Wednesday, October 28, 2015

151028 This Week's MENU - Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Chenin & Pinotage; Reciprocal Trading tasting; Nedbank Green Wine Awards; Bistro 13 1st anniversary; Robertson Wine on the River; McGregor Country Cottages & Green Gables; Jan Harmsgat Country House; Delish roadside restaurant; Akasha Mountain Retreat; De Zeekoe, Oudtshoorn. Meerkats in the morning; With Boets Nel, De Krans; Overnight in Calitzdorp; Axe Hill wines; Joubert Tradauw, Barrydale, Veal Limone with fried Fennel

A family of meerkats in the Karoo near Oudtshoorn
We’ve made a major change to the Main Ingredient website. It has morphed into the MENU website. The home page now comprises links to the current issues stories. If you have missed MENU for any reason, please go to Main Ingredient and catch up. The second page has links to previous issues of MENU.
Best laid plans... We intended to publish as we went along last week, But..  The power cable for our laptop was left behind in Cape Town. We were able to buy a replacement in Robertson, but had to wait until Monday. Then, when we reacheds Akasha we were not able to get an internet link. By the time we reached Oudtshoorn, we’d lost four days and the backlog had become too big, so this is a bumper edition with a record 15 stories.
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 onRead 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.
Fleur du Cap Launch     Fleur du Cap launched their new unfiltered 2014 Chenin Blanc and 2014 Pinotage at an exciting new venue in Oranjezicht on the 14th. It was a little hard to find using the GPS on our phones but thanks to helpful locals we did find our way to the historic Platteklip Wash House where centuries of servants and slaves came to do their masters' washing. It is managed by the Parks Board. A great place for weddings, and other medium sized functions if you have a PR or wedding budget. Read on...
Reciprocal Trade Tasting at the Vineyard Hotel     It is a special occasion when we are invited to taste good French and other nations wines like Spain, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand and South America. This event is held annually for the trade and media and good customers and we were delighted to be invited. Pics here...
Nedbank Getaway Green Wine Awards     It has now been six years since the inception of these awards in 2009 and we have seen such an improvement in our Green and Bio diverse wines . The awards were held in a new venue for us In the Vine on the R44 in Helderberg. A total of 150 wines were judged across two categories (Best wines made from Organically Grown Grapes and Best Wines from Integrated Production of Wine category). The panel was led by internationally renowned wine judge and journalist Fiona MacDonald. Other members were Greg Mutambe, Dr Winnie Bowman CWM, Francois Rautenbach and winemaker Nomonde Kubheka. Wine journalists Anel Grobler of Spit or Swallow and Shante Hutton of Wine.co.za were co-opted onto the tasting panel as bloggers. More words and pictures...
Celebration lunch for the first anniversary at Bistro 13 on Stellenbosch Vineyards      This bistro opened just a year ago and it already scores 5 stars in the reader reviews on Eat Out. Chef Nic van Wyk, ably assisted by his partner Roxy Laker, has put together a winning formula of good bistro food, paired with a selection of Stellenbosch Vineyards wines. We were invited for lunch with other media to come and celebrate and sample their new summer menu. We were fed good food till we begged "no more please!"  See what we ate...
The great (Klein) Karoo Trek started with Wine on the River's 10th Anniversary     We set off on Saturday morning and aimed for Robertson for the 10th Wine on the River Festival where we would spend both Saturday and Sunday. We haven't been to all 10 but very nearly as it is one of our favourites each year. The people are friendly, the wines superb and many are good value and the venue alongside the river is very special. You pay one entrance fee, you get a glass and you can taste all day. There are also very good food stands. It's a formula which works. Read on...
Our First night: a cottage in McGregor and great dinner out     The Robertson & McGregor Tourist Boards organised our accommodation while at the festival and for our first night we did self catering at Country Cottages in McGregor. The country views on the way are lovely. Pictures here...
Robertson/Klein Karoo trip night two, Jan Harmsgat     We were invited to review Jan Harmsgat Country House, on the road from Ashton to Swellendam. We have enjoyed a picnic here once before, when we were invited by the previous owners, but had never stayed the night. It is luxurious and your every need is catered for by the great staff. More...
Onward to Akasha, we stopped at Delish Deli for lunch     We agreed to be in Heidelberg by 2pm, where we would meet Chris van der Walt, the owner of Akasha, at Delish Deli. In fact, we arrived just before 1pm, which enabled us to have some lunch. They make great pies and you can order these to take away to enjoy on your trip or wherever you are staying. See it here...
Night 3: Off to a Moroccan inspired house, Akasha, in the high hill country behind Heidelberg. Everyone who had been here said to us we would absolutely LOVE this place and we did. We were invited to stay for two nights, which is always a good period to review a place properly. One night means you arrive, stay the night and leave the next morning giving you very little time to explore the place and the area it is in, get to know the locals and the staff and experience some of the differences, the drawcards and activities on offer to visitors. Akasha had lots to show us and we had time to wind down and stop a while instead of moving swiftly along to the next place. See the house...
The beauty of nature on Akasha Mountain retreat     When Chris and his wife Elana arrived, we followed them through the outskirts of Heidelberg and then up the dirt road for approximately 12 kilometres, climbing all the time. It's a good road and you don't need a 4x4. We came to the top of the hill and the countryside opened up before us. The hills slope down steeply towards the Duiwenhoks Dam and then climb again beyond it towards the far Langeberg mountains. You can see no houses, no people, only nature. Photographs tell the story...
Day 5, Onward to De Zeekoe to see the Meerkats     It was pouring with rain the morning we left Akasha and we drove down the slippery dirt road back to the N2 highway. It took us about 3½ hours to drive to the outskirts of Oudtshoorn and the drive through the Robinson pass on the R328 was sensational. Great to see it in rain and mist, but we must return to see it in sunshine, although there were some parts of the road where Lynne could not look down the mountain, her vertigo got the better of her. Have a look...
Tasting and lunch with Boets Nel, De Krans, Calitzdorp     When we told Boets Nel at a recent wine event that we were coming through Calitzdorp on this trip he insisted that we come and have lunch with him while we were there.  We met him on his farm De Krans for a tasting first.  It is only about 65 Kilometres from Oudtshoorn to Calitzdorp. More here...
Klokkies B&B     Lynne found this Calitzdorp B&B on Bookings.com, a site we use often and are rarely disappointed. We needed somewhere that was comfortable and good value for one night and this certainly fit the bill. Read on...
Day 7 a Tasting with Mike Neebe at Axe Hill     Before we left Calitzdorp we dropped into Axe Hill to see friend Mike Neebe and taste some of his lovely wines and ports. Mike had just finished bottling this year's wines. He is doing some innovative things. More....
Lunch with Meyer Joubert at Joubert Tradauw on the way home     We met Meyer at the recent tasting of Klein Karoo wines which inspired this trip and he said that we should join him for lunch if we were passing. As we had never visited the farm before, this was the perfect opportunity. It’s just outside of Barrydale, on the famous R62 road, a place we always mean to visit but haven't got to yet. The farm has lovely gardens and a tapas style restaurant, just redesigned and extended. Read on....
This week's recipe     Both of us have picked up a lot of weight over the last few months on the media circuit so we are back to Banting and eating lots of fresh food for a while to see if we can avoid canapés and eat healthy. Lynne spotted some mini steaks in Checkers that were so pale she surmised they might just be baby beef. She batted them out with a mallet and made this for supper last night. It is very quick and tastes heavenly. We hope you will try it. You need thin slices of beef or veal steak or you could use pork leg. Instead of using just salt and pepper as a seasoning Lynne uses the Woolworths Steak & Chops spice mixture in the large grinder. This contains fennel seeds with other herbs and spices and garlic and really adds more flavour to the dish.
Veal Limone with fried Fennel
1 or 2 large bulbs of fennel, thinly sliced - 2 T olive oil - 2 T butter - salt and freshly ground pepper - 8 thin slices of veal, beef or pork steak - ¼ cup of plain flour - Steak & Chop seasoning - zest and juice of one lemon - ½ cup of dry white wine - 1 cup of good chicken stock - ½ T butter
Put the meat, one piece at a time, into a plastic bag and bash with a meat mallet on both sides until it is thin and twice its original size. Set aside. Mix the flour with the seasoning. Heat a frying pan till it is sizzle hot, add the oil and the butter and when foaming add the sliced fennel. Season it. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often, till it is golden brown and softening. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm. If necessary add more oil and butter to the pan.
Dip the meat into the seasoned flour on both sides and fry a couple of pieces at a time for just a minute on each side till they are golden on the outside. Put in a dish under foil while you finish the sauce. Add the wine to the hot pan and let it reduce a bit, then add stock and the lemon zest and juice. Let it reduce till it begins to thicken, taste and adjust the seasoning. Monté the sauce (this enriches it and makes it glossy) by adding the half a tablespoon of butter in small pieces. Put the meat back into the sauce and serve immediately on a bed of the fried fennel. Feeds 4. You can halve the recipe for 2
We had this with a large salad with lettuce, rocket, tomatoes, avocado, sliced courgettes and olives and drank a good unwooded Chardonnay which went perfectly with the lemon and butter flavours of the sauce.
Coming Events:
OCTOBER
Thursday, 29th October at 19h00 Top12Wines tastings series: White Blends at MOLO LOLO LODGE 27 Hudson Street, De Waterkant, Cape Town www.molololo.com R220pp inclusive of meal & Cheeses from Ile de France The format is as usual, a blind tasting 12 of the best SA Wines in the category of the day, all winners of awards and top reviews, competing against the public! You will rank the wines in order of preference, with old friends and new friends alike. Expect amazing quality wines. Info: +27 81 799 3899 info@top12wines.com - www.top12wines.com
Friday, 30th October The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa Wine Dinner – Raats Family Wines This month sees Executive Chef Christo Pretorius team up with Raats Family Wines for a gastronomical adventure. Food aficionados may look forward to a delicious four-course meal in our Azure Restaurant while enjoying a pairing of exceptional Chenin Blancs and Cabernet Francs. R 545 per person (includes 4-course menu, wine, water & gratuity) The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Victoria Road, Camps Bay 8005, Cape Town, South Africa Telephone: +27 21 437 9029 Email: restaurants@12apostles.co.za
NOVEMBER
Thursday, 5th November at 19h00 Top12Wines tastings series: Pinot Grigio at MOLO LOLO LODGE 27 Hudson Street, De Waterkant, Cape Town www.molololo.com R220pp inclusive of meal & Cheeses from Ile de France The format is as usual, a blind tasting 12 of the best SA Wines in the category of the day, all winners of awards and top reviews, competing against the public! You will rank the wines in order of preference, with old friends and new friends alike. Expect amazing quality wines. Info: +27 81 799 3899 info@top12wines.com - www.top12wines.com
Saturday, 7th November From 09h00 to 13h00 The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa Movember - #WaitersRaceCapeTown Camps Bay High School Sports Fields. We would like to invite hotels and restaurants to participate in our 3rd annual #WaitersRaceCapeTown - and encourage members of the public to join the action as spectators, free of charge! All proceeds of the day will be donated to Movember SA. READ MORE The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Victoria Road, Camps Bay 8005, CAPE TOWN, South Africa Telephone: +27 21 437 9029 Email: restaurants@12apostles.co.za
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
Nadège 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
28th October 2015
PS If a word or name is in bold type and underlined, click on it for more information
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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