Mushroom Mania – Lunch @ The Kings Head


I really rate The Kings Head, it ticks a lot of boxes for me as far as things I look for in a pub. They are pokie free, they have a great beer and wine selection and their food sourcing policy is top-notch. I’ve always had a good experience there and it’s a place we often meet with friends for a quick brew, a bowl of chips and a vegie burger.

When I was working through the list of places participating in Mushroom Mania this month, I was excited to see the Kings Head was participating. It was an opportunity for me to eat some of their awesome food and write about why I think there should be more places like it in our fair city.

Sadly, my experience on this particular day left me feeling rushed and disappointed. This meal was the exact reason I have railed against wanting to write about eating out. It’s great to be able to sing the praises of a place when you eat an amazing meal, but not so much when the experience is less than ideal. In fairness to the Kings Head, it could have been because I was there for the lunchtime rush, maybe they had a staff shortage that day because everyone had the flu, maybe the moon was in venus and it’s just not the optimal time to be eating out?

The dish I selected was the ‘Pan tossed potato gnocchi, with Woodcroft truffled mushroom ragu, baby spinach and pecorino‘. On paper this sounded tempting and I was genuinely looking forward to eating it. I patiently waited in line, ordered and sat down next to what appeared to be a group of workers enjoying a quick lunch. As I waited for my meal, I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation as it turned considerably savage. Memo to whoever you are, these people hate your guts! Trying to drown out the god awful conversation and focus on other things I turned my attention to Christina’s review of the Elbow Room in the first edition of GRAM magazine (awesome work, Christina).

After a couple of false starts; ‘Did you order the steak, medium rare?’, I received my dish. It looked alright and your intrepid reporter having wrestled another punter to the ground to get the prime window seat, dutifully snapped away a few pics. A big white plate is always pleasing to the eye in my opinion, ‘but wait a minute… is my gnocchi burnt?’

A few tiny slivers of mushrooms, hidden amongst almost burnt pillows of potato gnocchi, soggy spinach leaves and a lukewarm, watery ‘ragu’ is what I was greeted with. Kings Head, IR disappoint.

I am certainly not an expert, so please take my reviews with a liberal grain of salt. I’m eating in a pub, during the lunchtime rush, is it reasonable to expect gourmet food? Well, given that it was roughly the same time of day as my experience at The Store, and cost roughly the same, I would expect something a few notches higher than I received. Around me were plates of half-eaten food, which were eventually taken away and that god-awful conversation taking place next to me. I wanted nothing more than to finish my meal and move on. Sorry guys.

In an effort to be positive I have to reiterate, I do really rate this place. We’ve eaten here a few times over the last couple of years and it has always been top-notch. I’ve taken interstate guests here to enjoy the pub grub and awesome beer selection and I always enjoy their veggie burger and hand cut chips. Maybe in future I will stick to their pub fare, but why participate in Mushroom Mania, serve only one main mushroom meal and do it badly? This doesn’t make sense to me. What I would have given to devour a big mushroom burger with their amazing chips and a side salad, now that would have been sensational.

The Kings Head Hotel

357 King William Road, Adelaide


I dined with the compliments of  Mushroom Growers Australia as part of Mushroom Mania month.

The Mushroom Mania campaign is on for all of July 2012 and over 2,000 restaurants are participating by putting delicious mushrooms on the menu. For more information and to find out if your favourite restaurant is participating simply follow the links to the Mushroom Mania website.

I’d like to take a moment to thank the Mushroom Growers Australia for the opportunity to participate in Mushroom Mania this month. It has certainly been a new experience for me and one that I have, on the whole, enjoyed. It’s great to be able to get out and experience what our local restaurants are doing and showcase an amazing food, the humble mushroom.

As Mushroom Mania month draws to an end I do encourage you, if you haven’t already done so, to enter the Eat.Blog. Win. competition which closes very soon. All you need to do is eat out at one of the participating restaurants (there are heaps, the list is over at the website), order a mushroom dish and then write a very short review about it on the entry page. You go into the draw to win a $150 best restaurants voucher. For more information, and to enter please follow the link.


Leave a comment. Tell me what you think.