Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Jenny Morris launches a new restaurant in Durbanville: Yumcious

TV and Radio chef and big personality, Jenny Morris is famous for her good cooking, her ebullient nature and sense of fun. Durbanville is in for a treat; she has now opened a second branch of her restaurant Yumcious (the first is in the Cape Quarter in Cape Town) in the De Ville shopping Centre on the corner of Main and Wellington roads. We were invited to join her for lunch on Sunday with some other media and bloggers. It was a lovely way to spend a Sunday having lunch. Thank you Jenny
You always get a warm welcome from Jenny
We were shown to a long table and there was another behind us having a birthday celebration
Dieter Odendaal from Creation wines in the Hemel and Aarde supplied the wines for the event - they are on the wine list too. And we were all given a bottle of their Viognier and one of their Viognier chocolates to take home
The restaurant is large and spacious and modern. We love the soft aqua colour on the walls, very restful. Its on our lounge wall too!
The three Creation wines we drank with lunch. The 2017 African Penguin Reserve Rose made from 60% Grenache, 20% Viognier, 20%. Syrah is zesty and refreshing with strawberry cherry flavours. The 2017 Viognier is a classic food wine, full of ripe white peaches and gently creamy vanilla wood. The 2016 Syrah Grenache blend has always been one of our favourite Creation wines. Dark berries and blue plums, savouriness and peppery, it is so easy to drink and goes perfectly with rich meat dishes.
The food is a buffet, full of marvellous choices that change by the day and season. Last week they did Thai, this week it’s something different. You take a plate and help yourself; it is then charged for by weight. You can do a starter plate and a main if you like, in fact you can keep going, but you pay for what is weighed. Olives, carrots and red onions, in the background seared aubergine
Pesto, a apple and celery salad dressed with mayonnaise and nigella seeds
Potato salad, an avocado and toasted hazelnut salad with curd cheese, humus
An egg salad, next to a bocconcini, tomato and olive salad
Marvellous savoury quiches and tarts
Slow roasted sweet potatoes
The Oxtail was very popular
Slices of rare roast beef and good gravy
Amazing and irresistible crisp, oh so crisp pork crackling
The Macaroni cheese was in a rich creamy cheese sauce. Next to that were baked courgettes with green beans
Something you don’t see very often and which we love, seaweed salad. Jenny says its a firm favourite on the buffet
Aubergines and pimento red peppers with herbs and white cheese
The heritage tomato, bocconcini and olive salad is dressed with micro greens and pomegranate seeds
The spicy chicken curry was another crowd pleaser
A tomato and spinach quiche, with crisp pastry
This was Lynne's plate. Note the duck fat potatoes she could not resist either
John's plate and its weight. We assume that includes the dish weight, which is subtracted
Warm freshly baked bread from the kitchen; one was olive bread, the other cheese. Soft and slightly sweet dough with a good crisp crust
Anel Grobler and Jan Laubscher of Spit or Swallow and
Everyone on the table enjoying their lunch and the wine and lots of industry chat
The dessert menu. We didn't have to choose, Jenny brought a selection to the table, in multiples so we shared and all got a taste of each dessert
There was also a walnut cake to enjoy
and this chocolate layered cake
The light as air Double Trouble light and dark chocolate mousse topped with ganache, nuts and a strawberry
The light Passion fruit and lemon layered cheesecake. We also really enjoyed the New York baked cheesecake topped with caramel, which was richer and sweeter
This was the favourite dessert of the day, a warm chocolate coated brownie with nuts. So delicious

Don't miss out. Head for Yumcious as fast as possible, in town or in Durbanville, to enjoy this lovely food. And you can buy a copy of Jenny’s cookbook there, also entitled Yumcious

Friday, August 10, 2018

This Week’s MENU. A day with Reyneke, Breakfast at Giulio’s, ABSA Top 10 Pinotage Competition, Pork and apple stew with dumplings, Reyneke Reserve White

One of Johan Reyneke's beautiful Nguni cows and her calf being guided along to fresh grazing

We count our blessings. We have had a week of experiencing, not just tasting, wonderful wines; so many that we have to keep some of them for next week's MENU. Wines from different terroirs and from different philosophies, but more great wines in a concentrated time space than some people find in a year. And with them has come some great food as well. Many people tell us that we are so fortunate (and we are), which is why we are working at 1am at the end of a public holiday to tell you about it…

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy". William Shakespeare in Hamlet. Johan Reyneke has passion, for wine and for nature and doing the right thing. He wants to work in harmony with her. We understand and respect what he is doing; this is how we should be living. We visited Reyneke this week…

Invited to taste the top 20 Pinotages at 10 in the morning, we felt that we should reward ourselves with a good breakfast beforehand. As we would be taking the bus and traversing lower Bree, Loop and Long Streets, we thought we would try out some of the newer cafés down there. Sadly many seem to have closed; this winter has had a punishing effect on new establishments in the Cape. We were delighted to see that Giulio's, on the corner of Loop and Riebeek, is still open and welcoming, so in we went

We were invited to taste this year’s top 20 Pinotages this week. These are the competition finalists and the winning Top 10 will be announced at an awards lunch on the 15th of August in Stellenbosch. The tasting was held at the Cullinan Hotel

This is a lovely flavourful winter dish, perfect for our current chilly weather. See the recipe here....

100% Sauvignon blanc. It spends 12 months in brand new 300 litre French oak barrels with a light toast and no oxidation allowed. It has a pretty, golden oak nose with light vanillins and some floral perfume, stone fruit, nectarines, peaches, white plums and greengages which give a lovely fruit 'attack' on the palate; that special tingle on the tongue and long flavours. Goes beautifully with fish, seafood and rich poultry dishes. Delicious

10th August 2018

Subscribe to MENU

© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2018
PS If a word or name is in bold type and underlined, click on it for more information

Phones: +27 21 439 3169 / 083 229 1172 / 083 656 4169

Postal address: 60 Arthurs Rd, Sea Point 8005

Recommendations of products and outside events are not solicited or charged for, and are made at the authors’ pleasure. All photographs, recipes and text used in these newsletters and our blogs are © John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus. Our restaurant reviews are usually unsolicited. We prefer to pay for our meals and not be paid in any way by anyone. Whether we are invited or go independently, we don’t feel bad if we say we didn’t like it. Honesty is indeed our best policy. While every effort is made to avoid mistakes, we are human and they do creep in occasionally, for which we apologise. This electronic journal has been sent to you because you have personally subscribed to it or because someone you know has asked us to send it to you or forwarded it to you themselves. Addresses given to us will not be divulged to any person or organisation. We collect them only for our own promotional purposes. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, please click here to send us a message and if you wish to be removed from our mailing list

What’s on the MENU this week. Pork and apple stew with dumplings

This is a lovely flavourful winter dish, perfect for our current chilly weather
Remember 1T = a Tablespoon, 1 t = a teaspoon
Photograph per kind favour of

1 T olive oil - 2 onions sliced - 2 celery sticks, thickly sliced - 500g lean pork, in 4 to 5 cm cubes - 2 tsp English mustard powder - 4 large garlic cloves, chopped - 2 T flour - 4 T cider vinegar - 800ml veal or chicken stock - 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks - 2 bay leaves - 1 T thyme - 2 leeks , thickly sliced - 4 medium carrots, cut into chunks

For the dumplings
140g flour - 1 t baking powder - 1 t English mustard powder - 2 T finely chopped flat-leaf parsley - 1 T fresh thyme plus a few sprigs to garnish - 2 T yogurt - 2 T canola or olive oil

Heat the oil in a flameproof and ovenproof dish. Add the onions and celery and fry for about 8 minutes until softened. Add the pork and sear quickly for a few minutes until it changes colour, but it doesn’t need to brown, as you don’t want to overcook it. Stir in the mustard powder, garlic, flour and vinegar; stir well to prevent lumps, then pour in the stock, stirring again to blend everything

Add the apple, bay and thyme, leeks and carrots, bring the liquid to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pan and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the pork and vegetables are tender

When the stew is nearly cooked, heat the oven to 190ºC. To make the dumplings, tip the flour, baking powder, mustard powder, parsley and thyme into a bowl and stir to combine. Put the yogurt into a jug, make up to 100ml with water, then stir in the oil. Lightly stir the liquid into the flour to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. Divide the dough equally into eight and shape into balls. Drop them on top of the stew, drizzling each one with the remaining oil. Bake for 20 minutes until the dumplings are golden. Scatter with the extra thyme, if you like, before serving

MENU’s Wine of the Week. Reyneke’s Reserve White 2016

100% Sauvignon blanc. It spends 12 months in brand new 300 litre French oak barrels with a light toast and no oxidation allowed
It has a pretty, golden oak nose with light vanillins and some floral perfume. Stone fruit, nectarines, peaches, white plums and greengages which give a lovely fruit 'attack' on the palate; that special tingle on the tongue and long flavours. Goes beautifully with fish, seafood and rich poultry dishes. Delicious

Thursday, August 09, 2018

A day with Johan Reyneke

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy", wrote William Shakespeare in Hamlet. Johan Reyneke has passion, for wine and for nature and for doing the right thing. He wants to work in harmony with nature. We understand and respect what he is doing; this is how we should be living
We visited Reyneke last week and it was another great experience, learning about how wine can be grown organically and biodynamically. Johan started his working life, not as a wine maker, but as a casual farm labourer (studying for a post-grad degree in environmental philosophy) when he was young and needing a job. He found that he loved it and his career progressed from there. Johan has won so many well deserved awards for his wines that he has declined in the past to enter competitions, allowing that others to shine

We arrived early to find media colleague, Guy McDonald of Magic Radio, already there. The tasting was obviously going to be on the stoep. Amusingly, Johan said that he was astounded that all the Cape Town media had arrived quite early, as he'd been warned that we were always late. Not always true. Certain Stellenbosch media representatives were a tad tardy
Ah, nice to know what we'll have for lunch! 
The coals were being made ready
Well dressed beef fillet
The magnificent view, with the meadow in front which plays a large role in the conversation. It is where some of the high density grazing takes place, using natural processes to build up soil self-sufficiency
Chef Andrew Jordaan preparing lunch
We take a walk to the vineyards. This farm, which Johan farms for its owner, is under conversion in preparation for organic certification. His main farm, which is over the brow of the hill in front, is already certified organic
A beautiful, sunny midwinter’s day. Sadly, there is a lot of smog
over False Bay in front of the Helderberg mountains
We learn about his farming methods. Johan said that, when he began farming for himself, he began by going organic by neglect and nothing worked. Then he met Jean Kuiper who farms biodynamically in Elgin and, he says, put him on the right path. Now he farms organically by design; you need to plan to be organic and it takes a while. The vineyards are herbicide, pesticide and fungicide free. As he says: "Just like any organic vineyard should be". He believes that we should return to the farming practices of the past, before chemical products were invented. And, if you see how healthy his vineyards are, you too can agree. Read about his philosophy on his web site
In these vineyards, he is using minimal intervention
while he adjusts them to a completely biodynamic regime
The herd of Nguni cows, which is not just there for their meat and skins; these cows have names
and they are respected for the work they do in the vineyards and in the soil conversion
Such handsome beasts too
Wonderful coats
Mum and calf being gently chivvied along by a worker. The workers add value to the farm, not only with their labour but with support, camaraderie, and humour. They are the cornerstone of the business. Johan consulted the workers and asked them what they’d choose for their life. The reply was “home ownership and education for their children”. The profits from the Cornerstone premium wine range go to projects benefiting the farm’s workers and their families. To date, four worker families have been rewarded with their own homes, and currently the project is funding tertiary education for “our first farm child”
A huge slug on the path. "Good" said Johan, "food for someone"
The cattle feed well in the meadow and their manure replaces organic matter. Chickens, which are also in the kraal with the cows, spread the cow manure by taking out the worms and insects and breaking it up. In the byres, it is then mixed with old thatch, which is brought to the farm by thatching companies. It is trodden in by the cows. The manure and other organic matter become compost which is used on the vines. The thatchers are happy to bring the old thatch at no charge as it solves a disposal problem for them
It is a happy, healthy place. Some of the biodynamic practices might sound strange, but they were all used successfully in the past before modern chemical and other interventions were used and they work, Johan told us
Time to taste some of the wines. You won’t find commercially cultivated yeast or bacteria, acid adjustments or fermentation aids in this cellar. We began with the organic 2017 (57%) Sauvignon (43%) Semillon blend in which the components are vinified separately. It is unwooded and kept on the fine lees for 5 months. Grassy, grey and Chenin-like aromas of passion fruit with some herbaceousness; crisp and full on the palate, with limes, lemongrass and some lees complexity. This bottle has the new label design for the organic range
Johan explaining his winemaking methods
Listening intently. The next wine was the just-bottled 2018 Chenin blanc, which does not go through malolactic fermentation. Grassy, full and a little bready on the nose, with crisp lime and loquat flavours. It has an interesting, woody lees character, but it has not seen wood. The 2017 Biodynamic Chenin blanc is not organically certified; it is in conversion. It’s more serious. The whole bunches go into the tank for a day to settle, then the clear juice is transferred into a 2500 litre foudre for 10 months. It is shy on the nose, grassy, a little tropical with some herbs. It develops beautifully on the palate, crisp limes and lemons and a little petillance. It is fermented cold to stop any malolactic fermentation. And, finally, the Reserve White; 100% Sauvignon blanc. It spends 12 months in brand new 300 litre French oak barrels with a light toast and no oxidation allowed. It has a pretty, golden oak nose with light vanillins and some floral perfume, stone fruit, nectarines, peaches, white plums and greengages, which give a lovely fruit 'attack' on the palate, a tingle on the tongue and long flavours. Delicious
Great bread and butter to assuage the hunger
Journalist Jason Curtis watches as winemaker Nuschka de Vos pours the next wine
She told us that this is the best fruit she has ever worked with; the terroir expresses itself in the wine
It's still winter; leaf buds on the plane trees
Time to taste the Reyneke red wines. The Reyneke Organic Red is made from 90% Shiraz and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Priced at R90 on the farm. A mutable nose, it keeps changing; mulberries, minerality. Soft wood and some spice. Licorice & dark berries, cassis, black cherry; very drinkable, and good value. The 2016 Biodynamic Syrah was made with whole bunches. A shy nose of fruit and green herbs. Rhubarb and plums on the palate with some tight tannins, green leafiness; more cassis than cherry flavours, some pepper and turmeric spice
Winemaker and chef discuss details of the lunch
Winemaker Nuschka de Vos
Then the Reserve 2016 Syrah, beautiful, elegant, cherry cassis fruit with a little linseed on the nose. This opens up in the glass and releases more fruit as you drink. Dry chalky tannins, cassis; concentrated and tight, which means it has a long life to come, so can do with cellar time. White pepper on the end. It spends 20 months in French oak; R450 on the farm. And, finally, the Cornerstone 2015. Farm price R800. 37% Cabernet sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 27% Cabernet franc, the grape that dominates first on the nose. Savoury, herbal, very attractive with incense wood. On the palate, delicious with rounded full berry fruit, nice chalky tannins, and good wood. Juicy and long. So satisfying. The proceeds of this wine go to helping the farm workers and their families, hence the name Cornerstone, which is what they are
Chef making the final preparations for lunch, which was eagerly awaited
He tells us what we will be eating
Barbecued fillet steak
Pink inside and perfectly cooked
A roasted veg salad topped with feta and herbs - all farm or local produce
Duck fat potatoes
Creamed mushrooms
Another salad with avocado, radishes, cheese,
pomegranates, nasturtium flowers and sprouts
Those duck fat chips
Lunch for John! Lynne added the mushrooms
A contemplative Jon Meinking enjoying the sun after a great lunch
The line up of white wines
The reds we tasted
Thank you so much all at Reyneke, for making this such a perfect day. The wines are so impressive and we support you in your quest