Celcius – 09 February 2013

I have actually had two visits to Celcius, however only my original visit will be posted. My second visit was after having dined at some seriously good restaurants, at which point the revisit did not match my expectations at all. It’s also sad to say that it has recently closed down, so is no longer accessible.

In 2013, Celcius was one of only a tiny handful of fine dining restaurants in Adelaide, and I’d come across by walking past the restaurant. One of their vegetable dishes caught my eye, so I figured I’d have to check it out. This was also my first solo fine dining degustation experience, and as a result, was rather daunting. I sat awkwardly by myself at a table, and I learned the hard way that dining alone also cuts appetite, having struggled to get through all the food towards the end – my stomach was now well calibrated to metabolising properly through three hour meals.

The opening course was the bread – rye and white sourdough with apple smoked butter. I enjoyed the rye more than the white sourdough, and the smoke provided some theatrics and smelled lovely. The waitstaff were lovely and also described the restaurant’s food and how almost all of it is sourced from a local farm.

Salmon with pickled ginger, avruga, cucumber, nasturtium, wasabi sorbet.

This one reminded me of Quay in its presentation. It was beautiful, with lovely flowers added for impact. The wasabi sorbet had a strong kick to it, so I found that the whole quenelle was too much for me, but it did go well with the rest of the dish. The avruga caviar went well with the ginger paste too.

Tuna tataki, foie gras, pork crackling, watercress

The tuna tataki was exactly as I expected, especially as I have been making my own at the time as well – so the two things that really stood out and impressed me were the foie gras and crackling. The foie gras was light and fluffy, and there was the perfect piece of crunchy toasted brioche to accompany it. A great pairing made fantastic with the addition of the pork crackling sprinkling. It added that burst of salt and the general awesomeness that is the crackling, and made the tuna and foie gras that much better.

Sweetcorn ravioli (3), ash covered goat cheese, roasted corn, tomato and basil

I was surprised that the next dish was a warm dish, and didn’t follow the same delicate presentation as the first two dishes, but don’t let that fool you. I love sweetcorn, and this was absolutely delicious! I do wish the ravioli was a little less cooked, it was past al dente. However, the flavours were great and this was one of my favourite dishes of the night.

Market fish, squid ink, calamari, watercress, potato, fennel

What cute little potato bits that I first thought were scallops! The fennel was plain roasted, and the fish that day was snapper. Personally, I like my snapper the slightest tad less cooked. For me, this was neither here or there as I felt I could replicate this dish at home.

Sous-vide duck breast, mushrooms, peas, olive liquorice

The waitress explained that the duck was cooked via sous-vide for 1.5 hours at 57 degrees, before being pan fried to finish it off. It was a rather specific description of the duck, and I felt that the information was a little unnecessary since I understood the sous-vide process, however it’s a great way to introduce people to the method. I was a little concerned as I had some sinew that I had to fight while also trying to look like I was sophisticated and not struggling with cutting the pieces. There was a combination of mushrooms there, the peas were blanched so some of them were a struggle to attack with my fork so I ended up scooping them, but what I really liked that I had no preconceptions of, was the olive liquorice. Sweet, salty and olive! I really liked how they made it like that.

Pure suffolk lamb, garlic sauce, roasted vegetables

I’m sorry. Rockpool Bar & Grill does suffolk lamb and aioli better. This wasn’t bad though, I found the heirloom carrots adorable, and the other vegetables featured were parsnip and turnip. They were barely seasoned, emphasising their natural flavours. The jus was well flavoured and peppery, and brought the whole thing together.

I chose the optional cheese course, a goat brie with candied celery, brioche crumbs. The cheese was pungent and creamy. I’m the masochistic type when it comes to food – I hate the taste of goat dairy, but because it actually tastes good, I’ll continue to order it and eat it. The most amazing aspect of this dish was the candied celery – I’ve never had sweet celery before and so my brain struggled to make sense of it. It was tasty though!

Lemon curd, white chocolate, blackberry, passionfruit

The first dessert was lemon curd enrobed in a dome of tempered white chocolate, dehydrated lemon curd shards, blackberry sorbet, blackberry sherbet, blackberry jelly, fresh blackberry, passionfruit meringue, fresh passionfruit, and nasturtiums. Wow. I personally loved the jelly and lemon curd shards the best. The curd itself wasn’t citrussy enough for me but it was creamy and fluffly, which made up for that fact. With so much blackberry, the white chocolate cut the acidity really well. I didn’t realise just how tasty this was until comparing it to the second dessert. Standalone though, while pretty, would have impressed me more if the lemon curd had a little more kick, and say, the theme was raspberries.

Peach, raspberry, chammomile ice cream

Last of all, Peach, raspberry, dehydrated raspberry shards, raspberry mousse, nasturtiums in pastry with chammomile ice cream, white chocolate covered rice puffs and fresh raspberry. I was impartial to the pastry and while the shards were tasty, they were a little hard and sharp so I had to be careful chewing it. Compared to the first dessert, it was rather uninteresting, except that the chammomile ice cream was the best kind of ending to a degustation. It was creamy, mellow, tea-like, and worked well as a palate cleanser. I was very impressed with this ice cream, and would call it the very definition of “I hope you enjoyed your dinner”.

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