Ai Fiori Restaurant

Ai Fiori Restaurant Vegetarian Menu Review
Pumpkin stuffed with nutty rice. Photo: Willunga Wino
Adelaidians have watched with interest as the beautiful AMP bank building from the 1930’s was renovated, just around the corner from North Terrace, Rundle Mall and Hindley St. 
 
Ai Fiori Restaurant Vegetarian Menu Review

Signage adorns the wall. Photo: Willunga Wino

 
Inside, a transformation was completed from Bobo H bar to Ai Fiori, a modern Mediterranean / Italian restaurant, from the same group that brought us Europa at Glenelg. 
 
Ai Fiori Restaurant Vegetarian Menu Review

Vast marble interior. Photo: Willunga Wino

 
To celebrate the opening, I was invited by Neon Moose to attend a tasting of the menu with matching wines from the Barossa Valley’s Chateau Yaldara / 1847.
 
All earthquake-proof marble, soaring ceilings, arches, hexagons and copper, the space is beautiful if cavernous. 
 
Tucked into the main dining area is a bar near the front window, and a wine cellar that would be more intimate to dine near. 
 
Ai Fiori Restaurant Vegetarian Menu Review

Ai Fiori wine rack. Photo: Willunga Wino


 

An open kitchen allows you to have a glimpse at the action whenever you like.

 

Ai Fiori Restaurant Vegetarian Menu Review

Open kitchen. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

Tonight we were to be treated to a three course dinner, with sides. 

 

Ai Fiori Restaurant Vegetarian Menu Review

Our special menu. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

To start, there was also some olives, bread and dukkah.

 

Ai Fiori Restaurant Vegetarian Menu Review

Dukkah, Olive Oil, Bread. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

Matched with the entree: Chateau Yaldara / 1847  Emma Lydia’s Garden Barossa Valley Semillon 2013

 

Ai Fiori Restaurant Vegetarian Menu Review

1847 Emma Lydia’s Garden Barossa Valley Semillon 2013. Photo: Willunga Wino

Well Looky Here

Pale straw.

Sniff Sniff

Gooseberry, lemon blossom, honeysuckle.

Sip Sip

Fresh lemon, hints of vanilla and toast, hint of fresh asparagus spear. Nice acid, which is not racy.

 

For entree, I selected Arancini.  Cocktail sized, perfectly crisp and golden on the outside, they were filled with al dente rice, pumpkin, just the right amount of piquant blue cheese . Served as a duo, one is adorned with Parmesan, the other on a bed of rich passata. Marked with a (V), it came with a piece of crispy prosciutto but it was easy to share with a friend.

 

Ai Fiori Restaurant Vegetarian Menu Review

Blue Cheese and Pumpkin Arancini. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

My neighbour had the cured salmon, so I couldn’t resist a snap of that too.

 

Ai Fiori Restaurant Vegetarian Menu Review

Citrus cured salmon with horseradish cream and lime gremolata. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

Matched to the main:

Chateau Yaldara / 1847 Barrel 88 South Australia Shiraz 2013

Ai Fiori Restaurant Vegetarian Menu Review

1847 Barrel 88 South Australian Shiraz 2013. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

Well Looky Here

Crimson, black at the centre, with the tiniest hint of purple in the light crimson rim.

Sniff Sniff 

Blackberries, a little bit of florals, dried herbs, black pepper, chocolate.

Sip Sip

Black fruits, nice spice. Touch of coffee flavour.

 

While we waited for mains, two sides were brought out. Firstly, greens with butter sauce.

 

Ai Fiori Restaurant Vegetarian Menu Review

Greens with butter. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

Secondly, the house salad of rocket, herbs and orange.

 

Ai Fiori Restaurant Vegetarian Menu Review

Rocket, Orange and herb salad. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

For mains, I selected the maple wood smoked pumpkin. Generously sized, it is tender and adorned with thyme leaves. Filled with walnuts, pepitas, rice and thyme, it tastes like a comforting, traditional roast stuffing with onion, but here with the addition of the crunchy nuts. Goat curd added a cool tang.

 

Ai Fiori Restaurant Vegetarian Menu Review

Pumpkin stuffed with nutty rice. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

To match with our dessert, we were offered a snifter of non-vintage port, dispensed from a little port barrel.

 

Ai Fiori Restaurant Vegetarian Menu Review

Serving the port. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

Chateau Yaldara / 1847 Fine Old Tawny

Well Looky Here

Deep brown with caramel rim.

Sniff Sniff

Dates, a touch of black olive, baking spices

Sip Sip

Toffee, roasted nuts, marzipan, dates. Rich, unctuous, with warmth and gently juicy finish.

 
Ai Fiori Restaurant Vegetarian Menu Review

1847 Port. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

Dessert time, and it certainly was magnificent to look at. Imagine a Gaytime crossed with Lemon Meringue pie with a side of honeycomb and that is what you have in this dessert.

 

Ai Fiori Restaurant Vegetarian Menu Review

Almond semifreddo with honeycomb, cake and lime sauce. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

 

 For homely Mediterranean food in grand surrounds, Ai Fiori has you covered.
 
Thank you kindly to Neon Moose, Ai Fiori and Chateau Yaldara / 1847.
 
 

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