Monday, 1 November 2010

Celsius Restaurant

Having gained the respect of colleagues and diners alike following stints in world-famous restaurants interstate and overseas, Adelaide’s most exciting young chefs has now opened  his very own establishment, Celsius Restaurant and Bar. Head chef and proprietor, Ayhan Erkoc, formerly of The Manse  says  Celsius will reflect Ayhan’s experience at world-renowned restaurants like Noma in Copenhagen and both Pier and Marque in Sydney, with an emphasis on local produce and classics with an experiential twist.
In fact, the Celsius team are so passionate about sourcing the best local produce that they have established a dedicated farm in the Murraylands, with 70% of the restaurant’s ingredients to come from their own ‘kitchen garden’.

“We always want to use the best possible produce, and we found that there were some ingredients just not available here, so we’ve started growing them ourselves,” said Ayhan.
The garden is populated with unusual crops such as parsley pollen, heirloom carrots, borage flowers, and salsify.
I learnt a lot about foraging in my time in Europe, so we’ll also be incorporating some 'found' ingredients into our dishes, making the most of wild herbs, mushrooms and even flowers that can be found in and around our city’s parklands,” he said.“We are catering for everyone, from those after a drink and sophisticated bar plate, right through to people who wish to enjoy an eight-course degustation with matched beverages,” said Celsius manager Jason Cane, formerly of Magill Estate.

Ensuring that guests enjoy a meal that plays on all of the senses is at the heart of Ayhan’s motivation.
“I’ve already started playing with experiential accompaniments such as smoking pine cones and dry iced lavender flowers," said Ayhan. "One of our first dishes, a play on the traditional ‘garden salad’, will include herbs, flowers, lettuce root, 'soil' and 'snails'

Celsius Restaurant : Gastronomic Genius. by Paul Wood on Sep 30th, 2010 and filed under Breaking News, Eat/Drink. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry 

With Celsius Restaurant being talked about all over town- Glam Adelaide sent Food and Wine Editor, Paul Wood to forage through their lunchtime degustation menu.
Having had a fairly average experience dining at Fig Restaurant which had previously occupied the space, I walked into Celsius with an open mind and an open palate. I’ve been hearing nothing but praise for Chef Ayhan Erkoc’s new dining concept and inventive dishes and could not wait to try out it out for myself.
It’s been over ten years since trying anything cooked by this talented chef. Having been in the same hospitality class in school our culinary journeys have certainly been worlds apart from one other since, and our cooking repertoires a far cry from the berry stacks and sponge cakes we created in class. Of course in the end, it’s all just food. Or is it?
I could talk for hours about the visual impact the dishes at Celsius have as they land on the table. These aren’t just dishes, but works of art. Who would think that a plate of seaweed and turnips could make the consumer excited? Trust me, it can.
While some of the ingredients may seem a little strange to the conservative diner, these dishes have quite clearly been tried and tested and the balance of flavour outweighs the initial uncertainty.
I can’t fault any of the dishes on the lunch degustation menu. My only critique is that the wine by the glass list is a bit limited. Out of business hours however I would have been happy with any of the bottles on offer. Unfortunately sobriety and professionalism prevails on a Friday afternoon.
I’ll make special mention of two of the courses. Firstly, the Coorong Angus onglet with milk skin, carrot and turnips. This robust and succulent meaty dish fell apart as I ate. I would never have thought that a layer of milk skin over a meat dish would work so well. The final course and the champion of the degustation was dessert. Orange blossom panna cotta served with mulberries, yogurt and pistachio. This dish has the perfect amount of richness and a scattering of sorbet that could melt hearts just as quickly as it melts in your mouth.
Celsius has been given a good wrap for a reason. That reason, is Gastronomic Genius.
For more information on Celsius and to see the rest of their menu, check them out on facebook. Or better yet, call them on 8231 6023  and make a booking immediately, if not sooner.
Celsius Restaurant, 95 Gouger Street Adelaide

Celsius Restaurant and Bar
TASTE...Restaurant review...."Celsius" 95 Gouger St (next to Gauchos) " Source: AdelaideNow
One of our best young chefs has taken a bold step, writes Tony Love.
Every year has them. The moment when the most anticipated, most watched, restaurant opens, highly fancied credentials behind it and the city's hungriest patrons keen to put it to the test or the sword.
The opening of Celsius in the former Fig Restaurant site, which was formerly Escobar, is that moment in 2010.
With former Manse chef Ayhan Erkoc at the helm, his brother in partnership, expectation has been high, fuelled by stories of the well-regarded cook foraging for ingredients in the parklands and working snails, roots, leaves and touches of food science lab invention into what has been spruiked as a "new experiential eatery".
We have learned, too, that Ayhan spent varying amounts of time in kitchens as far and wide as Copenhagen's Noma, voted the world's number one restaurant by respected international critics, as well as Sydney's Pier and Marque, and the Manse, where The Advertiser selected him and the venue as the chef and restaurant of the year in 2008.
All of this, of course, can only help to put bums on seats and lift the city's dining spirits.
After a month or so, he's established a pretty solid word of mouth that there's lots to be excited about, even if there have already been some changes to the total package and more work about to begin on the wine list.
All that's under way can only improve the temperature at Celsius, though what can be done about the dining room space is a whole other matter.
It is a tad bland to say the least, grey tones dominate and there's a sense you're in a slightly tarted up Beaumont Tiles showroom. It needs a design lift and personality transplant which may come, one hopes, when the Celsius team hits middle distance.
The menu starts with tapas, including little gems of bacon crumbles and 62C egg, ceviche, scallops and jamon, pieces of pork belly, and a rabbit terrine which comes as three slices of rolled paprika-redolent sausage, tasting very much of a full Spanish flamenco twirl .
Those tried are fine, but perhaps would be experienced better in their right context, sipping a beer or rustic red.
The entrees are very promising on the first reading, simple mixes of ingredients that showcase Erkoc's now well-documented foraging and farming passions.
There are roots, tendrils, weeds and flowers across many dishes, none more so than his "Vegetable Patch", a derivation of a similar creation at the beloved Noma.
The patch is a fabulous first dip, unquestionably the most colourful dish in the city with bright flowers and leaves, the often discarded tiny tendrils of beetroot and parsnip used for little towers and earthy crunch, all hiding cute little fried, lightly battered snails, found we hear in our parklands and cleaned properly. They barely contribute any gastronomic excitement, but are an essential part of the chef's narrative.
A quail dish defines the art of fine dining in this new venture. Small discs of moist meat, wrapped in jamon, sauced by a light and foamy foie gras cream is a joy to taste and almost demands a more rustic approach with a fuller, more traditional liver addition, but Erkoc's more sophisticated styling turns this to a delicate, Michelin star-like plate that rates exceptional value given all the work in its creation.
It also sets a level of where the chef integrates aspects of modern molecular cooking with more recogniseable French cuisine. This is perhaps the signature we are seeing emerge and one worth staying with as Erkoc's dishes evolve.
Rounds of superb chicken breast match it with blood sausage in one dish, lamb comes in both rustic double-cooked shreds as well as pink discs, boosted by an extraordinary skid mark smear of black garlic paste. The flavour is stunning.
It's worth reporting other colleagues' experiences as well with different dishes: blue swimmer crab meat in an almond gazpacho with almond ice; and a skate, brandade, squid and asparagus dish that were both raved about.
Desserts were a hit and miss an apple sorbet and botrytis jelly presented over a beaker of smoking cinnamon which reeked almost of cigarette smoke and imparted no joy into the ingredients. A disaster of design that should be rethought. Another was a star anise custard, caramelised pineapple and pain d'epice (spiced bread) that was a bit messy on the plate and mono-dimensional on the palate. But we have heard about a strawberry plate, including a roll of strawberry leather filled with yoghurt, that is one of the prettiest sweet dishes in town.
There's plenty to love about Celsius, and the joy is the restaurant offers wonderful value profiteering is not the purpose. A friendly, democratic approach to the cost of dishes is a heartfelt pleasure sure it's fine dining territory, but you'll never leave broke.

The food.........17/20               The staff............8/10
The drink.............3/5              The X-factor........3/5
The value...........8/10
The total
39 out of 50 
One of Adelaide's most exciting chefs goes out on his own creating high-level contemporary fine dining dishes, some challenging moments and a future all ahead of him and his fortunate diners.

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