Wednesday, July 08, 2015

This Week's MENU - Aegean Odyssey Part 5, Japanese whisky tasting, Graciale at Peddlar's, Winter Fennel and Orange Salad

Blue hills of a late afternoon in Mycenae. A sort of Trompe de l’oeil, certainly an optical illusion
In this week’s MENU:
* Japanese Whisky       
* Winter Fennel and Orange Salad
* Learn about wine and cooking
We write about our experiences in MENU, not only to entertain you, but to encourage you to visit the places and events that we do. We know you will enjoy them and we try to make each write up as graphic as we can, so you get a good picture of what is on offer at each place, restaurant, wine farm, festival we visit. To get the whole story with photographs, please click on “Read on.....” at the end of each paragraph, which will lead you to the related blog, with pictures and more words. At the end of each blog, click on RETURN TO MENU to come back to the blog version of MENU.
We continue our Greek Odyssey this week with our trip to ancient Corinth, Mycenae. We stay in a lovely hotel, eat lots of good Greek home-cooked food, made by Mama, and see the more of wonders of the ancient Greek world in the Peloponnese Read on.....
On the next day we ventured to Epidavros to see the grand amphitheatre. Read On.....
Japanese Whisky     We had tasted Japanese whisky before, at a trade tasting but, as fans of the spirit, we were very excited when we received an invitation to a tutored tasting of Nikka, one of the early Japanese whiskies, first produced in 1934. It was held last week in the presence of The Japanese Consulate Head of Mission, His Excellency Mr Mitsuru Murase, at Kyoto Gardens restaurant at 11 Kloof Nek Road in Gardens. Read on.....
Graciales at Peddlars     When last we were invited to the Italian restaurant, Volare, at Peddlars & Co on the Spaanschemat River Road in Constantia, Chef Brad Ball told us that they had plans to open other restaurants in the complex. Just a month ago, they opened Graciales - the name is a blend of Gracias and Sociales and it's a tapas bar. We were free on Friday, and could accept their invitation. Generously, they set a cab to fetch us and we had a lovely evening with great food. Read on.....
This week's recipe is a Winter Fennel and Orange Salad       Deep in the middle of winter with lots of sustaining stews, soups and rib sticking food, we find that we start to long for something fresh. Fennel is in season, so are oranges and this makes a wonderful combination.
The zest of one orange - 1 T white wine vinegar - 2 T olive oil - salt and freshly ground black pepper - 2 oranges - 2 Fennel bulbs - a packet of rocket or mixed salad leaves, well washed
Finely zest one of the oranges into a large bowl and add the white wine vinegar and the olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Beat well till it emulsifies. Cut the peel and all the pith off the oranges and, taking a sharp knife, cut out segments from the oranges, leaving all the pith between the segments behind. Do this over the dressing bowl, so that any orange juice drips into the dressing. Add the orange segments from both oranges. Trim the ends off the fennel bulbs; take out the root core, quarter and thinly slice them crosswise into the salad bowl. Stir well. Put in the fridge to meld for at least an hour or two. Just before serving, put the rocket on a serving plate and top with the salad.
Saturday, 11th July at 11:30 am "Old oak vs new oak" Tasting & Barrel Lunch at Beaumont, Bot River. An informal tasting and discussion with Sebastian on the influence of old & new oak on wine. Taste some of Beaumont's finest wines from barrel. Zest will be firing up the Oak Barrel Smoker for their delicious hot smoked salmon starter. A selection of special wines from the cellar will pair with this delicious seasonal menu. Menu & Wines @ R415 per head. Book online at or email
Saturday, 11th & Sunday, 12th July  Franschhoek Bastille Festival Food & Wine Hall, situated at the Town Hall. Entry is R120 per person, which includes a complimentary tasting glass, a booklet of tasting coupons as well as a R20 wine voucher to be used on the day. Additional coupons can be purchased on the day. Live entertainment will add extra flare and fun Children under 18 enter for free. Visit the website at for more info. Terms and Conditions apply
Saturday, 11th & Sunday, 12th July  Franschhoek Bastille Festival, Food & Wine Marquee, situated at the Huguenot Monument. Entrance tickets to the Franschhoek Bastille Festival Food & Wine Marquee cost R200 per person, which includes a complimentary tasting glass, a booklet of tasting coupons as well as a R20 wine voucher to be used on the day. Additional coupons can be purchased on the day. Live entertainment will add extra flare and fun. Visit the website at for more info. Terms and Conditions apply
Sunday, 12th July  Long Sunday Lunch with Bertus Basson at Vondeling, Voor-Paardeberg. R245 per person. Booking is essential. Contact Mariaan Harris on 021 869 8595, or email
Thursday, 16th July: Italy’s Langhe at Caroline’s Fine Wine Cellar.  Caroline will present ten wines: Sarotto Gavi ‘Bric Sassi’ 2014 (R165),  Antoniotti  Bramaterra 2011 (R379), Borgogno Dolcetto d’Alba 2014 (R195), Brezza Barbera d’Alba 2011 (R315), Giovanni Rosso Barolo Serralunga d’Alba 2011 (R515),  Punset  Barbaresco ‘Basarin’ 2010 (R580), Cascina Luisin Barbaresco ‘Rabaja’ 2011 (R680), Fr. Alessandria Barolo San Lorenzo 2011 (R635), Borgogno Barolo Cannubi Riserva 2009 (R595), Cerutti Moscato d’Asti ‘Suri Sandrinet’ 2014  (R235). R300 p/p to be held at Caroline’s Fine Wine Cellar, 62 Strand Street, Cape Town and start at 18h15 for 18h30 prompt. To book, please fill in the booking form.
Friday, 24th July at 19h00  Italian Dinner at Ottimo Cibo. Nikki Booth spends many weeks a year at her home in Orvieto, understands Italian cooking deeply and passionately, and put Caroline Rillema and her together at one table and you have a veritable feast of food and wine. A 4-course meal served with (all top end single-vineyard) Gavi, Barbaresco, Barolo; then Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino and Moscato d’Asti. R900 p/p all included. At 15 Winchester Avenue, Kirstenbosch, Cape Town. To book, please fill in the booking form.
Wednesday, 29th July, 17h00 to 21h00     Caroline's Annual Red Wine Review  at the Table Bay Hotel. R200 p/p which includes a crystal tasting glass & programme. Bookings open at Computicket now (no bookings through shop)
Learn about wine and cooking We receive a lot of enquiries from people who want to learn more about wine. Cathy Marston and The Cape Wine Academy both run wine education courses, some very serious and others more geared to fun. You can see details of Cathy’s WSET and other courses here and here and the CWA courses here. Karen Glanfield has taken over the UnWined wine appreciation courses from Cathy. See the details here
The Hurst Campus, an accredited school for people who want to become professional chefs, has a variety of courses. See the details here
In addition to his Sense of Taste Culinary Arts School, Chef Peter Ayub runs a four module course for keen home cooks at his Maitland complex. Details here
Nad├Ęge Lepoittevin-Dasse has French cooking classes in Noordhoek and conducts cooking tours to Normandy. You can see more details here
Emma Freddi runs the Enrica Rocca cooking courses at her home in Constantia
Nicolette van Niekerk runs baking courses at La Petite Patisserie in Montague Gardens
George Jardine will be running a series of winter cooking courses and other activities at Jordan. Details here

8th July 2015
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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 and standard or Dutch-flavoured Afrikaans.
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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 and our blogs 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.

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