On Tuesday night, we were invited to a private tasting of the new ‘Native Creative’ menu at The Highway. The menu strives to encompass the innovation and uniqueness of Australian bush tucker and features native ingredients utilized by the Aboriginal people; it’s definitely not the usual schnitty and chips you’d find on a pub menu.
Upon entering the Lounge Bar, we were greeted with an extensive wine list, which presented us with plenty of local wines to choose from. Holding a glass of Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc in hand, we took our seats while the smell of lemon myrtle and charred kangaroo wafted through the bar.
One after another, five delicious courses started flowing out. The first was flavoursome Morton Bay bug tails, with pickled riberry, white carrot, and crunchy karkalla (an Australian succulent).
Next, we sunk our teeth into seared Paroo kangaroo fillet with muntries (native cranberries), beetroot, barilla leaves, and puffed grains.
The third course consisted of a juicy lamb rump with creamed Warrigal greens, saltbush, and a surprising potato crisp salad. The lamb’s herbed crust was positively mouth-watering, and had us itching for the fourth course.
Fortunately for us, the next dish was Robarra Baby Barramundi, which practically fell off the bone. Baked on native Ficinia Nodosa rushes, the dish was served with lemon myrtle, salty samphire (asparagus of the sea), and native thyme butter. It was certainly our favourite dish of the night.
Our final, and absolutely essential, course was dessert. We enjoyed a tasty Rosella sorbet paired with poached quandong, wattle seed tulle, and a violet sugar that we couldn’t help but name ‘fairy dust’. It was the ideal finish to an exciting new menu.
Head Chef Elliot Hampton told The Adelaidian on Tuesday night that he carefully selected the local, native ingredients and then structured the menu around them. This has resulted in an innovative, fresh take on Aussie pub grub. We think that this new menu is perfect for guests who are willing to give something different a shot, and delve into some native ingredients.
The Native Creative menu will be available from May 16th- May 30th in The Highway’s Bistro and Lounge Bar; we recommend all Adelaide foodies to check it out!
Words and images by: Liberty Petersen and Rhianna Dickson