Sunday, 19 May 2013

River Cafe

Hi everyone,

Firstly, I just wanted to let you know that posts will probably be a little slow in the next few weeks as my mid year exams are fast approaching!

Today, I wanted to share a beautiful restaurant which I had the pleasure of visiting earlier this year in celebration of my godmother's birthday, the River Cafe.

This restaurant was in the most beautiful location; right on the River Torrens with an incredible view of both the river and the CBD. I have previously dined here for both lunch and dinner and the view has been spectacular both times! The restaurant has a very modern, yet classic feel. During the day it is bright and open, whilst during the evening, the lights are dimmed which makes the view of the CBD even more spectacular. What I loved most about the set up of the restaurant was that every single table had a lovely view.

 Set menu for the day

 GORGEOUS flowers that my godmother ordered for each table. This photo probably doesn't do them any justice. The colour really was even more vibrant!

 My entrée
Gnocchi e Sugo
House made potato gnocchi in a rich tomato sumo with basil & ricotta salata

This really wasn't a stand out dish for me. It wasn't a completely terrible dish, but nothing about it screamed 'wow'. I did like how the gnocchi was cooked though - soft pillows of potato goodness!

My main
Oven Baked Chicken Breast
Filled with mascarpone & marsala figs, red rice & almond pilaf, pancetta & a tarragon sauce

When this first came out, I was mortified to see that it was undercooked. I notified the staff immediately, who took it back to the kitchen, and while I waited, I had a taste of my sister's main. It arrived back at the table after 30 minutes (everyone else was close to finishing their meals!), when I was starving and expecting a lot from it. The chicken was overcooked, but by this point, I was willing to just dive in. I really enjoyed the filling and thought it complimented the chicken very well. I absolutely loved the red rice - it had a very nice woody flavour, very Middle Eastern, I think, and went surprisingly well with the chicken. The pancetta added a great crunchy texture to the dish and the mash was delicious. I wish there was more of the tarragon sauce though - what you can see on the picture is all I got! Also, it would have been nice to have a a fresh element to cut through and contrast with all the rich flavours on the dish.

My sister's main
 Char Grilled Beef Fillet
Limestone Coast been cooked medium, with a parsnip puree, broccolini & balsamic glaze

This was delicious! The beef fillet was cooked to perfection and extremely tender. Broccolini is one of my favourite vegetables so I was very happy when I saw it on the plate! (Even though it wasn't my meal) The parsnip puree was very smooth and tasted great with the beef. I think the hero of the dish was the balsamic glaze - a forkful of the beef with the mash, covered in balsamic glaze was incredible! I definitely recommend ordering this if you ever visit.

My dessert
Panna Cotta
Orange blosson & honey panna cotta, cardamon spiced persimmon

This was the perfect panacotta. Though I couldn't taste any orange blossom flavours, the flavour of the honey was lovely! It was subtle enough not to overpower the palate and went very nicely with the rest of the elements. I could have sworn the cardamon spiced persimmons were dried apricots.... but I'll let it slide since the panacotta was delicious!

My sister's dessert
 White Chocolate Semifreddo 
With strawberry salsa, amaretti, lemon and basil granita

Two thumbs up from me for this dish. The semifreddo was delicious and the texture was perfect. I think it would have been even better if the white chocolate flavour was a little more prominent. My favourite element by far was the basil granita. It was so refreshing and complimented the strawberry salsa so well. Also, the strawberry salsa was not too sweet which let the slight natural tang of the strawberry come through. Loved it, and I was a little jealous that my sister had most of it to herself! (Of course I had to sneak in a few tastes :P )

Flat white

This came out about fifteen minutes after everyone had finished their desserts. It wasn't the best I have ever had but I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

This restaurant is definitely one which I would recommend. The service was great - the staff were very friendly, attentive and extremely organised! Very professional and something I think the restaurant owner should be very proud of. The restaurant was extremely classy and I loved the atmosphere which the glass walls, bright lighting during the day and simplicity of the decor created. I think it would be perfect for a date - either during the day or during the evening. I also liked how the furniture was a little different on the deck which gave that a more casual feel. Also, the views really are spectacular! Perfect for a function/event, or even just lunch or dinner.
Overall, 9/10 . A point was docked for the undercooked chicken.


River Cafè on Urbanspoon

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