Add this to the understated formality of the service, and we're completely at ease. A nest of crispy kataifi tops it, along with poached peaches and caramelly pistachios. It is fanned around baked polenta that could be smoother. Goat's cheese tortellini make a grand entrance. They brightened the decor, but have taken the keep-it-simple, classic path. We happily settle into this comfort-food zone, free from trendy extremes of mysterious or confronting ingredients, and enjoy some pretty fine modelling on the plates that lends further sophistication to the consistently good cooking. National Features THERE'S a quiet achiever tucked away in the leafy backstreets of Mitcham, Adelaide, treasured by the locals but rarely hurrahed, as if the aim is to keep it for those in the know.
They brightened the decor, but have taken the keep-it-simple, classic path. Past experience, and the mix of tables on this Thursday night - some occupied by romancing pairs, some by foursomes and others by celebratory groups suggest that chef Brenton Allan and his seasonal mod-Australian menu have quite a loyal following. The same applies to the menu, which has a modern air but is built on an honest, agreeably safe, fusion of Australian, Asian and Mediterranean flavours. The Stamps pie is a great chunky beef number with light buttery pastry, pulled together with a creamy curry sauce, that earns its house-specialty moniker. Similar mumblings of approval around the table go to the pretty pink duck breast and a partnering triumph of textures in a portion of terrine with a reduction of peach, pistachios and raspberries. Goat's cheese tortellini make a grand entrance. The lamb takes a Moroccan treatment with ras el hanout, pumpkin, dates, almonds, sumac and minted yoghurt. Swordfish, perfectly cooked, comes with a gorgeous creamy orzo spiked with herbs, again tasting of just-plucked-from-the-garden subtlety. National Features THERE'S a quiet achiever tucked away in the leafy backstreets of Mitcham, Adelaide, treasured by the locals but rarely hurrahed, as if the aim is to keep it for those in the know. The Orroroo roo is more comfort food and could easily stay for the winter season. No apologies to the locals if this hurrah creates a well-deserved Stamp-ede. Bric-a-brac, haberdashery and a little post office were originally part of this neighbourhood nook, but these days Stamps, in a charming former corner store next to the old PO , relies on its own resources to draw the crowds. We browse the menu over an amuse bouche of pork belly salad in Asian spoons that arrives with first drinks, chosen from a list that is packed with a corresponding attention to quality. We happily settle into this comfort-food zone, free from trendy extremes of mysterious or confronting ingredients, and enjoy some pretty fine modelling on the plates that lends further sophistication to the consistently good cooking. Brenton and his wife Anita took over the restaurant about a decade ago. Mains arrive quickly, and, with more generosity on the plate we realise the sides should be reserved for big appetites. It's a fair meal, but the lamb suffers in comparison with the eye-catching plates nearby. A nest of crispy kataifi tops it, along with poached peaches and caramelly pistachios. We have dined aplenty, but who would dare pass up the deliciousness bound to be mirrored in the desserts. This is backed up by the flavours in three large, just-on-al-dente parcels set on little beds of ratatouille, with a capsicum coulis that tastes like it has been whizzed straight from the garden. Next time, a bowl of that orzo, please. Add this to the understated formality of the service, and we're completely at ease. It is fanned around baked polenta that could be smoother. It's topped with a delicious fig and macadamia relish. The white rum cheesecake looks like a summer melody, surrounded by tiny balls of melon on a citrusy slick and topped with an unusual, punchy pineapple and basil sorbet we cannot leave alone. A special of sticky ribs with a stuffed squid tube, pork fillet and spectacular Vietnamese salad is filled with piquant flavours and crunch, every mouthful a little party of textures packed with flavour. Goat's cheese tortellini on ratatouille with a capsicum coulis.
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