The winter solstice may be passed and daylight is slowly creeping its way through our windows for longer each day, but this is still very much the season for comfort food. Rich, opulant, hearty fare is what this is about, and if you can add quality red wine to the mix, even better.
Essentially what this describes is the Winter Food and Wine Series at Coal Cellar and Grill. On the back of the success from 2017, The Hilton Adelaide’s restaurant plays host to three different bespoke menu’s for the respective months of winter.
The highlight of this menu – for me – is pretty easy to spot. While the braised carrot in beef stock with bitter greens and herb crumble certainly sounds interesting, and the thousand gineas beef tenderloin with potato galette and red wine jus definitely grabs your attention – when you read the words ‘beef shank for 2’ you tend to stop reading at that point. Maybe thats just me.
As an aside, this was actually my first visit to Coal Cellar and Grill, and I was genuinely impressed with the cool, relaxed vibe. It is very modern in its design which can sometimes go either way, but stepping through their doors you very much leave the winter chill and all your other concerns behind.
Settling into the comfort of a semi-circle booth, the second key part of the food and wine series (hint – its the bit that goes in a glass) is presented to our table. A selection of distinctive red blends has been paired to the menu by their sommelier, taking in three producers from across South Australia – Spinifex Wines, Robert Johnson and Rusden. Each is a finely crafted example of wine making prowess, showcasing how much red blends have to offer. The Rusden was our favourite of the night, but I could easily see a place for all three of these in my home selections.
When the shank arrived at the table with its many accompanying vegetable friends, it was a definite ‘Wow!’ moment. While not the same as potential contact with extra-terrestrial intelligence, this was genuinely very exciting. The large serving bowl is dominated by the sizable shank, the meat cooked to perfection and pulling away from the bone. Around this significant quantity of beef we got whole roasted tomatoes, roasted carrots, pumpkin and potatoes, as well as some bundles of bacon wrapped green beans. A few leaves of cress and a side ladle of jus complete the ensemble.
It somewhat goes without saying this was a fantastic and highly memorable dining experience. While it was billed as a beef shank for two, three people would have comfortably sat down to this and come away suitably satisfied. Most importantly though the quality of the produce was obvious, and everything was treated simply and allowed to shine for itself.
For those so interested, August shall see Venison on the menu paired with suitable Italian varietals from McLaren Vale. I feel a return visit may well be on the cards….
Visit www.coalcellarandgrill.com.au for full menu’s and information.