14 Sep The Playford Restaurant
Situated in the heart of Adelaide’s cbd at the luxurious five star Playford hotel is The Playford Restaurant. Using quality South Australian ingredients to produce extraordinary modern Australian fare.
Executive chef Kevin Martel has partnered up with founder and head cheese maker, Kym Masters of Section28 to debut a beautiful spring menu with five incredible dishes, all featuring artisan cheese handcrafted here in the Adelaide Hills.
Section28 is one of only a few producers of hard and semi hard alpine cheeses in Australia. All their cheese is hand made using classic traditional European methods and the very best milk from the Adelaide Hills.
Mayura Station 9+ grade wagyu beef, fontina custard, beer mustard and dill pickle. The beef was sliced paper thin with a fresh pure meaty flavour and a velvety texture that just melted in the mouth. The custard had a rich buttery flavour with a delicate nuttiness and the dill pickle added crunch and tang.
Raclette fondue served with fresh baked sourdough and roasted chicken broth. This unique fondue foam was light, delicate and airy while the chicken broth had a rich, strong and full bodied savoury flavour from the roasted bones.
Smoked pork belly slider with charcoal brioche, hazelnut pesto, mont rouge and salt and vinegar warragal. The pork belly was delightfully succulent and tender. I was quite impressed with the brioche as previously at other establishments, charcoal brioches have been too hard, dry and dense but this one was very soft, light and fluffy. The slider was then finished off with finely grated cheese that had a mild savoury flavour that just melted.
Mont Priscilla, honey oat granola and red wine apple. This particular cheese with a striking line of ash running through its centre was buttery, slightly sweet and smooth. The granola had a contrasting crunchy texture while the red wine apple purée added richness and depth.
Cheesecake ice cream, strawberry, Thai basil and shortcrumb crumble. The ice cream was incredibly smooth and creamy. The fruit had a refreshing sweetness with a faint hint of spice coming from the basil and the crumble was delightfully short and buttery in comparison to the ice cream.
While dining I was able to ask executive chef Kevin Martel a few questions.
How did this collaboration with Section28 come about and why did you choose to work with them in particular?
For us it is really important to focus on South Australia with a state full of some of the most amazing produce. We are passionate about supporting local business and highlighting our regions and the exceptional people that contribute to our food and beverage industry. For us the team at Section28 are industry leaders in crafting amazing cheeses that really represent the Adelaide Hill’s in a unique manner. Their dedication to achieving absolute excellence in raw materials from the area and the production meant that they were a standout when we were talking about collaboration menus for this season.
What do you like about Section28 cheese and what is your favourite product?
Section 28 has a unique selection of cheeses which are inspired by classical European traditions; this with use of only the best Adelaide Hills milk makes them a remarkably superior product. Personally the challenge of working with these semi-hard to hard cheeses was truly inspirational. Section28 also only has five types of cheese; this limited menu is part of their strategy of achieving perfection.
My personal favourite would be the Mont Rouge; this is a slightly more soft cheese which has exceptional flavour balance, a really savoury flavour to start and slightly sweet finish. It is delicious and an amazing cheese to use in cooking.
How did you come up with this spring menu and what was your inspiration?
Discussions around this menu started very early this year, we started with spring, seasonal produce as inspiration and developed through many different avenues before landing at our final product. We of course are always driven by the foods we as a team love to eat, for this menu we wanted it to be bright, a celebration of the changing season, fun, something that reminds our guests of family dinners and catching up with good friends. Our use of Section28 cheeses throughout the menu was the inspiration behind tying the whole experience together.
Was there anything in particular you wanted to convey through your dishes?
We are hoping that our guests experience and enjoy this menu and our inspiration behind it. We truly wanted to deliver something that shows off these beautiful South Australian cheeses and all the love that has gone into the process from the very beginning all the way back to the milk and the making of the cheese through to our finished dining experience.
For us and Section28 we really wanted to show people that really good quality cheese like this is much more versatile than just something to be enjoyed on its own.
What food trends are you enjoying at the moment?
For me food is about sharing experiences and joy. We love sharing style platters and menus anything that really brings people together and makes them happy. We love taking this as inspiration and applying it to all of our menus here at The Playford focusing on delivering these with finesse and refinement. I love the passion South Australian is putting into the local market and suppliers at the moment hopefully this is not short lived trend but something that continues to grow.
I asked if there were any other collaborations we could look forward to and although his lips were sealed on the subject, he did tell me they had already begun planning for their 2019 summer menu.
The Spring Moo La La menu is now available Monday to Saturday for dinner right through until mid November.