Thursday, April 28, 2016

Restaurant Week lunch at The Conservatory, Cellars Hohenort

Restaurant week has run for 10 days from the 21st of April this year. We were keen to book for some of the top restaurants but were certainly not successful for La Colombe. Lynne went on line the moment the site was up and failed; all the seats were sold out in an hour. Perhaps due to the fact that they only had one table for 2 for lunch - not really a great way to entice new customers? We did get a booking at another of our choices: for lunch at The Conservatory at Cellars Hohenort and it was a good experience, despite the severe Cape storm that day and very grey sky
One of the Cellars Hohenort buildings; this one houses the Greenhouse restaurant. This is part of The Collection (of hotels) made by the late Liz McGrath. The restaurants are now run by Exec Chef Peter Tempelhoff
One of the old cellars
The entrance to the Conservatory restaurant
One of the very comfortable lounges in the hotel
A lovely corner by the fire to see out the storm
In the Conservatory with a view of its terrace for warmer days
Inside the more formal side of the restaurant
The value menu for the week. We think they played it a bit safe with the choices, but the food was good
A good selection of hard to resist, freshly made bread and crisp breads with guacamole and butter
Ducks loving the pond and the rain
Our table in the centre with an all round view of the magnificent gardens
We all fell for the twice baked Underberg cheese soufflés. Light and gentle with a very good cheese sauce
The girls had the pan fried Line fish which was kingklip, perfectly cooked and seasoned, with an interesting squid ink foam. (Note: kingklip is often featured as a line-caught fish on menus. It is actually a deep water cusk eel which is caught by trawl nets). This came with pan seared calamari, a sweet tomato fondu, broccoli spears and a Linguine of pasta Nero which was rather tasteless. We drank a bottle of Klein Constantia KC Rosé which went well with all the courses, even the steak although, with his abscess and consequent aggressive antibiotic, John was only drinking water and had only a sip of the wine
John chose the grilled grass fed sirloin, tender, but a bit more done than the medium rare he ordered. Crisp topped potatoes, leek fricassee, roasted heirloom carrots and a good meaty thyme jus
Only one of the party, Anne, could resist the dessert. We are both suckers for any Tarte Tatin and this was an excellent one. The gooey dark caramel was still pliable, the apple cooked to perfection in crisp shortcrust pastry (we prefer it to flaky and believe it was the original). This was topped off by a butterscotch sauce, Madagascan vanilla ice cream and a brandy snap tuile.
Our coffees came with friandise: mint marshmallows, apple macarons and fudge. Tempting. And all this lovely food while the storm drenched, whirled and blew the countryside about outside
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus
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