Thursday, March 03, 2016

This week's MENU - Dunes, Sunset sail and Greek Fisherman supper, SASSI green at Camissa, Sushi at Dynasty, Durbanville Feast of the Grape, Matthew Krone Alexandra MCC, Wine of the week, Trinchado

Sailing in the sunset on a calm Table Bay
 Hout Bay sunset    
 Food Fact: Potato chips
To get the whole story with photographs, please click on the paragraph title, which will lead you there. At the end of each story, click on RETURN TO MENU to come back to MENU.
Hout Bay sunset      We have friends here from Holland and, on a recent Sunday afternoon, we took them for a trip to Hout Bay and ended up at Dunes for some good beer and food. We do try to get out and enjoy our wonderful city with friends. Read on…..
A scenic sunset cruise and a journey back to Greek Cuisine      We receive many invitations to do great things in our own city and we waited for the perfect day to take this sunset Cruise. We were bidden to arrive at the Waterfront Charters office at 6 and we sailed on the Serenity One at 6.15, on a calm sea with little wind and a lovely sunset. This was followed on our return to the Waterfront at 8 pm by a lovely Meze dinner at The Greek Fisherman. And all of the flavours of Greece were in those mezes. The Cruise and Dine package with Waterfront Charters costs R570 per person for the cruise and dinner. Read on…..
2016 Wine Label Design Awards      Held this year at the AA Gallery in Church Street we had a chance to see all the 20 labels that got to the final, see the awards and then taste the winning label wines. Read on…..
SASSI fish and fine wines at Camissa restaurant at The Table Bay Hotel      Executive Chef Jocelyn Myers-Adams is a committed sustainable fish chef and she produced a superb lunch showing how beautifully our local fish on the SASSI Green list can be prepared. This was served with an outstanding selection of some of South Africa's really great wines. We were indeed indulged, cosseted and fulfilled. Read on…..
Sushi at Dynasty      We have often written about Dynasty, our favourite local Chinese restaurant. They have moved from Nedbank Centre (above our old shop) into new premises on Main Road in Sea Point. Mr Chan was there previously. You may not know that Chef Alex Xu is a sushi master and we go there to enjoy his wonderful sushi as often as our girth allows us. Now temptation is even stronger as, at lunch times, the sushi is half price. Read on…..
Feast of the Grape in Durbanville      This was held last weekend and was an example of how to do a family wine festival. Not only were there lots and lots of good Durbanville Sauvignons and other red and white wines to taste on all the Durbanville wine farm stands but lots of great entertainment had been provided. You could stomp grapes, you could do guided tastings, one farm, Nitida had a four course fine dining lunch table next to their stand that you could book and they had some lovely old fashioned fairground entertainment for children, which was a delight to watch. Food trucks provided the food and there were tables and chairs, umbrellas and marquees to shelter under. Read on…..
Alexandra MCC     On Monday afternoon, we were summoned to Societi Bistro for the launch of Alexandra MCC by Matthew Krone. This wine has been on the lees for five years, only 3000 bottles have been made and the next vintage will only be released in four years time and thereafter every four years. Read on.....
Food Fact: Potato chips are supposed to be cooked until crisp on the outside. We cannot understand why half of SA likes half cooked 'slap' chips where they ingest far too much oil. Experiment and see how good crisp chips can be, you might never look back. If you travel it's the normal way people serve them from the US to Europe. Why are we so slap? (col. lazy)
Recipe: Trinchado      South Africa has a small but influential Portuguese population and several very good Portuguese restaurants. It is thought that this dish was introduced by Portuguese from neighbouring Mozambique and Angola. It is a rich spicy dish of steak cubes in a red wine, beef stock, chilli sauce with lots of garlic. Serve with crispy chips and rolls to soak up the juices. Accompany with a salad.
15 ml butter - 15 ml olive oil - 1kg beef rump or fillet, cut into 3 cm cubes - Freshly ground black pepper - 2 large onions, finely chopped - 3 sliced hot red chillies - 8 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped - 2 tspns corn flour, mixed to a paste with a little cold water - 1 t paprika - 2 sprigs of rosemary - 1 fresh bay leaf - 250 ml rich beef stock - 375 ml red wine - 1/4 cup of brandy - 125 ml cream - salt and freshly ground pepper to taste - optional: 25 to 30 black olives - grated zest of one lemon
Heat the butter with the oil in a heavy bottomed pot. Fry off the steak cubes to your satisfaction, medium rare is good. Set aside to rest. Add the onions and chilli to the pot and fry them gently till soft and beginning to caramelise. Add the garlic and fry gently for one minute. Add the corn flour and fry for a minute or two. Add the paprika, the herbs and then pour on the stock, the wine and the brandy. Stir till you have a good thick sauce. Add the cream, the optional black olives and then the beef. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, topped with a grating of lemon zest. Serves 4. A good wine to go with it would be Axe Hill’s Distinta, made from Souzao and Tinta Barocca or De Krans Touriga Naçional. Portuguese grapes for a Portuguese dish
Wine of the week      So difficult this week, as we have had some sensational wines and it is another red: Johan Meyer’s Pinot Noir 2011. What is a winemaker from the Swartland Revolution doing making an elegant Pinot Noir? Playing to his classical training and strengths. The grapes are from one of the best farms in Elgin. A complex, layered Pinot with lots of cranberry and raspberry fruit, hint of wood and some tannin structure, showing it has years more to delight one. Sadly, it is not freely available; we bought it from him in November 2012 and he only released 1002 bottles, but watch out for his newer vintages. He is one of a brilliant generation of young South African winemakers. His Chardonnay 2011 is also out of the same box, but from Walker Bay grapes. No oxidised wines here.
Third best Pinot Noir in the World!      On the subject of Pinot Noir, drink a toast to Newton Johnson, whose Family Vineyards Pinot Noir is on the front cover of the April issue of Decanter, possibly the UK’s most authoritative wine journal and the world's most widely read. It is rated in the magazine as one of the three best Pinots from the world outside Burgundy. We congratulate them and are very happy to have a good selection of Newton Johnson Pinots in our cellar. Story with photographs…..
Here is a list of coming events up to the end of the second week in March. There may be more, but we will add them as we receive them. We will be at the Durbanville Feast of the Grape on Sunday and we hope to see many of you.
Saturday, 5th March to Sunday, 13th March  Woordfees Picnic Concert at Neethlingshof Wine Estate. Bring picnic blankets and chairs to laze on the lawns of the historic Neethlingshof grounds, whilst enjoying an exciting line-up of top vocal talent. Gates will open an hour before each event and the music will start at 18h30. All sales will be cashless, only debit, credit or the Woordfees cash card may be used. As Neethlingshof wines will be on sale, guests are not permitted to bring their own alcohol. Tickets can be purchased through or at any Computicket outlet. Tickets are also available for purchase at the Erfurthuis, Ryneveld Street, 37 – Monday to Friday 9:00 – 17:00. Alternatively tickets will be available from the farm on the evening.
Saturday, 5th March 18:30 Blye galme Gospel Music| 120min | R60| R80 at the door
Sunday, 6th March 18:30 Chris Chameleon in Africana – (dis)seksie! 70min | R120 | R140 at the door.
Monday, 7th March 18:30 Valiant Swart – Mystic Nagte 120min (with interval) | R100| R120 at the door.
Tuesday, 8th March 18:30 Kitaarkonings with Albert Frost, Madala Kunene, Tony Cox and James Grace 70min | R100 | R120 at the door.
Wednesday, 9th March 18:30 Francois van Coke 70min | R100 | R120 at the door.
Thursday, 10th March 18:30 Laurie Levine en die Radio Kalahari Orkes 70min | R100 | R120 at the door.
Friday, 11th March 18:30 Tamboerynman – Koos van der Merwe sing Bob Dylan 70min | R100 | R120 at the door.
Saturday, 12th March 18:30 Die Heuwels Fantasties 70min | R100 | R120 at the door.
Sunday, 13th March 18:30 Bra Tete, The US Jazz Band  100min | R100| R120 at the door.
Neethlingshof is part of Cape Legends, a collection of award-winning wines from several boutique estates in and around the Cape Winelands.  For more information about Neethlingshof and its wines, visit, call 021 883 8988 or make contact on (or via Twitter @NeethlingshofW).
Sunday, 6th March Eikendal Weintaufe, a feast of family fun.Tickets for the Eikendal Weintaufe Harvest Celebration will be available at the gates on the day and cost R50 per person, which include a free glass and tasting from the barrel. Under 18’s get in for FREE. The gates open at 10am and make sure to claim your spot before the official christening and tasting of the new Eikendal Chardonnay which will take place at 12h00.  For more information on the Eikendal Weintaufe Harvest Celebration contact the estate at 021 855 1422 or send an email to
Sunday, 6th March          The Backsberg Centenary Picnic Concert Series continues with a performance by Ryno Velvet Band. Come and enjoy your Sunday afternoon by relaxing on the lawns with a glass of wine whilst listening to some great SA music. Tickets are R120 from and R150 at the gate. Students pay R60 and there is no charge for children under the age of 12. Delicious food and snack boxes will be available on the day. Snack boxes can be pre-ordered at at a cost of R160 for two persons. Gates to Backsberg Estate Cellars open at 15h00.
Thursday, 10th March     Summer Sounds at Haute Cabrière, featuring Morne Meyer, from Wellington, who has recently worked in Dubai as an entertainer for Regal Plaza Hotel with guitar, vocal and live music. He is talented in multiple genres including Jazz, Blues, Funk and Pop. This is the perfect way to enjoy a delicious light meal paired with great wines. The breathtaking views and sunsets provide a splendid setting for the entertainment on the Terrace area at Haute Cabrière with seating on the Terrace and the lawns which overlook the magnificent Franschhoek Valley. Booking is essential as each event has a maximum capacity of 60 people. Please note only the Terrace menu is available at these events and no cover charge applies. For reservations and enquiries e-mail or call 021 876 3688
Saturday, 12th March, 11h00 to 14h00  Wine Concepts Second exclusive Chenin Blanc & Pinotage Celebration in the parking area at the Newlands Store. This “Local is Lekker” festival gives wine lovers the opportunity to taste a selection of dynamic latest release Chenin Blanc’s and prestigious current vintage Pinotage’s from 20 of the country’s top producers. This year we hope to include a bubbly and dessert wine or two to savour in the line-up as well. All the showcased wines will be available for purchase at special prices from Wine Concepts on the day. Cost: R50.00 per person – includes wine glass and tasting of over 40 wines. Tickets can be purchased at the door on the day. Telephone Newlands at 021 671 9030. Email:
Saturday, 12th & Sunday, 13th March Stellenbosch Vineyards Pizza & Wine Festival. Sunny days and balmy nights, delicious pizza and great wine - the perfect combinations for a good time in the winelands. Enjoy a selection of superb wines paired with mouth-watering pizzas and live music. Or take a break from the pizza and wine, and indulge in the oyster and bubbly bar set under the thatched area in the middle of the Welmoed pond. A first of its kind in the Stellenbosch winelands, the festival will take place on the picturesque Welmoed Farm, home of Stellenbosch Vineyards, offering fun-filled activities for the kids as well as a variety of pizzas creatively prepared to tantalise your taste buds. Tickets cost R120 per person which includes entry, a tasting glass, tasting coupons and the live entertainment. Additional coupons can be purchased on the day. Book directly via
Saturday, 12th March      Muratie Harvest Festival. The Melck family will once again be hosting their Annual Harvest Festival at Muratie Estate in Stellenbosch on 2016. The festival, which takes place under the ancient oaks that guard this historic wine estate, is a celebratory family event featuring good food, fine wine, great company, live music and lots of fun stomping the newly harvested grapes. The day will begin at 11h30. Entrance will be R50.00 per person. A selection of delicious meals and cold drinks will be on sale and Muratie’s full range of wines will be available for purchase, by the glass or by the bottle. Rijk Melck will be giving a talk on the extraordinary characters from the farm’s colourful past, after whom the Muratie wines are named. This talk will take place at 12h00 and all are welcome. After lunch, guests will be able to relax and enjoy a memorable afternoon of live music performed by the popular Kitchen Jammin Blues Band. Festival-goers must please book their tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. For further information contact Jean-Mari Strauss at Muratie on 021 865 2330 or
Sunday, 13th March         The Backsberg Centenary Picnic Concert Series continues with a performance by Valiant Swart Band. Come and enjoy your Sunday afternoon by relaxing on the lawns with a glass of wine whilst listening to some great SA music. Tickets are R120 from and R150 at the gate. Students pay R60 and there is no charge for children under the age of 12. Delicious food and snack boxes will be available on the day. Snack boxes can be pre-ordered at at a cost of R160 for two persons. Gates to Backsberg Estate Cellars open at 15h00.

3rd March 2016
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