Thursday, January 21, 2010

Main Ingredient's MENU - rosé tasting new date, more restaurant news

Evening view from Clifton past Oudekraal

ALL CHANGE PLEASE FOR ROSÉS Due to completely unforeseen circumstances (Lynne says it's all her fault, but we both had a hand in it – we missed the clash with the WINE magazine sauvignon blanc tasting at the Mount Nelson tomorrow) we have had to reschedule our Rosé tasting to next Tuesday, January 26th at 6 pm. (Thank you to all those with bookings who helped us to make the date change). So if you couldn’t come this week, we do hope you can come next week. We have a really interesting selection of dry Rosé wines, some with good low alcohols and some with really low prices. Bookings must be paid in advance please. Call us at 021 439 5169 to book. A good selection of snacks will be provided and it costs R100 per person. We will give a discount of R50 for your first case of six wines purchased - sorry no mixed cases - and there will be a Landskroon Hamper awarded to the person who spends the most on wine. Wines will include Buitenverwachting Blanc de Noir, Circumstance, Morgenhof Fantail, Landskroon Bushcamp, Newton Johnson Felicité, Vergenoegd and Zandvliet My Best Friend.

WATERKLOOF A foodie friend had heard reports of this winery restaurant, so five of us ventured forth last Saturday night in our car. Turn off from the N2 and drive through Somerset West and follow signs to the Vergelegen Medi Clinic and continue from there along the M9 Sir Lowry’s Pass Rd, which runs parallel to the N2, until you see the Waterkloof sign on the left. Turn off onto a dirt road and meander up the hill past a sleepy sentry box. The road suddenly turns into state of the art tarmac with regular passing places. Up and up you wind until suddenly, atop the hill, you see a massive, not very attractive, concrete bunker-like building. The South Easter was pumping as we dodged past the spray from the fountain at the entrance - to be suddenly entranced by the amazing views from the interior which is all chic double volume steel, glass and brick and sits over the wine cellar. A circular fire was burning in the middle of the bar area! The sun was setting and the view over False Bay and Sir Lowry's Pass were magnificent. Owned by a British wine merchant, Paul Boutinot, Waterkloof have three ranges of wine: Peacock Ridge, Circumstance and Waterkloof. All were available by the glass except the Waterkloof Sauvignon Blanc which is R245 a bottle but the waitress did a very good up-sell by telling us she just happened to have a bottle open if we wanted to try it - so we had four glasses! Their glasses are hugely generous so only three were poured from the first bottle which arrived open but full. All the food is matched to their wines but you are free to choose others. Lynne really enjoyed the Circumstance Merlot but not the Shiraz which John had and did like. They are definitely catering to the local wealthy, mostly German, market and the Chef is French/Polish. The venue is great for large functions. The portions are small and prices are definitely in the Fine Dining category. The bill for two of us, two courses each, with a glass of wine with each course, coffee and service was R624. John had a very good if slightly chewy asparagus risotto to start, but it is just a taster portion. Lynne had a light and silky goats cheese mousse served with two feathers of ciabatta bread and a tiny smear of beetroot & balsamic reduction - not enough to taste. Luckily she still had some of her bread roll left. Mains do not come with any starches nor are there any to order. John had a square of delicious yellowtail on top of a mound of green lentils served, unusually, with a lamb jus. Lynne had a circle of slow cooked belly of pork with superb flavour and soft yielding texture. Sadly it was also half very soft fat which hadn't been cooked away. This came on a butternut sauce. Other dishes enjoyed were a very good layered vegetable tart, Kingklip with Ratatouille, a Poached Peach dessert and a Mango Parfait - looked more like a mango sorbet and wasn’t served in a Parfait glass. The Dessert menu is not very inspiring and there is no chocolate option - at present. Coffee came in a huge Cafétiere which only cost R30 and gave us all a cup or two.

The wine prices by the glass are inexpensive, especially considering the large servings. Prices for the Circumstance wines we ordered were R26 for the viognier, R30 for the sauvignon blanc, R38 for the merlot and R40 for the shiraz. Each dish on the menu comes with a recommendation for the most suitable wine.

One of the presents we received for Christmas was a whole side of fresh salmon. As our Christmas menus were planned, Lynne decided to make Gravad Lax for our New Year party. She cut the side into two pieces, spread on the marinade and put it into a plastic ice-cream container, covered it with Clingfilm then put another container on top and filled this with heavy jars to weigh it down. Obviously the tail end didn’t completely cover the other end but it doesn’t matter. You need to turn it daily and keep refrigerated. This sat in the fridge maturing till New Years Eve when she confessed she was too nervous to serve it! Our friends insisted and it was a huge success. It is really not very complicated to make but you have to be brave. If you don’t have Aquavit you can use plain Vodka.

One side of fresh salmon - 3 T rough salt - 1 t ground white peppercorns - 1 t ground allspice - 2 T pale brown sugar - 2 T finely chopped fresh dill - 50 ml Aquavit/gin/vodka.

Double the quantities for 2 sides

Mix well, spread on all sides of the salmon and proceed as above. Marinate for between 3 and 6 days. When ready remove from the marinade and thinly slice.

Tastings and other events Join WINE magazine for an informative seated tasting of the Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 wines. The tastings will be presented by leading winemaker Charles Hopkins of De Grendel. The Cape Town tasting will be tomorrow evening, 21st January, starting 18h30 at the Mount Nelson Hotel, and the Johannesburg tasting on 28th January starting 18h30 at Crowne Plaza The Rosebank. Tickets cost R150 per person. To book, E-mail call 0860 100 205, fax 0866 704 101, or to book online, CLICK HERE. For more information, please contact Jane Eedes on 021 530 3308.

The Robertson Wine Valley will host its second Hands on Harvest Festival from 26th to 28th February, giving you a chance to experience the magic of harvest for a day - without having to quit your day job! Groups are small and intimate, so you are sure to have a hands-on experience you’ll never forget. Many of the activities are 'kiddie-friendly' and on Sunday, the Harvest Market promises to be a true family affair. Other activities include grape picking, grape stomping, vineyard tractor trips, grape vs wine tasting, and loads more.

The Kromboom Rotary Club is helping to organise the annual Rabbie Burns celebration, which takes place at Kelvin Grove on February 6th. In addition to being a fun evening, it also helps raise money for the Nonceba Trust, which takes care of abused women and children.

A date for the future you should try not to miss is the Taste of Cape Town 2010 between 24th and 28th March at the Granger Bay Extension – V&A Waterfront

EAT FOR UNDER R100 We’ve had several contributions telling us about restaurants which have given readers and ourselves affordable meals which fit within the R100 per head parameter. Thanks very much to everyone who has contributed. We’ve added the list to our regular specials list, which is attached. We know that there are many more. We hope to try some soon, especially some of the opportunities in Sea Point. We know that it is possible to eat well at some of the Asian restaurants in our neighbourhood and have enjoyed the food at our neighbour Dynasty and at the deceptively unsophisticated Jing Jing further down Main Road within the budget limit. Another possible is Kabab Mahal, one of the best Indian restaurants we know. Table Thirteen, round the corner from the Victoria Junction Hotel in Somerset Road is offering an evening opening meal tomorrow evening, with a special offer for our readers. Take with you the attached voucher to enjoy a meal with a glass of wine for R90. Please tell us about any similar deals you have enjoyed.

Restaurants and picnics Please let us have your feedback about the restaurants in our list of specials. We have made adjustments following information we have received. Things must be improving, because several special offers have been discontinued. We don’t have the time, or the money, to visit them all frequently, and they don’t all keep us up to date with their offers, or respond to our requests for information, so your input is very valuable to all our readers.

We’ve enjoyed picnics at Buitenverwachting and Allée Bleue and we look forward to trying Rickety Bridge and the new picnic at Warwick.

We are so lucky to live in a place which is so beautiful and where we can enjoy the wonderful wines and food in such lovely places.

Click on the highlighted hyperlinks in the attached list to book for these events or to learn more about them.

Weekend market: Susan and Jane will be on our pavement as usual this Saturday with their delicious country goodies. Come and buy fresh farm eggs, fruit and vegetables, preserves and home baked breads, cakes and pastries from them and then come and visit us! We will be tasting wines, so do come in and have a chat and a taste and buy something great to cook with this weekend and a good wine to go with it. Wine and food are inseparable partners.

Your invitation to Main Ingredient’s Free Saturday morning Wine Tastings
every Saturday from about 10am in the shop

22nd January – Joostenberg and MAN Vintners

20th January 2010

Remember - if you can’t find something, we’ll do our best to get it for you, and, if you’re not in Cape Town, we can send it to you!

PS If a word or name is in bold type and underlined, click on it for more information

Visit us at Shop 5, Nedbank Centre, 15 Kloof Rd, Sea Point 8005, Cape Town, South Africa

Phone: +27 21 439 5169

We are, we believe, the only shop in Cape Town which offers a specialised service, combining gourmet foods with well-chosen wines on one floor
Our Adamastor & Bacchus© tailor-made Wine, Food and Photo tours take small groups (up to 6) to wine producers who are not usually open to the public. Have fun while you learn more about wine and how it is made! Tours can be conducted in English, German, Norwegian or Dutch flavoured Afrikaans.

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 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.

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