Giallo wine bar - food and art combined

The festive season was on its way, and what better way to enter this period than with good food and good friends.  After trying to get a booking at another Adelaide restaurant to no avail, a friend suggested Giallo Wine Bar - a place that he had always wanted to try but never had the chance to.

Giallo Wine Bar is situated on Rundle Street in Kent Town, Adelaide.  Very cosy surroundings with indoor and outdoor settings.  What makes this Adelaide restaurant unique is that it is connected to the next door art gallery so if you come at the right time, you can peruse the art whilst waiting for your meal.  Unfortunately, we went for dinner after work and the gallery was already closed.  The decor of the restaurant also reflects this 'art gallery' concept with a number of art pieces gracing the restaurant walls.

Giallo works on a sharing concept from entree to main.  At first glance, we were unsure as to whether the mains would allow for this but we asked our waiter and were assured that it would be possible, and it would be easy.

The cuisine itself is hard to describe with Italian, Spanish and Mediterranean influences apparent throughout the different dishes. 

A bit of background - there were seven of us in our party, so we decided to order a combination of entrees and mains as well as some wine.  Not knowing overall portion sizes we tried our luck and ordered two servings of some of our dishes.  Ok, now for the food!

Pan-fried haloumi with salsa verde and lemon - $13
Our first entree was the pan-fried haloumi (two serves).  The first dish was a little disappointing and lacked flavour.  As my Greek friend said, "haloumi needs to be drowned in a vat of lemon juice, friend and then doused with more lemon juice".  Were we going to be disappointed with the rest of the dishes? 
Chorizo baked with tomato, gorgonzola and sage - $12.50
Our second entree was the baked chorizo.  The chorizo was nicely cooked and the gorgonzola was definitely evident in the sauce.  Gorgonzola can be quite a strong flavour but in combination with the chorizo and tomato sauce base, this was not the case.  A pleasant dish. 

Pan seared scallops on cauliflower puree with crispy speck, sherry vinegar and fried shallots - $23
Third entree were the scallops.  In hindsight we would have ordered a second one of these if we knew how many scallops were provided.  Luckily, some of our party did not eat scallops so we did have the right amount.  I think that the scallops were cooked medium-rare, at first bite, my scallops were a little rubbery suggesting that they may have been slightly overcooked - sentiments that were shared by other people that had the scallops.  Having said that, the cauliflower puree was smooth and the addition of the crispy speck added saltiness and texture to what could have been a very bland dish.

Gnocchi with pesto (special, no price...sorry!)
Our first main was one of the specials of the night - pan-friend gnocchi with pesto.  The gnocchi was pan fried so had an ever so slight skin which gave way when biting into the soft inside.  Some gnocchi (if overcooked) can be a little gluggy and heavy, but these were cooked very well and had a nice flavour.

Pan seared free range chicken breast, harissa, baby carrots and almond cream - $28
Our second main was the pan seared chicken.  The chicken was cooked well - soft and juicy.  The addition of the harissa (chilli sauce) to the chicken added some kick to the meal whilst not being too hot. 
Local pan seared Ocean Trout served with green beans, herb picada and caper aioli (Market price)
Our third main was the fish of the day, which was the Ocean Trout.  The trout was cooked well and melted in your mouth.  I didn't get a chance to try the skin, but I am hoping that it was crispy!  The beans were not at all waxy and still had vibrant colour as they were probably blanched quite quick.  The picada crumble added a nice crunch to the dish also.

Salad of roast beetroot, fetta, radicchio and almonds - $20
We opted for two beetroot salads.  Not alot to say about the dish.  Very basic, but with sweet beetroot with salty fetta made for a nice fresh dish.

Passionfruit pannacotta, candied almonds and orange syrup - $14

Dessert time!  Not everyone opted for dessert, with some going for tea and coffee.  Those that did opt for dessert opted for a panacotta.  Now I really enjoy a panacotta, so if it's on the menu, I will typically try it.

The pannacotta was smooth and had the correct amount of 'wobble' (I have no better way of articulating its consistency).  In my experience passionfruit desserts can sometimes be too tart, or too sweet - doused in sugar to overcompensate for the tart passionfruit.  This dish had a good blend of both tart and sweet which did not make it sickly.  The addition of the candied almonds (to me) was a throwback to the 80s-90s when I first tried these.

Overall, I can say that the sharing concept was well designed here.  All dishes were suited to sharing and were done quite easily (with the dishes that we ordered).  The only minor gripe I had was that the salads came out quite late in the meal.  Now whilst we were sharing and the dishes came out in no particular order, I would have liked the salad earlier on in the evening to have a lighter meal alternative with some of the mains.

For our party of seven and ordering of approximately 14 dishes and one bottle of wine (plus coffee etc) our bill totaled $377.  When split between seven people I think that this was a decent price for what was ordered.  I would have liked our mains to be slightly larger so when shared, we would could have had more of each dish. Viewing the photos, it can be seen that the mains are not very large.  But when compared to a fine dining restaurant, mains are of a decent size.

Ambiance:  4/5
Service: 3.5/5
Food:  7/10

Overall, Mirko gives Giallo Wine Bar 14.5/20 chops on The Chopping Board.  If the mains were slightly larger and the first few dishes were executed better, this would have increased overall score.  I would definitely go here again.

  Giallo Wine Bar on Urbanspoon


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