We had the pleasure of attending Ai Fiori for the launch of their menu, welcoming them into the cluster of King William Street restaurants. Opening a few weeks ago, Ai Fiori has soon settled into King William Street. Walking in, the restaurant has a similar feel to Jamie's Italian; heritage listed, high-ceilings and marble walls. However, Ai Fiori ain't Jamie's at all. It's well-lit, furnished with stylish antique chairs (most of us wanted to take with), and has an old-style Italian atmosphere paired with jazz music, not to mention the extensive wine list.
The building was established in 1936 and has been used for insurance companies, banks, and restaurants. Built by Californian architects, it resembles an American grand hall, and there are still vaults in the basement when it used to be Westpac bank. Reckon there's still some dosh in there? Well there isn't, cause we sussed it *crying face emoji*
We had a small selection from their menu with choice of Primo, Secondi, and Dolce - in other words, Entreè, Main, and Dessert. We were greeted by the organiser of the event and creative consultant Belinda Bracale, founder of Neon Moose. We had the pleasure of tasting (yes tasting, we're classy okay) the wines of the night, 1847 wines located in Barossa Valley, where we had a 2013 Semillion and 2013 Barrel 88 Shiraz.
Now onto the most important part - the food! Although we had a small selection of the main menu we were still spoilt for choice. At war with our minds, deciding whether to be healthy hoes or to be decadent dickheads, we said YOLO let's go with our gut, and so we did. We opted for the heaviest, creamiest, tastiest three courses you can find; Arancini, Bistecca, and Panna Cotta - go hard or go home pls.
Arancini: Two risotto balls with pumpkin and blue cheese; crumbed and fried. Served with snow pea tendrils, tomato passata, Grana Padano and oven-baked proscuitto.
If you love crispy-outside-gooey-inside foods then this is the dish for you. Creamy pumpkin and blue cheese centre melts in your mouth, accompanied with crispy and salty proscuitto and passata to balance the flavours.
Salmone: Citrus cured local caught Atlantic salmon with dill, horseradish emulsion, Sicilian sea salt and lime gremolata.
Maiale: Slow cooked Murray Valley pork belly with pan seared Japanese scallop, green apple compote, walnut soil and sherry vinaigrette.
Bistecca: 350g Chargrilled Grasslands yearling rib eye steak served with café de Paris butter, chargrilled Sterilgarda mascarpone polenta, and grilled asparagus.
Not usually a huge steak fan but damn how good does that sound? You can't pass up a steak like that, and honestly so glad that was our choice. The monster of a rib eye served on the bone, cooked Medium-Rare with the oozing butter, soft asparagus, and the best baked polenta you'll find in town. It was chargrilled! Who thinks of that? Chargrilled polenta is defs one to attempt - and probably fail - at home. *Not for the faint hearted, drool with caution*.
Pesce Del Giorno (Fish of the Day): 200g Barramundi fillet skin on, pan fried served with winter green vegetables, in sugo sauce, salsa verde and extra virgin olive oil.
Zucca (Vegetarian): Maple wood smoked pumpkin segment, filled with roasted walnuts, pepitas, aromatic rice and fresh thyme. Served with suga al pomodoro, goats curd and basil.
Panna Cotta: Roasted hazelnut and chocolate set cream with fresh winter berries, blood orange curd, garnished with elegant praline spears.
Baci lovers rejoice! This panna cotta is sweet, not too rich, perfectly balanced with berries and blood orange curd. Although the curd tasted almost caramel, we weren't complaining! The size was just enough to polish off our palates and have us rolling out the door. We're big on dessert here and let's just say that was a cracker of a dish, 10/10 Ai Fiori!
Semifreddo: Chilled almond mousse encrusted in honeycomb; placed on génoise and served with cream pasticcera al lime.
We ended the night with a sip of Port and stomachs full to the brim, couldn't eat another bite for a solid 24 hours after that feast.
Ai Fiori is located on 21 King William Street, Adelaide, near North Terrace. For parking, best go down Hindley Street at the Wilson Car Park (but probs best not to drive so you can drink some of the best red wine selection in the CBD)
For Ai Fiori's full menu see their website here and just froth a bit more from their other dishes and go in for a taste or a splurge - just don't tell your PT, or do and bring them with.
Also visit the Neon Moose website here for any PR, blogger, or consultant enquiries and Belinda will be more than happy to assist you.
All images taken by Alexia Frangos.