Thursday, July 05, 2012

28th June 12012 Main Ingredient's MENU - ‘Under the Radar’ Wine, Takumi, Top 6 Pinotage & Port, Bastille Day, Potato & Sweetcorn Soup, Taj Expressions of … tasting & dinner, Products, market activities, etc

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
Click on underlined and Bold words to open links to pictures, blogs, websites or more information

The view over Muratie’s early winter vineyards to the Simonsberg
In this week’s MENU:
*     Products
*     Our market activities
*     ‘Under the Radar’ Wine Tasting at French Toast
*     Takumi
*     Classic Wine’s Top 6 Pinotage and Port Awards 2012
*     Bastille Day in Franschhoek
*     Potato and Sweetcorn Soup with Truffle Oil
*     Taj Expressions of … tasting & dinner
*     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 wonderfully exciting, 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. It’s quite easy if you know how. Click here for a map which shows where we park. We will be back at Long Beach Mall 0n Friday 6th July from 09h00 to 16h00We look forward to seeing you there.
‘Under the Radar’ Wine Tasting at French Toast     Last Wednesday saw us at this tasting to meet two winemakers we have heard a lot about recently and to catch up again with Lourens van der Westhuizen from Arendsig. David Sadie of Lemberg Wine Estate in Tulbagh (no relation of Eben Sadie) has been named one of the Young Guns in the wine industry as he is doing some exciting new things. Both he and Rikus Neethling from Bizoe wines believe, as does Lourens, in the reductive style of wine making and it certainly shows in the wines they are making.
Colyn Truter (many of you will remember him as marketing manager of Rietvallei estate in Robertson) will be holding the Under the Radar tastings fairly regularly and if you want to attend, watch Menu for details or contact Colyn on
Lourens presented his Blanc de Noir made from Shiraz, a perfect wine for summer or drinking with fish or spicy food. Full of floral, sherbet and toffee notes, it is crisp and fruity on the palate. Then his excellent Chardonnay, which has buttercups and toast on the nose and follows through on the mouth with layers and layers of golden fruit, butterscotch and crisp acidity.
David Sadie’s own wine, David Aristargos 2011, an unfiltered blend of Chenin, Viognier, Roussanne and Grenache is a huge wine and is still covered by wood, which should soften over time and show the potential of the grapes (link to his web site is To quote him: “We believe in a wine style where wines are not influenced by using commercial yeasts, enzymes, high sulphur levels (the total sulphur level of the 2010 Aristargos is only 40 ppm) or too much new oak. To date we have not used any new oak and prefer working with older and bigger barrels”. We then tasted the Viognier he makes for Lemberg and it has all the characteristics one should find in a good Viognier: peaches and apricots on the nose and palate, with the crisp acidity of lime and some dark wood on the end.
Rikus Neethling of Bizoe wines buys in all his grapes and makes the wine where he can borrow cellar space. We tasted his Henrietta 2010 blend made from 70% Semillon from Franschhoek and 30% Sauvignon blanc from Elgin. This is an extraordinary wine with many different smells and tastes; some classic references to the two grapes, others not at all. We would love to follow this wine to see how it continues to develop over the next couple of years. We found rose petals, herbs, vanilla, Bovril and on the mouth brioche, lanolin, honey and crisp acids and sweet fruit
Then it was a 2011 Pinot Noir from Lemberg in Tulbagh, made by David Sadie. This wine has an absolutely charming classic Pinot nose full of raspberries and cherries and some expensive wood in the background. The nose carries through to the palate following through with raspberries and rhubarb sweet fruit and taut acids, all nicely integrated.
Finally, for us, the Cabernet from Arendsig (we bought a case each of this and the chardonnay when we were there recently). The classic cabernet nose of cassis and black fruit also shows in the mouth and you also get a nuance of the rocky soil it is grown on and the expensive wood Lourens has used. This is a really lovely food wine and will just go on and on improving. Click here to read more about the wines we tasted.
Takumi       This Japanese restaurant in Park Street, off Kloof Street, is touted as one of the best Japanese sushi restaurants in Cape Town. As we are confessed sushi addicts and it had been a long while since we’d eaten any, we decided to visit Takumi after the wine tasting on Wednesday. If you remember Minato restaurant in Buiten St and have wondered what had happened to the quirky but brilliant chef Hatsushiro Muraoka (Papa San, as he's known to fans), he is here. And the menu still lists his House Rules. Jaap-Henk Koelewijn, the manager (he’s also manager/ sommelier at Tokara), has been trying to persuade us to visit there for a while as well.
Getting parking in the area is not easy but, eventually, John found something legal a couple of blocks away and we settled into this busy restaurant. They stop taking orders for sushi at 9.30 and dessert at 9.45, so it is not a place for late night dining.  There is a nice young buzz about the place and people certainly seemed to be knowledgeable about what they were eating; the service was quite quick. Having decided we would have tempura to start with, Lynne spotted a plate heading across the room and asked what it was. A house speciality, the Sweet Kiss is a tuna, salmon, avocado, cucumber, sweet chilli mayo roll and each roll is topped with a tempura shrimp. They were absolutely delicious, if very large, and require two bites for people with small mouths. We felt a longing for some sashimi and nigiri and spotted another special, The Boat, which we thought was very good value at R160; when you see the picture, you might agree. It comprises Tuna, salmon and line fish nigiri, three each salmon and tuna sashimi and a 6 green California inside out rolls. The salmon was absolutely top quality and melted in the mouth, the other fish was also very fresh. Our bill for these two dishes with corkage on a bottle of Spring Valley chenin/sauvignon was R350 with service. See photos here.
We will be back. However... both of us were up in the night with extreme thirst and dehydration and both had slight headaches the next morning, which says to us there might have been MSG being used somewhere. We eat a lot of sushi and other oriental food often and do not react to it at all unless it is used with a rather heavy hand.
Classic Wine’s Top 6 Pinotage and Port Awards 2012       This ceremony, in the first year of Classic Wines top Pinotage and Port awards, was held over dinner at Catharina’s restaurant on Steenberg in Constantia last Thursday. It was a very interesting and social evening. Garth Almazan is the excellent executive chef and Classic wine asked him to prepare the menu, which they chose. n.
We got to drink all the top six Pinotages with our dinner and for John who absolutely loves Pinotage it was a treat. Lynne still only likes a certain style and definitely doesn’t like the old fashioned rusty nails variety. They certainly went well with the Venison pie.
The ports were served with the very good dessert of Amarula Malva pudding. We managed to taste four of the six and they were really delicious and all completely different in character. Click here to see the list of winners and what we ate.
The speakers were Carrie Adams and Dominic Ntsele, the Publisher of Classic Wine.
Bastille Day in Franschhoek       Always one of our favourite events of the year, it actually takes place on Bastille Day this year, Saturday the 14th of July and the celebrations continue into Sunday the 15th. We hear that the festival has several new innovations this year, like the gourmet tent – check out their web site. Comprehensive details of this and other Bastille Day celebrations are also to be seen in our Events Calendar. We will be going on Sunday and staying over on Sunday and Monday nights to sample some of Franschhoek’s delights as we did last year
We will be repeating our stay in the stunning manor house at Basse Provence and then venturing out on Monday and Tuesday to explore new places and wine farms we have not yet visited. If you have any ideas, suggestions, recommendations or ‘don’t bothers’ they will be gratefully received. All will be reported on when we return.
This week’s recipe     The cold weather is back, we have our wood burning stove on order for three weeks time and it is back to eating soup. This is Lynne’s re-creation of a dish we had twice recently at two different restaurants and it is very comforting indeed. If you prefer to leave a bit of texture, don’t blend till smooth.  You can buy your own croutons but it is extremely easy to make your own. Just sprinkle some bread on both sides with oil and according to your taste: a little marmite or Bovril, some herbs, sprinkle on some cheese and/or garlic, cut into small squares and bake in a medium oven until golden brown – takes about 10 minutes.
Potato and Sweetcorn Soup with Truffle Oil
3 peeled and quartered potatoes – 1 litre unsalted chicken or vegetable stock - 1 sprig of thyme – 1 can of creamed corn –a grating or two of nutmeg -salt – freshly ground black pepper – croutons – truffle oil
Cover the potatoes in the stock with the thyme and just a pinch of salt and boil until they are soft. Remove half of the stock and the sprig of thyme and add the corn to the pan with the nutmeg. Roughly mash the potatoes and add enough of the extra stock, so that you have a soup consistency, and cook together for several minutes. Put into a liquidiser – you may have to do this in batches - or a food processor, or use a stick blender and blend the soup until it is smooth. Adjust your seasoning at this point. Serve warm with croutons and a drizzle of truffle oil on top of each bowl of soup. Serves 4.
An opportunity many people missed       This evening, we had a wonderful time at an event which should have found a huge number of people joining us. If you look in our Events Calendar you will see, on the last Thursday of every month, a free tasting of wines which express the terroir of one of this country’s wonderful wine producing areas. Tonight, it was “Expressions of Stellenbosch Berg, Banhoek & Helderberg” with a superb selection of wines from Annandale, Bartinney, Bilton, Eikendal, Ernie Els, Idiom, Kleine Zalze, Ken Forrester, Kleinood, Rainbow’s End, Waterford, Waterkloof and Yonder Hill. Guest Chef Janice Anderson of 96 Winery Road in the Helderberg prepared the dinner which followed, more about which you can read next week. Normally, to taste a selection of wines as good as these, you would have to pay a fee, but this was free of charge to all comers. Many of these wines, like the Eikendal chardonnay to name only one, have won major awards. However, this being Cape Town in winter, most people go into hibernation and an opportunity went a-begging; the turnout from the public was disappointing. Make a date for the next one, on Thursday 26th July for “Expressions of Wellington, Walker Bay, Elim & Bot River”. If you love good wine, you should be there. As an added bonus, the wines tasted can be bought at cellar door prices.
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.
28th 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.

No comments: