Thursday, 8 December 2011

Adelaide Botanic Garden Restaurant

I don’t think I’ve been to the Adelaide Botanic Gardens since attending an outdoor jazz concert with my mum on Valentines Day 2006. With new pavilions and re-developed gardens, it certainly has changed since then.
I was there today to help host a lunch at the Botanic Garden Restaurant. The restaurant is such a light and gorgeous space with everything white… white walls, white wood panelling, white pendant lights, white chairs and white linen. Some would say all white is bland and boring - but I think it looks classic and simply stunning.
Image: Botanic Garden Restaurant
The interior of the restaurant was given an update sometime last year. Built in 1906 as a kiosk, the restaurant’s decorative woodwork arches are beautiful - complete with quirky cut-outs in the shape of teapots, cups and saucers and love hearts (albeit upside-down love hearts).
The food was just as gorgeous as the setting. I ordered the duck leg on a bed of mash pumpkin with cherry glaze for main and ‘chocolate cake’ for dessert.
But this wasn’t an ordinary chocolate cake – this was the richest dessert I’ve had in a long time. The cake was coated with some sort of chocolate ganash or icing and then covered around the edges with crunchy salty caramel flakes, accompanied by delicious soft caramel toffees and finished off with a dob of cream.
I didn’t find it too rich at first, as the cake was really light, but by the end of it I was definitely on toffee and caramel overload and regretting that I hadn’t offered a larger piece to one of my colleagues for a taste-test.
Some of us quickly popped into the relatively new Amazon Waterlily Pavilion on our walk back through the garden.  
I remember visiting the old (now demolished) waterlily glass houses as a youngster in the 80s, and thought there were a few things in the new pavilion that looked familiar. Turns out I was right! The new pavilion has been re-built around the original 1868 waterlily pond.
As a child, a visit to the Botanic Gardens wasn’t complete without my parents or grandparents taking us for a stroll around the duck pond, followed by a trip to the kiosk to buy a lemonade icy-pole.  If only I’d had an icy-pole this time round instead of the 'death by caramel' chocolate cake.

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