Adelaide 2010 - Lunch at Chianti Classico

Like most major cities in Australia, Adelaide is not lacking in great restaurants. A strong food culture inherited from the different waves of immigrants, coupled with great local produce and robust wine production makes it almost easy to create great food here. During my uni days in Melbourne we used to go to the market just before closing time, buy up the cheap vegetables and meat enough for a whole week of lunch and dinners. The vegetables like cabbages and cauliflowers are so fresh they taste sweet on their own. Just need to add some salt and maybe a good soy sauce for a great dish. I believe it would be the same here.

Chianti Classico is one of the best Italian Restaurants in Adelaide. Located on Hutt Street on the Eastern fringe of the city, it is in a handsome corner Federation Style heritage building. The interior is quite classy and cozy, with an impressive bar counter backed with Italian marble right at the main entrance. The dining room is divided into 2 sections, separated by a bare-bricks fire place.

The food here is based on classic recipes from Toscana, Veneto and Piemonte, with an emphasis on seasonal produce. We started with an Affettato Misto – mixed cold cuts which included San Daniele prosciutto, salami and pancetta – served with bread and pickled vegetables.

For mains I had the Cacciucco alla Livornese – a classic Tuscan fish stew with king prawns, local flathead, scallops and mussels. Simply delicious !

Some of the other mains we had - Coniglio al Forno – Adelaide Plain farmed rabbit slow cooked with pancetta, onions, port and sage.

Pesce del Giorno alla Griglia con Panzanella – grilled fillet of whitefish with Tuscan salad of bread, cucumber, capsicum and basil. The name was really long and impressive, but this was the least interesting of the mains.

For sweets we had a Lemon Curd Tart accompanied with Wild Berries Compote and Berries Sorbet. The sweets were not as memorable as the food.

I don’t quite remember what this was – I believe an almond cake with cream and ice cream.

It was a very good lunch. The food was very well cooked, and the flavours were very rich and satisfying. The prices are at the higher end of the market, but justifiable for the quality. Incidentally, they also serve very good breakfasts.


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