Max had a huge success at work last week – he closed a deal that he has been working on since last year. When we were on holiday in Canada, he worked from 2pm to midnight most days we were there, putting his time and effort into this deal (and others, too, of course, but this was a major one!). It is the biggest deal in the entire multinational company’s history; this is big stuff!
I’m so proud of him. He has worked so hard on this and to see him achieve a major goal is fantastic. So, to celebrate we went out for dinner on Friday night at Red Ochre Grill restaurant in North Adelaide.
Red Ochre is located on the north side of the Torrens River, perched on top of the River Cafe that graces the Torrens weir. The location is picturesque; its unique vantage point offers a view of Adelaide rarely seen unless you’re exploring the walking path around the river. The side of the restaurant facing the water is floor-to-ceiling glass, allowing diners to gaze out at the sun setting over the river and reflecting on iconic Adelaide structures, like the convention centre.
You can see that the colours of the parklands change dramatically over just an hour or two.
We arrived a little early for our 7 45pm booking and were promptly offered a seat at the bar to enjoy a drink before we were shown to our table. Since we were celebrating, we accepted and ordered a lovely sparkling wine. Having left baby boy at home with Max’s sister, we took this chance to relax into the evening and enjoy being just husband and wife (rather than Mama and Daddy) for the first time that day.
Our booking time arrived before we knew it and we headed into the dining room. This is the kind of place where waiters help you get seated and place your napkin on your lap for you…i.e. not the sort of place we go to very often anymore! We allowed ourselves to be settled, listened to the specials, and then held hands across the table while we looked at the menu. Yeah, we’re that couple who hold hands a lot throughout dinner. We also sit beside each other on the same side of the booth if we’re in one. I used to make fun of couples like us!
Red Ochre’s food is described as modern, innovative Australian cuisine with native influences, and they make an effort to include plenty of indigenous Australian flora and fauna in their dishes. We decided to take our time and enjoy several courses. We began with the housemade bread, which we devoured before I could take a picture. It came with vegemite butter and bush tomato balsamic and oil. I wasn’t game to try the vegemite butter (I may be an Australian citizen, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be Aussie enough to enjoy that stuff!) but the oil and balsamic was delicious.
Our mains arrived next. I ordered the crispy skin spatchcock, which came with a Barossa bacon and sweetcorn risotto, peas, asparagus, marjoram and chicken jus gras.
I should have read the menu closer because I don’t actually eat bacon, but I tried to pick around it and the meal was still delicious! I gave Max half of the spatchcock and all the bacon and he was happy to take one for the team.
Max ordered the Orroroo kangaroo duo, which comprised grilled roo sirloin and braised tail, pear and Davidson plum chutney, crisp polenta, parsnip puree, and quandong ginger sauce.
He said it was outstanding- cooked medium rare, and really well matched with the mild puree and sweet chutney.
On the side we enjoyed fried chat potatoes with romesco sauce, Manchebo, and Red Ochre spice salt
plus green beans in smoked butter with crispy capers and roasted almonds.
And for dessert, Max ordered a blood orange tart with kiwi gel and a scorched top
and I had a chocolate pave with cookie crumble, chocolate popping candy, and the creamiest ice cream.
I tasted both desserts and they were both fantastic- really lovely and not too large, though by that point we were so, so full. I could barely get myself into our Uber!
We’ve been to Red Ochre a few times before, and the reason we returned on this occasion is that we’ve always had a good experience there. My only complaint is that the restaurant is getting a bit tired and dated: the menus are written in Papyrus font (aka the same font the Avatar movie uses….yikes!) and I noticed a few typos on them; the decor is fine but not particularly compelling. I’d describe it as minimalistic but in a bit of a sparse, worn way rather than a sleek, purposeful way. That said, we go to restaurants for delicious food, and Red Ochre certainly delivered on that. It would just be great if they had a little redesign to freshen up their interior.
All in all, it was a lovely night celebrating my love’s achievements and getting the chance to relax together for a few hours…can’t wait till our next cause for celebration!