I’ve found that good food is hard to write about because the flavours are balanced perfectly and work together so well that my brain just goes: “YUMMM shovel more down please!” Not so good food is easier to describe as there will be something that feels off and flavours clashing against each other. Cliche was delicious but I really struggled to write this post as things worked together amazingly. There were things in the menu that I didn’t notice not because it wasn’t there but because it worked so subtly and perfectly together that it was heaven in a bite.
Another bloggers catch up with Dbites and Foodie Ling choosing the entrees. It came as no surprise that the tartare and duck pate were going to be ordered :P The classic beef tartare came as a mound of lightly seasoned minced beef with onions and capers; finished with a delicate quail egg sitting on top. Smothering the crunchy toasted french stick with this smooth tartare gave a nice textual contrast. Served also with sweet tomato and sour pickle but I kinda preferred just to have the tartare and the bread by itself.
Classic Beef Tartare ($12.50)
Subtle flavours in the velvet smooth duck liver parfait that was slathered onto crunchy bread. A sour hit from the pickles gave a welcomed relief to the richness to the pate.
Winklers Wonderful Potted Duck Pate ($12)
THIS was something special with the scallops having a beautiful caramelised sear on each side but still a bit raw inside. Biting into it the scallop was so soft and smooth that I’ve never eaten scallops like this before. The seared sides gave a fragrant punch that added a special something to the dish. A splash of pea puree, small slices of crispy enoki mushroom and shreads of refreshing cucumber were littered throughout the plate.
Coquilles Colour-Field ($16)
I thought I knew what good chicken tasted like – a bite with the fiber of the chicken breaking apart yet still tender and juicy. Well the chicken here was soft, juicy but offering no resistance to each bite. What is this awesome? Smooth avocado mousse with a hint of lime covered the asparagus was a nice pairing to the meat (at times a bit too much lime). The truffle salsa I think was the sauce at the bottom that coated the chicken and made it taste delicious. Might I add that the size of this main was really generous as there is another chicken breast hidden underneath (don’t be fooled by the picture :P)
Bebe, Bebe, Bebe ($26)
Portbello mushrooms had a crunchy panko-like crust on the outside with a juicy mushroom. This dish was just mushrooms without much flash to the flavour. An okay dish but it felt more like a side than a main.
Champignon Delicieux ($22)
We also got a side of fat potatoes with them roasted in duck fat. I love how they kept the skin on the potato to give that bite into the thick, crisp skin and then straight into a pillow of potato. There was also so much flavour from them being cooked duck fat – I’ve been converted!
Fat Potatoes ($7.50)
A crack into the top of the souffle gave way to a moist, airy meringue/cake with a slight hint of lemon. Initially I could only smell butter (maybe used to line the ramekins) so when I ate it and I could taste lemon it was a bit of a confusing experience. Also I’m not sure if souffle’s were supposed to be a bit gooey at the bottom? Maybe I’m just not a souffle lover as the other bloggers quite liked this dish. Note that they stop orders for souffles at 7:30pm (we ordered at 7:27 haha) and it takes 20 minutes to bake.
Lemon Curd Souffle ($14)
The other dessert we got was the special and this was amazing. I wouldn’t have called it a mousse but rather a thick, chocolate spread that had a hint of hazelnut from the Gianduja. Topped with a hazelnut dacquoise that was kinda like a macaron with it’s chewy middle and crisp shell. When the salted caramel popcorn was eaten with all the elements it threw the flavours off rather than helped tie it together. It also felt kinda random as this dessert seemed more a hazelnut theme. In the bottom pooled the coffee creme anglaise but I couldn’t really taste or tell that it was there.
Gianduja Mousse, Hazelnut dacquoise, salted caramel popcorn and coffee creme anglaise ($14)
C and I came back on another night as they gave a coupon during the last dinner. I wanted to try more of their mains and the Bardot’s Rack tickled my fancy. Juicy, tender lamb was cooked to perfection that was melt in your mouth. Covered in a herb crust it gave a fragrant crunch with each bite. The brown sauce (not sure what it is) on the bottom didn’t taste much like anything and didn’t pair well with the lamb. Served also with a carrot purree and a sweet confit cherry tomato but the stand out of the dish was the hero: lamb.
Bardot’s Rack ($33)
C got the Cheeky Beef where shreds of beef just fell apart. What I loved the most was the crispy kale that gave a lovely textual contrast. That burnt onion aioli was also packed full of flavour – kinda like a really tasty mayo but oh so much more.
Cheeky Beef ($25)
The food at Cliche was really good and I wouldn’t hesitate to go back. Service was quite friendly and nice. On my first visit, it was a bit awkward when they kept coming back a few times to ask if we were done so that they could take the plates away.
We I was at the stage of still picking at it :S The bill was also handed to our table straight away after our desserts without us asking – I can understand why they did it as it was a Friday night but it gave me the impression for us to get out ASAP. This didn’t happen on our second visit so I think that may be a Friday night thing.
Atmosphere: 3.5/5 – nice trendy vibe
26 O’Connell St
North Adelaide SA 5006
(08) 8267 4083