Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Provençal wines of Domaines Ott with dinner at Delaire Graff


This week, finally, we  got to visit Delaire. The occasion was a dinner to showcase the wines of Domaines Ott – three estates in Provence, in the south of France. We were welcomed by a glass (or two for some!) of Louis Roederer champagne (Domaines Ott is part of the Louis Roederer Group), and we were served salmon and oyster canapés on the terrace while we all got to know each other or caught up with old friends. As you see from the photo above, the Estate has, possibly, the best view of any wine farm in the area; watching the light on the valley and mountains change as the sun set was a magnificent sight.
Ushered into the elegant and spacious restaurant, which can seat up to 120, we began with Clos Mirelle Blanc de Blanc 2010 (AOC Côte de Provence) made not from Chardonnay, but from Semillon and Rolle, introduced by Christophe Renard, Domaines Ott export sales director.
Tasting just like lean champagne sans bubbles, this very elegant wine could not have come from any other country but France. White peaches, slightly salty, crisp, cool and delicious with a faint herb ending, it went perfectly with the first course, Ceviche of Farmed Cob with poached pear, hazelnut, honey blossom. There was a quite sweet foam on the Ceviche; the wine coped very well with it and really showcased the fish, as did the scattering of caramelised nuts which added great texture to a soft dish and complimented the wine – all in all, a very successful dish.
The next course was Roasted Chicken with lobster bisque, West Coast mussels, hints of orange
and served with Domaines Ott Chateau de Selle Rosé 2010 (also AOC Provence).
This is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and, very unusually for Provence, Cabernet Sauvignon.
The chicken was, we suspect, cooked sous vide and was incredibly tender and moist. Who would have thought that lobster bisque would go with chicken? It really was amazing. We were not so entranced by the nearly cooked mussels or the stringy spring onion/leek but the dish was a lovely match to the pale “eye of partridge”/onion skin rosé, which tasted of fresh, fruity, spritzy rhubarb with a spicy end rather like ginger ale.

The main course of Roast Duck, beef shin, smoked marrow fritters, plum and blue berries was rather overwhelming in its rich meatiness and cried out for some other ingredient on the plate.
One of the fruit sauces, possibly the plum, was a little savage towards the wine, the Domaines Ott Bandol Rouge 2007 (AOC Bandol) which is a blend chiefly of Mourvedre with some Grenache, Syrah and Sauvignon.

It began with rich full fruit tastes and aromas of cassis, cherries and other berries. The wine had a sweet and sour character with black pepper notes and capsicum on the end and did age quite a lot in the glass.
With the dessert of Compressed Chocolate Brownie, hazelnut praline, white chocolate sorbet and chocolate air, we were served the smooth fruity and nutty Delaire Port, a perfect match for chocolate. A wonderful plate of delights to end a super meal.
The restaurant has beautiful faceted windows all along one side which give a view of the barrel cellar
and picture windows looking over the Banhoek valley on the other.
All the wines are available from Reciprocal Wine Trading and the Port from Delaire.


WHAT IS HAPPENING AT THE TAJ IN 2012

In addition to a hosting one-off events like the St. Patrick’s Day Guinness & Oyster Festival on Saturday 17th March (come after the Neighbourgoods Market for a pint of the black stuff!!), the Taj will host a series of monthly events to showcase the incredible diversity of the wine, food and people of the Cape winelands through their Expressions of … series.
The journey through the world’s most beautiful winelands will begin with Expressions of Wellington and Paarl on Thursday 1st March, with Guest Chef Simone from Babel restaurant at Babylonstoren. Her dishes will be paired with regional wines which express the inherent character of the variety and their place of origin. Her menu will then be incorporated into MINT Restaurant’s Table d’hôte menu for the entire month of March with selected paired regional wines (Wellington & Paarl) as an option. Two of Taj chefs will have spent time with Chef Simone to ensure that her dishes are replicated correctly! More information can be seen here
‘Guest wines’ will feature on the Taj’s various restaurant lists throughout the month of March, as well as in their new Wine Kiosk (off-consumption 7 days a week!), which is located in the hotel lobby. Wines ordered on the launch night will be available at cellar door prices. These include selected wines from: W.O. Paarl – Avondale, Glen Carlou, Mellasat, Mischa, Noble Hill, Tormentoso, Veenwouden Private Cellar, Vilafonté and from W.O Wellington – Andreas, Bosman Family Vineyards, Diemersfontein, Doolhof, Dunstone, Schalk Burger & Sons & Welbedacht Estate.
Further Expressions of… events of great regional food and wine tastings will follow each month at Taj Cape Town this year. There will be weekly wine tastings at the hotel – each Wednesday evening in the Lobby and every Thursday lunchtime outside on St George’s Mall, whilst the Earth Fair Market is taking place.
The regions covered during the rest of the year, each with a guest chef from a renowned local eaterie, are:
March: Expressions of Wellington & Paarl
April: Expressions of Elgin, Lamberts Bay & The Cederberg
May: Expressions of Greater Simonsberg, Stellenbosch Valley & Bottelary Hills
June: Expressions of Robertson & Tulbagh
July: Expressions of Stellenbosch - Berg, Banhoek & Helderberg
August: Expressions of Wellington, Walker Bay, Elim & Bot River
September: Expressions of Franschhoek
October: Expressions of Cape Point & Constantia
November: Expressions of Swartland & Darling
December: Expressions of Durbanville.
The launch date for each Expression of … Series will be the last Thursday of the month preceding the series month, with the exception of the first series, which takes place on Thursday 1st March.
Thereafter the launch dates are Thursday 29th March for April: Expressions of Elgin, Lamberts Bay & The Cederberg with Chef Gordon Manuel of The Venue @ South Hill, Elgin, which is followed on Thursday 26th April with the launch of May"s Expressions of Greater Simonsberg, Stellenbosch Valley & Bottelary Hills with Chef Christiaan Campbell of the Restaurant at Delaire Graff.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

120216 Main Ingredient’s MENU: Test Kitchen Lunch, Valentine’s at Greenways, Low carb eating, Fennel & prawn salad, Celeriac soufflé, Products, Our market activities, events and restaurants

MENU
Main Ingredient’s weekly E-Journal
Gourmet Foods, Ingredients & Fine Wines
Eat In Guide’s Outstanding Outlet Award Winner from 2006 to 2010
Click on anything underlined and Green to open a link to pictures or more information
Another of our pond's dragonflies


In this week’s MENU:
*     Lunch at the Test Kitchen
*     Valentine’s dinner at Greenways
*     Low carbohydrate eating
*     Fennel & prawn salad
*     Celeriac soufflé
*     Products
*     Our market activities, events and restaurants
TESTING THE KITCHEN     We were treated to lunch last week at The Test Kitchen, Luke Dale Roberts’ restaurant at the Biscuit Mill, by a good friend and we were seriously impressed. Although we work at the Biscuit Mill every Saturday, we finish when the restaurant is closing, so hadn’t yet had a chance to go. We have heard almost nothing but great reports and the negatives were more about very small portions and price than criticisms about the food. It is a small space that can seat 30, with rather an industrial look, no frills and an open kitchen where you watch many chefs working very hard creating your meal, almost as many as there are customers. The plates look beautiful and make you want to clear them immediately. Portions are smallish, but once you have had lunch, you feel fully satisfied. More importantly there are layers and layers of flavours in each dish; the ingredients and sauces and other accompaniments are very brilliantly combined to bring you perfect mouthfuls – which to us is what fine dining is all about and why Luke Dale Roberts is, once again, the best Chef of the Year. See pictures
 You can have the Gourmand” 8 course menu for R550 (R750 if paired with Luke’s good selection of wines), but we are saving that experience for a special dinner. The description “gourmand” is, perhaps, a bit of a misnomer, because the Oxford Dictionary defines a gourmand as a glutton and this is more of a gourmet experience. Luke changes the menu according to the ingredients he finds available and in season. He also now has Pot Luck, an evening tapas style restaurant, where you order several dishes and share them with your companions. This leads off the Test Kitchen. You do have to book for both restaurants and do book well in advance as they are very popular.
We opted to eat à la Carte for lunch and ordered three starters: for John a Trout tartare, green apple, lime, crème fraiche, caramelized cured aubergine, flat parsley, creamy miso dressing; for our host, another John: Wood fired organic sweet potatoes, parmesan crème Catalan, crispy and blanched Brussels sprouts and for Lynne, Salmon sashimi, red cabbage three ways, apple dressing and horse radish where the subtlety of the dressing was perfect both with the slab of rich salmon and the cabbage.
You know you are in trouble when you covet all your fellow diners’ dishes, so we were delighted when the chef sent us an extra course with his compliments – a roll of soft sweet pancake liberally stuffed with shredded duck in a sweet hoisin sauce, topped with a sliver of foie gras and sliced radish, not on the menu but scrumptious. For mains, the lads both had to have the pan fried beef fillet with roast root vegetables, asparagus and mushrooms with cracked black pepper “café au lait”, while Lynne was more excited by Wood Fired Pork Belly, fondant potato, black-eyed pea and Swiss chard emulsion with cherry jus and almond cream, as she has been trying out different versions of this dish lately. The beef was as tender as it could be and had a wonderful long-aged flavour; the pepper cafe au lait sauce was a serious statement. The belly of pork was crisp and soft and so well matched with the cherry jus and almond cream – not sure if one would have black eyed peas with it again, they are a bit fibrous.
Lynne could go no further but the two Johns ordered dessert. Marinated strawberries, Stracciatella ice cream with basil and lemon granita for one and a selection of sorbets for the other – flavours were raspberry with Earl Grey tea, wonderful litchi and technicolor mango. Great double espressos ended a damn near perfect lunch. We drank a glass of Jacques Bruére bubbly with our starters, compliments of the chef, and bought a bottle of Oak Valley 2006 red blend, because our host, who is from the UK, usually drinks Claret and prefers blends. This was a great match for what we ate. Prices are about average for a top end restaurant. Our lunch cost approx R350 a head with alcohol and service.
Valentine’s dinner for the Little Lambs     On Tuesday night, we were invited to a charity function at Greenways Hotel in Claremont by the MD Suzanne Faussner-RInger. As John had a wine tour to Stellenbosch that day, we were a little late arriving and, sadly, missed the Oyster King, but were served a very elegant dinner of Scallops, Duck with red cabbage and cherry sauce and a large dessert buffet with cheese platters in the garden, with many of the guests dressed in DJ’s and very glamorous gowns. The evening was in aid of the Little Lambs School Nutrition and Education Programme which is in Hout Bay. During dinner there was a raffle, which raised much needed funds to support this worthy charity. We had a wonderful time, the food was good, the temperature a little lower than perfect, but not cold (it is Claremont after all and we are from sunny Sea Point) and the company was also very stimulating. We drank a glass of bubbly and bought a bottle of Dombeya to go with the duck and cheese.
LACK OF CARBOHYDRATES     It is amazing how many people have listened to Tim Noakes and started to follow the Low Carb diet. We have had lots of feedback from them and from people who have been on this sort of regimen for a while and have lost weight. The good news is that the headaches disappear after a couple of days and, suddenly, two things happened to Lynne. She started to feel much more energetic and she wasn’t at all hungry. Still learning, the Internet is being trawled for all sorts of sensible information and our diet has been tuned towards many less carbs in our diet. John still wants potatoes, bread and rice but is eating a lot less of them than he did before. And we do still have a hangover of Christmas chocolates and treats, but are eking them out very sparingly. Eating out has not proved to be too difficult – the worst bit being no bread to sop up the divine sauces, and egg yolk for breakfast presents a problem. We had a delicious dinner with friends on Monday night and Lynne was quite able to avoid the ice cream but had a few raspberries. Our hostess made a superb starter which is all low carb so we thought we would give it to you.
FENNEL AND PRAWN SALAD
2 fresh fennel bulbs, sliced thinly lengthwise on a mandolin grater so you still have the shape of the bulb - 800g large cooked pink prawns, shelled – some of the fennel fronds, roughly chopped – really good mayonnaise, preferably homemade – seasoning
Grill the fennel slices on both till they begin to brown slightly. You could slightly oil them. Mix the prawns with the mayonnaise and the fennel fronds and some of the grilled fennel, season to taste and put into a pretty dish. Arrange the rest of the slices of fennel around the edges and serve.
CELERIAC SOUFFLE     We treated ourselves to lamb shanks on Sunday night and Lynne accompanied this with celeriac puree and quinoa. The jury is still out on the quinoa – it obviously needs good sauces to add some flavour but the Celeriac puree was great. However we had lots left over and last night Lynne decide to see if you can use a puree to make a soufflé rather than a thick sauce. The answer is yes, you can. She did add one tablespoon of flour to help it bind the mixture and 4 small eggs and about a half a cup of cheddar cheese and it rose beautiful and ate well. And of course, besides the flour, all low carb. Next time she might risk leaving out the flour...
Tonight, Lynne is cooking a low carb hot Durban curry in the style of a Rogan Josh and will serve this with quinoa for herself and rice for John. If anyone has any tips for low carb lunch snacks, please oblige.
Products     Goose fat arrived today, we have a very special offer on goose foie gras mousse and more stock of the wonderful balsamic 10 year old raspberry vinegar and the rare Argan oil from Morocco. We also have our new range of salts for you to try (the Hawaiian Palm Island black lava salt is the most popular) and our exotic spice mixtures sell very well. Prego sauce is a perennial favourite. Flavour is obviously what you are looking for.
If you are looking for anything, have a look at our product list and tell us what you want. You will be able to access it through our website. If you can’t find what you need, let us know and we will try to find it for you. Until it is ready, drop us an email and we will help you.
We have a lot of fun putting MENU together each week and, of course, doing the things we write about, but making it possible for you to enjoy rare and wonderful gourmet foods is what drives our business. We stock a good range of ingredients and delicious ready-made gourmet foods. You can contact us by email or phone, or through our website. We can send your requirements to you anywhere in South Africa.
Our market activities    We will be at the Old Biscuit Mill’s brilliant, exciting and atmospheric Neighbourgoods Market, as always, this Saturday between 09h00 and 14h00 and every Saturday. We will be back at Long Beach Mall on Friday, 24th February.
There is a huge and rapidly growing variety of interesting things to occupy your leisure time here in the Western Cape. There are so many interesting things to do in our world of food and wine that we have made separate list for each month for which we have information. To help you choose an event to visit, click on our lists for February and March/April. All the events are listed in date order and we already have exciting events to entertain you through into the new year. Click here to access the list. You will need to be connected to the internet.
Some restaurants have responded to our request for an update of their special offers and we have, therefore, updated our list of restaurant special offers. Click here to access it. These Specials have been sent to us by the restaurants or their PR agencies. We have not personally tried all of them and their listing here should not always be taken as a recommendation from ourselves. If they don’t update us, we can’t be responsible for any inaccuracies in the list. When we have tried it, we’ve put in our observations. We have cut out the flowery adjectives etc. that so many have sent, to give you the essentials. Click on the name to access the relevant website. All communication should be with the individual restaurants.
Summer time is picnic time and several wine farms offer picnic facilities. We have put together a list of wine farms who can provide you with a picnic, We haven’t put in much detail, just where it is, phone number, email address and a link to the website. The latter is where you will find all the important information. Go and check it out.





16th February 2012

Remember - if you can’t find something, we’ll do our best to get it for you, and, if you’re in Cape Town or elsewhere in the country, we can send it to you! Check our product list for details and prices.
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
Our Adamastor & Bacchus© tailor-made Wine, Food and Photo tours take small groups (up to 6) to specialist wine producers who make the best of South Africa’s wines. 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. While every effort is made to avoid mistakes, we are human and they do creep in occasionally, for which we apologise. Our Avast! ® Anti-Virus software is updated at least daily and our system is scanned continually for viruses.
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 and keep our mailing list strictly confidential. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, please send us a message, inserting "subscribe" in the subject line. If you wish to be removed from our mailing list, please send us a message, inserting "remove" in the subject line

Main Ingredient's MENU - Glen carlou, Low carb diets, Restaurants, wine courses, products, Valentine's, picnics, restaurants and great events

MENU
Main Ingredient’s weekly E-Journal
Gourmet Foods, Ingredients & Fine Wines
Eat In Guide’s Outstanding Outlet Award Winner from 2006 to 2010
Click on anything underlined and Green to open a link to pictures or more information
Queen Mary 2 in Cape Town harbour

In this week’s MENU:
*     Market let down and disappointment
*     Glen Carlou tasting and lunch
*     Restaurant bookings
*     Cathy Marston wine courses
*     Low carb diets and recipe
*     Masterchef at Nederburg
*     Products
*     Valentine’s Day at restaurants and wine farms
*     Our market activities, events and restaurants
A REAL LET DOWN     Our week started really badly when Triangle Square Market’s director EB Amien (can others see the irony in that name?) cancelled the Cavendish Square markets, which were held on both Fridays and Saturdays, with one day’s notice. We were only there every second Friday, because of our commitments at Long Beach and the Neighbourgoods Market. This is the same person who cancelled the Long Beach Market with one day’s notice on the 18th of December 2010. People skills or ethics seem not to be a part of his ‘management’ skills and he has, in one swoop, taken away the livelihoods of several of the smaller market stall holders and some of his own staff. He also cancelled the Eden on the Bay market with very short notice. “To Let” signs were up on the empty shop in Cavendish, which he’d used as a base, the week before, so he obviously had plenty of warning. We are still happily working at our other two markets, Long Beach Mall (we’ll be there tomorrow) and the Biscuit Mill, and growing our trade on the Internet and from home, but a sudden loss of part of our income hurts badly. We, personally, do not intend ever to do business with Mr Amien again and we hope others get the message. He is apparently starting up a market in Somerset West Mall soon and currently has a market in a shop in Blue Route Mall.
Watch this space for news of ethical markets.
Glen Carlou for lunch and a seriously good wine tasting     Our wine club, the Oenophiles, decided that it was time for us all to have lunch at a wine farm during harvest and, because Glen Carlou has a very interesting range of wines from the other Hess Collection farms in Argentina, Australia and the USA, which are available for tasting, we went there on Sunday. While Europe froze, we sweltered in up to 39.5°C heat and, thank heavens, Glen Carlou’s huge thatched roof tasting room/ lounge/ restaurant is well air-conditioned. The Art Gallery is even cooler and people were dashing in there to cool down. We had arranged a set menu to follow the tasting and they really came to the party. (see the rest of our review here, with photos)
Booking dilemma     Restaurants get very irritated by people who book and then don’t turn up, but this week we encountered the other side of the coin. We needed a booking for lunch at a good restaurant and could not get one. Obviously, the top restaurants are not feeling the pinch of the recession. So we had to go on the waiting list for several. What would you do if you suddenly got onto more than one? Who would you let down? We couldn’t get into Babel or Overture or a couple of others but we did, finally, get a table today at The Test Kitchen, Luke Dale Roberts’ venue at the Biscuit Mill in Woodstock. We promise to write a great review for next week, but do not have the time today as this must go out tonight, but we can show you a few pictures. We did have a splendid meal.
Cathy Marston, whom many of you will know from her late, lamented The Nose wine bar and currently as wine editor of food24.com is about to launch WSET Wine Courses for serious students of wine. The UK-based Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) wine courses are recognised as the international standard for wine courses with Approved Programme Providers in over 55 countries around the globe teaching WSET to their students. You can see more details and contact her on her website. (Ctrl/click here to access it). Cathy will also start another in her less serious series of wine courses on Wednesday, February 28th. Relax, chill-out and UnWined with the sociable wine course which combines education with good times, good friends and good wines! Cathy has been running her hugely popular informal wine courses for more than 8 years now and the combination of great winemakers, her friendly and informative teaching style and some of SA’s top wines has proved to be a winning one. You can read more and enrol here.
Tim Noakes’ Low or No Carbohydrate diet?     We are following this closely, because we have a vested interest in finding out whether this is another healthy alternative or a lifestyle change to make. Let us know if you have had any experiences with this sort of diet. Strangely, everyone we have met recently who has lost a good bit of weigh has told us they did it by giving up carbs. Lynne is trying it out as she really needs to slim down a bit.
Lower Carbohydrate Coleslaw and Feta salad
As you are encouraged to eat cabbage and lots of proteins, fats and nuts,  Lynne came up with this quick salad.  Yes, carrots do have carbs in them but we are in transition so they worked for us. You could substitute apple or, better still, finely sliced peppers.
Half a small white cabbage – 2 grated carrots – 20g chopped nuts – 2 T good mayonnaise – 100g cubed Danish feta – sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Finely slice the cabbage, add the carrot, mix in the mayonnaise, season, taste, adjust and then toss in the nuts and the feta and serve with grilled fish or a good chop.
Nederburg for Masterchef
We are delighted to hear that Masterchef SA is going to be filmed at Nederburg which, when the programme is shown overseas, will do amazing things to showcase our beautiful winelands. And it will be a great place for all the contestants and other people involved to stay. The show will start broadcasting on MNet in March and they are filming now.
Products   We are still waiting for goose fat, but we have new stock of the wonderful balsamic 10 year old raspberry vinegar. We also have our new range of salts for you to try and our exotic spice mixtures are selling very well. Flavour is obviously what you are looking for. If you are looking for anything, have a look at our product list and tell us what you want. We are battling with the setup of our online shop, mainly because we are having difficulty integrating Payfast with the American web software we use. Paypal (unless we change banks, which we don’t want to do) is inaccessible because it does not work with our VAT system. But you will be able to access it through our website. If you can’t find what you need, let us know and we will try to find it for you. Until it is ready, drop us an email and we will help you.
We have a lot of fun putting MENU together each week and, of course, doing the things we write about, but making it possible for you to enjoy rare and wonderful gourmet foods is what drives our business. We stock a good range of ingredients and delicious ready-made gourmet foods. You can contact us by email or phone, or through our website. We can send your requirements to you anywhere in South Africa.
Our market activities We will be at Long Beach Mall on Friday, 10th February. We will be at the Old Biscuit Mill’s brilliant, exciting and atmospheric Neighbourgoods Market, as always, this Saturday between 09h00 and 14h00 and every Saturday.
There is a huge and rapidly growing variety of interesting things to occupy your leisure time here in the Western Cape. There are so many interesting things to do in our world of food and wine that we have made separate list for each month for which we have information. To help you choose an event to visit, click on our lists for January, February and March. All the events are listed in date order and we already have exciting events to entertain you through into the new year. Click here to access the list. You will need to be connected to the internet. We also have a long list of special Valentine’s Day activities, which you can open here.
Some restaurants have responded to our request for an update of their special offers and we have, therefore, updated our list of restaurant special offers. Click here to access it. These Specials have been sent to us by the restaurants or their PR agencies. We have not personally tried all of them and their listing here should not always be taken as a recommendation from ourselves. If they don’t update us, we can’t be responsible for any inaccuracies in the list. When we have tried it, we’ve put in our observations. We have cut out the flowery adjectives etc. that so many have sent, to give you the essentials. Click on the name to access the relevant website. All communication should be with the individual restaurants.
Summer time is picnic time and several wine farms offer picnic facilities. We have put together a list of wine farms who can provide you with a picnic, We haven’t put in much detail, just where it is, phone number, email address and a link to the website. The latter is where you will find all the important information. Go and check it out.





8th February 2012

Remember - if you can’t find something, we’ll do our best to get it for you, and, if you’re in Cape Town or elsewhere in the country, we can send it to you! Check our product list for details and prices.
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
Our Adamastor & Bacchus© tailor-made Wine, Food and Photo tours take small groups (up to 6) to specialist wine producers who make the best of South Africa’s wines. 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. While every effort is made to avoid mistakes, we are human and they do creep in occasionally, for which we apologise. Our Avast! ® Anti-Virus software is updated at least daily and our system is scanned continually for viruses.
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 and keep our mailing list strictly confidential. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, please send us a message, inserting "subscribe" in the subject line. If you wish to be removed from our mailing list, please send us a message, inserting "remove" in the subject line

120202 Main Ingredient's MENU - Mezbaan Indian restaurant, Beaumont open day, Gooey choc pud, Cavendish market problem, products, picnics, restaurants and great events

MENU
Main Ingredient’s weekly E-Journal
Gourmet Foods, Ingredients & Fine Wines
Eat In Guide’s Outstanding Outlet Award Winner from 2006 to 2010
Click on anything underlined and Green to open a link to pictures or more information
Water lily buds with dragonfly

In this week’s MENU:
*     Mezbaan Indian restaurant
*     Beaumont open day
*     Gooey chocolate puds
*     Products
*     Our market activities, events and restaurants
Mezbaan     We were invited to try the Curry buffet held every Thursday evening at Mezbaan restaurant in the Cape Town City Centre Hilton Hotel in the Bo Kaap. Opened for the World Cup, this previously Halaal hotel is now under the Hilton brand and does have a bar, but the restaurant is still strictly Halaal. Welcomed by extremely friendly staff we were given a drink in the bar before dinner. Lynne had Seagram’s gin for the first time and really liked the juniper flavours in it. Then it was off to the restaurant which is fairly masculine in design with heavy dark furniture and drapery with a few Indian touches and some strange internal stained glass windows. Warmly welcomed by their excellent staff, we were given a tour of the spotless kitchens and met the three chefs who all come from Mumbai in India. We were guided to the buffet by the head chef, Muhammed Khan.
The buffet starts with Poppadums with two dips: Tamarind and Herb and a quite salty Mango Atchar and two Raitas. Then there is a Chilli Paneer salad, and a Chicken Hyra salad and a Tomato soup. A range of bains marie contained Garlic Chicken Tandoori, Lamb Sagh Gosht, Lamb Vindaloo, Butter Chicken, Spicy Mango Chicken, Tarka Dal, a vegetable Jalfrezi and a Fish Masala made with Kingklip. We tried small portions of many of these dishes, see photos. None of the curries are at all hot, which was a slight disappointment for John, who likes a bit of buzz in Indian food and some of the chicken was a little dry. Sadly, the bains marie kept going out so that some of the food was a little cold. We were served excellent, freshly made garlic Naan with our food. One is offered soft drinks or water to drink. We opted for the water, cream soda and similar offerings not being our favourites.
It reminded Lynne of Khan’s in London, where you went for a good feed if you had a shortage of money - especially as the cost of the buffet is R131 per person, so you get a lot for your money. Dessert was rice pudding, what looked like crème brulée and a chocolate pudding. We left feeling very full indeed. Every Tuesday, they have a kebab evening for R99 a person. Call 021 481 3700 to book.
Open day at Beaumont     The open day at Beaumont in Bot River is one of our favourite events of the year and where we get the chance to taste through their entire range and we drove out there on Sunday morning. It turned into a scorcher of a day and it was superb that they had their marquee up so there was some shade. Ariane Beaumont and her husband Jean-Pierre Rossouw have just become the proud parents of twins, so there was lots to celebrate with the family, as well as tasting the lovely wines and dipping into the great spread on the central table. It is a great family effort, with Sebastian responsible for the wines, his wife Nicci Beaumont and her partner Jennifer Franklin, (who have the catering company called Zest Catering) looking after the food. Jayne, the lovely matriarch, holds it all together.
Great dips of aubergine, olive and artichoke, lovely Brie - completely ‘à point’ (completely at the point of ripeness and readiness) - fresh fruit and crisp grapes, a huge Klein Rivier gruyere to chip at, wonderful chutneys and preserves, and very crisp, hot falafel balls with humus, biscuits and bread amongst others things. And they do organize events and weddings on the farm. (See pictures). One of the farm’s special attractions is the beautifully restored water mill, which produces the flour used to make the farm’s delicious bread.
Lynne loved the Raoul’s Jackal’s River white blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc and semillon, all grown on the farm and insisted that we bought a case to enjoy at home. Their two Chenin Blancs are both superb, full deep and rich ripe fruit, very suitable for keeping for a while and John succumbed to three bottles of the magnificent barrel fermented Hope Marguerite 2010. We both loved the rich spicy Shiraz Mourvedre, so we had to have some of that as well. We had intended to stay for a picnic by the lake but it was so hot that we fled home along the magnificent coast road with the aircon full on, so that John could complete his UCT assignment.
In the small art gallery, there was an interesting exhibit of hand knitted garments made of alpaca wool. The alpacas are reared by Christopher and Alison Notley at Helderstroom Alpacas and the garments knitted by ladies from the Villiersdorp community as an empowerment project.
Willie’s Chocolate Factory Cookbook by Willie Harcourt-Cooze     This flourless pudding saved us a lot of bother on Monday night. Lynne bought lots of his chocolate from Woolworths when they mysteriously reduced it to a quarter of its price. This is NOT a chocolate fondant but it is very good and you can prepare two bowls – one with the unmelted chocolate, sugar and butter and one with the mixed eggs and sugar and vanilla - in advance in the fridge and then cook when dinner is over and you need dessert quickly. We halved the recipe and got six small puddings. It is very rich. Use the highest number dark chocolate you can find. We used his Madagascan 71%. He recommends unsalted butter but chocolate is always enhanced by a bit of salt so Lynne uses ordinary butter.
GOOEY CHOCOLATE PUDDINGS
180g 70% DARK chocolate, finely grated or broken into small pieces – 200g butter – 175g caster sugar – 6 eggs – 2 t vanilla extract – 40g ground almonds – 6 to 8 buttered ramekins
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Melt the chocolate and butter by placing them, along with 60g of the caster sugar, in a large heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Or heat briefly in a microwave. Stir in the ground almond. Lightly beat the eggs with the rest of the sugar and the vanilla extract. Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and put into greased ramekins. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until they are just cooked – they should start to crack on the top - and serve at once with whipped cream. You can add fruit soaked in alcohol such as apricots in brandy or raisins in rum for an adult twist.
Products     Predictably, we sold out of Prego sauce again last week and have replenished our stock. Most other products are available, except goose fat – we should soon have news - but we still have plenty of duck fat, which is an excellent alternative. If you are looking for anything, have a look at our product list and tell us what you want. Work progresses on our online shop, which you will access through our website, where you will be able to order and pay us through Payfast. If you can’t find what you need, let us know and we will try to find it for you. Until it is ready, drop us an email and we will help you.
We have a lot of fun putting MENU together each week and, of course, doing the things we write about, but making it possible for you to enjoy rare and wonderful gourmet foods is what drives our business. We stock a good range of ingredients and delicious ready-made gourmet foods. You can contact us by email or phone, or through our website. We can send your requirements to you anywhere in South Africa.
Scandalous, shocking and AGAIN. Our market activities We were scheduled to be at The Place at Cavendish tomorrow, February 3rd. The market organiser (yes, Triangle Square, the same one who cancelled Long Beach Market on the 18th of December in 2010) has summarily cancelled only last night, giving us almost no notice and a very poor reason. We want to be there, as do some of the other market traders and we will tweet our progress with negotiations. If you ordered something from us which you intend to collect tomorrow, please email us and we will try to get the items to you somehow at our expense.
We will definitely be at Long Beach Mall next Friday, 10th February. We will be at the Old Biscuit Mill’s brilliant, exciting and atmospheric Neighbourgoods Market, as always, this Saturday between 09h00 and 14h00 and every Saturday.
There is a huge variety of interesting things to occupy your leisure time here in the Western Cape. There are so many interesting things to do in our world of food and wine that we have made separate list for each month for which we have information. To help you choose an event to visit, click on our lists for January, February and March. We also have a list of special events in restaurants and on wine farms for Valentine’s Day. All the events are listed in date order and we already have exciting events to entertain you through into the new year. Click here to access the list. You will need to be connected to the internet.
Some restaurants have responded to our request for an update of their special offers and we have, therefore, updated our list of restaurant special offers. Click here to access it. These Specials have been sent to us by the restaurants or their PR agencies. We have not personally tried all of them and their listing here should not always be taken as a recommendation from ourselves. If they don’t update us, we can’t be responsible for any inaccuracies in the list. When we have tried it, we’ve put in our observations. We have cut out the flowery adjectives etc. that so many have sent, to give you the essentials. Click on the name to access the relevant website. All communication should be with the individual restaurants.
Summer time is picnic time and several wine farms offer picnic facilities. We have put together a list of wine farms who can provide you with a picnic. We haven’t put in much detail, just where it is, phone number, email address and a link to the website. The latter is where you will find all the important information. Go and check it out.





2nd February 2012



Remember - if you can’t find something, we’ll do our best to get it for you, and, if you’re in Cape Town or elsewhere in the country, we can send it to you! Check our product ist for details and prices.
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
Our Adamastor & Bacchus© tailor-made Wine, Food and Photo tours take small groups (up to 6) to specialist wine producers who make the best of South Africa’s wines. 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. While every effort is made to avoid mistakes, we are human and they do creep in occasionally, for which we apologise. Our Avast! ® Anti-Virus software is updated at least daily and our system is scanned continually for viruses.
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 and keep our mailing list strictly confidential. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, please send us a message, inserting "subscribe" in the subject line. If you wish to be removed from our mailing list, please send us a message, inserting "remove" in the subject line