Monday, April 07, 2014

Taste of Cape Town opening night

We all met at the entrance gate and bought our vouchers to exchange for dishes and drinks. No one knew why they were called "crowns" and have now been renamed "scoins". Everyone was wrapped up well as the April weather was a trifle chilly
There were enormous oysters to taste
Many more wine farms than before made it easy to enjoy tasting wine. Paardenkloof was a new label for us. They had very enthusiastic promoters who did not seem to know much about wine
There were good incentives to taste bubbly (a feminine point of view!)
and this bubbly from Domaine des Dieux in the Hemel and Aarde was very good
A new development this year was a large craft brewery stand with local and imported beers
Many people preferred to stick with brands and food they knew
We received a very warm welcome on the Waterford stand and tasted some lovely wine there
Some farms had paired their wines with chocolate tastings and even jam
like Whalehaven
who had friendly staff to pour for us
The lovely ladies on the Ken Forrester stand also gave us stunners to taste and drink with our food...
... as Ken and Allan Forresters Restaurant, 96 Winery Road, the first Pop Up restaurant on Thursday, was our first port of call
Our first taste was the 2 pan fried prawns with pea purée, mushrooms and apple cured bacon. Good flavours but a small portion
Next we chapped to Kit Austin and his mother from Noble Hill whose restaurant, Cosecha, had an interesting Mexican flavoured menu
This is their Huevos Rancheros dish, which was one of the 8 vegetarian dishes available at the festival
Sun International had a very large stand with different dishes and drinks being prepared on all four corners
These were some of the choices you could order

The Pick ‘n Pay Sponsors’ Chefs’ Theatre had shows you could book for and attend
Andi Foulkes’ Dish Food & Social had Lamb pies to delight
They were very busy all through the show days and worked incredibly hard
Interesting Argentine dishes
Dulche de Leche is condensed milk, often caramelised
and we ate a plate of paella. But we did wish she wouldn’t have kept stirring
Friendly smiles and staff and good wine from Paul Francisand Keelyn Gibbons at Morgenster
Next we stopped at Camissa, the hotel restaurant at the Table Bay 
and shared a plate of the herb coated lamb cutlets,
Sitting down to eat at this festival is always a treat as mostly you have to stand. We then learned from a friend that they also had crayfish curry which was not on the menu, so Lynne went to get some
Justine Drake, one of the organisers of the festival, seen at the Table Bay stand
And their sommelier, Byron Krynauw, gave us tastes of the hotel’s own label wines
The lamb cutlets on a pea puree with a polenta cake
Our next visit was a treat – the Lindt stand - to which we returned later for a warming cup of hot chocolate and bought some bars of Lindt chocolates with our remaining scoins
The staff were making bon bons on the stand and we tasted some. They were delicious
A view of the tents and marquees
We were fascinated by the Big Green Egg ceramic cookers, presented by Thomas Hancock, the importer. Somewhere between a Weber braai and a pizza oven, these charcoal fired babies can get up to 1400°C, if you know what you are doing. You can do meat and fish, tandoori, pizzas, bread and other barbecue food. We have twice seen Chef Bertus Basson use one at functions and tasted the delicious result
Next - to Azure restaurant at the Twelve Apostles Hotel for a dish of rich char sui glazed pork belly
This was, at last, a lovely good sized portion. It was also on a pea puree, obviously the most in fashion accompaniment of the festival, along with the dreaded polenta (we have never been huge fans of any form of mieliepap
Neil Grant, owner of Burrata restaurant at the Biscuit Mill, the second Pop-Up restaurant on Thursday entertained us on his scooter and gave us a very generous helping of their wonderful burrata mozzarella
Another fairly minimalist dish we bought turned out to be one tempura prawn for 7 scoins, a bit expensive
And we so enjoyed this slice of chocolate cake from Burrata
A good friend is Shelley Sandell, owner of Tierhoek wines in the Cederberg, who was showcasing her wines at the festival alongside her sister-in-law Carol Mills, who had her Limoncello on show
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© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

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