Bistro Blackwood’s menu is hardly the fine-dining spread its owner-chef, Jock Zonfrillo, presents upstairs at Orana. But that’s the point.
Zonfrillo is globally acclaimed for using native Australian ingredients and highlighting Indigenous culture and knowledge. While those flavours can still be found at Blackwood, they appear on a more familiar bistro-style menu.
The single Spencer Gulf prawn served at Orana – gently kissed in the pan and seasoned with Davidson plum – doesn’t leave room for any imperfect parts. So the remaining prawns are pureed and put to use in Blackwood’s roti prata (crispy fried flatbread) or crushed into an oil which starts the prawn pasta.
Elsewhere, expect playful riffs on bistro classics using local, organic and biodynamic produce (think Goolwa pipis, Coffin Bay oysters, Ngeringa organic lamb and native greens). A seemingly simple “SoupSoup” with snapper and spring vegetables has a complex and brightly flavoured broth packed with native ingredients (a star line-up of bush lemongrass, bush ginger, aniseed myrtle, lemon myrtle, bush tomatoes and Geraldton wax).
The 40-strong, low-intervention wine list leans towards local producers. If you're keen to splash out you can order off Orana’s 400-bottle menu, selected by sommelier Brent Mayeaux.
The venue was refitted in late 2017 to feature marshmallow-pink and navy blue walls. The 100-seat dining is split into two areas by a wall of booth seating, creating a sense of intimacy in the generous space. The centerpiece is a glamorous, old-world bar with white marble top, navy blue detailing, and mustard and brass bar stools, designed by Zonfrillo himself.
A mural by Milanese artist 2501 has survived the rebrand. It’s a visual link between Blackwood and its upstairs sibling.