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press food and wine
40 Waymouth Street
South Australia 5000
telephone +61 8211 8048
web www.pressfoodandwine.com.au
email for reservations not available
open Monday to Saturday lunch and dinner

FOOD if you love offal you’ll love press…and even if you don’t love offal there’s a good chance you’ll love press. But this love, just like any love has to be put in context. Press is a spartan cool venue in one of Adelaide’s most lovely deco buildings with casement windows worthy of the French quarter in Shanghai. High, high ceilings especially downstairs, steep dark stairs, community seating downstairs, slate blue velvet booths and a bar upstairs. More than that it is an addition to an already vibrant dining and bar scene on Waymouth street right in the heart of the Adelaide CBD.

It has to be said that owner Simon Kardachi and his partners have an eye for great venues and a nose for what works with the young generation of diners and in fact anyone looking for casual dining with an emphasis on good food and a great wine list. Casual dining at their venues does not mean the usually nasty café muck found in most cities around the globe, and whilst sometimes we might wish for more specials or a more frequent menu change their menus are generally more interesting than most.

Possibly our favourite, garlic, pickled mild green chillies and anchovies

Always a fan of Andrew Davies’s simple robust food it is important to understand “simple good!” What we mean is good solid flavours, attention to quality of meat and seafood, clean fryer oil…get the drill. You won’t find fancy plating, or ingredients chopped (unnecessarily) into pin head sizes. Good bread is complimentary and more restaurants should take note of that. Fine dining restaurants that charge for bread step over the line as far as we are concerned and even more over the line when they fail to make it themselves or fail to deliver better bread than most good home cooks frequently make. Fine dining has always incorporated the bread cost into the bill.

Press starts with good house–made bread, offers a range of snacks, followed by a pile of straight talking food that includes house–made sausages, onion and mash $22, 6–hour braised brisket, macaroni & cheese $28 or steak frites with Béarnaise sauce (200g) $32. Pig heaven for someone like me who loves meat but finds the idea of a 500g steak disgusting even if it is the best selling size of steak in Australia. What we especially like about press is the lack of rules; you can eat in whatever manner suits you…a few snacks, a pile of offal, a luscious pile of fatty roasted lamb shoulder and praise the lord there are no beans with almonds on their sides, but instead sautéed chard $8, broccoli and cauliflower gratin $9 and macaroni cheese also $9.

left…simple and delicious grilled squid with chilli, just a tad too much chilli for the Champagne we were drinking but delicious none the less…and right shirt rib with grilled corn salad & chipotle mayonnaise

We particularly liked the bold and brash pickled green chillies, garlic and anchovy skewers and the short rib comes complete with excess fat, crispy and crunchy and whilst not everyone will want to eat it, it is this fat that keeps the meat so moist and delicious.

A bitch that can be laid at the feet of every chef in Adelaide is the failure to peel the brains, an altered state for the brain lover and to my knowledge only available peeled in Melbourne’s France–Soir. That said there is plenty to choose from. Two groups of friends have ordered and enjoyed the half roast suckling Berkshire pig with trimmings (24 hours notice required) $295. The Press menus says serves 8 – 12 although all have said five to six have demolished everything and still thought it was real value for money at just $50 a head so maybe best to stick to a maximum of 6 people.

Dessert, well, we have tried a couple and although we haven’t had it assume that the passion fruit soufflé comes straight from one of the group’s other restaurants, The Pot on King William Road Desserts will probably satisfy most people but we think they could do with some work. However, at least they were not sugar laden a complaint that can be laid at most Adelaide desserts where thefirst improvement would be to halve the amount of sugar and that would just be the start of the improvements that could be made.

So…what’s the summary? We like press. We like the lack of fuss and rules. Their menu, whilst not a tome (thank God) does have sufficient choice that you’d have to be a pretty miserable type not to find a few things you would like to eat. Press reopened again at the beginning of February and whilst there is a new menu I am hoping that mum’s dutch veal croquettes, dijon mustard (2) $9 will still be on the menu. Can’t believe I missed them and hoping they replicate a memory of crispy crumbs encasing molten silky meat filling, a memory of a Dutch friend’s sublime cooking and the many dishes she taught me including Nasi Goreng…in other words We'll be back!

Riedel might be spruking a change in Champagne glassware as Bollinger leads the way by using white wine glasses in preference to flutes, but, a return to the 1800s, well we are not quite sure…and right fish fingers totally poshed up and utterly delicious!

WINE when it comes to wine lists do love tomes, but failing a tome this is the type of great small list that really gets our approval because it is always loaded with interesting finds. It is the type of list that sets the pace for others to follow! In other words there are always a couple of wines new to us like for instance Vve. Fourny & Fils Brut vertus Premier Cru, Blanc de Blancs, Champagne France$19 glass. We also like the fact that not all wines listed are current vintage and we are very enthusiastic about their half bottle offer and a great opportunity for diners to try a number of wines and compare them one against the other. An intelligent list backed up with good wine service, although we remain under whelmed by their old fashioned bowl Champagne glasses. AO January 30, 2012

the people behind Galaxy Guidesfood editor and publisher
Ann Oliver

champagne editor
Kaaren Palmer


Jan Bowman
Political comentator, briliant photographer…farmers’s market obsessed…Brisbane based.

Olivia Stratton Makris
Masters of Gastronomy, NYC, Spain and constant assistance and editorial suggestion…Adelaide based.

Michael Martin…Northern America 2016.Photographic assistance Kym Martin…Adelaide based.

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