On Monday evening Tasting Australia collaborated with the Hilton Hotel’s Coal Cellar and Grill to put on an exquisite feast for food bloggers from across the country. Inspired by their restaurant’s ethos, the talented chefs incorporated premium, seasonal South Australian produce to highlight the finest SA has to offer. Executive Chef Daniel Fleming, in partnership with Sous Chef Walter Jodicke, used dishes from their dining menu to create tasting platters with a selection of their best meals.
For starters, we enjoyed creamy baked half-shell scallops and tender confit duck which were particular crowd favourites. They also offered a refreshing, sangria-marinated watermelon with feta, as well as crisp crab cakes served with Moroccan peas.
In keeping with the charcoal grill theme of Coal, we were served a perfectly cooked Clare Valley Gold beef fillet with creamy buffalo curd and lamb cutlets. Additionally, we tasted, and devoured, their enormous Tomahawk steak which is traditionally a sharing meal for two. The crispy skin seared salmon was a personal favourite accompanied by fennel and sultanas, and used their ingredient of the month, mandarin, to create a subtle gel.
Side dishes on offer were asparagus with crunchy parma ham crumbs and hollandaise sauce, which was the perfect balance of fresh and salty. We also shared the impossibly creamy, garlic mash; and we all agreed that we could eat a huge bowl of it to ourselves it was that delicious.
I could barely contain my excitement for dessert and between the five different options; I was torn on where to start. I cracked into the Bombe Australiana first with its beautiful praline and Davidson plum sorbet. The chocolate jaffa fondant was an ideal dessert on a chilly night and the accompanying blood orange ice cream balanced the cake’s sweetness with its zingy flavour. The strawberries and cream dish, served with hazelnut macaron-like pastry, was a winner among guests, as well as the crème brulee. However, my favourite was undoubtedly the raspberry sponge with liquorice ice cream. The fluffy sponge was incredibly fresh and flavoursome and the strong ice cream flavour complimented the dish in a pleasantly surprising way.
The Barossa Valley wines, generously provided by John Duval, Massena, Sons of Eden and Spinifex were gorgeous additions to each of the meals.
I cannot praise the staff of Coal Cellar and Grill enough for the impeccable dining experience. It truly was ‘Seriously South Australian’.