At the Stirling Hotel, lunch is more than just food. Lunch is an experience, and much like the concept of fine wine it only gets better with age (or in this case, with each course). Only a fifteen minute drive from Adelaide’s CBD, getting to Stirling is easy, but leaving is much harder to do.
We were fortunate enough to experience a leisurely long lunch and a day of winter fun at the Stirling Hotel’s Bistro, Grill and Cellars and Patisserie. Let us take you on the journey.
Whether you’re a cocktail rookie or a gin-drinking professional, you’re bound to find a new appreciation for South Australia’s local spirits at The Stirling Gin Club in the heart of the Bistro.
Lining the bar wall is an extensive range of local and global small batch gins, tonics, and tonic syrups. Accompanying each bottle of gin is a glass jar containing local botanicals and spices that have been selectively infused within each gin, and a small novelty-sized chalkboard detailing the flavours of each drink. Not only is this set up to be aesthetically pleasing, but the Gin bar provides customers with a visual method of selecting and learning about each respective gin.
No matter what your gin-status is, this well thought-out bar is inviting and interactive – vibes that Assistant Venue Manager and one of the most enthusiastic faces of the hotel, Richard Rogosic, has nurtured to ensure that customer satisfaction and distill maker recognition is met equally.
“What I’ve found is that a lot more passion and love has actually gone in to the gins more than anything else because it’s more about the natural flora and fauna – you know, the botanicals that are all around us,” Rogosic says.
“I want to make it easier and more approachable for people to order themselves a drink. Rather than just seeing a shelf filled with spirits, I’ve made it so that customers can go up to the bar and visually see what we’re offering them.”
Warm up your taste buds with a local Applewood Gin from Gumeracha mixed with zingy peppercorns and fresh lime before diving mouth-first into their new Bistro menu.
The recently reconstructed Bistro menu encourages you use your hands, get down to business, and enjoy some quality food. Below are the dishes we were lucky enough to
taste devour from their Get Me Going appetiser section.
- Miso Brisket Taco: Slow-cooked brisket paired perfectly with fresh Mexican slaw, zesty sriracha lime dressing and a handful of coriander. This flavour combination will have even coriander-haters begging for more. Coming from a former coriander-skeptic, I can say this dish has literally changed me.
- Texas Chilli: A bowl of all things delicious: beef, pork, black beans, corn, guacamole, sour cream, and tomato salsa. Forget your cutlery with this dish, as house-made tortillas are there for you to scoop up every last bite (and you will).
- Salt & Pepper Japanese Eggplant: Fried eggplant wrapped in tasty salt & pepper batter and served on a bed of whipped feta, tomato chilli relish, and a crunch crouton. The appetiser heading doesn’t lie – this dish certainly gets you going.
Once you’ve warmed up your palate, wander through to the hotel’s award-winning Grill restaurant for a hearty dinner or a leisurely long lunch. With European interiors and a relaxed lounge vibe, the rustic style of the Grill only adds to the brilliant service.
Seated in front of an open fire and below an array of striking gold deer antlers is where you can find yourself indulging in the dishes below, all courtesy of Head Chef, Brendan Boothroyd.
- Barramundi: Barramundi served with baby carrot, beetroot, scallop, and beurre blanc with maple drizzled on top. A burst of the ocean that further explodes with the complementary flavours of local Adelaide Hills produce.
- Tea Smoked Duck: A delectable serving of duck with Jerusalem artichoke, corn, orange, endive, and fennel. For all the seriousness happening on the plate, this dish entices you to have fun during the more quaint section of the menu.
- Beef Cheek: Melt in your mouth beef cheek, celeriac, 62° egg, and squid ink on a bed of smooth yellow polenta. Not an element is out of place – this dish is straight up yum. Give me more!
Although the Grill menu details a high quality, fine dining repertoire, the laid-back, welcoming vibes of the Bistro further extend through to the restaurant.
Venue Manager, Heath Johansen, has successfully created a casual and approachable take on dining.
“With the trend of casualised dining coming through Sydney, Melbourne and finally hitting Adelaide, we’ve changed our dynamic from a fine-dining offer and made it more approachable to the general public,” Johansen says.
“We’ve done this without compromising service, quality, freshness, and local produce.”
We know you’re probably experiencing a food coma just reading about it, but trust us there’s more – and it only gets better (as if that’s even possible).
Walk off your food baby and head to the neighbouring Stirling Hotel Cellars and Patisserie. This gem of a shop is exactly as it sounds: a liquor shop, a patisserie, and a café in one.
Here you can treat yourself to an array of bite-sized goodies – where bite-sized is code for twenty (but it’s okay because they’re bite-sized)! Filling these delights include custard, baked raspberries, lemon curd, and chocolate. Or, you can shamelessly devour an apple crumble that’s as big as your face while you sip a coffee that has been carefully roasted just for you. Your diet starts tomorrow, right?
The man behind the innovative Cellar X Patisserie is Patisserie Manager, Evan Le Duff, who has fashioned the perfect nook for customers to get the best of all worlds: alcohol, coffee, and baked goods.
“The concept of the cellars and patisserie is to combine good quality wine, good quality specialty coffee, freshly baked pastries, and French patisserie items,” Le Buff says.
Overall, the Stirling Hotel has taken a step back from fine dining to offer a truly unique, comprehensive, and all-round tasty experience with delicious possibilities.
All images by Adrienne Goode, unless otherwise stated.