Since we last visited the Heritage it has had something of a makeover – no longer simply a bistro but now a wine store – with a great selection of wines in the shop area at the Terrace front of the place, as well as a wine bar with stools at the lovely marble counter and at the rear, looking out to Brookfield Place, the dining area. As well on the footpath on the Terrace a few tables sheltered by large umbrellas for a touch of al fresco drinking and eating.
Situated in the old Royal Insurance building it is a beautifully restored space with all the trappings of the era it was built – columns, polished wood, high ceilings, Italian marble floors; and I remain a great fan of the art deco pineapple base lamps that adorn the place.
On our way to a Fringe show we popped in for a pre-show meal and were quickly shown to our table – I still have a little quibble with the size of the tables for two – a little narrow I reckon; too crowded when a couple of plates, wine and water glasses are all in evidence. Ah but the food makes up for that….
Snacks or small dishes, plates – larger dishes – and sweets make up the concise but well put together and innovative menu – we chose three from the snacks list and one of the larger plates, and that was more than enough for we two.
A pretty little tartlet of black garlic, peas and sour cream kicked off proceedings – moist crumbly pastry with cream and fresh peas pimped up with the oomph of dollops of garlic – each about a mouthful, but exploding with flavour.
Smoked fish, juicy and smoky, draped across crisp, black crackers of tapioca, topped with a nasturtium flower or two, radish and sprinkle of tart butter milk came next – another great looking dish which lived up to its looks.
Confit baby beetroot – whole beets, stems and all, draped over a hessian backing plate, scattered with five spice and miso mix to add a flavour contrast to the earthy sweetness of the beets – spot on, again.
And finally, our larger plate – a mix of fresh and pickled cucumber, pomegranate seeds, tomato, both fresh and dried, and paper thin slices of sweet peach – sweet, sour, tart, fresh and bursting with flavour.
As could be expected for a wine bar and wine store, the Heritage has an excellent wine list, with 100 available by the glass – and all available to purchase in the store.
Spying Brave New Wine’s eccentric Doppelganger we started with that – a blend of Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris – it is a stunner from the Great Southern, a celebration of minimal intervention wine, crunchy, cloudy and very, very good.
Keeping to the Great Southern theme we moved on to Andrew Hoadley’s La Violetta Fric-Frac, made from Cabernet Franc – plum, blueberry and peppercorn aromas and flavours.
Well that was it – the Fringe was calling – but we left vowing to return soon – the Heritage remains a very good restaurant with the added attraction of the wine store. Of course the wine list excellent, all in a beautifully restore building that graces St Georges Terrace. Drop in for a meal, or a drink, or to pick up a bottle on your way somewhere else or home – recommended.