Winter in the Adelaide Hills is very lovely – loads of misty, moisty mornings, stark, bare trees and vines and heavy, dramatic skies – but it can get a little cold and damp and some days one just needs to be able to sit down and heat oneself up from the inside with a big feed of comfort food. Mushrooms fall into that category for me and, thanks to the Mushroom Growers Association July has been decreed Mushroom Mania month. Seeking a quick local meal with my youngest the other day, I was very pleased to find that the Hahndorf Inn, in the historic township of Hahndorf, was an enthusiastic participant in the mushie madness and had a special mushroom menu for the event.
Hahndorf is a small tourist town in the Adelaide hills and is noted as Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement, being settled by German immigrants in the early-mid 1800’s. Many of the original settlers buildings survive in the picturesque main street and the town is currently gaining a reputation as a foodie destination thanks to the variety and quality of specialist foods available. The Hahndorf Inn dates back to 1853 and the dining room is part of the original hotel building.
The dining room is a busy place, being very popular with tourists for the traditional German meats it serves and is also renowned for the generous proportions of their meals. If you are looking for a substantial feed, then this is the place to get it and the special mushroom menu is no exception. Only available until the end of July, the mushroom menu offers one entree and a selection from four mushroom based main courses. With every intention of making the most of my fungal fling I dived straight into the entree dish of a Mushroom, Leek and Semi-Dried Tomato and Cream Cheese Terrine. True to their tradition, I was presented with an enormous serve of the terrine, beautifully plated up with salad greens and toasted garlic bread. Not too heavy, but far more than I could manage even with my daughter’s able assistance, the terrine was deliciously flavoursome with plenty of the happy blend of mushrooms, leeks and tomatoes and served with ample bread.
Pushing on through the meal, I turned my attention to the main course which arrived after a suitable interval and was no less bountiful in it’s quantity and just as well presented. From the selection of a risotto, a curry, a mushroom based couscous dish or a chicken dish I opted for my perennially preferred choice – the chook. This was a perfectly grilled breast, stuffed with a mushroom and feta duxelle, served on a snowy pile of mashed potatoes with a rich mushroom gravy. The chicken was moist and not at all over-done (as can often be the case), generously filled with the tasty, dark duxelle and nestled atop the mushroom-rich gravy. I worked my way bravely through as much of it as I could manage, once again falling at the last hurdle and unable to quite finish it all up, but quite decidedly content and utterly replete.
As I mentioned earlier, this is a very busy pub with tons of passing trade from tourists. Having said that, I didn’t book for our lunch, but was seated immediately and served very promptly. The staff are cheery, able and efficient and the kitchen appears to be a very well oiled machine, so don’t be put off by the crowds if you are looking for a quick but truly tasty and hearty meal.
To find other restaurants, hotels and cafes participating in the month of mushrooms check out the Mushroom Mania locality guide or download the Mushroom Mania app on the same site.
35 Main Street Hahndorf
Lambs’ Ears and Honey dined compliments of Mushroom Growers Australia.