Wednesday, July 26, 2017

This Week’s MENU. Breakfast at Mondiall, Hemel and Aarde Valley, Creation, Lunch at Newton Johnson, Geometric Gin, Raath Tasting, Chicken and Corn Chowder, Bartho Eksteen Blom Rosé

Moorhens in their mating rituals, Hemel en Aarde Valley    
A busy week. We had a wonderful weekend in the Hemel en Aarde Valley, celebrating a milestone birthday with a special friend and using the opportunity to taste some great wines and have lunch at a favourite restaurant. Then back to Cape Town to taste gin and more wines... 

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Continuing our search for the perfect breakfast in Cape Town we bought vouchers from Hyperli which took us to Mondiall in the V&A Waterfront. We think it was good value at R109 for a voucher for two people. Known for its wonderful position on the quayside at the end of the V&A Hotel, we have enjoyed dinner there and we liked the hamburgers from the Burger bar which we took home after a non-catered Waterfront event, but this was the first time we’d had breakfast there....

We spent the weekend in the Hemel and Aarde Valley at a friend's 70th birthday celebrations and much fun was had. As part of the celebration they had arranged to have an informal tasting with winemaker Bartho Eksteen on his property Die Wijnskool. Bartho was in great form. He told us he prints all his wine labels in Afrikaans only. He says the French, Italians, Germans and Spanish do it, so why not him. He reassured us that if you want to know about the wine, his web site and all sales material is in English. The wine that absolutely blew us away was....

Creation co-owners JC and Carolyn Martin were at the Birthday party we attended on Saturday night and they invited us to visit the farm next day so, as the day was beautiful and we were not due for lunch at Newton Johnson till 1pm, we decided to take the short trip up the valley. There is a lovely view of the Babylonstoren mountain over the Creation farm dam...
As we were in the valley for the weekend, we wanted to try out this restaurant as we had not visited since its change of chef from Erik Bulpitt to Ricky Broekhoven. They wanted to do less fine dining and more artisanal food. Chef Ricky was sous chef to Erik Bulpitt and it is good to see such a young and talented chef - he is only 26 - take charge of his own kitchen. He did his training at the TCA under Rebecca Hurst and has lots of good experience locally and overseas while he climbed the kitchen tree. He has worked in good restaurants in Sweden and with several respected South African chefs...
We were invited to taste Geometric Gin this week at the Gin Bar in Wale Street. The gin is named after our much endangered Geometric tortoise. It is produced by the Geometric Drinks Company and made by Jean-Baptiste Cristini, with help from co-founders Andrea and Chris Mullineux, who were inspired to "produce their own expression of Botanical and Grape-based drinks". Analjit Singh, the force behind the Leeu Collection, is also involved. Jean-Baptiste, known as Tista, decided to distill his own gin using locally sourced botanicals...
We took an Uber from Wale Street to get to Harrington's Cocktail Lounge in Harrington Street, as Lynne has twisted her knee. Kathy and Dane Raath represent several excellent wine farms and this is the annual chance to taste them for the trade. The winemakers are present, so you can ask lots of questions about vintages, terroir and the making of them. We tried new wines, new vintages, some old, some favourites, one or two not, and an exciting bottle of Chenin hoping to make it into the CWG Auction. The judging of the CWG Auction entries will take place on Thursday this week...
The Chicken soup recipe seems to have gone down very well so we thought you might like a variation. This is enough for a couple of helpings for two people; just double up the quantities if you want to feed four. You can use oil instead of butter, but it does lose some richness. Chowder is half way between a soup and a stew and must have sometexture from the vegetables.....

This palest of pale rosé wines is made from Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah. Bartho took a risk. He says the grapes were producing such beautiful juice this year that he blended the juice first and then made the wine. It is a risk, and very hard to repeat. The wine was so pale ...








25th July 2017
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© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2017
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