The Melting Pot – Adelaide

by Doc-G on April 7, 2006

For all the readers who come here to look at pictures of burnt and/or smoked meat, I make no apologies for including a restaurant review. This was a place I have been wanting to go to for a long time now and the foodologist is geared towards food in general. I thought I would do a little review on the place. I took my Nikon D50 along and took collected some high class ‘food porn’. I hope you enjoy it!

The Melting Pot
160 King William Road
Hyde Park, South Australia 5061
Tel: (08) 8373-2044
Email: themeltingpot@ozemail.com.au

Nestled away in suburban Unley, the Melting Pot restaurant already has a formidable reputation. Head chef, Jordan Theodoros now of ‘Sumptuous Television’ fame and formerly of such dining stalwarts as the Magill estate restaurant has created a dining space that is small, yet spacious in appearance. With avocado coloured walls and crisp white linen, 6 of us sat at one of the ‘window seats’ and awaited the gastronomic carnival that was about to begin. We each ordered the ‘Melting Pot Degustation’ menu, a 6 course tour of Theodorus’s cuisine which is self described as ‘new world modern French’. Those of us who were not driving also partook in the wines which were matched to each dish. For desserts, we ordered 3 of each choice so that we could all try both.

Melting Pot Degustation

Melting Pot
A small appetizer served before the meal (I cannot for the life of me remember the exact details of it except that it was Kingfish cheeks with some sort of onion and tomato salsa!). It was however delicious!

Melting Pot
Watermelon & Fried Fetta, longan, baby herb salad
03 Schiffman-Junk Riesling Kabinett, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany

Melting Pot
Yellow Fin Tuna marinated beetroot, kipfler potato salad, mustard ice-cream, beetroot cress
05 First Drop ‘The Matador’ Albarino, Barossa Valley, SA

Melting Pot
Red Wine Poached Kingfish, gruyere crust, parsnip puree, Du Puy lentils, jus gras
03 Churton Pinot Noir, Marlborough, NZ

Melting Pot
I believe this was a rhubarb sorbet!

Melting Pot
Boudin of Quail, boudin noir & fois gras mousse, corn puree, veloute d’epices
98 Vallana ‘Spana’ Nebbiolo, Piedmont, Italy

Melting Pot
Paella De-constructed rabbit, chorizo, scallops, mussels, rice, capsicum
02 Torbreck ‘Juveniles’ Grenache/Mataro/Shiraz, Barossa Valley, SA

Optional Course – Cheese of the Day (surcharge $9pp)

Melting Pot
Passionfruit Souffle pineapple sorbet
04 Vietti Moscato d’Asti La Casscinetta, Piedmont, Italy

or

Melting Pot
Chocolate Fondant honey lavender ice-cream, honeycomb, roasted pear
02 Chateau du Pavillon ‘St Croix du Mont’, France

Overall, the food was sublime and the wine pairings were superb. The service was courteous but not overbearing and the staff were friendly and knowledgeable. The cuisine itself was an interesting mix of old and new. For most of us, the pick of the bunch was the Red Wine Poached Kingfish which was served with the Churton Pinot Noir which initially seemed an odd couple, however the fish in its marinade with its delicately flavoured gruyere crust and full bodied puy lentils had the unique sensation of eating a more heavier dish but which left us hankering for more. Interesting too was the deconstructed Paella. Reminiscent of the avant-garde cuisine of international superchefs Ferran Adria or Heston Blumenthal, the overall flavour of the dish echoed the traditional flavour of its traditional Spanish ancestor. It was nice however that despite its name which initially sounded deeply entrenched in the Molecular Gastromy camp, the dish itself was not overly reliant on techniques that are more at home on the space shuttle than on a dinner plate. Of the two desserts, the Passionfruit Souffle with pineapple sorbet was my personal favourite although the other was equally delicious. The cheese plate was divine but small and consisted of cheeses that are too firmly embedded in the foggy depths of my memory that I could not tell you even if I wanted to and believe me, I do want to.

Here is the one criticism!!!

The toilet…..Whilst the bathroom facilities are clean and had some nice candles placed about it, it consisted of one small cubicle with a hand basin in it. That doesn’t sound too bad I hear you say. I had too walk nearly through the kitchen and out of the back of the building and into the carpark amongst everything at the back of a restaurant (rubbish etc) and use the facilities that were shared with the place next door! These sorts of facilities for a meal that cost $145 for one person!

It is clear that Theodorus is an exceptional chef with clear ideas on the way his cuisine is headed. The food was exceptional and was on par with any of the top restaurants I have dined in around the world. However, to put it as bluntly as possible…get a proper bathroom or move to a space that does!

Six course Melting Pot Degustation $95 with wine $145

Score: 14.5/20 (Improve the facilities as this score is not in line with the food which was excellent)

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