Restaurant review

Restaurant review: daughter-in-law

I don’t know Jessi Singh, but after hearing a whisper from the opening of her latest adventure in Adelaide at the start of the Fringe Festival, I did a little research to find that this chef has what looks like a pretty successful course. , having already opened a chain of restaurants in Melbourne and New York. Upon further investigation, its overseas sites got pretty solid reviews, with one post claiming Singh’s gol gappa was one of the best things they had eaten in 2015.

Step-daughter’s “Balls of Happiness”. Photo: Duy Dash

And so, here we are in 2021 – about to put in our mouths the “Balls of Happiness” of Daughter in Law (his interpretation of gol gappa). These are presented well, and we’re told to make sure we eat them in one bite so the topping doesn’t explode. The only thing that explodes is our taste buds, as the sweet and tangy flavor flows from the center of these crispy semolina balls. They are, for lack of a less inappropriate expression, a little too big. I wouldn’t agree these are the best things I’ve eaten, but they’re far from the worst, as I’m about to find out.

Oysters, struggling with a garnish of granita. Photo: Duy Dash

The oysters arrive topped with piles of granita infused with gin and pineapple, the crushed ice resembling a green slush. The granita is too bittersweet – the poor oysters themselves have no hope of breaking through the ice. A small pile of caviar adds a little salt but does little to combat the sweetness or granita that freezes the teeth.

Next, Hiramasa kingfisher ceviche swims in a lime infused coconut sauce. It’s a pretty dish, but unfortunately appearances are deceptive. The sauce itself is more of a thick soup with a bunch of fresh cubed and nicely sour fish partially submerged in its center. It also happens at room temperature. A few thin slices of radish offer a bit of crunch, but otherwise this dish could only be described as confusing.

Our next dish is barramundi, which comes with a blackened skin: it turns out as overcooked as it looks. At $ 32, the lean fish fillet floats in a pool of creamy curry and is topped with grated carrots. The curry itself is tasty but when the first round of plates is cleaned up, the fish is barely touched.

Papdi Chaat is DIL’s Indian take on nachos. Based on the Mexican favorite, this dish is confusing to say the least. Worse yet, it’s bland. A pile of fried, crumbly wafer-like bread sits under a mushy chickpea “salsa” which is then stacked with some sort of coleslaw. A yogurt sauce is desperately trying to compete with the otherwise dry dish, and a second splash of sauce (ingredients unknown) looks like barbecue sauce. This is another dish that you barely leave eaten, intended to be scratched in the back kitchen.

‘Aussie’ Lamb Chops – tasty, but not exactly Australian. Photo: Duy Dash

Our final dish is a plate of ‘Aussie’ lamb chops, and here we are faced with yet another place of origin contradiction. These are actually very tasty and cooked in the tandoor until they’re perfectly rare. They are tasty but not like any Australian style lamb I have eaten before. A provided mint chutney is quite nice, mixed with a cumin infused yogurt that pairs well with the smoky flavor of these delicious chunks.

But it’s not enough to recover from a night when the booming playlist of ’90s tracks is better than service. Note, the unfriendly welcome, where it seemed that our arrival had interrupted someone’s night, and then more generally a rather disorganized staff. Missed drink orders, dropped plates and barely the slightest degree of concern as the barely eaten dishes were collected at the end. Another farewell gift noticed later on the receipt is a dish that was paid for, but never ordered, nor arrived.

Unauthentic Indian is the self-proclaimed motto of this chef and restaurant, and I agree. It is inauthentic, and also disappointing.

My advice is to find your nearest local Indian restaurant and satisfy yourself with the traditional and the authentic, where you are also likely to get service with a smile and without innuendo. Hold the balls, thank you.

Beautiful girl
290 Rundle Street, Adelaide
Phone: 08 7228 6182

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Sunday 5 p.m. – late

To read more about Paul Wood’s restaurant reviews, click here.

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This article is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.

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