Where there is an all veg deg to be found – I seek them out.
Leave behind the ‘meat sweats’ and join me on the nutty, pulsey, leafy, rooty, fungus-side.
Joining the ranks of Leonard’s Mill, Orana, and Botanic Gardens Restaurant, Windy Point Restaurant launch an all vegetable degustation from March 1, with eight delectable courses for $115 or $185 with matched wines.
Better yet, it can easily be made vegan on request.
Simply you cannot argue with this view. High on a hill, overlooking Adelaide and the coastline, it is stunning.
The same view is shared in the main dining room of Windy Point Restaurant, where I dined last year, or to the left and downstairs from the main restaurant entrance, the cafe and Pavilion, where we dined tonight.
Decked out with clear walls, white draping, fairy lights, topiary roses, and mosaics, the Pavilion would be perfect for an event (even wedding!) with the superb lookout an easy stroll.
Canape / Amuse Bouche
Beginnings set the scene for what is to follow. A clever interpretation of soft shell crab, in the form of “crack” broccoli, inspired by the dirtcandy kitchen in New York City.
This is broccoli, but not as you know it. Steamy soft inside and deep golden crunchy outside, it packs some sriracha heat. Cooling, burning sauces finish it off, with a sprinkle of sesame seeds. I may have eaten two. No wonder they call it “crack” broccoli.
Spice is hard to match with a beverage, but the fig cocktail worked like a dream. Sweet and strong with a hint of mint.
Presented with a menu, we see lists of ingredients, giving the barest hints of the techniques, textures, and compositions to come.
Introduced by the menu’s creator, Justin Miles, we learn that there is real passion, real innovation, and a showcase of real South Australian grown unique produce.
On the table, house made olive bread in crunchy, warm mini cob loaves. Hand churned butter is sprinkled with demi-sel salt.
Seriously good. There is little better than hot bread with butter, even more so with briny olive flavour.
Course 1: Mushroom; Wine Match: Dal Zotto King Valley Prosecco NV
Mushroom soil is rich and crumbly.
Tiny pickled beets and radishes have crunch and acid bite.
Richly eggy gribiche makes the dish wholesome and creamy.
Beetroot gel is sweet and earthy.
Beautiful to look at, and to eat.
The Dal Zotto Prosecco NV has aromas of lemon squeezed on pear.
On the palate, it is soft-bodied, fizz wizz sherbert, pears.
An amazing match, bringing sweetness and accentuating the whole egg flavour in the gribiche.
Course 2: Beetroot; Wine Match: Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Riesling 2015
Pressed watermelon takes on an almost salmon texture, with intense flavours.
Crisp carrot is sweet and caramelised.
Shredded beet is earthy and crisp, with cool feta atop, and a new experience for me, caper leaf. Soft, with a milder caper flavour than the berry or flower bud.
Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Riesling 2015 has aromas of sweet lemon curd, sherbert, bright clean minerality.
Crisp bright citrus juicy acid that carries a touch of toast flavours on the palate.
Amazing with the sweet watermelon, the crisp acidity and minerality is accentuated.
Course 3: Potato; Wine Match: Hill Smith Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2014
We don’t often think too much about where the food served to us at a restaurant comes from.
Well, I like to think about whether it’s local, or organic.
But not always about the farmers who grow it, how they cultivate new species, how they are distributed to the restaurants.
Margy Abbot from AJM Produce does an amazing job of connecting those dots.
On the plate here is “Potato”.
Essentially, a beautifully mild spiced potato curry, with a fennel and dill pickle, as well as a sweet fennel pickle, perfectly hard boiled quail eggs, a kale crisp, and lovely little papadum strips for extra crunch.
Lots of bright fresh flavours and diverse textures.
Matched to this fellow, with his tricky-to-pair spice and pickle acid combo, is an Adelaide Hills chardy with from Hill Smith Estate, part of the Yalumba group.
Sweet peach jam, sweet florals and cedary vanilla erupt from my lovely Plumm glass.
Mouth filling but juicy, rich with cedary flavour, it is not at all buttery or overblown on the palate.
Chardy here enhances the flavour of the quail eggs, and makes their pure egginess pop, pop, pop.
Course 4: Zucchini; Wine Match: Handcrafted by Geoff Hardy Adelaide Hills Gruner Veltliner 2013
Dish of the night. Such balance in this pretty plate of oven roasted baby zucchini, a carefully crafted pea puree with drained yogurt that is blended back with its’ whey, a hint of mint, my weakness: buffalo mozzarella and some hidden za-atar.
Smooth, creamy, minty, the pea puree is a pure tasting revelation. Zucchini are sweet and just tender, not sloppy.
An everyday Gruner might have been too austere for this subtle, textural dish. This little number by Geoff Hardy seemed prematurely aged.
Deep yellow, almost riesling like kero hints on the nose. Joining it, rich marmalade coats the mouth, there is a touch of phenolic grip, and a juicy finish.
The Orange flavour compliments the sweet, creamy cheese and yogurt.
Course 5: Carrot; Wine Match: Barratt Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir 2013
Peanut butter fiends – this is for you.
Carrot puree with cumin is rich and delicious. Baby heirloom carrots are sweet and nutty. Crunchy roasted peanuts add toasty, nutty goodness and a protein hit.
In a departure from the Middle Eastern flavours that weave their way through the courses, the raw carrot salad is spiced Asian style with corriander, lime and chilli. A splash of vincotto adds sweetness.
Matched to this sweet, nutty dish is the Barratt Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir 2013. Sweet strawberry, hints of dark savoury smokiness, and a touch of coffee tickle my nose.
On the palate it is savoury, rich with black fruit but tight with acid.
Cuts through the rich savoury peanuts with ease, accentuating its fruitiness.
Course 6: Cauliflower; Wine Match: John Duval Plexus Barossa Valley GSM 2013
It’s hard to make curried cauliflower pretty. A lilly-pad of nasturtium leaf certainly helps. Looks aside, this is an earthy, spicy dish, with the fire from the house recipe Ras al Hanout.
Compressed cucumber is a cooling influence, but the puffed brown rice is a little chewy – though it was an unseasonably humid night.
Tricky to match with wine, the John Duval Plexus Barossa Valley GSM 2013 does the trick.
Red and Black fruit, mint, pepper aromas.
Blackberries, soft plums, a rounded mouthfeel, with just a touch of tannin and a soft acid finish.
The brightness of this wine is a nice contrast to the earthiness, and at the same time, enhances the chilli heat of the dish.
Course 7: Sweetcorn; Wine Match: Fox Gordon Adelaide Hills Nero d’Avola 2013
Presented as the neatest, cutest little rectangular pie with a rich golden and flakey crust. Corn kernels inside were impossibly sweet and crisp, in a cheesy white sauce.
Spinach puree was clean and earthy, and a tomato sauce light bodied and sweet.
For a little decadence, bearnaise as well.
Nero is one of my favourite varieties at the moment, and here, the Fox Gordon Nero d’Avola 2013, shines.
Dried mint, blackcurrant, and a touch of black tea leaves tickles my olfactories.
Bright, light, soft bodied juiciness fills my mouth.
A great match in contrast to the crunchy, sweet, full flavoured corn kernels and rich creamy cheese sauce.
Course 8: Fig; Wine Match: Mr Pickwick Tawny (Port)
Surprising from start to finish.
Chickpea puree – who would have thought it could be rich, smooth and sweetened with dates?
Roasted chickpeas coated in sweet spice were nutty and crunchy. My first taste of wild strawberry was revelatory – so sweet, like strawberry boiled sweets, even a little rosewater. Plus my other weakness – figs.
Loved this dish.
Mr Pickwick’s Tawny (Port) was rich, fragrant and unctuous with sultana, spice, and sticky date pudding.
The dish and the sticky went together like Minnie and Mickey.
Great, accessible value for omnivores that are curious and vegetarians alike. Have no fear, you will not be hungry after this meal.
I look forward to sampling future iterations of the menu, which will change seasonally. Sign me up!
We were even sent home with goodies from AJM Produce – including those wild strawberries!
Comments make my day – so tell me – What tickles your fancy most from the all veg deg? Have your say below!