Sunday, 29 December 2013

Golden Boy - Adelaide - Dec 2013

At the corner where East Terrace meets North Terrace is a beautiful old pub, that has been tastefully restored into a new life as a cocktail lounge Botanic Bar. What used to be a pizza place has also had a makeover into the hip new Thai place, Golden Boy.

The evolution of Thai food is a welcome one. Goodbye greasy flavourless noodles. Farewell deep fried anonymous spring rolls which taste only of burnt oil. Welcome dry curries, pickled green peppercorns on stalks, basil of many colours & shapes, lashings of citrus, palm sugar, and chili in many forms. 

On a punt, we had a go at landing a table at Golden Boy on a warm summer Friday evening without having made a booking. While waiting, we noticed Christopher Pyne dining. We joked that if there was no room, it didn't matter because we didn't want to eat with the man single-handedly dismantling our education system. Turned out there was no room, but lucky for us, you can order from (lucky?) 13 dishes on the Golden Boy menu, from the Botanic Bar in the same building. 

Botanic Bar "Guest Entrance" and rose coloured view through to Golden Boy Photo: Willunga Wino

To match with my dining companion's chili jam Spencer Gulf mussels, we opted for a glass of 2011 Franz Hirtzberger ‘Steinfeder’ Gruner Veltliner from Wachau, Austria.

Spencer Gulf Mussels Photo: Willunga Wino

The mussels came out within 5 minutes and were deliciously sweet and hot. My tamarind pad Thai followed quickly. Smoky, sweet and reminiscent of Simon Bryant's "Eat Dirty" Indian mee, it is at the same time nice & light with fresh lime, plenty of veg including baby corn & oyster mushrooms and a good pile of roasted & crushed peanuts.

Vegetarian Pad Thai Photo: Willunga Wino

The heavy earthenware stone serving plates are lovely as is the emphasis on sharing, with each dish coming with oversized forks for trading tastes with your neighbour. 

Botanic Bar has a nice atmosphere and attracts a friendly crowd with soaring pressed metal ceilings, lounge, booth and bar seating but the music was just a touch too loud for easy conversation. Service was quick and helpful and a nice touch is the lemongrass, ginger, pineapple and mint infused water for self service at the bar.

Definitely worth a visit - booking or not. I'll be back to try the tasting menu which in Adelaide is such a great fun and good value way to eat having done so numerous times at Andre's Cucina. My tip, Stay tuned for a chef's hat in next year's Advertiser Food Guide!

Rating : 4 Glasses
Price: $
Menu – Not on the website, but available via Urbanspoon photos

Meal Size: Large (plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day)
Atmosphere / Ambience: Hip, friendly.
Standout Dish: Vege pad Thai and mussels.
Service: Friendly, helpful and quick.
Online Booking: - not nescessary for ordering Golden Boy food at Botanic Bar.
Restaurant Details and Location: 
309 North Terrace Adelaide
Tel No: 08 8227 0799
Opening Hours: Wednesday & Thursday: 6:00 pm – 12:00 am, Friday: 12:00 pm - 12:00 am, Saturday & Sunday: 6:00 pm – 12:00 am
Closed Mondays & Tuesdays

Golden Boy on Urbanspoon


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