Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Dinner at Tokara

Wonderful effects of lighting and art at night

Richard Carstens, the chef, briefing his staff in the open restaurant kitchen

Getting seated with a nice warm fire in the background

The Chefs Menu – This changes often
Starters on the Main Menu
Mains on the Menu
Desserts on offer
The current Winter Set Menu. 

Very good value - four courses with an intermezzo and a glass of wine for R250 a person.
Our first starter 
A Frozen butternut dome with grain mustard ice cream, salmon caviar, coconut foam and rocket. The refreshing butternut sorbet went so well with the savoury and almost marmitey mustard ice cream. The caviar bubbles gave notes of excitement with each bite and the coconut sauce brought it all together . The rocket is the green gel on top of the sorbet.

Reflections in the glass window

Next came a perfect light pasta prawn ravioli where you could taste the prawn, with sole goujons, tomato concasse , chervil and a silky mussel velouté. Really classy.

The roaring fire was kept going all evening

Lynne’s choice of soup: a supremely smooth sweetcorn velouté with popcorn, rocket and crisp chicken ravioli ‘croutons’ so suited the cold night.

John’s choice of starter was one of Richard’s signature dishes. A savoury baked Alaska on rainbow trout, cucumber, citrus salsa, smoked salmon ice cream and ginger soy and mirin sauce. 
The sauce was phenomenal as a match for what topped it, adding beautiful Asian notes to a fresh delicious dish.

Some of the art in the foyer of Tokara

One of Richards new dishes: dry aged roast carrot, gorgonzola, yoghurt, curry oil, orange, macadamia white chocolate and herbs. 

Improbably one thought this cannot work and every element on the plate went well with the others. The meaty carrot counterpointed with the citrus and the chocolate and the cheese was a poem.

A gentle dish of turnip, pear, ponzu, celery, spinach, mozzarella cream, pumpkin seeds adding a good crunch as a change in texture,  garlic and bonito flakes.

Our intermezzo of a crisp and refreshing lime sorbet on rocket gel.

Lynne chose as her main course an intriguing Sunflower seed risotto, soya honey glazed aubergine which was unctuous and sweet, coconut, lemongrass and ginger. 
The sunflowers are cooked in a pressure cooker so are no crisp but more like a grain.

John had to have the Confit duck leg set on a sweet orange potato puree, crisp croquettes sprinkled with roasted almonds, crisp beans and courgettes as a vegetable and a cumin gastrique. 

Our dessert, one we have had before, is Richard’s White chocolate egg with baby meringues, lemon mascarpone mousse, white chocolate mousse, and an almond financier. 
Luckily, we shared this one as we were ready to roll home without the car...
 All these photographs are ©John Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus cc 2012

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