The team behind a number of the CBD’s best pub rejuvenations (The Franklin Hotel, Hotel Wright Street) have moved to Glen Osmond Road for their latest venture, The Parkside Hotel, with the kitchen in full swing despite being just midway through renovations.
Whether driven by a thirst for local knowledge or simply a thirst for beer, my culinary adventures occasionally land me in the most unsavoury of venues. The Fountain Inn Hotel on Glen Osmond Road was one such establishment and I never quite recovered from that experience. The word ‘greasy’ comes to mind – and I’m not talking about fried chicken. One time was more than enough.
Then one day not so long ago, a sign appeared; a shiny white beacon of hope hanging high above the Fullarton Road intersection: ‘The New Parkside Hotel’.
And it is new. And it is beautiful. Stepping into the new Parkside Hotel is a breath of fresh air in more ways than one. Farewell the Fountain Inn.
The bones of the building have been stripped right back, de-greased and given new life. It’s now a local inner-suburban pub with a glamourous edge, thanks to the design talents of Katie Pettigrew, who, together with her husband Michael Pettigrew and brothers Scott and Jason Lawrie, has been responsible for some of Adelaide’s best gastro-pub conversions including the Wright Street and Franklin Street hotels. The new interior is luxurious, plush and on-trend. In the main bar, a great wall of white brick supports the sparkling new timber bar. Bespoke timber floors flow right up the walls in a feature corner wrap-around, and simple but comfortable chairs and stools are being used by patrons already as word of this new drinking hole is getting out.
The refit continues into the dining room, which was the first zone to receive the new Parkside Hotel treatment. It opened quite a few months before the main bar to a crowd of eager diners. Out the back, chef Taryn Stein makes the most of the shiny new kitchen and has been given creative control over dishes that change regularly, be it by season or by whim.
Eggplant and ginger gyoza is a superb vego starter, each al dente mouthful coated in sweet soy and topped with kohlrabi and coriander that provide bitterness, freshness and balance. And now onto those fried chicken drums, which are coated in the crunchiest buttermilk batter and served with a signature hot sauce. These are also served as part of a shared ‘drinking feast’ alongside smoked fish tacos, chorizo and charred squid, if a series of snacks pairs better with your lager.
From the ‘Parkside Grill’ menu – herb and mustard-seed butter melts into perfectly medium-rare eye fillet that is paired simply and deliciously with a potato and parmesan gratin, heirloom baby carrots and a generous pile of broccoli florets. It’s pub food like this that will keep the punters coming back.
The next dish is as pretty as a picture. Hidden beneath a bright salad of freshly torn herbs and sliced radish and kohlrabi are succulent portions of tender pork belly with a slight layer of gelatinous goodness between juicy flesh and crackling. The pumpkin puree beneath is sweet and smoky with fresh pops of colour and flavour offered by a scattering of pomegranate.
It’s obvious that there is no set cuisine on the Parkside menu, but that is all part of the charm. This is a culinary experience that will satisfy, delight and leave you thirsty for more.
The Parkside Hotel
142 Glen Osmond Road