South Australia, one of Australia’s most beautiful states, isn’t just about great food and wine and fabulous natural beauties. We have some of the countries most fantastic architectures. To celebrate the year’s greatest success and to recognise the contribution of all the hardworking architecture professional and companies, the Australian Institute of Architects holds the gala award presentation dinner every year in SA and thanks to the sponsorship from Fielders Steel, who is specialising in providing roofing and flooring steel products, on Friday night, my wife and I attended the gala dinner this year at the Entertainment Center.
It was a terrific experience to meet so many of the famous architecture professionals and engineers working in SA and across the country. When chatting to people around our table, we noted someone who was even involved in the design of the new Parliament House in Canberra. The talking and chatting with others were smooth and easy going while we share something in common – Food! Oh, yes, who doesn’t like tasty food?
The venue at Adelaide Entertainment Center is recognised as one of the best places to host functions in the city of Adelaide. I have to agree with this as the chef has created a menu that suits both the old and new world. The lighting of the venue was set to slight purple and the candle light just added some romantics to the event. While the MCs of the event was talking about the successfulness in the SA architecture industry, people across the table started on their entrees.
During the talks of the MCs, they mentioned many knowledgeable concepts and interesting stories in the industry in Australia from the past til now. However, since I am not from the fancy world of architectures, I did not remember too much in details, but this does not stop my love to SA, our food, our wines and of course our fantastic and beautiful buildings. The dinner started with complimentary bread rolls and two entree platters. According to the MCs, the ingredients were sourced in the state within 100 km and hence freshness would not be a problem. In fact, I enjoyed most of the dishes of the night as well as mingling around with other professionals although the service at AEC was kinda disappointing.
Eggplant Slice filled with Woodside Saltbush Chevre with Heirloom tomato confit. – The fresh and creamy chevre with a hint of the outback of SA Saltbush was wrapped in char grilled eggplant slices. The smokiness of eggplant was so fragrant and combined very well with the chevre. The confit tomato was sweet and sour and hence neutralised most of the “bad” creaminess in mouth.
Grilled Chicken and Asparagus Salad with Willunga Muhamara dressing. – This Lebanese influenced dish tasted good as the tender and moist grilled chicken enjoyed itself in a sweet and slightly hot salad dressing. The chicken was not oily and also was not dry which was a good indication of the cooking time and method. However, the waiters action took this dish to a totally different level! A much lower level, I mean. At the beginning of the event, a waiter came and grab the dish, which was not even touched on our table and gave it to another one. No one has ever taken the plate back. When I checked with the waiter, no apology was offered and he mentioned about the other table did not have enough. Well, I do understand this, but you couldn’t even ask, could you?! If they don’t have enough, we haven’t even touched the dish! After 20 mins, a dish with only 2 pieces of chicken was brought back with no apology and the waiter slided the dish in front of us. What a good service! I should mention that we were not the only one who experienced the unprofessional activity of the waiter; the table on our right didn’t even get the dish. Hooray! 😦
While we progress to the end of the entrees, the MC finished his first part of the talk and people started to get around the tables chatting. Some local musicians began with hilarious musics which fit the evening very well. Everyone is enjoying the night so far, I should say.
When it’s time for the mains to be served, one of the most important awards of the night started to present to the winners. It was the City of Adelaide Prize and the people’s choice award. This year, the City of Adelaide and the Australian Institute of Architects worked together to enhance public spaces in the city of Adelaide. The nominations for the awards were:
- Uno Apartments (Greenway Architects in association with Bird de la Coeur Architects)
- The Depot (Grieve Gillett Pty Ltd)
- Collaborative City Exhibition (Office for Design and Architecture SA)
- Bonython Park Upgrade (WAX Design Pty Ltd and Ric Mcconaghy)
The City of Adelaide Prize 2013 was awarded to the Bonython Park Upgrade project and the People’s Choice Award was presented to the entry with most number of votes from SA public, The depot.
Now, back to the main course dishes, which were also good emphasis of our tasty and fresh SA local produces.
Baked Streaky Bay Kingfish with Almonds, Capers and Parsley. – The tasty fish steaks were cooked to perfection with lots of juices still kept in the center of the meat. The almond, caper and parsley added extra crunchiness to the fish steaks and made each bite exploding in the mouth. A good creation!
Roasted Beef Fillets on Adelaide Hill’s Wild Mushrooms and Maranca Potato. – This was probably the only dish I didn’t quite like for the night. The mushrooms were cooked fine and tasty and the potatoes were creamy and flavourful. However, the meat was too tough and bland, especially with some unwelcoming strong meaty blood flavour. Although the meat was cooked medium with pinkness in the center of the meat, the meat was still very tough and hard to cut.
Once the above awards presentation were finished, dessert was served a while later.
Lenswood Apple and Cinnamon Streusel Tart with Whipped Mascarpone. – A sweet treat after a delicious dinner. Very sweet, very refreshing and very tasty!
Haighs Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake with Hazelnut Frangelico Cream sauce. – The bitterness of the dark chocolate has infused into every bite of the dish. Tasty!
Although the post focused on the food journey of the dinner, the purpose for me to put this post up is to increase our community awareness of the many good and hardworking architect professionals in our society. They make every effort to produce a better looking city and we should do the same. How? Support South Australian produces!