Last night, we were invited to Adelaide Hilton‘s sleek restaurant Coal Cellar + Grill to experience the launch of their ‘Winter Food and Wine Series’.
The sophisticated interior and lush design of Coal never ceases to amaze us every time we step into the restaurant; it encompasses minimalism and class, evoking a powerful sense of desirable luxury about it. Every. Single. Time.
We were among selected guests and media who were given the opportunity to sample the first of three menus as part of the Winter Series which, over the three chilly months, will aim to showcase a different meat and wine theme each month. We were thrilled to find that the first menu we were sampling involved Pinot Noir, seeing as it is our reigning favourite red of the season. The meat of choice was pork, coming in three different forms: Coal Grilled Pork Cutlet, Pork Ribs and Pork Belly.
After seating ourselves at the elegant long table stretching from one side of the function room to the other, waiters came around and poured our three reds, as well as offering champagne to start. Each seat was aptly set up with a copy of the menu, a paper for tasting notes, sparkling glassware and a name card to personalise each guest’s experience just that little bit more.
The first meat dish was the Coal Grilled Pork Cutlet and our favourite of the three, served with double cream potato, prosciutto wrapped asparagus and piquant sauce. We think it was the rich, orange, jam-like piquant sauce that made this dish so memorable for us; we just could not get enough of it! The pork cut was thick, juicy and tender, and the creamy potato mash only added to the indulgence of this dish with its velvety texture and buttery taste. A little greens on the side never hurt nobody, and this dish consisted of asparagus sprigs that had been made particularly alluring wrapped in a deliciously salty proscuitto. Everything about the Coal Grilled Pork Cutlet was tasteful.
The Chipotle BBQ American Pork Ribs came next, perhaps taking the crown for ‘the most attractively presented’ dish. Ribs always make for an Insta-worthy shot and the thick cut Texan chips and ranch dressed slaw on the side simply added to the aesthetic. The pork was so tender it fell instantly off the bone upon first slice, although the meat wasn’t as juicy and thick as the cutlet. There was also less meat on the bone but, hey, that’s ribs for you! Our favourite part of this dish was the creamy ‘n’ crunchy slaw, although we had to stop ourselves from filling up on it as there was still one last dish to come!
Finally, the Pork Belly. This was expressed as a favourite by one of our hosts at the dinner and, while we could see why, the cutlet was still a winner for us. This third dish was inherently fresh, serving 12 hour slow braised pork belly upon a bed of fragrant asian greens and crispy pork crackling, complete with a light ginger and soy sauce. The flavours in this one were a lot more subtle and far less vivacious than those of the other two dishes. It was also the most healthy of all three, so we figured we would opt for this one if we were feeling particularly bloated or in need of something a little less dense to be light yet still satisfying on the stomach.
Our wine flight consisted of: ’15 Felton Road ‘Bannockburn’ Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand, ’14 Henschke ‘Giles’ Pinot Noir from the Adelaide Hills and ’12 Kooyong Estate Pinot Noir from the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. It was great to see Coal delving into wine regions outside of Adelaide and comparing them against one another; we found the tasting notes interesting to compare region-by-region. Funnily enough, our totally unbiased favourite ended up being the Adelaide Hills Henschke Pinot (actually not joking, either), with its nose of black cherry and red currants, and similar palate of red fruits.
To find out more about Coal’s Winter Food and Wine series, click here. It is simply perfect for a couple outing or friend group gathering!