Coal, Cellar & Grill - Menu Tasting

Coal, Cellar & Grill - Hilton Hotel, Victoria Square, Adelaide SA 5000

Our team were graciously invited to a menu tasting at the new restaurant in The Hilton Hotel.  All food and beverages were provided on behalf of Coal Cellar and Grill (CCG).  Camellia and Amanda were the lucky attendees and were eager to see what the space that formerly housed the likes of Cheong Liew and Simon Byrant had to offer.

Upon arrival we were greeted with Moet bubbles and a casual chat at the bar. The design of the space was very clean, modern and neutral with marble and tasteful earth tones.

Table Setting
Soon after we were ushered into a small private room with lovely large windows offering a view of Grote street. After hearing about the wines we perused a shortened tasting menu describing our offerings for the evening.  As we'd been told that CCG has it's own butchery and pastry kitchen we couldn't wait for our food adventure to begin.

For starters we shared five different dishes.  Lets just say we were very happy that we only had to share all these dishes between four people unlike some of the other larger tables nearby!

Duck Terrine $16
Duck Terrine with house made piccalilli, black tea and prune puree.

The terrine, which uses duck meat from Mick Durdin in Berri, was nice and firm with a subtle flavour. I (Camellia) was maybe looking for a little more richness from the duck. The prune puree was lovely and sweet but the pickled vegetables had a very "grandma's house" feel. I found the mixture of fruit and meat very dated in an endearing way.

Seared Kingfish $16
Seared Kingfish with lime leaf, thai basil, roasted peanuts and fragrant potato.

The kingfish, from Cleanseas Port Lincoln, was labelled as seared, but came out quite well cooked. It was a pleasant light dish with no real severe faults, but not one that I (Camellia) found especially memorable.

Squid Ink Ocean Trout $15
Squid Ink Ocean Trout with horseradish creme fraiche, beetroot and lemon myrtle tapioca.

This was a theatrical dish, it arrived on a wooden board with a glass dome clouding the fish with smoke.  Once we lifted the glass dome lid, the smoke diffused to reveal a nicely plated dish with pieces of delicate ocean trout sealed in squid ink.  The slight tang of the the creme fraiche with the oiliness of the smokey ocean trout and the sweetness of the beetroot produced a beautiful starter that had the perfect balance of flavour. A favourite for Amanda.

Wagyu Tartar $22
Hand cut wagyu tartar with chives, capers, roast garlic bone marrow cream and sourdough.

This rich wagyu tartar from Mayura Station in the Fleurieu Peninsula (grade 9), was topped with a luxurious orange duck egg. The crisp sourdough toasts added a much needed crunchy textural element and the accompanying white anchovies provided a nice umami hit. It's rare to see a restaurant try out such unadulterated classics and pull them off, but this was a favourite for Camellia.

Sangria Marinated Watermelon $15
Sangria Marinated Watermelon with feta, apple and pistachio crumble.

Not a dish I, Amanda, would gravitate to ordering if I was only selecting one starter from the menu but oh my goodness I'm glad I didn't have a choice as this was definitely superb.  The large block of watermelon was juicily marinated in the delicious house made sangria providing wonderful sweetness.  The salty Kris Lloyd Woodside feta paired with the sweet watermelon was a match made in heaven and I just wanted more and more!  The pistachio crumble completed this dish to give some great crunch.  Overall a very refreshing starter.

For mains we were provided with six different dishes to share.  Yes that's right... six main courses between four people.. the challenge (fun) really begins!

Tomahawk Steak $89
Angus Pure Grass Fed Tomahawk Steak with hollandaise and aged stout mustard. 

There were lots of ooohs and ahhhs when this arrived as it took up half the table space!  The picture really does not do this gigantic piece of meat justice.  Upon carving by our expert carver Camellia, we can see the meat has been cooked a lovely medium rare and is tender and well seasoned.  But lets take a minute to all hail the hollandaise sauce!  I (Amanda) have never really cared much for hollandaise but I'm a changed woman after this house made version! Both of us really loved the buttery rich flavour. I'm not sure the secret to this one but all I can say is go try it for yourself.  The hand made mustard is also very good and we are informed it goes through a six week process from start to finish.


Wagyu Rump $42
Wagyu Rump - marble grade 9 rump wagyu from Mayura Station with malted brew wheat grains fermented for 48 hours with sweet soy.

As wagyu is so heavily marbled it is often more pleasant to eat when cooked slightly more thoroughly (so we are told). The marble score was set at 9 (the highest) but I (Camellia) personally felt that the meat was dryer than it should have been with no pop of fat rich mouth feel. I have eaten my fair share of wagyu beef and even was fortunate enough to have certified Kobe beef on a trip to Japan. I just felt it was lacking the luxury and extravagant fattiness that I am accustomed to.

Whole Baby Barramundi $33
Whole Baby Barramundi with fennel and lemon myrtle.

We are informed that this Robe Barramundi is cleaned in 1000's of years old natural artisian water which sounds very impressive.  Does it make a difference to the taste of the fish?  I'm not sure but either way it doesn't matter as the fish was moist and light with a just a fresh squeeze of lemon.  I will confess though, after Camellia's wonderful meat carving skills my (Amanda's) fish flaking skills were not so impressive.  Luckily we didn't get a picture of that!

Lamb Cutlets $31
Paringa Farms Lamb Cutlets with minted mustard and sweet corn.

The little nuggets of buttery fried corn on this dish were almost as exciting as the perfectly cooked lamb! Simply pan fried in butter after steaming, they were surprisingly good. Both Amanda and I (Camellia) loved them.


Prawn Skewers $40
Charred South Australian Gulf Prawn Skewers in Peri-Peri basting.

Please and thank you!  This house made peri-peri sauce may have scared a few people at the table with it's heat factor but bring it on I say!  I (Amanda) loved the intense heat from this sauce and as much as I love the smokey flavours from a good char-grill I found eating these prawns a little difficult.  The prawn meat was a little mushy inside and hard to tear apart from the shell but the sauce was so good that I was not going to let it beat me!

Roasted Butternut Pasta $26
Roasted Butternut Conchiglie Pasta with pumpkin seed pesto, boy choy and ginger crumble.

A good option for the vegetarians, this large shell shaped pasta was an interesting dish with the bok choy and pumpkin combination.  It wasn't my favourite dish of the night but enjoyable none the less.  I (Amanda) wouldn't have minded a bit more sauce with the pasta but that's just my personal preference.

This was an afterthought for me (Camellia) too. I felt it was nice but a bit of a strange combination mixing asian greens with pasta. Also it was lacking something to bring the dish together and I thought the pasta was a tad overcooked. That said, it's not exactly a vegetarian friendly restaurant.

Green Asparagus $15
We were also provided a selection of sides to accompany our 6 main dishes.  The asparagus with parma ham crumbs & hollandaise, charred whole corn with roasted jalapeños, lime zest, mint butter & pecorino and creamy mashed potatoes.  All sides were delicious especially the asparagus with the outstanding hollandaise!  Just in case you can't tell how much we loved it...


Dessert Platter 
For dessert we enjoyed a selection of four desserts on a giant wooden board for sharing and what a shame we lost a table member, so the three of us eagerly jumped into this course!  All desserts and their elements at CCG are made in house and what a difference this makes to the quality of the dishes.

If I (Amanda) had to pick, and this is a difficult question, I think the strawberries and cream with vanilla ice cream, hazelnut pastry and strawberry sauce was my favourite. The house made vanilla ice cream was so creamy and packed full of visible vanilla bean providing so much flavour and then to top it off with hazelnut macarons filled with peanut butter, wow, do I even need to say more?!

Always looking for that oozing saucey centre with a fondant, the jaffa fondant with blood orange ice cream and yoghurt crisps did not disappoint.  Cutting into this chocolate fondant reveals a jaffa centre with little chewy orange bits to bring a textural surprise.  The refreshing blood orange sorbet cut through the chocolatey richness and I enjoyed crunching on the the yoghurt crisps to finish.

Also feataured was a Bombe 'Australiana' with lemon myrtle, macadamia praline, wattle seed ice cream, davidson plum sorbet. This was a favourite for Camellia. Another nice subtle twist on a seasoned classic. It seems that the bombe Alaska is making a comeback these days and what better way to make it unique than with the addition of fresh native ingredients.

Lastly there was a Creme Brûlée with raspberry, pine nut and basil. The serving was generous and the basil provided an interesting and welcoming freshness to cut through the rich egg flavour. A great staple.

Overall we had an superb night at CCG.  Everything from the ambiance, service and food were of impressive quality.  It is definitely a place that I would return with a group of friends for a nice night out. We love the idea that you can begin your night with a quality dining experience at CCG and finish with a well made cocktail at Collins Bar.


Coal Cellar + Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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