Sweetbread, sweet sweetbread.
Black pudding, lamb’s brains and sweetbreads, just like what grandmas used to whip up in the kitchen back in the old days, they are things you were revolted by when you were a kid. But how things have changed these days and now serving offal in a restaurant definitely not shabby anymore, can even won you the Hottest Restaurant with the Hottest Value in South Australia. Hot off the PRESS*, this restaurant opened less than a year and is already going great guns.
Tasting Australia 2012 has brought us to South Australia and despite our itinerary is full to the brim with events, any down time is never a rest for the die-hard foodanatics like us. (Okay, I have just made that word up.) Down time is just another excuse for us to venture out into the city on our own to tick off a few more restaurants on my must-visit list.
This Waymouth St eatery is definitely the talk of the town at the moment, so it’s encouraged to book in advance for upstairs individual seating or come early and join the others by sharing the long communal tables downstairs. We rock up at 7pm and the restaurant is already on the verge of filling up quick, the wait staffs are trying their best to fit everyone in, so long you are ready to sit shoulder to shoulder with the fellow diners next to you. It is not always a bad thing because at least you get a previews of what’s on the menu prior to ordering.
The bistro style menu offers from small dishes designed to be shared, to larger servings including wood grilled meat and seafood, or go for the extreme, I called it the “Game of Thrones” banquet – half suckling Berkshire Pig for $350 that serves 8 to 12 people. However, a 24hrs notice is required for the beast.
Love dining out with foodanatics as everyone is keen to sample as many dishes as we could, hence sharing is the way to go. First up is the Morcilla, a split open Spanish blood sausage is smokey and rich, served with a refreshing wombok and kohlrabi remoulade that gives it a nice crunch.
I seldom order beef tartare due to bad experiences, but Press* offers a visually inviting yet delicious Denham Farm beef tartare that has been hand-chopped and served with a yolk on top. Without seasoning the tartare to keep it a DIY affair, so you can mix and match side condiments of capers, shallots, gherkins and white anchovies to your liking and spread over a thin crisp toast.
I do have a thing for corn and who’d have thought a vegetarian salad can be this sexy? A bed of rockets and watercress leaves is studded with trails of sweet scorched corn kernels and fiery whole red peppercorns with a light shave of Parmigiano-Reggiano on top.
One of my favourites of this evening. Chunk flakes of skate white meat is succulent and smokey, paired with a lushes salad of green beans, red radicchio and fennel on a deliciously pungent anchovy dressing, whilst a few deep fried capers pop with zingy surprise.
When you can get fresh sardine, it actually can be a beautiful fish to eat. This simple dish of grilled sardines on toast is packed with flavours, daubed with a spicy tomato kasundi sauce. Next time we will order one each.
Believe it or not, there is even an “offal” section on the menu here at Press*. These little morsels of crumbed then pan-fried lamb’s brains are delicate and soft like pillows, works marvelously with a creamy potato and dill salad.
Back to the sweetbreads, actually don’t be confused and mistakenly believed that sweetbreads to be the testicles of an animal simply because of its creamy jelly like texture. They can be, as they called it ‘Rocky Mountain Oyster’ in America, but no such luck my friend, sweetbreads are usually referring to the thymus glands or the pancreas gland taken from calves or lambs. These anise-roasted sweetbreads are very delicate in flavour, served with silky smooth turnip puree and crunchy green beans.
Not everything on the menu is offal. There is also roasted pork bun, yes, everyone is doing pork bun. Sandwiched in a soft brioche bun is a bundle of shredded roast pork with a dollop of Kewpie mayo. With Helen’s amazing skill of quartering the bun into 4 portions, we hold the pork buns in our hands and toast to new friendship here in a foreign city and gobble it down in one bite. Bless him.
Press Food & Wine 40 Waymouth Street, Adelaide Tel: +61 (08) 8211 8048 Opening hours Monday to Saturday lunch and dinner 12pm til late Closed Sundays