I have two great loves in life: food, and the beach. To be able to combine the two, well it’s like my own little slice of heaven. So I’m sure you can imagine my excitement when I discovered Esca restaurant, located in Glenelg beach’s Marina Pier. If you’re seeking a sophisticated venue for lunch/dinner, especially for a special occasion, look no further – Esca is the place for you.
If you’ve never dined at the Marina, I have to ask – what are you waiting for?! The Pier is such a beautiful space, especially in Adelaide’s warmer seasons. Esca has two views, one overlooking the beach and the other overlooking the pier – both tranquil and calming. During our lunch, my fellow diners and I sat overlooking the pier and were greeted with this stunning view.
After looking over Esca’s menu, which is divided into three subsections of small, medium and big plates, we started with the hot bread with whipped salted butter, aged balsamic & olive oil. This was a simple dish, but enough to warm up our palates for the upcoming courses.
We decided to share a mixture of plates for our lunch (the temptation of wanting to try a little bit of everything took over).
- prawn linguine – tomato, chilli, white wine & basil
- eggplant lasagne – tomato & basil sugo, asiago béchamel & grilled toasts
- pork belly with apple balsamic & charred pineapple salsa
- vongole – cockles & anchovies, chilli, garlic, white wine & grilled vienna
Each dish burst with fresh, vibrant flavours. Not to mention how aesthetically pleasing they all looked. Let’s be clear – I’m always a fan of prawn linguine, but what I liked about Esca’s version of the dish was the sauce’s runny consistency. The flavour was still strong enough to soak into the linguine which is an important factor – no one likes eating bland pasta. I felt the eggplant lasagne could have been slightly bigger in its portion size, however, the tomato base sauce was beautiful and teamed well with the bread. A big tick for the pork belly – its crackling layer was a perfect texture and the soft meat underneath was a nice balance. Lastly, the vongole – my favourite dish of the day. The cockles were so fresh, as if they had just been caught prior to our arrival. May I also note that I usually despise anchovies, but they effortlessly blended in with the chilli and garlic, creating a mouth-watering flavour which kept me coming back for more (I think I hogged the dish a little to be honest).
The staff were quite friendly here, one reservation I had though was that I had to follow up our request for an extra serve of bread twice – which I feel is a simple enough request to be answered the first time.
Can I just add a side note: I hardly ever order dessert when I dine out. The main reason being because I don’t want to risk the chance of ruining an appetising meal with a less-than-average dessert. Now let me clarify – this was not the case at Esca. To satisfy my sweet tooth, I ordered the dark-chocolate brownie, mascarpone & chocolate soil. Oh my God – words cannot do this dish justice. Hands down one of the best desserts I’ve tried, both in its taste and appearance. Just look how delicate its presentation is – it’s definitely pleasing to the eye. I just loved every element in this, the brownie had a soft texture, and the caramel dressing over the banana was sweet, but not sickening. Have a look at the tiramisu one of the other diners ordered – big thumbs up again for its appearance.
I would most definitely dine out at Esca restaurant again (I’m obviously interested in trying the remaining dishes). If you’re heading to the Marina any time soon, do yourself a favour and eat at Esca – you’ll thank me later.
Happy reading all,