Last Tuesday, after a long and relaxing day unwinding on the shores of Glenelg Beach, we brought ourselves into the city for a degustation of the new seasonal menu at Level One Restaurant in Electra House. It was, without a doubt, the ideal way to tie up the ultimate summer’s day in Adelaide.
Despite suffering slight sunburn, a refreshing gin out on the Level One balcony very quickly distracted us from the pain. We enjoyed the zesty lime tones of our G&T, made using “My Gin, My Gin”: an exclusive gin produced collaboratively by Settler’s Gin and Electra House. Mixing and mingling with selected media and industry guests, we began to make our way into the restaurant for a dinner to remember.
The pale pink dining space instantly exudes summer vibes, bringing an airy lightness to the atmosphere. It makes you want to drink light Riesling and citrus gins and snack on fresh seafood, which is exactly what we did for our first course. We started off by sampling dainty pieces of cured salmon atop paper thin pickled radish wrap, finished with garlic chive, black Avruga and Korean Nori. The pieces were a teaser taster, offering a burst of freshness in just one bite alongside a most delightful, crunchy texture. It had a very strong fishy taste, however, so we would not recommend it to those who prefer to steer away from the seafood side of things.
We moved on to our next entree, which was a seriously fresh South Australian kingfish sashimi dish. If anyone knows us well, they’d know we are huge fans of raw seafood – particularly sashimi. That being said, we can safely say this dish was one of the freshest sashimi plates we have had in a while and it was undeniably our favourite of the night. The house-made white kimchi paired with green chilli and chive oil really added a spark to this one.
The next entree was veal tataki, and a collective favourite of our table’s. Served with white soy, savoy cabbage, green mango and lotus root, this dish was both aesthetically pleasing and belly-pleasing. The tenderness of the veal absolutely melted in our mouths, and despite being a meat dish, it was a light on the stomach. If this collective of Level One entrees is not considered the epitome of summer food, then we don’t know what is.
Moving onto the second course, we started with a particularly soft Cone Bay barramundi served alongside skinny eggplant, radish and citrus. The fish was cooked to perfection, breaking apart smoothly and offering a velvety texture.
The next main was free range rack and belly of BBQ pork, bringing some heat and heaviness to the table. A coating of Korean spicy chilli sauce added another dimension to the pork, making it rich and full of flavour. It was a great time to start bringing in more heavy dishes, too, after staying on the light and bright for a while. This dish was complete with raw carrot, fennel and celery heart.
Crispy vegetable tempura provided a suitable side to the spicy pork, keeping within the distinct Asian food theme. Alongside a bowl of soy sauce for dipping, we loved the saltiness and textural satisfaction of this dish.
Our final main was a tender salt bush lamb rump, served with Kombu emulsion, kipfer potato and peas. A colourful combination of green leaves and red meat caught our eye immediately. With a sprinkle of sea salt to finish, we finished our savouries and got started on sweets.
By this point, we were positively bulging out of our skirts, but that was not going to stop us from devouring a dessert or three. Each of the three desserts served were not ones we’d normally go for, but we were pleasantly surprised. The strawberry choux and vanilla creme patissiere was delicate and scrumptious. Served in a chilled strawberry soup, this was a very sweet dish – one for the sweet-tooths.
For the fans of savoury, a black sesame sponge stole hearts, paired with blood orange sorbet, miso cream and delicate chocolate bark. This one was a very interesting, complex dessert, putting a unique spin on those typical Asian sesame desserts you may have tried before. It was our favourite dessert on the new menu!
Finally, out came our last dish for the night: whiskied chestnut, chocolate mousse, hazelnut and jameson. This one came out in a deconstructed presentation, which made it a fun and interactive experience. The contrasting textures were super satisfying and the whisky flavour stood out signficantly.