Lunch at Foliage Restaurant in Franschhoek

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Charcoal roasted beetroot, turnip & fennel salad with 17 year old vinegar dressing

A few weeks ago we trekked out to Franschhoek to check out Chris Erasmus’ new place, Foliage Restaurant. It was a wonderful lunch with great food and shared with great friends. Here is a taste of what you can expect if you ever find yourself in that neck of the woods.

A real treat for the eyes and the palate. This beautifully textured beet salad was the perfect way to start the meal accompanied by a glass of bubbles. The salad was dressed with a 17 year old vinegar dressing and had flavour bursts of apple and parsley purée.

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Wild boar, pea & Parmesan croquettes

The husband never surprises me with his menu choice when we go out. If there is pork- it’s always pork, pork or more pork. It’s his favourite meat and he claims it gets a pretty bad rap here in SA. I must say I think babe is making a comeback. People are realising what a healthy clean meat it is and it does not always have to be the fatty belly that gets all the glory. We swapped out beef for pork fillet and made delicious individual wellingtons for a dinner party a few weeks ago. Anyhoo- back to THIS pork. It was like butter. Tender from top to bottom with a sensational crunch from the crackling. The pomme purée and everything in fact throughout our whole meal was seasoned ever so perfectly.

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Fenugreek roasted free-range pork belly with dandelion pomme purée & pan juices

 

Now this here cauliflower was a sneaky little number that came out of nowhere.

I would gladly become a veggie (which is saying a lot) if I could eat vegetarian food this good every day. It had a caramelised outer crust that gave way to a super creamy and luxurious interior. The Parmesan cream was swished away with eager fingers until the plate was spotlessly clean. Truly a vegetarian triumph in the kitchen. I find vegetarian food often an after thought for a lot of chefs. Not for Chris. This was carefully planned and calculated and so much love went into this dish. It is an absolute winner and was hands down my favourite main course of the day.

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Pan-fried cauliflower, Parmesan cream, beets & cashew nuts

Lastly but certainly not least was one for the meat lovers. The braised kudu shank boudin (sausage) was served alongside grilled springbok and a glorious hunk of roasted bone marrow. Yet again we acted as excellent dish washers and made sure the plate went back to the kitchen looking like it had never been used except for the very empty marrow bone.

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Braised kudu shank boudin, grilled springbok, roasted bone marrow, river cress, mushroom & oyster, honeybush jus

Next time, which I hope is very soon, I will make sure I run around the block a few times in between courses so that I can make some space for dessert! They sounded beyond delicious and I was unfortunately too full of wine and delicious savoury notes to venture into the sweet section. At least it is something to really look forward to!

For bookings and more information about Foliage Restaurant and its Head Chef Chris Erasmus check out their website.

Let them eat chocolate cake

A friend had a birthday braai this weekend. I haven’t baked a good old fashioned cake in a while so said to his wife i’ll do the cake and what flavours does he enjoy most? She said he is a no nonsense, simple chocolate cake kinda guy. The more chocolate the better. No problem.

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I baked two rich and most chocolate cakes which has hot espresso added to the batter. Life changing addition. Really brings out the chocolate flavour, and of course plenty of proper vanilla.

So a little bit of rough masking with some dark chocolate ganache and then I popped them in the fridge to set.

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A serious amount of chocolate buttercream was used… and eaten

 

Next up was a spectacular amount of chocolate buttercream.

Chocolate Cake with Smarties
Chocolate Cake with Smarties

And finally that night the birthday boy got his cake and ate it too. We all did. The pants might have been a bit tight at the end of the night.

Birthday Candles
Birthday Candles