Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Birthday lunch at Foxcroft, Constantia

Where to go to celebrate Lynne's birthday this year was easy. Foxcroft has been on our To Do list for a while. We met the restaurant manager Aaron Farquhar at a media lunch at La Colombe earlier this year and we had heard very good reports of the food and the ambience. In a cold and rainy week, the weather played fair and the clouds parted, so we had a chance to eat outside on the terrace. Foxcroft is in the High Constantia centre, just before you make the turn for Groot Constantia on Constantia Main Road. https://www.foxcroft.co.za
It is a spacious restaurant with lots of outside space, we think it is should be very popular in summer
We had taken along this rather special bottle of wine, a gift from Danie Steytler at Kaapzicht; the vineyard and Lynne are the same age. They do charge R60 corkage which we were very happy to pay for this CWG Auction Wine, a delicious Chenin Blanc, full of peaches and mango
We were delighted to find that there was a Winter Special Lunch menu at a very reasonable price. You need to book quickly, as it runs out at the end of August. There is something for everyone on this compact menu
Two warm breads from the oven, with a butter topped with roasted garlic and a snoek paté
One of us went for the cured Franschhoek trout - like good Gravadlax, with fresh radish (the menu said fermented but we didn't notice they had been pickled or changed) and two green purées, one of avocado, the other wasabi horseradish with a kick. This was topped with wet mustard seeds (of course, this could have been the fermented radish?) and very nice salmon caviar, adorned with chickweed and sorrel, perhaps foraged locally. A really good pairing with the Chenin
and the other had the Crisp Pork Cheeks with sharp pickled octopus, tamarind, pineapple coriander. We each ate half then swopped plates. The pig cheek has a lovely gelatinous texture, with soft meat, sweet fat and collagen, things Lynne loves but John does not. The brown dots are the fruity marmitey tamarind, the yellow flower is a slice of grilled pineapple dusted with Japanese style chilli, which added a nice buzz, and the green streaks are a coriander purée which, thankfully, was not too overwhelming. The dish was topped with finely crisp bits of what must have been pork crackling. Another nice dish, all in concert
Lynne opted for the Lamb dish as her main, which also had some rare pieces on the plate. The slow cooked lamb was tender, not dry and had a very good flavour. The shiny wine jus was rich and delicious. A clever touch, especially for someone who does not take mint sauce with her lamb was the deep fried mint leaves. Some young baby turnips, some baby kale and broccoli topped off the dish and an interesting nettle purée was added with a rocher of whisky mustard. It looks small; it wasn't and the richness nearly defeated Lynne
John had the Seven Day dry aged, very tender duck with a salty skin. His jus gras was flavoured with five spice, which added a good Asian note. Some pecans had been added to the duck confit duck liver and we think gésiers? Parsnip purée, some Brussels sprout and chicory leaves accompanied the dish
Time for dessert. We would have shared them but they are rather small.
John chose the rather pink Foxy banana cake - very banana he says. It is made with Valrhona's 46% Bahibe chocolate from the Caribbean (the pink squares), tiny vanilla meringues, squares of lemon lime jelly, dark banana purée and incorporated coffee, rum and banana crisps. In the mouth, a Banoffee pie!
Lynne went for the pan fried caramelised Quince slices, with light as air, soft and moist Parsnip microwave cake, a very sweet parsnip ganache, nice rich vanilla ice cream and good crunchy oatmeal granola
We ended with two good strong double espressos and the bill came to R764 for lunch. We will be back in the summer with visitors, if not before
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