Lunch during the depths of winter here may be a quiet affair, giving guests plenty of time to soak up the verdant surroundings of the Vineyard Hotel, plus time to chat to chefs Mike Bassett and Germaine Esau. Germaine prepared a special menu for two. Having grown up in Stellenbosch and worked under many lauded chefs in the winelands, he is well versed to highlight the seasons on the plate. Breads were served on a hot cushion before we tucked into slow-cooked beef tongue with a carrot cake purée, pickled sultanas, bloomed mustard and mustard emulsion. The hake rarebit with broccoli, chilly cheese croquettes (yum) and chicken truffle sauce was excellent too. His chicken Ballantine with sun choke, Newlands wild mushroom and hay-smoked artichoke velouté transported my taste buds to the depths of Newlands Forest nearby – robust and earthy. My last, lingering memory is of the pina colada, riesling-poached pineapple with coconut, lime, coriander sherbet and a pineapple curd, a great contrast to flavours that had been enjoyed throughout the meal.
Myoga’s current menu celebrates their 10 years with the most 10 iconic dishes from each year since opening.
There cannot be a more spectacular setting, closer to the sea with the best view of the Hout Bay Sentinel, than at Tintswalo Atlantic. Add friendly service and beautifully appointed suites, and you may never want to leave. Capetonians have switched on to the fact that the restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and have flocked to enjoy chef Guy Clark’s artfully presented plates. We were quick to see that he enjoys cooking seafood, paying tribute to the ocean at his feet, and that ethical and seasonal sourcing is of paramount importance.
We started on the deck to drink in the view and a glass of Glühwein, and before we knew it were dashing inside as the raindrops arrived. It was time to sit down, relax and in an unhurried fashion, work our way through the three-course lunch menu. I chose the carrot with cinnamon mascarpone as a starter, my man the fynbos ash-smoked salmon, which he declared delicious. Being Global Gin Day it was appropriate to halt our meal half way for a refresher of fynbos gin and rosemary served on ice. For mains it was the steamed black mussels with a seaweed broth, with red drum seabass and curried tiger prawns. The dessert choice was between Opium and Madagascar, we chose to share the latter – an aerated 64% Manjari chocolate mousse with a few shards of orange meringue and a quenelle of Dulche de leche gelato. Even lighter than the broth!
DINE AND DONATE
I feel honoured to have been appointed as an ambassador for StreetSmart SA, an organisation that raises funds through restaurants to help street children. Being privileged to eat in some of South Africa’s finest restaurants, I feel that I do in some small way, need to acknowledge that as I savour each mouthful of delicious food, there are people, particularly children, who have nothing to eat at all.
StreetSmart is a professional organization with focus on education, skills training and family reunification, changing lives R5 at a time. Participating restaurants, many of which are featured in the JHP Gourmet Guide™, put R5 on a bill for a diner to decide if they wish to donate it or not. They have been helping street children since 2005. Since 1994 when I started my first business, I have always ensured that we have had a hands-on involvement in a community cause. In addition to working with St Luke’s Hospice for 10 years, HPCA (Hospice Palliative Care Association of SA) for 10 and Wynberg Rotary’s ‘Last Night of the Proms’ for 10 (yes, overlapping or my Maths would be under scrutiny!), we are proud to now be associated with StreetSmart SA. Together, we hope to make a greater difference, and would love you to join us.
SWISS TAKES CHANTEL TO NEW HEIGHTS
Chantel Dartnall, diminutive and dynamic award-winning chef of plated restaurant Restaurant Mosaic, was selected as the first SWISS Culinary Innovation Award winner in the 2018 JHP Gourmet Guide™. Her prize was two business class tickets to Europe, so she was able to wing her way to Taittinger in Reims, France, in luxury and comfort, enjoying SWISS hospitality and fine cuisine on board. When Chantel returns we will share her story with you. Congratulations to Restaurant Mosaic on being presented with the Wine Spectator Grand Award. The only restaurant on the African continent to have ever received this prestigious prize.