Our visit to Grace was a little while ago now but I still wanted to get this article up as it is a place that if you haven’t yet heard about, it is about time that you did. With a menu put together by Adelaide’s culinary superstars, Lachlan Colwill and Emma Shearer of ‘Manse’ fame, my wife and I were both chomping at the bit to try what was on offer. Whilst my daughter probably wasn’t too fussed by who was cooking, she was hungry and we were also interested to see how she would be catered for in such a place. The initial impression of the space was that it was minimalist and modern. As a dining space, it is fine but the long bar would also cater well to the cocktail crowd and my wife mentioned her intentions to visit the place at a later date for a cocktail hour with the girls.
As we were keen to try as many different things as possible, we opted for a larger selection of starters finished off with a few desserts in order to get a better idea of the kind food on offer.
Boneless Chicken Wings with a Lime Dipping Sauce (small) $9.50
These were one of my favourite items on the menu. With bones removed, you could munch into these without a care in the world! The dipping sauce was punchy and cut the fat in the wings nicely.
Hervey Bay Scallop, Aerated Almond Cream, Sopressa Dressing $5.80 each
The attached photo doesn’t really do the dish justice as all you can see is the Almond cream. It would have been both easy and obvious to use bacon for this dish but the mixture of ingredients including the use of sopressa which gave the dish an additional kick through the extra spices and the flavours of cured pork and the hint of almond flavour made this an interesting dish that my wife and I both loved.
The Grace Wagyu Cheeseburger, American Mustard, Housemade Pickle, Swiss Cheese, Tomato Ketchup $12.00
This one was another great little item. The Wagyu burger had a good and genuine Wagyu experience (with a distinct ‘wagyu mouthfeel’) and the housemade pickle was great. Another nice touch was the little matching buns, tailor made for this tender treat.
Braised Coorong Angus Brisket, Cucumber Chilli Salsa and Tortilla $9
Dont get me wrong, this was really good. In the first instance, I always LOVE it when I see brisket on the menu. I truly love this cut of meat and what happens to it when it is cooked properly. My only criticism was that if this had been slowly smoked ‘Texas style’ as described here: Beef Heaven, its No Bull and here: Beef Brisket 2.0 it could be one of the most truly wonderful and KNOCK OUT dishes in Adelaide. It’s a personal thing but the brisket served here was braised which is fine, because it is juicy from the braising liquid but when it is slow smoked, it is juicy from the fat and the outside gets a bark which makes a meat dish that is smoky, soft, unctuous and not of this earth. It was however a great dish and the Cucumber, chilli salsa was awesome.
Sashimi Kingfish, Sesame Dressing and Sesame Mayonaise $9.00
To some extent, this dish showed off the skills prevalent in the kitchen as well as the chefs ability to choose the menu. This was simple and in many ways perfect. The mayonnaise gave body to the dish whilst the dressing was tart and the two played off each nicely as culinary binary opposites.
Chargrilled SA King Prawn Cocktail, Baby Herbs, Avocado (small) $13
Again, an interesting take on an old favourite. The prawns were sweet and lovely and the avocado gave the dish richness and body. It was nice but left me wanting more.
Coffin Bay Triploid Oysters served with Acids and Oils 3 for $10.00
Acids and oils were represented by tart little additions which customers are allowed to drizzle over their oysters in the required amount. So long as the oysters are high quality, they will always be a win for me. These oysters were indeed a win!
French Fries with Aerated Ketchup $8.00
The fries were fine and the aerated ketchup was a little bit of fun for those who like ketchup with their chips (fries). Conceptually, I guess its is also a nice way to introduce some modern technique to a bog standard. For me though, the fries were perfectly adequate on their own.
Pavlova, Lemon Curd, Freeze Dried Rasberry $7.50
This was the first of two desserts that we tried. I wasn’t going to try any but I’m really glad that I did. This pavlova was lovely. The meringue had a nice combination of crunchy, chewy and fluffy. It was sweet and tart and I loved the freeze dried rasberry which a nice touch and like other elements of the meal such as the aerated ketchup, indicative of the techniques of the kitchen crew and give a bit of a glimpse into the style of food available at its big brother – The Manse.
Cinammon Donut, Aerated Chocolate Sauce $7.50
I kind of liked this one. The donuts were delicious and the chocolate sauce was excellent although I didn’t get to try much of it as by the time I got to it, my daughter had scoffed most of it up. What remnants were left were eagerly eaten by my wife and I.
Ultimately, I had read previous reviews of the place complaining about the prices and to be fair, it isn’t exactly cheap but the question you need to really ask is whether Grace The Establishment provides a good value proposition. We are talking about fantastic ingredients cooked and treated well with glimpses of techniques and touches that one would normally see in a cutting edge five star restaurant. So in answer to that, I would say that whilst the food at Grace is not cheap, it does provide value. We are lucky to have Lachlan and Emma and the few chefs in Adelaide who are not afraid to push the boat out a little.
Grace The Establishment
127 The Parade
ph: 08 8333 1007