Tuesday, May 23, 2017

This Week's MENU. Aslina wine launch, supper at Lily's, Morgenster launch, Lunch at Dynasty, Red Cabbage apple, Aslina Umsasane 2015

Autumn colours in the avenue leading to the manor house at Morgenster

This will be the last MENU in our usual format for several weeks. On Thursday 25th May, , we will be flying to Schipol in the Netherlands and embarking on a rather ambitious road trip through north Europe and Scandinavia. One of those “bucket list” things to do before we become too old and feeble! Although it will be a holiday, a photographer and his camera never find it easy to become inactive, so we’ll be posting short stories of the places we’ll visit in Holland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway and will be posting on Instagram as well at https://www.instagram.com/fordjohnduncan/ We look forward to showing you some interesting and beautiful places and MENU will resume its normal format in the third week of June
Ntsiki Biyela, originally from KwaZulu Natal, has been the winemaker at Stellekaya for the last 13 years. She was the first South African black woman wine maker. She trained in Viticulture & Oenology at Stellenbosch University and worked stages in Tuscany and Bordeaux. At Stellekaya she produced four star Platter wines and won awards. Her dream was always to make her own wines and this she has now done. Aslina is her tribute to her grandmother (it is her grandmother's name) who was her inspiration and guide as she grew up. She was awarded Woman Winemaker of the year in 2009. It is an exciting venture. She continues as a consultant to Stellekaya. She is involved in many wine industry competitions as a judge i.e. SAA, Diners Club Winemaker of the Year, IWSC and Nederburg Auction. We were invited to the launch of these wines, held at the American Consul General’s residence in Bishopscourt
Mouille Point beachfront has suddenly been populated by several smart looking restaurants, those that should be on Sea Point's promenade but are not (and there is a long history there). We were invited to Lily's to try out the food last week. It is on the corner of a new block that has taken the place of the old Newport Deli. Lily is the name of Paul Kovenski's young daughter. The Kove Collection also owns Pepenero next door and La Belle Bistro and Bakery in the same road, as well as the Alphen and several other Cape Town restaurants. They do not yet have a wine licence, so you do need to Bring Your Own. Phone first though, in case the licence has been granted. Or you can order wine from Pepenero, but you need to run two bills
Earlier this year, in February, we were invited to review the Kyoto Gardens Menu for Two which was obviously a success, because this week we were invited to review the new Winter Special menu. On offer are three courses and a glass of wine for R220 pp. This also includes an appetiser of Edamame beans, not counted as one of the courses. This authentic Japanese restaurant in Kloof Neck Road can be a tad pricey, but they do serve some of the best sea food in Cape Town. This menu is good value and an excellent introduction to authentic Japanese food
We were invited by the owner, Giulio Bertrand, to the unveiling on Friday of the Estate’s new Pieralisi Olive Press and to taste the new season's olive oil. And, of course, we would have the opportunity of tasting the recently released wines. The Olive Press is astounding. We have not seen an installation this big and sophisticated in South Africa. And the wine tasting was pretty special too
We know we talk a lot about Dynasty, our local Chinese restaurant in Main Road Sea Point. We do so because it is very good. Clare, John's daughter had a special birthday this weekend and, on Sunday, we took her there for a treat. John had placed a special order for a whole Peking Duck. We thought you might like to see it
If you are serving a rich meat like Confit Duck, Goose or even Belly of Pork, traditionally it is served with a relish of some sort to help cut the fat. Red Cabbage is traditional with both duck and goose and Lynne made it to go with Duck Confit and duck fat potatoes recently. It is usual to add a red wine vinegar, but she used Balsamic which adds more depth of flavour and some sweetness.  1 Tablespoon should be enough, but it depends on the strength of the Balsamic you use, so do taste and add more if you think it needs it. You do need a sour sweet taste in this cabbage dish. The sour apples help.
1 small red cabbage, cored and roughly shredded - 2 granny smith apples - 2 T butter - 3 crushed juniper berries - 1 to 2 T balsamic vinegar - 1 t sugar - water - salt - freshly ground black pepper
Peel, core and slice the apples. In a pan with a lid, melt the butter and gently fry the apples for a minute or two, then add the cabbage, the juniper berries, the sugar and the balsamic. Simmer on a gentle heat with the lid on for half an hour. Add a little water during cooking if the cabbage looks too dry. Taste and adjust the seasoning

a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot
Made by winemaker Ntsiki Biyela. This classic Bordeaux blend reminded Lynne so much of a great Cape wine called Crescendo from the now defunct winery Cordoba, made by Chris Keet, who now makes his own blend called First Verse. The nose is superb: Incense wood, gunflint, stone, full of violets and cassis. A smooth mouth feel then the berry fruit gathers itself and goes POW on the palate. It is sophisticated with layers of fruit and gentle wood with some necessary tight chalky tannins and on the end hints of tea and more violets. A wine built to last 20 plus years








23rd May 2017
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
If you like the photographs you see in our publications, please look at our Adamastor Photo website for our rate card and samples from our portfolio
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. This electronic journal has been sent to you because you have personally subscribed to it or because someone you know has asked us to send it to you or forwarded it to you themselves. Addresses given to us will not be divulged to any person or organisation. We collect them only for our own promotional purposes. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, please click here to send us a message and if you wish to be removed from our mailing list, please click here to send us a message.

Duck and Sushi lunch at Dynasty, Sea Point

We know we talk a lot about Dynasty, our local Chinese restaurant in Main Road Sea Point. We do so because it is very good. Clare, John's daughter had a special birthday this weekend and, on Sunday, we took her there for a treat. John had placed a special order for a whole Peking Duck. We thought you might like to see it
Clare's favourite sushi is salmon roses, so she had four
This is one of our favourites, the Tuna Hot kisses. 8 large Tuna rolls stuffed with tuna, avocado and asparagus and topped with mayo, spring onion, chilli and hot togarashi spice
Or the Prawn Lovers. 8 large rolls filled and topped with tempura prawns, mayo, sweet chilli jam and black sesame seeds. And Oh! Did we forget to mention that at lunchtime all the sushi is at half price?
The shredded spring onions and cucumber for the duck next to the hoi sin sauce for the pancakes
Our glistening crisp Peking duck arrives
Alex the owner is a master of cutting the duck into good slices. each with a piece of crisp skin
Lynne asked him if it was hot and burning his hand. YES was the answer. Luckily he is very quick
Working round the legs
And then arranging the slices on a warm plate
Ready for action, the pancakes have arrived and the Pinot Noir from Quando is ready for drinking. It was sensational. Plenty for three of us, some even went home. This is what Lynne wants as her last meal. Shirley, Alex's wife who also runs the restaurant said "Don't make it too soon please..!" 

What is on the Menu this week. Red cabbage and apple

If you are serving a rich meat like Confit Duck, Goose or even Belly of Pork, traditionally it is served with a relish of some sort to help cut the fat. Red Cabbage is traditional with both duck and goose and Lynne made it to go with Duck Confit and duck fat potatoes recently. It is usual to add a red wine vinegar, but she used Balsamic which adds more depth of flavour and some sweetness.  1 Tablespoon should be enough, but it depends on the strength of the Balsamic you use, so do taste and add more if you think it needs it. You do need a sour sweet taste in this cabbage dish. The sour apples help

1 small red cabbage, cored and roughly shredded - 2 granny smith apples - 2 T butter - 3 crushed juniper berries -1 to 2 T balsamic vinegar - 1 t sugar - water - salt - freshly ground black pepper
Peel, core and slice the apples. In a pan with a lid, melt the butter and gently fry the apples for a minute or two, then add the cabbage, the juniper berries, the sugar and the balsamic. Simmer on a gentle heat with the lid on for half an hour. Add a little water during cooking if the cabbage looks too dry. Taste and adjust the seasoning

Morgenster Olive and Wine Launch

We were invited by the owner, Giulio Bertrand, to the unveiling on Friday of the Estate’s new Pieralisi Olive Press and to taste the new season's olive oil. And, of course, we would have the opportunity of tasting the recently released wines. The Olive Press is astounding. We have not seen an installation this big and sophisticated in South Africa. And the wine tasting was pretty special too
We began in the Morgenster tasting room. Morgenster means Morning Star
which has a lovely terrace. Besides some media and wine industry people, the staff and students of the Sense of Taste Culinary Academy had also been invited, something we so approve of. Chefs need to know how olive oil and wine are made
Beautiful views of the Schapenberg mountains over the lake
Chef Owner of Sense of Taste Pete Ayoub with lecturer Angie Boyd
Tables set up for the wine tasting later
Global Sales & Marketing Manager Jason de Beer
Cellarmaster Henry Kotzé has been with Morgenster since 2009. He took us on a cellar tour
We started in the barrel cellar. Morgenster's cellar has been custom designed and the South African team works closely with consultant and director of the Morgenster  Board, Pierre Lurton of the renowned Chateau Cheval Blanc in France
It has quite a mix of different barrels, all French. Giulio Bertrand releases only a portion of each vintage at launch date and keeps the balance in pristine condition in his cellar to be evaluated at six monthly intervals. He then releases the vintages in batches that showcase their progression, providing an unusual offering to private and trade consumers of several vintages of the same label
Then into the gravity fed tank area, no pumps are used. All the wine making is gently done with as little contact with the grapes as possible. Morgenster is a BWI winery (Biodiversity and Wine Initiative).
Time for the wine tasting. They use Riedel glasses. Morgenster's vineyards are planted mainly with Bordeaux varieties and smaller quantities of Italian cultivars. We began with the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, now in a screw capped bottle. Mouth filling with a good balance of fruit and acid, peaches and good minerality, no wood but 4 weeks on the lees. Then the Single Varietal Sangiovese made in the Chianti style. Huge cherry nose with savoury hints, good wood notes and some smoke. Chalky tannins, long soft flavours of cherries, wild berries and smoke

Then the 2017 Caruso Sangiovese Rosé from the Italian Collection. It is perfectly pink, a slightly tarry nose, with strawberries, cherries, raspberries, mulberries and pomegranate with a milk powder end. Easy to quaff, nice mid palate acidity than a nice buzz of warmth.
Then the elegant 2015 White Reserve which is a Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blend
With crisp acidity then a kick of grapefruit on the back palate. Cassis leaves notes, silky , which encourages quaffing and reaching for a forkful of food, creamy on the palate from the Semillon. Great with seafood or creamy fish dishes.
The 2014 Tosca from the Italian Collection is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, a super Tuscan blend in the Montepulciano style. Vanilla oak and ice cream, wildness, violets and incense wood on the nose, Soft sweet fruit on the palate with more violets - such a giveaway that this is an Italian style wine. Cherries, Cassis, raspberries soft supple tannins and fruit with long flavours
Then the 2014 Nabucco made from Nebbiolo. This grape comes from the misty mountains of Italy and the name actually means mistiness). Rhubarb on the pretty nose, richness, vanilla oak. On the palate red berries, chalky tannins, deep and rich and decadent. Wild and very satisfying
Then the wine that wowed everyone The 2013 Lourens River Valley, a classic Bordeaux blend with cassis leaves and berries on the nose with cherries on the end. Sweet fruit, very soft chalky tannins, so pretty. Savouriness from the Cab Franc , no greenness, the wood supports . There is a nice buzz of spice on the plums and cherries, with salty liquorice on the end. this is drinking so well now but has years to go
How to follow that? With the 2013 Morgenster Estate Reserve Bordeaux blend, which to quote Giulio Bertrand is "the best from the best on the farm". It is an illustration of the 2013 vintage. They are sure that the quality will stay the same and improve. Cassis, liquorice, incense and wood on the nose. Red and black cherries and cassis, with green cassis leaves. Good supporting acids, lovely dark wood showing as mocha and chocolate. The fruit is layered and remains on the palate. It has a long savoury end. Needs time
Werner Els who has recently joined Morgenster runs the tasting room. We met him at Zandvliet last year
The wine price list
The Olive Cellar door price list
A short drive took us to the Olive oil factory which is in front of the old manor house
This is where Giulio Bertrand lives. The property was purchased on 28th May 1711 by Huguenot Jacques Malan who built the house, a wine cellar and outbuildings for his family of 13 children
The olive oil tasting room where our simple lunch was set out
We were welcomed there by Giulio Bertrand and his daughter Alessandra
The food set out for lunch was set out on three tables
Some air dried bresaola
Some fresh South African Parmesan to enjoy with black and green olives and tapenade and fresh peeled garlic to scrape across the toast
Toasted ciabatta bread
Fresh tomato salsa with basil
Parma ham
Coppa
and salamis
Time to look at the new Olive Oil production facility, from tree to bottle
The Olive OIl tasting wheel. We have both done intensive olive oil tasting courses in the past and love good oils
Ear muffs are necessary for the staff working there all day
The olives coming in to the facility
They still have leaves and stalks and need washing
They go into this hopper which removes much of the dross
Where the leaves end up. They go to compost
Onward
Into the washer
on rollers which allow unwanted bits to fall through
Then into the crusher. You can see the colour of the olives being crushed
The machine can do two different streams of olives at once. It used these huge crushing wheels
The oil begins to appear
And at the end of the process, the golden fresh olive oil. Tasting this is a dream experience. The bitterness has been removed and the oil is lively and fresh and peppery and green
One of the experts who runs the facility
Everyone made up Bruschetti and enjoyed them with a glass or two of the Morgenster wines. We sat outside to enjoy the weather, the wine and the food
Autumnal oaks line the avenues
This might have been the old shaded avenue for the ox wagons. What a superb day. Thank you Morgenster