Orana Restaurant Review

Orana Restaurant Review

Orana Restaurant Review

It’s taken a Scottish chef to renew the Adelaide restaurant scene’s interest and love of foraging for native ingredients. 

Orana is a very special, special occasion restaurant. It was the singular best restaurant experience of my life. 

Let me count the ways. 


To make your way into Orana, first you pop into Street ADL’s bar, an institution in it’s own right. Bar staff happily pop down their cocktail shakers and walk us to the “secret” staircase just in a laneway next to the bar.

 

Orana Restaurant Review

Stairway to foodie heaven. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

Through the door at the top of the stairs, is what looks like an upmarket house’s living and dining room.

No reception desk, but we are immediately greeted by host Aaron Fenwick and escorted to a table in the cosy, intimate, almost familiar feeling dining room, and the “Alkoopina” meal is explained. ($295 food & wine, $155 food only). 15 or so “snacks” followed by four or five main courses, and then dessert. 

Nothing is hidden away, the wine and beverage cabinets are in the room, with just a small table for the sommelier to open and check bottles.

 

 

Orana Restaurant Review

Sleek but homely and intimate. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

Josh Picken, sommelier at Orana, introduces himself and the first wine of the night.

Champagne sets us off on the right foot.

The Champagne Gaston Chiquet Spécial Club BRUT MILLÉSIMÉ 2007 – GRAND CRU has a perfume of brioche and lemon curd like Nanna used to make, which continues to the palate and is then cleaned up with clean, green apple acidity.

 

Orana Restaurant Review

Champagne Gaston Chiquet Spécial Club
BRUT MILLÉSIMÉ 2007 – GRAND CRU. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

First taste of the night, potato damper which is presented on red hot charcoal rocks in a cast iron pan to cook yourself at the table. 

Served with a sweet lamb butter, or a macadamia based butter for the vegetarian (me!) it is interactive, delicious, innovative and more-ish. 

 

 

Potato Damper & Lamb butter is how we begin snacks. #restaurantorana

Posted by Restaurant Orana on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

 

 

 

 

Mulberry leaf with muntries is the next snack, served as a trio on a piece of oiled wood. It is tart at first, then spicy with a secret ingredient of a native Davidson Plum spice powder.

Thinly sliced and rolled Emu started meaty then also became spicy with that same tang. 

Willunga squid, or for the vegetarian, sweet potato thinly sliced and dressed with the pop-pop-crunch of finger lime pearls. 

This course was also served with a macadamia milk, topped with a wild thyme oil. It smells grassy, and is heavenly smooth, savoury and sweet. 

 

Orana Restaurant Review

Mulberry leaf with muntries; spicy Emu; Willunga squid or sweet potato with finger lime. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

Roast pumpkin with thyme and beef was the next course, and Mr Wino found it tasted just like a piece of smoked meat, a clever trick. My vegetarian one was beautifully smokey.

 

Orana Restaurant Review

Roast pumpkin with thyme and beef. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

 

Heart of Palm with native honey and ants were presented on pearlescent spoons. A sweet, tart, soft, coconut like crunch from the Heart of Palm, and according to Mr Wino the ants added a gently earthy crunch.

 

Orana Restaurant Review

Heart of Palm with native honey and ants. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

Mulloway skin turned into a cracker was served with raw mulloway, ruby saltbush and new season Lilly Pilly fruit. 

My vegetarian one was a tapioca cracker, contrasted with cooling dollops of sauce and the crisp-tart fruits.

 

Orana Restaurant Review

Mulloway skin, raw mulloway, with ruby saltbush and new season Lilly Pilly. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

Choko with fermented Davidson Plum was the next snack (unpictured) which was crisp and sweet-sour.

Large and perfectly cooked Spencer Gulf Prawn had that magic native Davidson Plum spice powder, leaving a spicy heat on the palate after enjoying the sweetness of the prawn.

 

Orana Restaurant Review

Spencer Gulf Prawn. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

Samphire & pork tail served on a deep spoon (unpictured) was earthy, salty, crunchy. My vegetarian version equally crisp and intriguing.

Another trio.

Smoked salmon with sea blight is paper thin, threaded onto a skewer, and sprinkled with the hot Davidson Plum spice.

Morton bay fig shoots brushed with pandanus tasted like a pickle sauce with a smooth heart of the lamb or macadamia butter.

A spoonful of little sweet Elderberries was sour, then spicy at end.

 

Orana Restaurant Review

Morton bay fig shoots, pandanus; Elderberry. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

Smoked Boston Bay Mussel had juicy, sweet meat with the crisp saltiness of samphire.

 

Orana Restaurant Review

Smoked Boston Bay Mussels. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

Wild Guava was fruity and tart with a drizzle of spiced oil.

 

 

Orana Restaurant Review

Wild Guava. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

Wattleseed ice cream tasted of coffee and sat on a bed of salty, chewy, very fine vermicelli noodles.

 

Orana Restaurant Review

Wattleseed ice cream salty chewy noodles. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

Roasted Cos with Clare Valley carob emulsion was surprisingly flavoursome. Smokey, earthy and with the caramel note of carob.

 

Orana Restaurant Review

Roasted Cos with Clare Valley carob emulsion. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

 

House made sourdough is cartoonishly crunchy and perfectly soft inside. Cows buttermilk butter has an irresistible sour, cheesy tang.

 

Orana Restaurant Review

House made sourdough buttermilk butter . Photo: Willunga Wino

 

For the first of our main courses – yes, up until this point we were still having ‘snacks’ – a very limited release Vinteloper Refosco, the first I’ve seen grown in Australia. 

Savoury, herbaceous and tart with a nice red cherry note and a touch of dark sulphurous-ness. 

 

Orana Restaurant Review

Vinteloper Rose. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

Chef Shannon Fleming introduces the first, larger dish, personally. 

And what a dish.

Bunya nut, beetroot, 7 hrs roasted buffalo curd, black garlic, saltbush and a salty, dry, intense, sweet, beet reduction. This artistic dish just had so much flavour, each bite a different mix of flavour contrasts and textures.

 

Orana Restaurant Review

Bunya nut, beetroot, 7 hrs roasted buffalo curd, black garlic, saltbush and beet reduction. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

Gubinge fermented for 12 months, purslane, three clove garlic, with slow braised kangaroo tail,  falls apart like a lamb shank. The fillet is perfectly rare in centre, having been cooked on the fire pit.

Mine was a cucumber also cooked in the firepit, with wild garlic that is like a cocktail onion. Served with an ashed, smoky, tart, crunchy, earthy, leek and this was my favourite dish so far.

Red Kangaroo, gubinge, purslane, wild garlic & leek ash. Red cedar & birchwood smoke, served with a beer. #bbq #restaurantorana

Posted by Restaurant Orana on Wednesday, 29 April 2015

 

 

 

To create the full “Aussie beer & BBQ” effect, Josh paired this course with a crisp fresh beer, in an brilliant match.

Tasty barley shines through the Endeavour Reserve Amber Ale

 

Orana Restaurant Review

Endeavour Reserve Amber Ale. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

Mud crab with yogurt sorbet, sea purslane, seaweed and Geraldton Wax, with kaffir lime was next.

My vegetarian alternative was Corn, beurre noisette and inland native succulent.

This dish made me cry.

Singular best thing I have ever EVER eaten.

Floral, with the faintest hint of sweetness. Pop and crunch, smoke, the taste of the sea. Never tasted anything like it, before or since.

 

Orana Restaurant Review

Corn beurre noisette, yogurt sorbet, sea purslane, Geraldton Wax, kaffir lime, inland native succulent . Photo: Willunga Wino

 

Josh matched this course with the Dexter Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay 2013.

Fleshier, richer than many of the new-age lean chardonnays, but still racy – which is what you want – no flab.

Orana Restaurant Review

Dexter Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay 2013. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

Black face Suffolk lamb two ways was the next offering. Firstly a sous vide fillet, and secondly a knuckle. Different flavours and textures from each.

Eucalypt Smoked Pumpkin, with Pickled Kohlrabi and a Quondong & Madeira jus.

Shocking, this dish also was so perfect, so interesting, so comforting, it also brought a tear to my eye!

Yes, food made me cry twice in one meal! I was as shocked as you are.

 

Orana Restaurant Review

Eucalypt smoked pumpkin, pickled kohlrabi, Quondong Madiera jus. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

Paired to this smoky, rich and tart course, was the Little Brampton Farside Clare Valley Cab Sav, served in the eye catching and effective Riedel Snake decanter.

Lovely eucalyptol (not menthol) noted varietal, fermented in open slate fermenters. Spicy blackberry on the palate, not herbaceous at all as it was a hot year.

Orana Restaurant Review

Little Brampton Clare Valley Cab Sav. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

Buttermilk panna cotta – not ! Set buttermilk, seasoned with salt, and a strawberry eucalyptus emulsion.

As Chef Jock Zonfrillo calls it, “Australian Strawberries and Cream”.

With fresh strawberry tartness, and salty sweet flavours, this couldn’t be matched to a dry wine. 

 

Orana Restaurant Review

Set Buttermilk with Strawberry Eucalyptus. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

Fritz Haag Braunberger Riesling Kabinett 2012 was fragrant with apple blossom. It balanced oiliness, the acid and the sweetness all in one, with its characteristic slatey Mosel flavours and sweet clean finish.

 

Orana Restaurant Review

Fritz Haag Brauneberger Riesling Kabinett 2012. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

 

 

Muntries Tart with house made ice cream sat atop flakey, layered almost caramelised Speculoos flavoured pastry. Muntries are reminiscent of the most flavoursome blueberries imaginable. It was presented and introduced by the pastry chef.

 

Orana Restaurant Review

Muntries Tart. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

To match and finish off the night, a local Aussie sticky with a youthful attitude, and great honey apricot notes balanced with just enough acid to prevent it being cloying. 

 

Orana Restaurant Review

Sticky situation to finish. Photo: Willunga Wino

 

This was the best restaurant experience I have ever had. What a perfect blend, between casual chic surrounds, friendly “Aussie” service, meeting the chefs justifiably proud of their wares, the clever wine matches and that stunning, innovative food. 

When can I go again?!

 

 

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

 

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Comments Make My Day. So tell me, what are your thoughts on Aussie native foods? Have your say below! 

 

Mentioned in this post
  1. Orana
    Restaurant in Adelaide Australia

    285 Rundle St
    Adelaide Australia
    (08) 8232 3444
    http://restaurantorana.com/

Our Rating

8 Location

8 Decor

10 Food Appearance

10 Food Taste

10 Beverages

10 Service

9 Value

10 X Factor

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