Friday, June 29, 2012

21st June 1012 Main Ingredient's MENU - The Planet at the Nellie, Haute Cabrière, Villiera, Balducci, Lemon fennel & herb chicken, Products, market activities, Events, Restaurant specials, Wine courses, cooking classes

Main Ingredient’s weekly E-Journal
Gourmet Foods, Ingredients & Fine Wines
Eat In Guide’s Outstanding Outlet Award Winner from 2006 to 2010
+27 21 439 3169 / +27 83 656 4169 / +27 83 229 1172
Click on underlined and Bold words to open links to pictures, blogs, websites or more information
Lord of all he surveys: Bruno the boerbul looking over the Breede River Valley

In this week’s MENU:
*     Products
*     Our market activities
*     The Planet Restaurant at the Mount Nelson
*     Table d’Haute at Cabrière
*     Villiera tasting room
*     Coffee & cake at Balducci
*     Lemon, fennel & herb chicken
*     Events and Restaurant specials
*     Wine courses & cooking classes
Products We are always looking for new products to enhance your cooking and dining experience. To see what we have available for you, you can access our product list and see pictures in our website. If you can’t find what you need, let us know and we will try to find it for you. Until our online shop is ready, drop us an email and we will help you. We are very happy to see that traffic on our website is increasing and more orders are coming from it.
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 Come and visit us at the Old Biscuit Mill’s brilliant, exciting and atmospheric Neighbourgoods Market, as always, this Saturday and every Saturday between 09h00 and 14h00. Tip: Some visitors tell us how they struggle to find parking. Click here for a map. We will be back at Long Beach Mall tomorrow, Friday 22nd June from 09h00 to 16h00We look forward to seeing you there.
A WEEK OF BEING SPOILT ROTTEN     Many people say that they are envious of our life, which we do so appreciate and enjoy. There are lovely highs like most of this past week’s events and then some rather disappointing lows, which we don’t write about as they are not worth it. We don’t earn much money from it, but we do have a great deal of fun, superb food and wine and so appreciate interacting with our great customers and you, the readers of our publication, when we meet.
FUN AND FINE FOOD AT THE NELLIE     Because we had recommended the Mount Nelson as a venue for the Old Mutual Trophy Awards, we had two invitations from people we know there and we finally made it last Thursday night, when we had dinner with Gaby Palmer Bolton, the Regional PRO of the hotel and the other Orient Express properties in Southern Africa, and we had a lovely evening together. Having a drink in the bar beforehand, we were chatting to Chef Rudi Liebenberg, who also had invited us, when in walked the publishers and the photographer of Opulent Living magazine, which recently featured top chefs, to present Rudi with his framed limited edition portrait.
In to dinner at the Planet Restaurant and we spent quite a while studying the several menus before deciding to go with the Journey Menu. Normally only available for the whole table, Rudi was happy to prepare this just for the two of us, while the others ordered from the main menu. We have known Carl Habel, the sommelier, for several years and he was delighted to see us, as he said it would give him an opportunity to open some of his older cellar stock which needed quality and age checking and to have other wine people to taste with him; an offer we could not refuse. So we had some marvellous aged wines with our dinner. A Rijks Semillon 2002, deep and rich and lanolin smooth, still had lots of fruit and acid but needs drinking quickly before it loses its edge.  A First Sighting Pinot Noir was absolutely at its peak and so enhanced our dinner and then from Delheim’s Vera Cruz estate a special fruity, smooth and silky Shiraz 08. Finally, the truly wonderful dessert wine, De Wetshof Edeloes 2000 Noble Late Harvest was a lifetime experience. How we wished we had bought some of all these wines when introduced. There are still bottles in the Planet vinoteque so you too can go and taste them when you have dinner there. Click here to see the food we ate.
TABLE d’HAUTE AT CABRIERE     Haute Cabriere invited us to come and experience their “Table d’ Haute” menu (This is not a spelling mistake but a play on their name.) At R150 for four courses or only R250 with each course paired with a glass of matched Cabriere wine, this menu is available for lunch on Tuesdays to Fridays during the winter months. We think this must be one of the best value menus on offer at the moment. The menu changes regularly according to what is available: as they say “the best ingredients of the day”. And if you have any food allergies or dislikes, they can cater for you.
This has been one of our favourite restaurants for years, but we hadn’t been for a while, so it was a delight to see that they have extended the area outside the restaurant and, on a glorious warm winter day such as we had, you can book a table on the terrace under umbrellas and enjoy the fabulous view down the valley with the great food and wine. We were treated to a couple more courses than appeared on the menu, just to give us an idea of what you might encounter on your visit. It was a long and delightful lunch spent with Alton van Biljon, their handsome and urbane Restaurant Manager and some time at the end of the meal spent with their chef Ryan Shell and meeting other Cabriere staff.
If you don’t want the set menu, you can eat à la Carte and design your own meal. We love the fact that you can have half or full portions of everything on the menu and they recommend which wine matches the dish. Click here to see the food, the menus and the views.  Reservations & enquiries: Phone 021 876 3688
VILLIERA’S MODERN TASTING ROOM     On our way to Franschhoek, we dropped in at the invitation of winemaker owner Geoff Grier to see the revamped Villiera Tasting room. It is filled with great wines to taste and some lovely modern pieces of furniture, which is also art. Relaxing and warm in front of their wood burning stove, we met Megaflash the cat, who spends most of the winter on a chair there. We tasted some of the great wines and liked them very much before we had to rush off to Cabriere. Click here to see the tasting room.
FATHERS DAY REWARD AT BALDUCCI     John needed a good experience on Father‘s day so he demanded we go for good coffee and cake after lunch. We tried Cassis in the Gardens Centre, but they closed as we arrived at 3, so we shot off to the Waterfront where we had a lovely time. John ordered a chocolate brownie with his double espresso – what arrived was a rich and ridiculously delicious slice of chocolate torte with nuts, covered in a sticky dark chocolate sauce with a huge dollop of real vanilla ice cream. Clare had a cappuccino and the Lindt white chocolate cheesecake with ice cream - it was so rich that half went home in a doggie bag. Lynne, who does not have a very sweet tooth, settled for a really good double espresso. It made up for the rest of the day.
This week’s recipe is quite a simple one. Lynne has been experimenting a little this week, not everything worked but this did and was enjoyable. It is one of those you can leave alone in the oven for it to cook slowly.
1 onion, finely chopped – 1 T olive oil - 8 Chicken joints, skin removed – seasoned flour - 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped – 1 t fresh thyme, 1 t fresh rosemary, 1 t fresh oregano, all finely chopped – 1 or 2 bulbs of fennel, sliced – 1 whole preserved lemon, finely sliced – 300 ml chicken stock – 10 new potatoes, unpeeled cut in half lengthwise – salt and pepper
In an oven proof casserole with a lid, fry the onion in the oil till soft. Coat the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour, then brown them in the oil and onions. Put in the garlic, the herbs, the fennel, the lemon and the stock. Season well and then cover with a layer of the potatoes. Bake in the oven at 180°C for about an hour or until the chicken is falling off the bone. Serve with brightly coloured vegetables like spinach, courgettes, carrots and butternut as it is quite a monotone looking dish. Serves four.
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 Events Calendar. All the events are listed in date order and we already have a large number of exciting events to entertain you right through the year. Click here to access the CalendarYou will need to be connected to the internet.
Learn about wine and cooking We have had a lot of enquiries from people who want to learn more about wineCathy Marston and The Cape Wine Academy both run wine education courses, some very serious and others more geared to fun. You can see details here.
Chez Gourmet in Claremont has a programme of cooking classes. A calendar of their classes can be seen here. Pete Ayub, who makes our very popular Prego sauce, runs evening cooking classes at Sense of Taste, his catering company in Maitland. We can recommend them very highly, having enjoyed his seafood course. Check his programme here.
Restaurant Special offers. Some more restaurants have responded to our request for an update of their special offers and we have, therefore, updated our list of restaurant special offersClick 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.

21st June 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 click here to send us a message and if you wish to be removed from our mailing list, please click here to send us a message.

Classic Wine 2012 Port and Pinotage Top 6 Awards Dinner

Classic Wine 2012 Top 6 Pinotage and Top 6 Port Awards held in Catharinas Restaurant on Steenberg wine estate in Constantia on the 21st of June.
The Top 6 Pinotage wines were
4½ Stars:
Rijk's Reserve Pinotage 2008
Rijk's Private Cellar Pinotage 2007
Meerendal heritage Block 2010
4 Stars:
Cloof Pinotage 2009
Swartland Bush Vine Pinotage 2010
Rijk's Private Cellar Pinotage 2008 
The top 6 South African Ports (all 4 stars) were
Boplaas Cape Tawny Reserve 2007
De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve 2008
Boplaas  Cape Vintage Reserve 2006
Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve 2009
Boplaas Cape Vintage 2009
Bredell's Limited Release Cape Vintage Reserve 2001
The menu, which Classic Wine ordered for the evening. The food was accompanied by the top six pinotages and the ports were made available for the dessert.
We sat at the table in the middle with other media people.

Catharina’s is a very comfortably appointed restaurant and is warmed by the fire. Bennie Howard of Meerendal seen talking to Pierre Wahl, Rijk's winemaker

A delicious tiny portion of mixed mushroom risotto with truffle oil
John’s alternative risotto, sans mushrooms but with bacon and spinach, which they were very kind to rustle up.
Dominic Ntsele, Publisher of Classic Wine, explaining how it all works
Venison ‘Pie’ topped with crisp pastry and served with grilled vegetables and a bubble and squeak cake
A very fine Amarula malva pudding indeed, with crème anglaise and a heavy cream wedge
 All these photographs are ©John Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus cc, 2012


‘Takumi’ means connoisseur in Japanese. 
Sweet Kiss (on the white plate): salmon, avocado, cucumber, sweet chilli mayo & topped with tempura shrimp and The Boat: 2 tuna, 2 salmon, 1 line fish, 1 prawn, 1 avocado nigiri with  3 salmon and 3 tuna sashimi and 6 California inside out rolls. 

A late night chat with duty manager Johan at closing time

pictures on the wall of Hatsushiro Muraoka (aka Papa San), Minato’s former chef/owner 

all these photographs are ©John Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus cc, 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012

‘Under the Radar’ Wine Tasting at French Toast

WEDNESDAY 20th JUNE 2012 at 18h00. An interactive wine tasting experience with an opportunity to meet these passionate young wine makers: David Sadie from Lemberg Wine Estate, Rikus Neethling from Bizoe Wines Lourens van der Westhuizen from Arendsig Hand Crafted Wines.
The long tasting table upstairs at French Toast, the tasting is about to begin
The wines we tasted that evening
Lourens van der Westhuizen owner/cellar master of Arendsig in Bonnievale tells us about his Blanc de Noir wine made from Shiraz

Colyn Truter, who organised this tasting and who represents Arendsig and several other good wineries
David Sadie in full flight about  his marvellous Pinot Noir. Some of the tasters are also pairing the good tapas available at French Toast
Rikus Neethling of Bizou wines explaining his philosophy
David and Rikus taking questions at the end of the tasting
all these photographs are ©John Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus cc, 2012

Pairing Japanese food with wine at Kyoto Garden

Kathy Raath, who represents an excellent portfolio of wines and also Brewers & Union beers, organised a tasting of Japanese food with Brewers & Union Step Weiss beer and Bouchard Finlayson and Sterhuis wines at Kyoto Garden restaurant in Kloof Nek Road . Scott, the American owner of Kyoto Garden is fanatical about quality and his presentation is very creative. Lynne was not well and I went on my own.
I started with a delicious, plump West coast oyster which had been dressed with a tiny dash of Ponzu soy sauce and matched it with a taste of Bouchard Finlayson Blanc de Mer - one of those ideal marriages. A selection of small dishes followed, too numerous to mention in detail, but photographs of a few follow:
Crisp raw edamame beans

Lightly seared tuna with sesame seeds, ponzu, beans and asparagus, well matched with the red wines
Miso with noodles and enoki mushrooms

Tempura prawns in a ponzu sauce, soft and succulent with a delicate crispness
A happy gathering with wonderful food and wine
A selection of Sterhuis: Sauvignon, chardonnay, merlot & cabernet sauvignon
Sushi, sashimi and similar Japanese dishes' suitability as food to pair with white wines can pretty well be taken for granted. The Bouchard Finlayson and Sterhuis sauvignons and chardonnays and the Blanc de Mer were all good matches for the food. I expected a bigger challenge for the reds. We had Galpin Peak pinot noir and the Hannibal red blend from Bouchard Finlayson and merlot and cabernet sauvignon from Sterhuis. I tried these with the tuna and some of the sushi. The Hannibal was probably the toughest match. It is such a deep rich wine, but the licorice notes helped it to match the soy/ponzu sauce in most of the dishes. The supple, ripe fruit in the Galpin Peak and the two Sterhuis reds helped them  to pair easily with any of the darker and richer sauces. Beer and Asian food tend to match each other very well and the German weissbier was a refreshing complement to the food.

All these photographs are ©John Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus cc, 2012
Photographed with Nokia N8

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lunch on the terrace at Haute Cabrière

Two views of the inside of the elegant restaurant

The reception area with comfy sofas 
Studying the menu with Alton van Biljon, the restaurant manager
The menu of the day four courses for R150; with a glass of wine paired with each course R250. Available at lunch only on Tuesday to Friday
Starters  and mains on their normal menu.
More mains and desserts
Enjoying the view and a glass of Pierre Jourdan bubbly
So smooth parsnip and cumin soup with aubergine pickle beneath and crispy apple slices as garnish, We had this with a glass of Haute  Cabrière Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2011.
Pumpkin and Lemongrass risotto with a marvellous walnut and crème fraiche mousse melting on top and highlighted with nice crisp pumpkin seeds which went beautifully with the unwooded Pinot Noir 2011.
Off the main menu: Slow roasted chilli and black bean pork belly with red pepper and cashew pomme puree and a new one on us, pickled tomatillos.  This contrasted well with another of Achim von Arnim’s excellent Pinot Noirs.

Braised beef shin, garlic mash, caramelised shallots and a root vegetable ragout on a beetroot reduction.
Bacon wrapped organic beef fillet on a butternut puree with bacon and pine nut salad and a bucchu jus. On the normal menu.
Dessert was a walnut and prune pudding with tarragon icecream and a gingerbread sauce. And this came with Pierre Jourdan Ratafia, that compliments any dessert it is paired with.
Chef Ryan Shell and Ingrid Petersen
The entrance to the Haute  Cabrière Cellar Restauant
The glorious view from the Terrace

All these photographs were made with a Nokia N8 smartphone and are ©John Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2012