Adelaide is a good place to showcase our multiculturalism, especially with so many different cuisines. My regular readers probably know that I love Japanese food, but I like European food as well, especially Italian cuisine. In Adelaide, there are plenty good Italian restaurant but no one has received so many awards and reputations as Auge Ristorant.
Located on Grote Street, Auge was established in the year 2000, when I was still at high school. I still remember when after school, we went past the place and it always gave us a classic and mystery feeling because we never saw their doors open! Back then, the white motorbike was a bicycle . We dined there once back then and I cannot remember the spuntini bar. Anyway, I pretty liked the decor. Cosy, classic and elegant are the words that can be used to describe the atmosphere of the restaurant. Since opening, Auge has received the numerous amounts of awards. Some recent ones include the followings.
The Advertiser | Adelaide Food Guide Awards 2013
Awarded ‘Best Italian’ 2013
Awarded three fork rating which represents ‘ Elite Dining Experience’ 2013
The Gourmet Traveller Top 100 Restaurants 2013
Restaurant & Catering SA Awards for Excellence
2012 – Winner, Hall of fame Best Italian SA
The restaurant is divided into two parts, the ristorant and the bar area. The ristorant area is used for formal dinning and the bar area is for casual or after work drinks.
Auge has been closed for renovation for a while and reopened on 02/07 with new lunch menu. We decided to give it a go and just in time TravelZoo Australia had this offer for two course lunch with matched wine. TravelZoo is a website that I’ve always trusted and have booked or bought many hotel deals from them. Their local restaurant deals are vast and premium but I never had anything from it. After reading this post today, you’ll see how good the deal is.
We arrived at 12:30pm and there was another table of three girls on the side. Our friendly waiter welcomed us with exceptional service attitude. The menu is already on the table. I had a quick look at the menu again, although I’ve already known what they have on offer for lunch on the restaurant’s website. The menu covers antipasti, seafood, meat and pasta dishes, which pretty much covers all areas of Italian cuisine.
My wife ordered mainly seafood dishes while I wanted something meaty. To match the food with wine, we ordered the following wines.
2009 Mellini vino nobile montepulciano, tuscany, Italia – The red for me. It is of sangiovese variety which is the most widely planted variety across Italy. Vino nobile di montepulciano is a red center with good quality vines in south-eastern Tuscany which is home to some of the big wine brands. The wine has medium level acid and sourness with firm tannin and dark cherry and black stone fruit taste on palate. The secondary taste at the back of the tongue was a hint of herbs, cream and tomato leaves.
Nv Torralta prosecco extra dry, veneto, Italia – The sparkling for my wife. Although I am not very familiar with the variety, the taste was excellent. The peachy and fruity flavour with a hint of honey and citrus is a perfect match with seafood dishes.
Fritto Misto – Fresh market calamari, fish & prawns lightly dusted in flour and pan fried
The seafood served in this dish were super fresh and this freshness can be detected easily. Lightly floured and pan fried, these small bite pieces were tasty and flavourful. However, we especially liked the sauce. It’s a sauce with fishy flavours, which is quite strong. When dipping the seafood in the sauce, a very strong salty fish flavour entered the mouth immediately after biting, giving the tongue good stimulation! Well done!
Antipasto della casa – A selection of daily house made appetisers to share
The selection itself was eye catching and the flavours were great too. Besides the fried seafood in this dish, the mini arancini ball was another preferred appetiser. The ball was made of risotto, mushrooms and truffles. Once being cut apart, the strong and rich truffle smell came into the nose and it was great too as on palate, the fine and smooth textures of the risotto and the truffle flavour complemented each other very well. The cured meat were tasty in flavour with a hint of honey and sourness, making perfect combination with the bread. The grilled eggplant mash on bread in the left hand corner was tasty and refreshing especially with the addition of the fennel, which introduced extra sweetness and herbal flavour to the appetiser.
After finishing the entrees, our tummy was almost full, but I was still so expecting the mains.
il pescato del giorno con polpette di pesce - fresh market fish, fried smoked trout ball, fennel puree, fregola, brandy & red wine
My wife loved this dish so much! The snapper steak was pan fried with a thin crust and crispy skin on top. The fish was not seasoned but no salt was needed as the fresh fish flavour was quite strong. The steak was quite big too and each bite with the fregola pasta and fennel root was always interesting and exciting. The fregola pasta was simmered with brandy and red wine sauce and hence each of them has sucked enough juices into the pasta. Brilliant! In fact, the most special element for this dish was the fried smoked trout ball. The ball was so creamy in texture with strong smell and flavour of smoked trout but no trout pieces were found. If haven’t read the menu, I’d think it’s a potato ball with trout flavour! Great dish!
il filleto di manzo - MSA black angus beef fillet with lardo, caramelised onion puree, local mushroom, bone marrow & sorrell
This dish was divine! The MSA black angus beef fillet was cooked medium rare at perfection and the flavour balance in this dish was great. The meat, with good pink color in the center, was moist, juice and full of flavour. It was so tender and flavoursome that no salt and pepper were needed. The caramelised onion puree provided some smokiness and slight sweet flavour to the meat and this combination in flavour was enhanced with the mushroom which was so rich in flavour with a mouth meal as meat. Well done!
Piselli - minted peas with goats cheese and mustard dressing
While having so many rich flavoured dishes, this dish could be the best side to go with. Cool peas and the slightly sour tasty from goat cheese were so refreshing and can balance out the oiliness from the above dishes!
The service at Auge was top notch and the atmosphere was classic and elegant. The dining experience was enjoyable with top quality food and good wines! It definitely worth the trip down there. No wonder it has received so many awards! Highly recommended.
Value: N/A – as a TravelZoo voucher was used
22 Grote Street
ADELAIDE, SA 5000
P 08 8410 9332