If there’s one thing we love about The Cremorne Hotel, it’s the diversity of their menu. Head Chef Josh De Haas has included a variety of daring dishes which we were afforded the opportunity to sample this week, covering everything from your traditional pub grub, to some Asian-influenced options and some “of the day/week” choices, keeping the menu on rotation.
The venue itself is ever so sleek and modern despite an old, brick-walled exterior, with neutral shades of brown and black and contrasting whites complimenting the furniture and inside walls. Almost every surface inside is shining and gleams with a refreshing newness, a trendy design that is oh-so aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
We started our lunch off with two absolutely divine entrees which we struggle to fault: Yoder Smoked Chicken Croquettes and Pho Dumpling Soup. The croquettes had a delectable crunch to the battered exterior with a soft, velvety smoked chicken interior that delightfully melted on the tongue – no doubt they were some of the best croquettes we’ve tasted in a while (and we’ve tasted many!). The chipotle aioli added a bit of a distinct punch to the flavour and completed the dish.
The Pho Dumpling Soup is (obviously) an Asian-influenced dish, offering something different to the expected croquette or antipasto platter starters. The dumpling dough was of perfect consistency, not too soggy or soft nor too hard or rubbery, and its insides were made up of delicious prawn and pork. The bubbly, orange broth, although served a little too lukewarm (that could have been because we took our time perfecting our photos…), was downright mouthwatering, presenting a particular sweet yet spicy flavour. The soup was appropriately served with crunchy bean shoots, coriander, chilli oil, onion and a squeeze of fresh lime – a light mix of refreshing vegetables to offset the potential heaviness of the dumplings!
We chose three mains: Fish Of The Day, Handmade Gnocchi and Shredded Chicken Leg. The Fish Of The Day was a crispy-skinned salmon, cooked to perfection and served with corn puree and a side of leafy greens. This dish particularly stood out in appearance with bright pink, green and yellow colours standing out. The salmon was a professed favourite around the table!
The Handmade Gnocchi was my personal favourite, served with oven roasted tomato, fresh basil, Adelaide Hills olive oil, shaved parmesan and crispy tempura ricotta stuffed zucchini flower. The ricotta-stuffed zucchini flower was an interesting addition and was what really made the dish special, however I probably would have liked it slightly better if it was stuffed with feta! Nevertheless, a stunning choice.
The Shredded Chicken Leg was large and dense; we struggled to get through this one! If you’re feeling particularly hungry, or are not looking to order any starters, that is likely the only time you are going to finish this dish. The press-wrapped prosciutto with red was my favourite part, crunchy and salty but sometimes hard to cut through. The inside was a little dry, but certainly flavoursome and filling. It was served alongside red wine shallots, farro, herb salad and jus.
Our dessert consisted of two tasty treats: Deconstructed Lemon Curd Tart and a Snickers Bar. Both were equally scrumptious. We liked the idea of deconstructing the lemon curd tart, its presentation really added to the impressiveness of the dessert. The Snickers Bar was favoured for its crunchy texture and snickers flavour, and was dangerously more-ish.
Cremorne, you were a treat. We cannot wait to return.