Monday, July 20, 2015

Dinner at Dash - The Queen Victoria Hotel in the V&A Waterfront

We were invited to sample the elegance and the fine dining menu at Dash restaurant this week. It was great to have a drink and a chat in the bar with the Managing Director of Newmark Hotels, Neil Markovitz on Saturday night, before we went through to our table in the restaurant. It's in the five star Queen Victoria Hotel, not quite in the Waterfront, but on the hill above, where it overlooks the Craft Market and the dock. You approach it from Portswood Road, through the entrance to The Portswood complex (passing the Portswood Hotel on your left, after driving through the entrance portal). Ask the attendant at the Queen Vic to show you where to park
A Pomegranate Martini. They also have an Elderflower Martini; worth a visit just for these
The seating in the bar was quite popular with friends meeting throughout the evening
White leather seats, slate grey metal topped tables and gleaming glassware all make for understated elegance
There is a long terrace through the French doors, for summer outdoor dining
The interesting and varied wine list's selection of wines by the glass
Mushroom truffle butter and lemon butter with good warm bread. We had glasses of Neil Ellis Sauvignon Blanc and, from the bar, Iona Chardonnay with our starters
First, a small amuse from the kitchen, steak with capers and orange
We did our usual thing with the starters, we ordered two; we wanted to taste and shared them. This is the light and airy, perfectly cooked, twice baked gorgonzola soufflé, accompanied by a scoop of gorgonzola cream and biltong slices. It was really complemented by the crushed hazelnuts. We should have had one each!
Our second starter was tempura prawns with pickled vegetables and a white and black sesame emulsion. The prawns were excellent, so fresh and sweet, but the batter had gone a bit soggy
Our lovely waitress for the evening was Zameka Matina, so professional, so informative and so friendly. Here she pours Lynne her wine for her main course, a Springfield Unwooded Chardonnay
Three excellent crayfish tails with more of those pickled vegetables, served with a spicy aioli on a bed of saffron orzo (rice shaped pasta.) No sharing on this course, although Lynne did give John a morsel to taste
John went traditional on his main course, the grilled and very tender fillet of beef served on mash, rather than the spinach puree mentioned on the menu, and a 'melange' of vegetables with an excellent jus. He had this with a glass of the Rupert & Rothschild Classique
After a good relaxing pause, we approached the desserts. Lynne wanted something light, so took Zameka's advice and went with the Coconut Panna Cotta topped with a toffeed slice of lime, accompanied by a really refreshing and delicious lime sorbet and a passion fruit coulis, on shavings of coconut. This was the first time we have had panna cotta made with coconut milk. It was a little like junket
John's choice was rather predictable for the chocoholic he is: A hot chocolate fondant, cooked perfectly with a good oozy centre, served with an orange ice cream and a caramel sugar disk
The food is all excellent and beautifully presented. We think this smart and elegant but relaxed restaurant is for special occasions, high days and pay days for most South Africans. Do go and investigate, we think you will enjoy it

This amazing bonsai banyan tree is in the foyer of the hotel
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2015
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