30 March 2012

Il Toro Pasta & Espresso Bar - Adelaide, South Australia

There's a new place open at 1/321 North East Road, Hampstead Gardens and it's Il Toro Pasta & Espresso Bar. They're open for breakfast, lunch and dinner 6 days a week (closed Tuesdays).

Il Toro

The owner, chef, barista, waiter, cashier and all around nice guy inside is Jim. So far, he's running the place on his own. This is good news for customers because Jim makes great coffee and food and he's the one making it for you each and every time. As his clientele grows, I think he'll need some additional staff but so far so good.

The kitchen at Il Toro

The coffee is a strong Italian style coffee and comes in a speccy double walled glass.

Latte ($3.20)

The food is made with care and it's great value too. Just Eggs $6.90 (free range eggs cooked to your liking on ciabatta toast) and Bacon $1.50 adds up to $8.40 for a delicious bargain breakfast. And a generous serve as well.

Just Eggs ($6.90) + Bacon ($1.50)

There are other breakfast options too such as Calabrese Eggs, Asiago Omelette, Colazione Completa or Eggs Benedict. All are made with good quality, tasty free range eggs which should keep most people happy. But if you're not in the mood or time of day for breakfast, that's ok too. Make sure you start with the Garlic Bread (3 slices wood oven bread with organic butter, garlic, parsley), another steal at $2.50.

Garlic Bread ($2.50)

The pasta doesn't disappoint either. It's all handmade traditional artisan Studio Panagrazio pasta, which is Jim and his wife's other business. Our favourite dish so far is the Fettucine Al Pollo $11.90 (Studio Panagrazio laminated fettucine with pan fried free range chicken breast, smoked bacon, field mushrooms and rose sauce).   Balanced, full flavoured and an awesome dish.

Fettucine Al Pollo ($11.90)

Before you pay your bill, make sure you check out the glass cabinet (left of shot below) for some Italian treats. The cakes change regularly and there's always something tempting.

inside Il Toro

I can recommend the Sfogliatelle $3, a shell shaped Italian pastry. This was my first sfogliatelle (still practicing my pronunciation), and it certainly won't be my last.

Sfogliatelle $3

Adelaide's new hidden Italian gem is Il Toro Pasta & Espresso Bar. We need more places like this in Adelaide.

Update 1 June 2012: Il Toro seems to have closed. I don't have any other information at this stage.

Update 20 Oct 2012: Il Toro has reopened. There was a fire in May, forcing some renovations which have now been completed. Jim is back in business!

Il Toro Pasta & Espresso Bar on Urbanspoon

19 March 2012

BBQ City - Adelaide, South Australia

BBQ City is a consistently good choice in Adelaide's Chinatown. When you're trying to choose between Gouger Street's many offerings it's nice to have a place that you can count on.

BBQ City

There's nothing special about the service or the decor at BBQ City. It's pretty standard for a casual Chinese restaurant. Value however is excellent. If you eat here on a weekday for lunch (Mon-Fri 11am-4pm, excluding public holidays), the lunch specials menu has about 20 different choices for an absolute bargain price of $7.50 each. That's cheaper than most food court prices and definitely a step up in quality.

BBQ Pork Lunch Special ($7.50)
BBQ Pork lunch special ($7.50)

When you come to a place named BBQ City, you can't really go past the BBQ. This is traditional Chinese BBQ at its best. The BBQ pork is my favourite as its so sweet and full of flavour. One BBQ choice and rice costs $8.50, two choices is $9.50 or three choices is $10.50.

Combination BBQ - 3 choices
BBQ Pork, Roast Duck & Soya Chicken ($10.50)

If you're not in the mood for BBQ, there are still plenty of other good options available. The menu is huge and has a mix of both traditional and westernised Chinese offerings. The Beef Brisket with Noodles came with extremely tender and juicy slow cooked beef and some healthy and delicious bok choy.

Beef Brisket with Noodles ($8.50)
Beef Brisket with Noodles ($8.50)

If you're a fan of seafood and noodles, you'll probably like this dish almost as much as I do. The sauce is quite plain but the dish has plenty of great flavour. I love how the noodles get a bit of browning from the wok.

Combination Seafood with Handmade Noodles ($11.50)
Combination Seafood with Handmade Noodles ($11.50)

The BBQ is also available for takeaway so you may be tempted to grab some to go as well. The food at BBQ City is always delicious and very reasonably priced so I recommend you give them a try. I even read on Twitter that John Cleese ate here last time he was in Adelaide. #bonuspoints #bbqcityftw

packin BBQ

BBQ City on Urbanspoon