Some meals are just special. Everything works in harmony. From the flavours and textures on the plate to the perfectly chilled wine in your ice bucket and expertly executed service. This was one of those meals.
Chef’s Warehouse at Beau Constantia is a sensory treat. Set in one of the most beautiful locations over looking the Constantia wine valley surrounded by vineyards, forest and wild proteas. The setting matches the food which is almost too pretty to eat. The attention to details is astounding. Each flourish adds flavour and texture and nothing is placed on the plate without careful consideration. The oysters were a major highlight for me. Just wow. What a way to start the meal. Adorned with flavours from the garden and a paprika oil drizzled over them. They were spectacular.
Here are some of the highlights from this utterly sensational meal:
Middle Eastern Beef Tataki, Buttermilk Dressing, Persian Dressed Cucumbers and Char Grilled Brick Pastry
Tomatoes on Toast, Confit and Pickled Tomatoes, Curds and Herbs
Linefish Escabeche, Pickles and Lime Labne
Saffron Risotto with Cajun Spiced Brisket, Sour Cream and Fried Onions
Char Grilled Blesbok, Pickles, Burnt Butter and Beetroot Sauce
Wild Honey and Lavender Crème, Honeycomb and Smoked Cassia Bark Ice Cream
Lemon Posset with Berry Coulis
The service is seamless. Just the right amount of attention without becoming overbearing. The courses are perfectly timed and plentiful. It really is exceptionally good value for money and you will not leave hungry. They also have a sublime cheese platter but by the end of lunch we had lost count of the amount of courses we’d had and needed to roll ourselves home. I cannot wait to return for another spectacular meal.
I spent a gloriously long and utterly delicious afternoon at The Table at De Meye in Stellenbosch. This is one of my favourite restaurants around town and it’s an utter crime that I do not frequent it more often. The food is down to earth with a farm to table focus, highlighting local farmers and producers.
Run by husband and wife team Luke and Jessica, The Table has the feel of being in your friend’s back yard. You are lovingly served a generous family meal on platters to share around the table. Luke explains the origin of each tasty morsel from the tomatoes that have ripened in the sun in their own garden to the life altering crusty sourdough baked by Fritz Schoon. Everything that passes your lips is ethically sourced from the very best producers. From the free-range happy chickens to the giant courgettes they’ve just pulled out of the garden.
This was our three course menu of the day:
Starter: Tomato tarte tatin with goats cheese ricotta & baby leaf salad
Fritz’s sourdough bread from Schoon De Companje with natural farm butter
Main course: Free-range roast chicken with tarragon, verjus and cream served with super crispy golden potatoes and a cabbage, bean and grape salad. Bliss.
And finally dessert… what a masterpiece! Yoghurt panna cotta with pistachios, roasted baby figs and fig sorbet.
It was truly one of the most exceptional desserts I have ever eaten. It was one of those, ‘angels begin singing in perfectly pitched voices’ kind of moments.
All that went down swimmingly well with a few bottles of the De Meye unwooded Chardonnay. Now the very best part about this restaurant is that after you have sufficiently indulged in all the scrumptious food there are blankets on the lawn for that much needed afternoon nap. The husband was snoring away while mum and I polished off the rest of the vino.
So pop into your car one of these weekends and take a drive out to the Winelands and experience the delight that is The Table. It’s open for lunch on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 12:30. The abundant three course menu is R325pp. Make sure to book well in advance.
It is just so much of everything I love. From the location and design to the interior and the food. Everything hits the spot. And that’s all before you’ve even tasted the wine! My personal favourites are the Shiraz and the Chenin Blanc. Today we went with the Shiraz as it was a tad chilly and we were all set on some meaty main courses.
The butternut was creamy and luxurious and I am such a fun of an unusual accompaniment with table bread.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!