Growing up in Adelaide, one of the highlights of the month was going out for dinner with my family.
One – or two if we were lucky! – Sunday’s a month, my family and I would go for a drive and then have a meal at a restaurant. That more often than not ended up being at Riverside Restaurant in the InterContinental Adelaide. Dad liked it for the generous servings of meat, Mum liked the range of choice and my sister and I, well we liked the huge dessert table filled with all our favourite sweet things.
With me now living in Melbourne and my sister being a busy nineteen-year-old, my family rarely go out to dinner any more, instead preferring roast dinners and BBQ’s with extended family and friends as their new Sunday tradition; but the memories of Riverside Restaurant still linger.
When I was invited by the InterContinental Adelaide to taste their new summer menu I felt this was the perfect chance to rediscover a place that was a special part of my childhood in a new way.
The Presidential Suite
Pausing by the elevator on the 24th floor, I pressed my forehead against the glass which had, in my opinion, the best view of Adelaide.
“Can I move a table here and make this my office whenever I’m in Adelaide?” I cheekily asked as I continued to watch the swarm of people leaving Adelaide Oval after the Australia vs. India Cricket match.
He chucked, “I think my office needs to be relocated here.”
Far in the distance – or a twenty-minute drive away – I could see the towering lights at Football Park marking my suburb; “I can almost see my house from here!”
With the property full, a result of the Test Match across the river and a conference next door, there was only one room available at the InterContinental for me to be shown, and possibly the best hotel room in Adelaide – the Presidential Suite.
“You’d be surprised by how often it’s booked,” my host said.
“A lot of famous people have stayed here,” he said as he gently touched the baby grand piano sitting in its own foyer, separate to the huge lounge with panoramic views across the River Torrens, across to North Adelaide and beyond.
As one of, if not, the best hotels in Adelaide, the InterContinental is often home to visiting celebrities who visit the city for work or play. The spacious suite, complete with walk-in robe, spa overlooking Adelaide Oval, private sauna and butler kitchen, is richly furnished with linens specially designed for the suite. There’s also a smaller suite adjoining the dining room, commonly used by personal assistants or nanny’s.
What’s On The Menu at Riverside Restaurant?
After the tour and a cheeky drink at Shiki, the hotels Japanese restaurant, we headed into the Riverside Restaurant. The dessert bar, that my sister and I raided as kids – often sneaking a chocolate when Mum was at the buffet despite not yet eating dinner, was still there and memories of great meals returned, as Executive Chef Tony Hart welcomed us.
Returning home to Adelaide after a stint at the Hilton Fiji, Hart (above) has been keen to incorporate more ‘farm to table’ produce into Riverside’s menu. Citing his inspiration for the new menu, “I was inspired when crafting our latest menu by many of the amazing local offerings produced within our region. Our partnerships with these local suppliers enable us to produce a range of unique and seasonal inspired dishes. A great example of this is the milk-fed pork from Barossa Valley Heritage Pork or the dry-aged sirloin on the bone from Holco meats, which are certainly highlights of the menu.“
When asked about his favourite dishes on the new menu, Chef Hart didn’t hesitate to answer that the Slow-cooked Lamb Shoulder was his favourite. For a sweet treat, the Rhubarb Brulee with freeze dried rhubarb piece offered a lightness that still rounded the meal off nicely.
Known to locals as a foodie haven, South Australia has recently began receiving national and international acclaim for its quality produce and restaurants. Teamed with our Internationally acclaimed wineries such as Penfolds, Claredon Hills, Shaw & Smith or personal favourite, Bird in Hand, leads me believe I can firmly claim that South Australian is the capital for fine wine and dining (Sorry Victoria – please don’t make me leave!)
I had pre-ordered three-courses but almost regretted my choices after seeing what other diners were ordering and heading Chef Hart’s recommendations – I mean, when someone says “milk-fed pork” you’ve got to be a little curious at how tender and creamy the meat is!
The food was perfectly cooked. The entree of chargrilled chicken thigh was tender and juicy with the green papaya and sugared peanuts offering a delicious crunch. The Sri Lankan curry was, in fact, better than those I had in the country with a rich tomato base; and the pear frangipane tart was a light but delicious finish to the evening. I’d never had frangipane tart before and was not disappointed with the light crumble it had while not being too sweet. The accompanying macaroon was delicate and neither hard nor papery in flavour. Some of the other frangipane tart eaters remarked that is was a near perfect example of how a macaroon should be.
Chargrilled Chicken Thigh with Green Papaya, Cucumber, Crisp Shallots, Sugared Peanuts and Chicken Dust
Sri Lankan Chicken Curry
Pear Frangipane Tart with Italian Grappa and Organic Walnuts served with Macaron and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Until mid-January, the InterContinental Adelaide have a great summer package for those seeking an indulgent escape for two. The package includes overnight accommodation, valet parking, a 2 course dinner at Riverside Restaurant and full buffet breakfast for two for for just $249.
Whether you’re seeking a city break, romantic getaway, wanting to rediscover childhood memories or you are a local wanting to explore the city a little more this is great package to indulge in a little bit of luxury!
(inside the InterContinental Adelaide)
Adelaide, SA 5000
Phone: (08) 8238 2400
More Food from Riverside Restaurant
Crisp Pork Belly with Dirt(y) Inc’s Chickpea Tabouli
Four Tastes of the Sea
(Seared scallops with salmon roe; salmon with pickled ginger and mint; kingfish with tomato and coriander salsa; yellow fin tuna with onion soy sauce)
(Pressed Potato, Fennel, Cured Pork Cheek and Crisp Potato)
Roasted Free Range Chicken Breast with Sundried Tomato Pesto, Potato Puree, Green Beans, Crisp Pancetta and Chimichurri
Slow Roasted Hutton Vale Lamb Shoulder with vegetables and lemon puree
Cheeses of the Day
(Hand selected cheeses by Say Cheese served with assorted seasonal condiments. Featured is Tucker’s Natural lavosh crackers, quince paste and dried sultanas)