Lunch @ Magill Estate Restaurant (Adelaide, Australia)

January 4, 2021 in Australian, European by thywhaleliciousfay

During my first visit to Adelaide in February ’20, the only restaurant I managed to visit was Orana. So one could say my return trip to Adelaide in October ’20 was very much for me to try the other restaurants that I didn’t get to in my earlier trip.

So while I used Australia Good Food Guide (2020) as a guide in deciding which restaurants to try, Magill Estate Restaurant was also recommended to me during my earlier trip by one of the stall holders at Ebenezer Night Market. So I knew Magill Estate Restaurant was a ‘must’. And thus, reservation was made 2.5 weeks in advanced via their website for lunch. And in my reservation, I made my selection for the tasting menu (7 courses). Actually… There’s only 1 menu available. For both lunch and dinner. Hee.

Most vineyards in Adelaide are only accessible by car. So it’s only natural to assume the same for Magill Estate Restaurant since it’s after all a restaurant located within a vineyard. But luckily for me (since it isn’t new news that I still don’t have my driving license), Magill Estate Restaurant was just a 30 minutes bus journey from Adelaide city centre! I know right! How good! Although if one is taking the public transport, one needs to take note of the bus timing because its frequency is pretty low.

I arrived early for my 12pm reservation, and tried to pass time by exploring the compound. And the keyword was ‘tried’ because I ended up spending most of my time waiting at Magill Estate Cellar Door which was the building beside the restaurant. Ha.

And when I finally stepped into the restaurant, I fell in love with the place. The restaurant overlooked the vineyard and the full height glass provided an unobstructed view of it. I was extremely lucky to be blessed with good weather during my lunch. Think endless greens set against brilliantly blue sky that’s dotted with light, wispy clouds. Such an amazing view!

As the food menu was fixed (being a 7 courses tasting menu), the staff took my order for drinks instead. Besides being able to order alcohol by the glass, there were 2 options for wine pairing. One being ‘icon and luxury wine match’ at AUD260, and the other was ‘sommeliers choice wine match’ for AUD125. Having tried a few wine pairing (at other restaurants), I learnt that wine pairing really wasn’t for me because I couldn’t finish all the glasses. I always end up tipsy if I attempted to drink them all. Haha. But because Magill Estate Restaurant was an extension of the Magill Estate winery, I figured it’ll be a shame not to do the wine pairing. And so, I opted for the AUD125 instead of AUD260.

And with that, I commenced my tasting menu (7 courses), AUD220 with:-

1) Snack #1 (above) – Oyster.


2) Snack #2 (above) – House-made crumpet with trout roe and trout butter.

3) Snack #3 (above) – Swiss brown mushroom on rice cracker.


4) Snack #4 (above) – Lamb sando (sandwich) with pickled cabbage and Japanese mustard.


5) Snack #5 (above) – Chicken wing stuffed with scallop.

6) Snack #6 (above) – Roasted mushroom broth with macadamia oil.


7) Lobster (above) – With kombu, fermented ice.


8) Whiting (above) – With fermented green peppers, blood lime. And the staff mentioned sashimi grade, I was told the sashimi-grade King George whiting was slightly torched. Really good.


  

9) Bread, Complimentary (above) – Butter made with Jersey cream, and served in 4 flavours; Plain with sea salt, roasted mushroom, white miso and seaweed.


10) Ling fish (above) – With turnip, miso. Unfortunately, I found the dish salty. I initially thought it was the burnt butter sauce, but no! It was the ling fish. How odd. Was it overly seasoned, or was the fish naturally salty? The turnip (done 2 ways; pickled ribbon and puree) didn’t help to offset the saltiness.


  

11) Duck (above) – With mandarin, fennel. The staff mentioned the dry-aged duck breast was put in the fridge for 3 weeks before it’s cooked in the oven. And I liked how the duck was paired with the fennel salad. The fennel salad acted like a palate cleanser which I had after every bite of the duck.

12) Lamb (above) – With almond, kale and fenugreek. A cut from between the ribs was used for the lamb. And it’s interesting that mullet roe was shaved onto the kale salad. Italy influenced, the staff mentioned.


13) Palate cleanser (above) – Blood orange, strawberry, vanilla. And this was beautiful. I liked how the dish incorporated different textures of the blood orange; Flesh of the fruit, and blood orange jam.

14) Apple (above) – With pine nut, brown butter. And this would Magill Estate Restaurant’s rendition of the apple pie.

15) Petit fours (above)

16) Coffee, Complimentary (above)

I had a blast at Magill Estate Restaurant. It was such a good meal. Definitely deserving of its 2 hats by Australia Good Food Guide (2020). I highly recommend Magill Estate Restaurant!

There’s no question of how delectable the food was. And it’s amazing to see a vineyard in a residential area. Uh huh… Urban vineyard. But what made my dining experience extra memorable was the service. To cite an example… The staff knew I was due to fly out of Adelaide later in the day (at 5.10pm). She constantly checked with the kitchen to make sure I could finish my meal within 2.5 hours; She learnt that I was taking the public transport and knew the bus heading into Adelaide city centre only comes hourly. So she was making sure I wouldn’t miss my bus (and thus my flight. Ha). Really appreciated it!

And because I was conscious of time, I noticed the crowd come in around 12.45pm. So if one has a flight to catch (like me), do make reservation for 12pm because the pace of the dishes between 12pm to 12.45pm was faster. Another observation that I made was that it got a little glaring/harsh on the eyes around 2pm (for my meal in mid October). There wasn’t direct sunlight entering the restaurant through the full height glass, so I guessed it’s probably UV (ultraviolet) rays.

With my wine pairing, my meal came up to AUD345 (inclusive of tax). And yes… I actually left the restaurant slightly high. Haha. How do one finish all the glasses of wine for wine pairing, I still wonder.

PENFOLDS MAGILL ESTATE RESTAURANT
78 Penfold Road, Adelaide, SA, Australia
+61 8 8301 5551, Website
Overall: 8
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Sat – Sun : 12:00 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 9
Wed – Sat : 18:30 – 23:00 (Dinner)
Value: 8
Service: 8
* Closed on Mon & Tues
** Hours are post-COVID lockdown, and may change when normality resumes.