Level One - Asian Fusion Menu Tasting

Level One, Electra House Hotel - 131 King William Street, Adelaide SA 5000

The restaurant on level one of Electra House Hotel has changed cuisines, chef, decor and name that many times since its opening in 2015, it really is hard for one to keep up. Luckily we have been along for the foodie ride right from the beginning, to document the journey from the not so impressive, Olea Greek Restaurant (Greek for where's the Meat? and Launch of Olea), the exquisite fine dining menu of Head Chef Sato at Level One (Menu Tasting and New Wines of Greece Lunch), to our most recent dining experience with new Head Chef Jamie Kang.

On The Chopping Board (OTCB) was recently invited to Level One Restaurant at Electra House Hotel​ for a menu tasting. All food and beverages were provided on behalf of Level One. New Head Chef Jamie Kang has a Korean heritage with a background in cooking across many cultures including Korean, Japanese, Italian and French. These range of experiences is reflected in the modern Asian fusion menu now offered at Level One. The decor hasn't changed and we are still loving the pink and blue hues that bring a warm feel to the space and the background soundtrack still providing cool tunes to keep the mood casual and upbeat.

We were lucky to have a taste of many dishes, beginning with a few 'cold starters' from the menu. We loved all 3 of these dishes as they all exuded delicate fresh flavours and had us declaring we would be happy eating just these 3 dishes all night long!

Tuna Sashimi $18
The 'Tuna Sashimi' was sweetly presented in a champagne coupe and filled with small cubes of Yellowfin tuna with shallot and yuzu soy and topped with avruga (caviar substitute). Easy to share and easy to devour thanks to a good hit of the refreshing acidity of the yuzu and subtle saltiness of the soy.

Kingfish Tataki $22
The 'Kingfish Tataki' was cured and coated in a mixed rub and served with finely sliced asparagus, grapefruit, shallot and fresh herbs. The slight sear on the outer allowed the mixed rub to release a good depth of flavour and combined with the sweetness of the asparagus, tang of the grapefruit and freshness of the herbs, made for a wonderfully balanced starter.

Veal Tataki $25
The 'Veal Tataki' served with salted plum, cucumber, carrot and pear, was as delicious as it was pretty on the plate. The delicate thin slices of veal coated in a moreish spice rub paired beautifully with the fresh carrot and cucumber, sweetness of the pear and textural difference of the freeze dried plum.

Not really ready to move on for the risk of ruining a good thing with these divine cold starters, we pulled ourselves together to dig into the 'warm starters'.

Pan-Seared Scallops $19
First up were the 'Pan-Seared Scallops' served on a miso cream and burnt onion salsa and topped with itogaki (tuna that is salted, smoked and then shaved). The scallops were seared until quite a firm caramelisation appeared, which created a texture different to what I am used to. I prefer my scallops treated a little more tenderly with a light sear, so the scallops melt in your mouth but if you can get past that, the flavours of the stunning miso cream and smokiness of the onion salsa, make for a tasty dish.

Salmon Aburi $24
The 'Salmon Aburi' with salmon tartare, crispy rice and shiso, is not your normal salmon aburi. This is where you see some exciting creativity in the menu with the inclusion of a block of fried crispy rice topped with a layer of salmon tartare and a piece of salmon on top. I'm used to more of a lightly grilled salmon atop but this one pale and tender worked well with the fried crispy rice underneath and creaminess of the salmon tartare in-between. Overall, a fun and different dish, I'd be keen to try again.

Fried Octopus $19
The 'Fried Octopus' made for a statement hitting the table with it's jaw dropping size! Clearly size does matter here as this octopus served with gochujang (Korean chilli paste) aioli, fennel and yellow beetroot was a hit amongst everyone around the table. The octopus so tender thanks to a 3 hour slow braise in a bay leaf, miso and a few secret ingredients concoction. Finished off with a quick deep fry was a sweet delight to eat with the bitterness of the fennel and exciting kick of heat from the creamy gochujang aioli. 

Crumbed Pig Bits $24
The 'Crumbed Pig Bits' served with pickles, mustard mayo and crispy sage, had us all asking what are the pig 'bits'?! The pig bits were cooked so tenderly it was like cubes of pulled pork, crumbed and fried to a juicy delight! Luckily we were told afterwards they were parts of the pig head - the thought of eating bits of the pig head might not have gone down so well around the table had we already have known. Topped with my favourite pickles and creamy mustard mayo, it was up there with one of the favourites of the night.

Chicken Wings $17
The last of the warm starters were the 'Chicken Wings' described as crispy, sticky, sweet and spicy.  So many descriptive elements, to which these chicken wings did live up to! The chicken meat was tender and juicy underneath the crispy sticky batter that you really just needed to get stuck into them with your hands. Lucky for the lemon finger bowl to assist cleaning us up afterwards. For me, I like my chicken wings to have that burst of vinegar acidity to take it to that next level, but that is just my personal preference.

Shitake Ravioli $26
The next round of dishes presented were from the 'Bigger Plates' section of the menu. The 'Shitake Ravioli' with miso cream, ricotta and pistachio was a delicious fusion of Italian and Japanese elements. We loved the soft pillowy pockets of ricotta filled ravioli paired with a variety of Japanese mushrooms bursting with flavour and texture. We are big mushroom fans here at OTCB and would definitely recommend giving this dish a try.

Broccolini $10
A side of chargrilled 'Broccolini' with truffle soy was served, which was a great idea to break up the richness from the ricotta and miso cream in the ravioli, although the truffle was a little too overpowering for me and therefore, didn't provide that subtle sweet flavour I was searching for.

Wagyu Rump $37
The 'Wagyu Rump' was a good sharing dish with a decent slice of rump sliced and placed alongside a black garlic paste, Asian chimichurri and caramelised onion. Not as tender as I was expecting for a wagyu, most likely from being slightly overcooked on this occasion but still exhibiting great flavour and accompanied with the Asian chimichurri really awakened our tastebuds!

Snowed Corn $12
A side of 'Snowed Corn' was a fun dish to eat and admire. The balls of corn with teriyaki mayo, salted ricotta and togarashi (chilli pepper) was similar to a dish I've had at a Mexican restaurant before, this one with Italian and Japanese influences was super delicious and exciting to eat! I loved the sweet crunch of the corn, which worked well with the coating of salty ricotta cheese and kick of spice from the chilli pepper sprinkled on top.

Pork Rack & Belly BBQ $37
Our last savoury dish, perfect for sharing, was the 'Pork Rack and Belly BBQ'. Another favourite of the night, we really wished we weren't so full so we could have licked this plate clean! The pork smothered in a divine Korean spicy chilli sauce pulled apart so easily, it just melted in the mouth. Served with rice mixed with orange, fennel and celery heart it was again proof that a fusion of cultures can work together successfully. With a side serve of 'Cabbage Slaw' with Japanese dressing, it completed this dish well to bring that extra freshness and some acidity to the overall dish, one we would definitely order again.

Matcha Chiffon
How did we fit in dessert after all this food you ask? Well you just make room! Desserts at Level One change regularly and tonight's sweet treats were the 'Matcha Chiffon', 'Black Sesame Sponge' and Coconut Sorbet'. All very interesting desserts to look at and enjoy. Our favourite was the Matcha Chiffon cake with red bean parfait, Italian meringue, strawberries and sorrel (herb). The combination of the bitterness from the matcha, savoury of the red bean parfait, sweetness of the meringue and strawberries and sourness of the sorrel had us returning for spoonfuls after spoonfuls!

Black Sesame Sponge
The 'Black Sesame Sponge' looked like something from under the sea which had an intense flavour from the black sesame but balanced well with the tartness of the blood orange sorbet, decadence of the chocolate bark and sweetness from the marmalade. The blood orange sorbet was the standout here.

Coconut Sorbet
Lastly the 'Coconut Sorbet' arrived at our table looking like something out of a masterchef episode!  The coconut sorbet was served with a dark chocolate orb on top and after we cracked open the orb with our spoons we found it was filled with a refreshing Champagne granita and fig. Definitely an Instagram worthy dessert!

And there you have it! Another epic feast at Level One, which was full of surprises and interesting flavour combinations that had us eagerly digging in dish after dish to try such wonderful creations.  The work that the new head chef has achieved with this new menu really is something different and one to admire and definitely try out, as we really can't think of another venue like it in Adelaide. Thank you to Level One for their charming hospitality on this evening and we wish them all the best.

Put your palate to the challenge and let us know what you think of Level One!

Level One Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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