LEVEL ONE, Electra House, Adelaide
If you haven’t tried Level One, the new restaurant that’s replaced Greek restaurant Olea on the first floor of Electra House, you should definitely go. I only went to Olea once when it first opened, part of the $10m development of heritage listed Electra House in King William Street, just north of the GPO. Olea had mixed reviews, but I enjoyed my meal there. I have to say though, I find the food now being offered at Level One a lot more exciting. It’s my kind of food. The man behind the new menu is chef Satoshi Kikuchi (Sato), formerly of Sean’s Kitchen and North. I’ve always been a bit of a fan and I was a bit sad when I found out he was leaving Sean’s Kitchen, but at the same time I was a little excited about what he was going to do next. And here it is.
Here at Level One Sato’s been given the freedom to create his own style of dishes and I love what he’s doing. A healthy dose of Asian fusion never did anyone any harm and personally, it’s always been my thing. Dishes are categorised under ‘Raw’, ‘Smaller Dishes’, ‘Land’, ‘Sea’, ‘Autumnal’ (vegetarian) and ‘Feast’ which are larger plates that serve 2-4 people.
First the Lamb Ham with bread and piccalilli. Always eager to try new things, I was intrigued by the concept of lamb ham. It was really moist and meaty and if they’d wheeled out the whole lamb, I’m sure I could have polished it off! Contrast this with the Scallops with oyster cream, bacon and ginger – beautiful and delicate but still full of flavour. I wanted more.
The King prawns with seaweed butter and Japanese seaweed were large and sweet and I’m such a sucker for seaweed, and the Fried balls of unagi, cod, fungi and reggiano were so tasty, as was the duck breast with Szechuan pepper, pumpkin, radish and tamarind. One of the stand-out dishes was the Local squid with nduja, tomato, basil and sepia cracker – a truly gorgeous dish. I find sepia crackers pretty damn sexy. For something different, the Hibachi charcoal grill at the table was a bit of fun with a chef’s selection of skewers that come out gently cooking over the coals.
For dessert, we shared the Strawberry parfait, consommé, lime cloud, balsamic meringue and the Lime cheesecake with fig, basil seed and coconut – one of the prettiest desserts I’ve seen. We couldn’t really taste the lime, but it was good cheesecake nonetheless.
Level One is a great place to catch up with friends over some drinks and some really good share plates. The food is inventive and different to most of the other stuff you see out there. Smaller plates range from $8 – $34 and the larger share plates (Beef Short Rib, Whole Fried Chicken, Pork Belly) are $85. Our waiter was attentive and amiable – we really liked him. Unfortunately it was a little quiet the night we went, so I hope the traffic picks up.