When Jude and I lived in Adelaide, one of our most favourite places to eat was Press* Food & Wine. It’s why we decided to hold our wedding reception here. (Don’t be alarmed, there’s not a chair cover in sight. A fact, Mum took a long time to be ok with).
Yet, two years on from vowing to love one another in sickness, health and hangover, and having one sorry Sunday of a party, Jude and I have struggled to get back to Press* Food & Wine since. Then, finally, on a recent trip to Adelaide, the comets aligned and we got our eat and drink on – sans wedding dress and tux.
Press* Food & Wine is still a sulaaam dunk.
This low-lit restaurant is slick
Press* Food & Wine shimmied onto Adelaide’s restaurant scene in 2011, and it’s been pleasing the palettes of Adelaideans ever since, religiously starring in the ‘best Adelaide restaurants’ lists.
Why the acclaim? It could be because Press* uses the best seasonal South Australian produce. Or that everything they plate up is an exercise in deliciousness. Or it could be because Simon Kardachi is at the helm, and anything this restaurant Einstein touches turns to truffle-infused gold.
Press* Food & Wine can be found on Waymouth Street – in the heart of the Adelaide CBD – in a building that used to accommodate a printing house (hence the name). The space has been deliciously transformed into an inviting dining space that’s split over two levels. Downstairs is relaxed with communal high tables and wood-cladded walls, while upstairs is more elegant with plush booth seating and a bar that says how do you do. Throughout, there’s exposed wooden truss ceilings, naked Ferrowatt bulbs and lemon-coloured chairs – without chair covers. Sorry again Mum.
Plus, with the best of Adelaide’s small bar scene just around the corner (and Press’s own bar Proof right next door), Press* Food & Wine is a great place for dinner in-between some boozing.
A paddock to plate menu
Press* Food & Wine embodies the paddock to plate concept. This mantra comes to life in its seasonally changing menu – a showpiece for the amazing produce that comes out of South Australia (and I’m not being biased).
The meat dishes from Press* are pretty famous in Adelaide. There’s a variety of steaks (Darling Downs Wagyu, Angus sirloin and grain-fed scotch fillet), all cooked on a custom chargrill. Then there’s raw beef tartare, roasted pork buns and a section of the menu dedicated to offal. But it was the suckling pig that got everyone’s attention six years ago. For $92pp you can buy in for a feasting menu of roasted suckling Berkshire pig with all the trimmings (note: the kitchen requires 24-hour notice, which tells you how serious a situation this is).
While suckling pig, lamb’s brains and calf’s tongue might sound intimidating (or at least it does to me), Press* Food & Wine really has something for everyone. A fact my fussy family can attest to, all raving to this day about Press*. Which is a miracle given Mum is allergic to egg, dairy and fish; my mother-in-law is vegetarian; and Dad doesn’t eat anything that’s outside the border of meat and three veg.
Stop the presses!
So there I was a few weeks ago, with my fussy family, perched at one of the communal tables, sitting in silence as I devoured the pappardelle pasta with blue swimmer crab, tomato and chilli. It’s ridiculously delicious. The pasta could be the product of a silk worm and the amount of tossed in juicy crab meat was incredibly generous. The charred witlof salad was also a highlight – so full of flavour (hello blue cheese) and texture (oh hello hazelnuts).
Here’s what else we all had:
To be honest, I was just happy to be at Press* and not laced into a wedding dress restricting my airways and therefore could eat more than a glass of water.
Press* Food & Wine is…
A local South Australian secret, Press* Food & Wine is hands down one of Adelaide’s best restaurants. Six years on, it still pulls a crowd. And yes, I’m totally biased because this is where we spent our first evening as husband and wife. But the accolades aren’t.
Everything that arrives on the table is of quality, the service faultless and the bill not ridiculous (although I do have my Sydney goggles on, which tells me a meal under $100pp is a bargain). There’s also a $68pp tasting menu option, which is a pure treat.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find better.
Press* Food & Wine | 40 Waymouth Street, Adelaide, South Australia
Phone: (08) 8211 8048