Some friends and I took advantage of a Livingsocial deal at Pistachio Dining where we received the ‘Just Feed Me Dave’ degustation for about $30 per person. It is usually about $65 per person so this was a real bargain. The last time I was at Pistachio was in early 2014 and I remembered liking the quality of the food. The degustation is an avenue for the chef to be creative and explore his passion and techniques. There is no menu as it is entirely dependent on what is in season and what the chef feels like concocting. All you need to do is tell the restaurant of any dietary requirements/allergies, sit back and be surprised.
Course 1 was the potato and leek veloute with smoked salmon, sour creme and croutons. Served in a small cup, this was a wonderful balance of creamy and salty flavours. It was just the right amount of depth for a soup and full bodied. My tastebuds were craving for more.
Course 2 was the salt baked polenta with spicy harissa tomato compote and chevre. The harissa (a mix of hot chilli peppers) provides a spicy undercurrent of peppers to the tomato compote without burning the top of the tongue. The tart compote provided a nice contrast to the polenta as did the soft goats cheese. This was simply wonderful and beautifully presented.
Course 3 was the pan-fried Tasmania salmon with black lentils, prawn butter and celeriac foam. This was the dish of the day for me. The salmon was cooked to perfection – tender and oh so juicy. It was most likely cooked in the prawn butter and anything cooked in butter is delicious. The best part was the crispy skin on top which had a more concentrated fish flavour. I loved every element of this dish.
Course 4 was the Wagyu with a pork and beef crepinette wrapped in leek, colcannon, grilled shallots, parsnip chips and watercress. I don’t have a good photo of this but it’s all I have. The strips of wagyu were pink, tender and extremely easy to chew. A crepinette is basically a small sausage and this was tasty stuffed with beef and pork mince. Colcannon is an Irish potato mash made with kale or cabbage. It didn’t taste any different to regular mash, only lumpier with the extra ingredient. Filling and satisfying.
Course 5 – Dessert consisted of a mandarin panna cotta with white chocolate ice cream, short bread pastry, and meringue all garnished with black sesame. The panna cotta was a little sour and bitter which complemented the sweet white chocolate ice cream and marshmallow-like airy meringue. I thought this was a lovely and light way to end the night. A very well balanced dish.
We had a really pleasant experience at Pistachio Dining. Two of my gluten intolerant dining companions at the table had the gluten free versions of the same dishes (after advising the restaurant ahead of time). However our waitress asked us all again on the night if there were any other allergies or dietary requirements. Our waitress was able to explain the elements on each dish and the concept behind the Feed Me Dave degustation, all with a smile. It might be strange to find such a gem of a restaurant in the middle of Torrens, but it is well worth checking out.
Pistachio Dining is located at the Torrens shop at Torrens Place. Open for lunch Friday only, and dinner Tuesday to Saturday.
Value for money 7.5/10
FPJ score 25.5/30
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