What’s your favourite restaurant right now?

I thought it would be kind of cool if everyone who comments on this blog said what they’re favourite restaurant is right now (and maybe a reason as to why), so that others reading this blog who live nearby these places can possibly expand their horizons and try something new.

I’ll go first- my favourite restaurant right now (with a wee bit of masterchef bias) is Andre’s Cucina and Polenta Bar in Adelaide CBD. Andre has opened an Italian restaurant like I have never experienced; there’s no pizza or pasta to be seen anywhere on the menu. What it does have though, is a perfect menu for sharing with friends. Food arrives at the table on little wooden boards, perfect for a less than formal meal, and there is a seperate polenta menu, my favourite so far is the truffle and mushroom polenta.

It is possible to follow a more traditional restaurant meal and have a main course, such as the sous-vide rib eye finished on the grill and served with salsa verde, which has seen many the customer question how it is so tender. The desserts are creative, the cookies and cream regular on the menu is a pannacotta in a jar, served with an array of biscotti. I have eaten there three times now, and I’m still excited by the concept. Bring good company, enjoy some good wine and the fun, slightly adventurous atmosphere and I think you’ll see why I’m raving on about this place to anyone who will listen.

If you are interested you can get some more information at andrescucina.com.au


39 responses to this post.

  1. Looks fantastic! Never been to an Italian restaurant without pizza and pasta!

    My favorite restaurant that I keep going back to for it’s good food and service is Dante’s out in Berwick.


  2. Posted by Robert Barnes on August 9, 2010 at 3:46 am

    Great idea – I am obsessed with Bar Lourinha in Melbourne’s CBD at the moment, mainly because of an incredible Portuguese pork and octopus stew I had there a while ago. It was sublime – like nothing I’d ever tasted before.


  3. Sounds like a great restaurant mate. You will have to take me when I come down.

    My favourite is quay, or spice temple.



  4. Mine’s Grossi Florentino in the city of Melbourne! (: Both the grill and the cellar bar have awesome yummy food! (:


  5. Damn! Andre was probably my favourite from MC season 1. Good on him for opening a restaurant, I love the concept. When can I go to Adelaide? Would love to try his food.

    At the beginning of the year I went to The Bentley Restaurant and Bar in Surry Hills (Sydney). Fantastic food and service. The menu had some of the most interesting flavours I have ever experienced before. Very memorable and definitely recommended.

    Also, Flying Fish in Pyrmont (Sydney) is also a treat.


  6. Posted by vik 351 on August 9, 2010 at 4:07 am

    Our family favourite is also in the Adelaide CBD and it’s Amalfi Pizzeria,Was really good ,great pizza On par with Tusmore pizzeria on Greenhill rd .

    Havent been there for a while(Amalfis),looks like it has changed hands and has gone down hill


    Reading the last reviews dont sound too good

    Looks like Tusmore here I come…



  7. Posted by Jannette on August 9, 2010 at 4:11 am

    My current favourite is Ayame in Malvern (about 20 mins from Melbourne CBD) – the head chef there, Gary, makes the most amazing sushi. When you ask him for a special he loves to create you something on the spot. I love to sit at the bar and watch him make his sushi! When you come down to Melbourne you should definately visit. Gary was a head sushi chef at crown a lifetime ago. He’s a friendly man! I can’t rave enough about the place!


  8. Posted by Caitlin on August 9, 2010 at 4:50 am

    East Empress in Glen Waverley, Melbourne. Best Chinese restaurant ever!


  9. Ha, my favourite restaurant is nothing gourmet, but it sure is delicious! It’s called Panchos Mexican Villa in Victoria Park, WA 😀 It’s not a classy, elegant restaurant. It’s a messy, delicious, family-owned little joint that has been owned by the same people since it opened in the 1980s. I’m mad about Mexican food, so this is my favourite place in the world to go to for some good comforting spices. Yum!


  10. We love Ying Chow on Gouger Street, Adelaide. You have got to try the E-Shand chicken with a steamed bun!

    You may have to wait around for a free table (even if you book) but it’s well worth the wait. Great food and a great atmosphere.


  11. Posted by Jannette.D on August 9, 2010 at 6:36 am

    Typo in the title, Callum. 😉

    I love ‘Pancakes on the Rocks’ in Sydney! Definitely worth going (when there isn’t a long queue, of course). Not so high on the pizza, but everything else on the menu is great! Hope to see you back in Sydney soon. =D


  12. Posted by Kain Slotegraaf on August 9, 2010 at 7:11 am

    hey all, I have been to many restaurants in Adelaide, but my favorite definitely comes down to calshaw’s grill, at the majestic rooftop garden hotel.


  13. Your blog is a great read Callum!

    Seeing ‘Pilu’ on Masterchef sealed the deal for me – I had to book a meal there. After having the suckling pig, it was one of my favourite dining experiences, you cant beat the view and the food!
    However, last week we visited Hellenic Republic in Melbourne and without a doubt, it was an amazing meal!
    Hands down two of my favourite restaurants so far -im not even going to try and decide between the two!

    Happy Eating!


    • Thanks Gianna, that suckling pig truly is delicious. I haven’t eaten at Hellenic, but I’ll be spending some time working there in the future, so I’m looking forward to it


  14. Posted by Jarrod on August 9, 2010 at 9:03 am

    This is kinda weird but I miss ya on tv Callum. *ahem* I was behind you 100% on MC.

    Anyway, my favourite restaurants are currently Cutler & Co and Maha, both in Melbourne. Next time you are in town, you should check them out if you haven’t already.

    Enjoying your blog – keep up the great work mate.



  15. Posted by Nat on August 9, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Hi Callum, this is a hard question. There are a lot of good restaurants to eat in Adelaide but my favourite would have to be Kopitim on Gouger Street. It’s a nice family restaurant opposite Ming’s Palace, which has nice Peiking Duck there by the way. Kopitim mainly specialises in Singaporean and Malaysian food. My favourite dish there is their Fish Head Noodle Soup. It’s really nice. I also love Italian and so Amalfi on Frome Street would be my favourite Italian restaurant. I really want to try Auge one day as it has won many awards in the past. Keep up the good work Callum!!!


  16. Hey Callum,

    Great blog mate, I’d have to say one of my Adelaide favourites at the moment is the Argentinian Bar & Grill (near the entertainment center). Everything I’ve had there has been amazing.

    Another great place is The Greek on Halifax (right over the road from our office!), always amazing food (the platters are the way to go), and the coffee and deserts are a must try.

    When are you opening yours? :p


  17. Oh wow, Andre’s sounds awesome. I keep hearing so many good things about dining in SA, perhaps I’ll have to take a trip over there soon!?
    I went to Melbourne a couple of months ago and I could not stop raving about Mamasita. Their ‘street style’ grilled corn was to-die-for! Grilled corn, covered in mayonnaise, cheese and chilli – it was soo good! But, in Sydney I am currently loving Pho Bac Hai Duong in Marrickville for pho (because it’s so good on a cold winter’s day/night) and I can never say no to Mamak!


    • If you do come over I would be happy to suggest some places to try, actually if you go through the comments on this page there are quite a few Adelaide recommendations!


  18. Hellenic Republic is awesome, the vibe there is just fantastic. I’m sure you’ll love working there! My friends and I are saving up to try out the Press Club (especially the Aphrodite dessert), and I’m sure we’ll be trying to poke our heads into the kitchen to see if we can spot you, hahaha.

    My favourite restaurant is way out in the Dandenong Ranges – Saffron Cottage in Tecoma (http://www.saffroncottage.com.au/). They have the butteriest naan and the most amazing vegetable makhani. The serving sizes look small, but we’re always rolling out of there at least 2 sizes bigger than when we walked in.


    • I loved eating at the Press Club when I went there recently- Aphrodite is great, and make sure you try out the dessert which is almost greek-saladesque, the cucumber sorbet is fantastic.


    • Posted by Di on August 12, 2010 at 6:12 am

      Have to agree, Saffron Cottage is awesome. Love the Vegetable Kofti. Am going to Maha Bar & Grill in November for my 40th, can’t wait for that!


  19. For me in Sydney, it’s hard to go past Bilson’s or Quay, as they are both deliciously memorable.

    In Melbourne, I adore Vue De Monde and its quirkiness.


  20. Posted by Hannah on August 9, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Yum, good choice there Callum! I’ve only had dinner there once which was fantastic, but we have Breakfast there sometimes before Uni. The omlet roll filled with ricotta and proscuitto is a bit of a winner.

    Auge Ristorante on Grote st is really good too, as I’m going through a bit of an Italian phase atm, lol… but being a student with little money, sometimes an AB from Red and White on O’Connel & something from 24 is the best meal in the world! its the absolute last thing from fine dining, but AMAZING after (or before) a night in town =) have you had one? Great blog Callum!


  21. Posted by Patty on August 10, 2010 at 1:43 am

    Mine is Blackbird restaurant in East Perth. It has recently opened but serves great food at a great price with fantastic service. Their beef cheeks or their pork belly pucks are to die for! Their menu changes regulalrly and is really high quality. Definitely worth a visit before evryone finds out about it!


  22. Posted by Lotte on August 10, 2010 at 5:59 am

    Mmm… I’m feeling peckish just reading these suggestions! My favourite resturant is Happy Cook Peking Cuisine in Melbourne. Awesome peking duck!! Matt Preston rates the duck highly… so it must be very good! Reasonable prices… can’t miss the dumplings or spring rolls! YUMMNESS 🙂


  23. Posted by Sara on August 10, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Shavan’s is my favourite Indian style restaurant in Melbourne nestled in Patterson Lakes. My husband and I fly to Melbourne once a year from Fremantle to dine there… and see family.


  24. Posted by vik 351 on August 10, 2010 at 10:36 am

    In a recent trip to Sydney,we stayed at the Rocks for a few days,and ended up at the Australia Hotel every night for dinner,just loved the place…

    OZ fauna pizzas… Just great,good menu,and sittin outside with a beer watchin the bats flyin overhead was a nice experience…



  25. oooh I will have to remember this place next time I am in SA! Thanks for the recommendation 🙂


  26. Posted by lucy on August 12, 2010 at 12:09 am

    My favourite restaurant is in the Barossa Valley (of course)- the old faithful Vintners Bar & Grill! I am really looking forward to the Barossa Valley Gourmet weekend and Vintners are doing a five course degustation menu with a new Barossa wine brand (Simpatico Wines) on August 20. If you are around, I think you should definitely go!! I am particularly looking forward to one of the courses – A little pie of Wild Hare with celeriac, broad beans & Linke’s bacon. You can probably vouch for me that Linke’s bacon is good gear, but the overall menu looks amazing using lots of local produce. I am looking forward to all the other events too, it would be awesome to see you around.


  27. Posted by kerry on August 13, 2010 at 2:48 am

    Have just spent weekend at Mclaren Vale, SA with girlfriends for wine tasting & good food. Ate out at Bistro Barn & The Salopian Inn. Magnificent & since watching masterchef for 2 seasons I take much more notice of ingredients & am willing to try something new & different. I wasnt disappointed.
    Lucy Im from the Barossa & know all about & love Linkes bacon too & have to agree about Vintners I had the most magnificent pasta dish there once, went back again some time after specifically to order it & it was no longer on menu, I even tried to describe what was in it but they didnt know. I’ll just have to keep going regular & hope its back on. Bumped into Callum at Foodland today so nice to see him again after watching MC. I remember Callum from primary school where I work & his fantastic basketball skills when he played in my sons team for many years. I could have spent an hour chatting have so many questions to ask about MC ( I think I was a bit star struck) & I wanted to ask if you can manage a special visit to your old primary school there are about 320 students who would love to see you. The whole school knows who Callum is we even have the masterchef play kitchen setup. I was recently invited by Reception students to watch them cook. Got the shock of my life when they asked me which one of us is getting eliminated!!!!


  28. Posted by Guylian on August 17, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    My new favourite is Metropolis Eating House in Sydney road Brunswick, it’s only been open a couple of months. It’s an old ballroom that’s been renovated into a restaurant/bar, and serves everything from really good ‘bar food’ to a four-course tasting menu matched with wine. The chef is Gabriel Martin and he has a way with using different flavours together than you’d never think would work, but after you try them you can’t imagine having anything different!


  29. Great post idea! My favourite restaurants at the moment are Sichuan hot pot restaurants! The numbing hotness is all I need to keep warm this winter! But going into spring, i’m gonna be heading back to places like Izakaya Den (Melbourne) and Toko (Sydney)!


  30. Posted by Amy on December 5, 2010 at 9:46 am

    the Branch in Nuriootpa Barossa Valley SA, sophisticated relaxed dining


  31. Posted by Isabella Little on December 6, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Callum I love your cooking and how those macaroons look like tomatoes thats awsome. I was wondering my brother and I have been making quiches for my mum we were wondering if you have any recipes??


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