I'd long promised to take Mrs Plate, so we booked a table, rounded up our friends Matt and Hannah and made the long trek to Willunga last Friday night.
We were lucky enough to score the funky little couches inside, right next to a wood fire that was radiating a decent amount of heat. The night had started well. The only downside of our location was the noise coming from a nearby table, the acoustics are quite good inside.
You have a few options at Russell's, you can order pizza, entrees or desserts separately, you can either BYO and pay corkage or go with the house wine, or you can choose a 2 course meal (pizza and dessert including corkage) or a 3 course meal (entree, pizza and dessert including corkage). If you choose one of the meals, you can keep eating pizza until you can no longer move, so a great option for the bigger eaters. It's also a great option for those who want to try everything, so we went with the 3 course option.
First up was the mixed salad, which is like no other salad I've ever had. It's clearly made with seasonal, fresh ingredients but the combination seems weird - there's lettuce, olives, almonds, roast capsicum, fetta (the softest fetta I've ever had), beans and mushroom...but it works. It disappeared in no time, though you don't appear to get cutlery to eat it, which was a bit different but we found a way.
Next was wood oven bread, oil and dukkah, the bread so dense and delicious and the dukkah one of the nicest I've had. This was followed with meatballs, which were incredibly moist and filled with cheese, some of the nicest meatballs I've had in a long while and it was a shame there was only one each, I could easily eat a whole plate myself.
And then it was time for the main event. The wood fired pizzas. We ended up making our way through 3 of them, a half Napoli and half Ham and Pineapple, a half Seafood and half Supreme and a half Turkish Chilli Chicken and half Turkish Lamb.
The pizzas were all good, not the best I've ever had sure, but still very tasty. The bases are crispy and have that typical wood oven smokey flavour and the toppings are the true Italian style, quite sparse compared to your local pizza takeaway but this lets you taste the flavours of the quality ingredients used.
We were all quite full after our pizza feast, but there was still dessert to tackle. A choice of a lime cheesecake, a flourless chocolate cake and an apple strudel were on offer, I went the strudel, Mrs Plate and Matt went for the chocolate cake and Hannah chose the lime cheesecake. We all agreed the desserts were good, but not enjoyed as much as they would have been if we'd eaten them without a mountain of pizza in our satisfied bellies.
The staff are always friendly and the atmosphere is like nothing else you'll experience in Adelaide. Coupled with the great food and the chance to bring your own wine, Russell's is bound to be a winner every time. I'm almost finished making my own wood oven, but I'll still make the long journey south when I can't be bothered cooking my own and visiting this unique Adelaide establishment.