Jolley's Boathouse is an Adelaide institution. Though, surprisingly, it's not their food that's the allure; rather, it's the scenic landscape and history of the locale that's key to its charm. The iconic glasshouse-like structure has been around since the 18th century, and is renowned for its sweeping views of the Torrens river, the main estuary running through Adelaide city.
The food's perfectly lovely, albeit a tad unmemorable and uninspired. And considering the quality of other restaurants in South Australia, I would say Jolleys Boathouse is a ok-to-skip if on a short tour of Adelaide.
That being said, service was exemplary. Personable, warm and so chirpy.
The fatty decadence and smoky notes of the Mount Alpine King Salmon (A$18.50) was juxtaposed against the refreshing bite of baby beet ringlets, pickled fennel, green apple slaw, and horseradish.
The Crisp Fried Duck Leg (A$21.50), salty and punchy in flavour, was cut with the piquancy of the green mango & banana blossom salad, and the sour tang of the coconut & tamarind dressing.
The Roast Cone Bay Barramundi (A$36) was cooked well, skin with a crisp and flaky moist flesh. It was set on a bed of delicate cauliflower puree and sweetened with goolwa pipis.
The Mayura Station 400gm Rump Steak (A$50), with a marbling score of 5-6, was a meat-lovers delight. Full bodied, juicy, and imbued with a smoky char. Thick hand cut chips, a grilled portobello, and fresh rocket sided this.
The biggest surprise of dinner was the Mashed Potatoes (A$10.50), which was crazy good. Whipped with buttermilk, this was super creamy and rich, while chives blended into this gave it a oniony lift. There's whipped potato, and there's Jolleys' whipped potato. A must try.
The Charred Broccolini (A$10.50) was awesome as well, and mostly due to the scrumptious oregano, chilli, and garlic topping. Another must-try.
The restaurant's by the river's edge, where a bunch of rowing clubs are situated. If you're lucky, you might just spot a couple of hunky dory paddlers at evening practice.
Jolleys Boathouse Restaurant
1 Jolleys Lane
Adelaide South Australia SA 5000
Tel: +61 8 8223 2891
Open weekdays from 12noon to 3pm for lunch; 6pm to 9.30pm for dinner;
Saturdays from 6pm to 9.30pm for dinner only;
Sundays from 12noon to 3pm for lunch only