Centre assist people sleeping rough over the winter months.

First up – available from 12.30pm today for lunch and 6pm for dinner – is a parsnip, cheddar and wakame soup from Tasting Australia director Simon Bryant.

Cheong Liew will be serving up next Wednesday’s soup, to be followed by Fino at Seppeltsfield’s Sharon Romeo and David Swain (July 3), Duncan Welgemoed (July 10) and Chianti’s Toby Cush (July17). It’s $15 for soup and crusty bread, with the profits from each sale being donated to the Hutt St Centre.

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