Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Autumn special at La Mouette

Last Friday was one of those raw days, where the temperature is not particularly low (9°C) but, because it is damp, the cold gets into your bones, so we were so happy when Mari gave us a table right in front of the fire at La Mouette. This local restaurant is going from strength to strength and was busy. They have opened up the top floor and everyone is flocking there for the good food and the impressive winter special - which was why we were there with friends for a catch-up evening.
They always spoil us, so we had a couple of extra treats and our friends, who don’t eat meat, were very happy with their substituted dish. Thank you, Mari and Henry and all your wonderful staff for a lovely warm evening. We drank our last bottle of the Woolworths Cape Point Sauvignon Blanc 2008. If you have any, drink now but it is still good with food. Our red wine was a Solms Hegewisch Africana 2005, made from shiraz grapes desiccated on the vine by twisting the stems – rich and concentrated flavours. Both of these from our own cellar. Corkage is R60 per bottle.
First course is a very smooth and unctuous savoury Sweet Potato Soup with spiced yogurt and a crisp lavoche biscuit. The surprise is the warming dollop of spicy tomato Harissa at the bottom of the bowl. Wonderful on a cold evening. Next came a winter vegetable salad where Henry Vigar, the chef patron, makes a ‘ravioli’ from slices of beetroot to enclose some rich goats cheese and accompanies this with lovely citrus jelly squares, walnuts , croutons, sliced radish, marinated mushroom and herb leaves. Delicious, fresh and full of different textures.

 Then came Roasted line fish (Panga) on braised lentils, with crispy gnocchi, butternut puree, cauliflower truffle foam topped with a crisp onion ring. So delicious, this small course packs loads of punch on flavour, the truffle really working with the very fresh fish.
Main course for us was Braised shoulder of (salt) beef on its own rich jus, glazed carrots (too sweet for Lynne) sage, mash, parsnip puree and mushroom powder. Basically a very fancy version of a favourite, braised boiled beef and carrots. We missed the dumplings!
Our friends were served a very creamy sweet corn and rice risotto dressed with zucchini ribbons, rocket and baby tomatoes, which they said they liked very much.
Not one but two tiny desserts, both little bits of fun. ‘Apple crumble’ came in a shot glass, and was a green apple foam on top of lots of crumble with a custard panacotta below with muscadel raisins. Then our ‘coffee’ was a Hazelnut latte dessert topped with coffee ice cream and then meringue and served with absolutely divine miniature salted caramel macaroons. We were very lucky to have more sent to us from the kitchen as a treat.
The courses are all small portions but, by the end, you have had a full meal and feel replete. And all this for R165 per person. However, everyone at the table must order the special menu to qualify.

1 comment:

GARDEN GAL said...

Yes Fords, it was a lovely evening and though I had misgivings about eating 'too much', the six tiny courses were not too much, but just enough, spread over the entire evening as they were. The wine and company are always special. Thank you. LORAINE KOPMAN-ABEL