Sunday, March 19, 2017

Lunch at Jardine, Jordan wine estate, Stellenbosch

This has become an annual event, as our friends from Holland just love having lunch at this restaurant on Peter's birthday, which occurs while they are here for two months. We are huge fans of George Jardine's food, so we too always enjoy the day
It had been a lovely rainy morning so, initially, everyone was seated inside
The menu. It changes regularly, due to seasonal ingredients becoming available. There are now three choices per course. Previously the starters and mains had five items, which did give one a bit more choice. John cannot eat mushrooms, so he only had one choice of main this time
We were a party of 7. This was the most ordered starter, tender springbok tartare, salt and sugar cured, in an aioli served in a marrow bone. It was complemented by black garlic, picked onion, plum and radish slivers, smoky deep fried crumbed morsels of bone marrow, with dehydrated fennel. It sounds overwhelming, it was not, the springbok shone, the rest all added different tastes and textures to it
The second starter showcased two plump West Coast oysters, one in batter, the other steamed, set in chawanmushi (a gentle seafood flavoured egg custard), pickled shiitake mushrooms, marinated sea lettuce seaweed, edamame beans and ginger soy dressing
The third starter was a Porterville beetroot extravaganza. So pretty. Crisps, puréed, baked, sauced, and boiled. Served with fresh raspberries, which were also freeze dried then powdered to dust, and a Goats cheese mousse. You did have to love beetroot! We drank the Jordan Inspector Peringuey Chenin Blanc with the starters, its 'rich and ripe' a full flavoured Chenin and it went so well with all the starters, and some of the mains
On to the main courses. This was the porcini dusted East coast hake fillet, served with butter fettuccine, a roasted porcini fricassee, and a porcini velouté (a smooth deep soup) poured around the edges. Topped with parmesan cheese and watercress. Much enjoyed by the mushroom lovers, who said the fish was perfectly cooked
This was the most popular main, Tender herb crusted duck breast, pink inside, on a rich celeriac puree, with a hazelnut butter, in the centre a layered sweet potato and apple crumble and those beautiful grilled fresh figs. There was a small amount of concentrated jus, some pea shoots and then there was the controversial kale, which was young. Our Dutch friends love it, they eat it often; we are not so sure. It seems to be picked too late here, it can be like glass and getting used to that intense bitter minerality is tough for some of us
The vegetarian’s choice was pan roasted miso Gnocchi, in a mushroom bouillon, with charred leeks, fried shimeji mushrooms and compressed cucumber, topped with micro greens. She loved it
Pouring the bouillon. We ordered another bottle of the Chenin for those who wanted to stay on white wine and a bottle of the Jordan Prospector Syrah, Rhône style; it matched the duck well, adding to the experience
Ah how can one resist side order of these lovely oven roasted duck fat chips. We also had a side salad
Time for dessert for those with room left. Two had a trip to the cheese room, a great experience. You can chose five from a huge selection of great local cheeses. They said this was a superb part of their meal

This was the deconstructed carrot cake, with buffalo Chantilly, roasted peaches and peach ice cream, which rather disappointed on delivery, sadly, but not on flavour
For the birthday boy, a candle atop his portion of the Valrhona chocolate torte topped with white chocolate, with a smoked almond crumble, honeycomb, a caramel sauce and rich coffee ice cream. Lovely except for that smoky element which doesn't sit too well in a dessert. Lynne admired and tasted John's but could not manage dessert. Good coffees followed
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2017

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