Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A birthday lunch at Jardine

Rocking the taste buds at Jordan
Great food is the most important thing you want from a good restaurant. Throw in friendly and efficient staff, a warm welcome and views to charm and relax and you are getting close to perfection. Sunday saw us at our favourite restaurant Jordan for a birthday lunch of one of our visitors. He requested Jordan as it has also become one of their favourite places when visiting. We had a table right at the front of the deck with those superb views and the lunch did not disappoint. One of the qualifiers for a great restaurant is that the standard remains excellent even when the boss isn't there. George and Louise were at a birthday celebration elsewhere - the food and service were wonderful
Lunch out on the deck is the favourite spot in summer
This is where Banting takes a back seat. Who can resist those freshly made vetkoek, ciabatta rolls and seed loaf with parsley pesto, garlic aioli and olive tapenade? Not us. Vetkoek (trans. Fat cake) is a traditional South African bread made from a plain yeast dough rolled into balls, deep fried and served hot. The origin is probably the Dutch oliebollen, but the early settlers used to deep fry them in fat rendered from the fat tails of sheep. They are often served in the Cape filled with spiced mince, mixing another of our cultures with another - the Cape Malay foods
A feast for the eyes. A starter of salt and sugar cured springbok ‘tartar’ compressed into a block served with nectarines, a prune and a parsnip cream, Chantilly cream quenelles, sunflower seeds, and topped with crisp shavings of parsnip and sunflower sprouts. The tartar was roughly chopped and therefore had good texture. The contrasts between the savoury and sweet, the soft , the crisp and crunch were perfect
Local mackerel is in season in the Cape, so pan fried as a starter was irresistible to some of us. Served on a base of roasted garlic puree, topped with tomatoes and a “cosmopolitan” sauce, with watercress and fried onion, all these textures and flavours enhanced the rich oily fresh fish
Waiting for the main courses to arrive. We drank the Jordan Inspector Peringuey Chenin blanc and glasses of the Prospector Shiraz
Perfectly cooked aged Chalmar beef rump in a salsa verde, with confit tomatoes served with bone marrow dumplings and topped with thin charred aubergine crisps. The beef was meltingly tender. Oh, and a side order of their hand cut crisp chips. Well you can't have steak without chips
Beautifully, symmetrically plated line caught Yellowtail on a charred tomato velouté, with basil aioli and some crisp salt and pepper squid and roasted olives
Lynne chose the lightly salted East coast hake with a herb crust, in an artichoke velouté, topped with very light, fried potato gnocchi and deep fried cauliflower. The fish was beautifully fresh and delicious, but the herb topping was a little too salty
Dessert for the Birthday celebrant was envied by us all, even those who could not manage a dessert. It is a set vanilla panna cotta topped with strawberry compote, sprinkled with summer berries and topped with vanilla ice cream. So pretty too!
The chocoholics could not resist the Valrhona dark chocolate mousse with poached mango, buffalo labneh cheese, honeycomb pieces and a honey and walnut ice cream. The plates were scraped till clean, as usual. Coffee ended a very successful meal
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2015

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