Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lunch at Delaire Graff's Indochine

Vineyards going right up the mountain behind Delaire Graff on Helshoogte Pass
Dark wood and superb views in the foyer of Indochine Restaurant
The Menu
Tempura fritters with two asian dipping sauces with the compliments of the chef
A very smoky view of Table Mountain from Delaire Graff because of the forest fires in Franschhoek and Paarl
Lynne and Tanja  MacKay-Davidson at our table on the lovely cool breezy terrace
Smoke billowing up from the horrendous forest fire
Katherine, the sommelier showing us the Delaire Cabernet Franc Rosé
Which John had with his starter
Tanja’s mushroom broth
Lynne’s starter of Chicken Lataing with a Penang egg net. Like a sushi roll, the egg net of crisp deep fried egg encases the spicy chicken and fresh herbs with counterpoints of small squares of citrus jelly, lemon slices and is sprinkled with crisp cashew nut brittle.
John chose the crispy Ponzu duck also with cashew nut brittle and citrus jelly
For her main course, Lynne had the Red Thai duck breast with fresh litchis, coconut and ginger. They warned us that the curries could be very spicy and that they could cool them down, if we wanted, by the addition of coconut milk, but we both like a bit of heat and didn't find either very hot.
The curry sauces are interactive. You pour them over your dish yourself. This was Tanja’s vegetarian curry main course
John's Main course of Rogan Josh
Three side dishes of mushroom dumplings, small crisp spring rolls together with three dipping sauces and an aubergine stir fry,  with a portion of steamed rice.
John's dessert: Banana and white chocolate spring rolls served with banana caviar, a chocolate praline ice cream and nut fudge, a tour de force!
Inside the restaurant - on a very warm Monday, even with air conditioning, everyone was on the verandah
Lynne's delightful pot of herb and flower tea  and a double espresso for John
Executive chef Christaan Campbell
The cool foyer is full of very interesting art and sculpture
A sculpture over one of the koi ponds, which Lynne covets
Another view of the fire heading for Paarl
from the stunningly beautiful vineyards at Delaire Graff
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Breedekloof dinner at the Cullinan

Guests gathering in the foyer before dinner
There are many very different interpretations to semi formal dress in Cape Town
The large banqueting hall was just large enough to accommodate the large guest list
We begin to take our seats 
Mike and Renée Bampfield-Duggan of Wine Concepts
The very brief menu
The first white wine was Slanghoek Cellar’s 2012 Chenin Blanc
Melody Botha, CEO of Breedekloof Wine & Tourism, tells us why the dinner is being held and what the proceedings will be
The first round, of four wines per course, to pair with dinner is poured
We are introduced to Personal chef Neill Anthony who has perfected his skills over the past 10 years in London in the kitchens of Gordon Ramsay at Royal Hospital Road, Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, Alyn Williams at The Groucho Club and Les Trois Garçons.
Monika Elias and Graham Howe
Lauren Cohen of Corporate Image PR agency with Tobey du Toit.
Duimpie Bayly introduced the area and the wines
Our first course was a salmon trout tartare on a crisp flaky pastry disc with fennel and dill and an olive oil mousseline. The wine which matched this course the best for us was the very interesting De Hageveld 2011 from Deetlefs Estate - a blend of 75% Semillon, 17% Chardonnay, 8% Sauvignon Blanc which stood up the saltiness of the dish
Elsie Pels CWM introduces the next flight of wines
Higgo Jacobs, sommelier at Catharina's at Steenberg, watched the pouring of the first four red wines to match the second course
Cathy and Kevin Marston
Guests listening to information about the wine
Maryna Strachan, editor of Wine Extra, tells us about the next flight
Goudini Shiraz 2011; Waboomsrivier Arboras 2010 and Groot Eiland Shriaz/Pinotage 2011
We listened and we tasted
Our second course was a play on Pap en Vleis and was more of an amuse in size than a main course. It consisted of a small square of smooth parmesan polenta, thin slices of dried salted pork belly and some tomato and onion relish.
Dr Winnie Bowman tells Lisa Boshoff and Higgo Jacobs how she got involved 
and then she talked  to us all about the wines she tasted on the panel and those we would be served
Melody Botha, CEO of Breedekloof Wine & Tourism
A lovely surprise was the presence of Tsogo Sun group sommelier Miguel Chan, who had flown down from Johannesburg specially for the function.
A duo of springbok with roast potatoes, tender green beans, flaked almonds and strangely red chilli slices on a puree and a jus was the main course.  A small loin fillet rather dry (but then they were feeding 150 people) was accompanied by a haché of slow cooked springbok formed into a round cake.
Pouring out one wine so the glasses are ready for the next
Ina Smith, Manager of the Chenin Blanc Association, tells us about the dessert wines to come
Some of the wines we tasted
Maggie Mostert of Batonage
The chefs ‘plate’ the dessert
Maggie Mostert and Hennie Coetzee of Batonage
Christian and Jane Eedes chatting to Dr Winnie Bowman
Tasting the dessert wines while waiting for dessert to be served
CWM Alan Mullins, who always has a smile
Lauren Cohen, Tobey du Toit and Sommelier Miguel Chan
Dessert was described as Broken Milk Tart with passion fruit, but what arrived was a coupe dish with a sweet custard, a passion fruit mousse and fresh passion fruit pulp. It was supported by the excellent Badsberg Badlese 2009, a natural sweet made from Chenin Blanc
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2013