On Hindmarsh Square, in the heart of Adelaide. PROFILED BY DE GROOTS MEDIA
Hotel restaurants should be a destination within themselves, not just for when you are checked in. The Grange, Shiki and Treasury are testimony to the calibre of dining found in some of our city accommodation, with Sq Restaurant in the Mantra Hindmarsh Square offering a more relaxed sophistication. Its facilities extend to a lounge bar and sidewalk cafe, so the boxes of all your noshing needs throughout the day are ticked. Tables are set amongst shades of mocha and mushroom with a claret cushioned feature nicely interrupting any chance of decor monotony. Floorboard-to-ceiling windows may allow you to spot Nova radio personalities who are stationed next door and the open-kitchen gives you a window of opportunity to watch the stars of the stoves – that is when they are not competing in the friendly in-house cocktail or risotto battles. Come for lunch and there is a chicken and preserved lemon version of the latter on the card.
The tables get dressed up for dinner, with layers of linen. Chef David Farmer prioritises with choice South Australian produce, so you will find the likes of Angus Coorong sirloin with smoked chilli and vanilla jus and baby Robarra barramundi crispy-fried with Asian greens and mustard soy dressing. Apple is predictably partnered with pork but in sable form with a sweet corn puree and spinach. The Sq duck duo is a quacker. A twice-cooked leg (with wok tossed greens) and meat-filled tortellini cases (with a rhubarb and shiso salad) flaunt the bird’s flesh. Prawns and flathead are red-curried and sided with steamed coconut rice and fresh coconut salad. Indonesian layer cake with mango jelly is a fitting follower, but cherry ripe torte with honeycomb ice-cream and sumac-spiced strawberries wins with me.