Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant
When David Horbelt bought Mount Lofty House in 2009, he had a vision of turning the 1852 sandstone manor at the top of the Adelaide Hills into the best boutique hotel in Australia. And one of the most important steps was creating a sophisticated on-site restaurant. It took eight years, but he finally achieved that goal when Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant opened in 2017, incorporating the property’s old verandah to offer spectacular views over the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens and Piccadilly Valley below.
The current team includes Korean head chef Jin Choi, German restaurant manager David Schnur and sommelier Liinaa Berry. And just as the guest rooms retain a sense of old-world grandeur alongside more modern flourishes, the restaurant also combines classic and contemporary takes on fine dining.
Choi regularly incorporates ingredients such as miso, ponzu and nori into his dynamic, subtly Asian-influenced menu that changes frequently as new produce comes into season. His creations are imaginative without straying into gratuitous experimentation; simple listings such as “King George whiting, mustard dressing, kohlrabi” only hint at a dish that’s served on “coral” made of dehydrated fish cuttings and spices with kohlrabi that’s been pickled for a year and a Korean dressing of chicken stock, mustard, apple, shallots and garlic. Diners can opt for the four course à la carte Short Story or the Long Story, a seven-course degustation that usually finishes with a spectacular “chocolate disaster”.
The Long Story also comes with both standard and premium drink pairings, the latter “a vinous journey around the world” that might include unicorn wines such as Maxime Magnon from a magnum or “one of the last few bottles in the country” of 1973 pedro ximenez.
The 900-bottle wine list encompasses “everything from barolo to Basket Range”. If you’re after a champagne or burgundy there are plenty of options, but they’re augmented by a strong range of natural wines, offerings from cult wineries around the world and a healthy dose of Berry’s “absolute obsession”: Loire Valley chenin blanc.
Gift the experience of Australia's
best restaurants, cafes and bars