[invite] Bianca: I watched eagerly last year as Alder Inn began their development at the bottom of an apartment block, adjacent to a Korean restaurant (formerly The Treehouse), I would walk past frequently. The menu has had a complete overhaul in the last few months, with an emphasis on Asian fusion with tasty small bites and large shared dishes.
I had a sticky beak previously when they had a larger communal table in the centre of the restaurant, now, it’s sleek. With several large paintings adorning the walls, it’s up-market enough to be a great date spot and casual enough for a big group of friends.
Jules and I made a sizeable dent in the menu, in the hope of sampling as much as we could. Do spring for a glass of Sangria $5, we visited on a scorcher of a day, so anything with ice went down a treat.
My Passionfruit Ice-tea $5.5 and Jules Lychee Iced Tea $5.5 was a welcome relief from the 36* weather awaiting us on the other side of the air-conditioned dining room!
I liked the simplicity of the menu, separating categories into bites, baos, salads, mains, rice and dessert! But let’s be honest, I had picked what we were eating days in advance! That’s the mind of a food blogger!
You can’t go wrong with the Deep Fried Onion Rings- w/ sriracha mayo $6, the batter was great, super crisp and particularly moreish to eat.
The Bao’s across the board were great. I’d say ratios to bao/filling was rather succinct but we did ultimately leave the last few bites of each of the baos at the end.
The Sweet & Sour Pulled Pork -w/ Asian slaw, cucumber, charred corn & wasabi lime mayo $7 was delicious. Great flavour and texture to the pulled pork but what surprised me most was the genius touch of the wasabi lime mayo.
American Fried Chicken – w/Asian slaw, American cheese & maple sriracha mayo $7 was another strong favourite. The chicken was crispy and juicy, it worked particularly well alongside the zesty slaw!
The Popcorn Prawn – w/ butter lettuce, charred corn & maple sriracha mayo $9 whilst delicious, was my least favourite of the baos. Three plump, crispy battered prawns added some textural interest in comparison to the soft fluffy bao.
We devoured the Wok Fried Garlic Prawns- w/Asian slaw $22. Tasty in its simplicity, again the zesty citrusy slaw was a winner alongside the charred garlic prawns.
The Wok-Fried Wagyu Beef -w/ vegetables, black pepper sauce, fried shallots & sesame seeds $22 was a strong favourite. The beef was incredibly tender and this was after a solid 10 minutes of photo taking. Make sure you mop up all the black pepper sauce with the rice, you’ll thank us!
And finally, Spicy Chicken Fried Rice -w/ egg, peas & sweet corn $11. We disagreed on this dish, I liked it a lot, Jules not so much. There was a lot going on but the flavour was bold and I couldn’t quite help but pick up a few citrus(y) notes…
We were too full for dessert but now finally having stepped into Alder Inn I know I’d go back!