POP Lounge Bar - Not sure if we will POP back in again

POP Lounge Bar - Adelaide Casino, North Terrace, Adelaide, SA 5000

I (Amanda) have not visited the Adelaide Casino in years because lets face it, unless you are into gambling there is nothing else pulling you inside those doors! When I heard that POP Lounge Bar had opened inside the casino, the thought of a brand new home of Veuve Clicquot with a specialist champagne cocktail list and a decent looking list of tapas to match caught my curiosity.

POP has a stylish and impressive interior with chandeliers and dim lighting and even a mock outdoor section with greenery to give a patio feel. We arrive at 6pm on a Friday night to a fairly empty bar and find a high table and chairs in the main room to get comfy in. There are already cocktail and tapas menus on the table. After a small wait we attract the server's attention and order our cocktails and tapas.

The cocktails - two Cosmo's and one Margherita arrive to our table in martini glasses only half full.  It looks disappointing and for $19 and $20 one would expect the martini glasses to be at least 3/4 full otherwise it looks like someone has already taken quite a few sips! I was so disappointed I forgot to take a photo. None the less the half sized cocktails tasted just as they should so we sipped away while waiting for our food.

We ordered a decent selection across the menu which arrives all at once. Luckily we have a big table!  We would have preferred the tapas to arrive in a scattered approach so that we weren't frantically trying to eat everything before the dishes deteriorated in temperature and quality. But what was most shocking was that halfway through enjoying our meals the waiter approaches our table and requests payment for our meals and drinks. At this stage we were all biting into our sliders, hands dirty and looking at each other and our waiter in astonishment!

I confirmed that he intended right at that moment and he nodded and waited while I finished chewing, put down my slider, cleaned my hands, found my handbag and passed over my credit card, which I was then informed attracts a credit card fee! Wow this gets better and better! None the less I enter my pin, obtain my receipt and attempt to resume dinner for a second time. Never in my dining history have I come across such appalling service which brought a feeling of untrustworthiness to the whole experience. But we continued on...what else could we do, all our food was there.

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Pan-fried Haloumi $12
Pan-fried haloumi with pesto and preserved lemon - this was a well presented and delicious dish.  The haloumi which sometimes can be a high risk ingredient to order was soft with a nicely browned fried outer and paired with the pesto and lemon it added freshness that cut through the saltiness.

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Roasted Field Mushrooms $12
Roasted field mushrooms with shaved parmesan and garlic aioli - another favourite of the table.  Well roasted, ensuring the texture of the mushroom remained. Great flavours with the added parmesan and garlic aioli which wasn't overpowering as garlic can sometimes be.

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Salt & Pepper Calamari $14
Salt and pepper calamari - small rings of calamari with a good dusting of batter. We got to this one after it was sitting there for a little while with so many dishes on our table to try. So slightly on the cold side it was still relatively soft but not as enjoyable as it could have been fresh and hot.

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Crispy Pork Belly $15
Crispy Pork Belly with spiced apple - unfortunately the pork was dry and tough on this occasion.  Luckily my piece of pork belly had a crispy top but one of the other pieces weren't quite as crispy.  Apple is always a winner when accompanied with pork but the stewed apple component had almost a furry texture which I did not enjoy.  This was my least favourite dish of the night.

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Sliders (3 for $22)
Pulled pork and Wagyu beef sliders - the brioche buns were lovely, sweet and soft but again the pork was dry... maybe a bad pork batch today? My friend had the wagyu and enjoyed the smokey flavours she could taste and smell.

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Coffin Bay Oysters Kilpatrick $15
Half dozen Coffin Bay oysters kilpatrick - presented on a plate of rock salt, a standard kilpatrick with Worcestershire sauce and bacon pieces is always easy to knock a few of these back.

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Coffin Bay Oysters Ponzu & Wakame $15
Half dozen Coffin Bay oysters ponzu and wakame - this was another favourite around the table.  Fresh, citrus and tangy flavours from the ponzu and a lovely textural element with the inclusion of the wakame.

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Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut NV $110
To end the evening we ordered a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut NV, as we are in the home of Veuve, so why not! Payment upfront this time, so it was nice not to be interrupted mid-sip. Although frustrating having to process another credit card transaction. Even after the Veuve was poured at our table and the waiter could see our plates were finished, our empty plates sat on our table for a good 15 minutes before half of them were cleared. The rest of our empty plates were still on the table when we left.

Overall, we liked the modern, sophistication of the lounge bar and the great rnb tunes the DJ was playing throughout our visit but is this enough for a return visit after the service we received... this is yet to be determined. 

Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly: Half a dozen vegetarian options.
Child Friendly: No

Ambiance: 3/5 - Modern, opulent surroundings, great music, just missing the buzz of people.
Service: 1.5/5 - Disappointing, discourteous and did not match the high quality setting.
Food: 7/10 - Good food and with a few improvements mentioned above could be great!

In total OTCB gives POP Lounge Bar 11.5/20 chops on The Chopping Board.


Pop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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