Celebrating (belatedly) Geoff’s 25th Birthday with Eva & Jane we managed to book into this fine dining restaurant a week ahead (last table) and looked forward to it.
Jock Zonfril has somewhat of a reputation of excelling in his food due to his pedigree in being a chef under Marco Pierre White when he helped Marco gain a 3rd Michelin Star in “Knightsbridge”. He also worked in other Michelin Star restaurants and then had a gig in Sydney’s “Restaurant 41”. He returned to the UK where he progressed further with the world acclaimend and cutting edge restaurant “The Pharmacy”.
From there he returned to Restaurant 41 as Head Chef before he moved to Adelaide as the Executive Chef for Magill Estate and finally opening Orana & Street (in the Old Universal Wine Bar on Rundle Street).
A great chef needs to travel… Moving on…
We were greeted at the door by Aaron Fenwick (the Maître d) and quickly seated on our quite spacious table. The table would seat up to 8, but they have no problem in using it for a single table of 4. In fact there were 6 tables all told in the restaurant, filled mainly with couples.
Our meal progressed from there.
Immediately we recognised the influence of Noma in Copenhagen. I mistakenly thought Jock had been a member of the team, but it appears not. However, the similarities with the food that was to follow was unmistaken. There is certainly a nexus between the two and it shows how much the World Number 1 Restaurant (4 times in the past 5 years) has influenced contemporary cuisine.
“In an effort to shape our way of cooking, we look to our landscape and delve into our ingredients and culture, hoping to rediscover our history and shape our future” – NOMA
In a similar vein, Orana is a quite restaurant with tables spaced out across the room. The service is good, but not what one would expect of in a 3 Michelin Star restaurant. But that’s kind of irrelevant. We have no 3 Michelin Star restaurants in Australia. In fact Noma itself (whilst being the best restaurant in the world) still only has 2 Stars! It’s about the food and the relaxed nature of the event. Yes, it’s an event and not a meal.
We had many small “Snacks” (the same name they give them in Noma) before heading to the main course. The photo’s below are most of them. They’re quite small, but it does add
up I can assure you. We started with the Gaston Chiquet Special Club to match our entire Snack Courses. These snacks were brought out quite quickly by the waiters and the chefs. A description is given of each course. If it’s brought out too quick, just let them know and they’ll slow it down for you. No cutlery is necessary and it’s all just pick and dispatch.
After about an hour or so with this very diverse range of produce (from mainly South Australia) we had a little break before we hit the main menu. These consisted of a pea salad, Lamb, Kangaroo, Marron etc. It was wonderfully fresh and tasty. As you can see in the pictures, each course was vibrant and packed with flavours. There will always be some you particularly enjoy, but I have to say, I can’t pick any that I’d say no to next time. They were all delicious in their own way. A couple of highlights for me were the Kangaroo Carpaccio and the 4 seaweed broth.
The entire meal was matched with wines (not included in the cost of the just the meal) but it was a wonderful experience.