Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Bertus Basson cooks lunch at Vondeling wine estate, Voor Paardeberg

When we booked our summer break at Paternoster we had already been invited to this lunch, so we scheduled the end of our holiday so that we could do the lunch on the way back to Cape Town. Bertus Basson has done a series of lunches this year at Vondeling and tells us more are planned for 2016. Get your bookings in now, they are extremely good and very, very popular
Our friends Loraine and Ronnie who joined us for our last night in Paternoster also booked and asked for vegetarian food and they also had a lovely lunch. We know and love Vondeling’s wines and they matched perfectly with the food
Vondeling is in the Voor Paardeberg, which is only one hour from the city and it was a lovely warm summer's day when we arrived at 11.30. This is their wedding chapel
Inside the tasting room it is cool and comfortable with great air conditioning
We were welcomed with a glass of crisply chilled Rosé wine made from Merlot, very refreshing
The tasting counter wall
Lynne cooling off in the lounge area
John crept into the kitchen to get some quick shots of Bertus and the food being prepared. This is the caramelised onion tart canapé
The production line
Light as air biltong bitterballen with a garlic emulsion
Those onion tarts
Chatting with chef are Maggie Mostert, Bertus' wife Mareli Christian Eedes and Hennie Coetzee
Hot summer vineyards. We ate outside on the terrace but under the shade cloth
Local flora for decorations. Vondeling is a nature conservancy and they have reclaimed most of the farm from alien infestation
More people, more canapés
Manager and co-owner Julian Johnsen supervising the table laying while the serving staff have a briefing
Lunch under the vines at long tables
The menu
The wine list
We (and many others) opted for their excellent white blend Babiana 2014 (Chenin Blanc 60%, Grenache Blanc 15%, Viognier15%, Chardonnay 10%)) The Babiana noctiflora is a rare species of fynbos
Lunch was served family style, which means platters were placed on the table and you could help yourselves. We had some hearty eaters at our table and you had to call loudly for the platters in order to get some. This is the Rare roast beef served with parmesan, olive pesto and semi dried tomatoes topped with young carrot fronds
Great smoked olives, olive oil mousse, butter and great bread
Beautifully crisp spiced batter squid with radish slices, miso cream
A wickedly sinful, smooth as silk, chicken liver parfait served with toasted mosbolletjie bread and jam. It could have been duck liver and the bread was as good as any brioche. One to copy at home if the blender can get the livers to a creamy consistency
Cos lettuce with crisp soy seeds, shaved parmesan, red onion and radish with a wholegrain melba and a rich creamy dressing. And these were just all the starters!
Chatting while waiting for the main courses to arrive
Cooked, pickled puréed and raw organic beetroot of different colours, with sour cream and herbs
Roasted line fish, broccoli, asparagus, courgettes, fennel and capers in a smoked velouté
Caramelised sweet potato with maple syrup and pecan nuts. Orgasmic
Salted smoked pork belly with organic carrots, salsa verde and roasted almonds. Of course all the platters were cleared and the plates went back to the kitchen clean. It was a tour de force of summer eating
Then for dessert. Bertus likes bringing back childhood dessert memories and he certainly excelled with this very sweet local favourite, Peppermint Crisp Tart with vanilla ice cream. You do need a very sweet tooth for this sort of dessert
For the non dessert lovers, Ash camembert with homemade green fig preserve, nuts and grissini
Two of the three partner owners of Vondeling, Julian Johnsen and partner Anthony Ward thanking the chef for a lovely meal
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2016

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