Thursday, October 05, 2017

A Heritage supper with Jenny Morris at Karibu

Last week, Jenny (famously aka The Giggling Gourmet) invited us to join her and sample the menu at Karibu. And sample we did with a massive 10 course tasting menu, all paired with the correct wines. The courses just grew and grew in size. If you have visitors to the Cape who are curious as to what traditional South African food is like, send them to Karibu. And, no, they will not be obliged to have a 10 course menu, unless they choose to
A large restaurant with seats outside on the front terrace and great views of the Waterfront and the mountain. Luckily, as it was a little chilly that evening, we sat at the long table inside
Interesting, rather Christmassy decor (Yes, it is coming, far too quickly for us). All they need is a reindeer - wait! no, a caribou - and a few red baubles
A welcoming "cocktail", somewhat reminiscent of melted ice cream, with a chocolate elephant head for decoration
The irrepressible Jenny Morris with Executive Chef Jamie Rowntree, who has been with Karibu for 10 years. We were told that Sommelier Paul would keep us moist and lubricated. And, yes he did, with such a well chosen wine pairing of excellent top wines. Their cellar must be good
First course, a twist of smoked salmon on a mini potato rosti, with mayonnaise and lemon
This was served with some 2016 Fleur du Cap unfiltered Sauvignon Blanc. If you like this beautiful wine, and we do, buy now; it is about to disappear. We hear that Distell has cancelled all the unfiltered wines from Fleur du Cap. Cider makes more money and Distell is the world's second largest cider producer. Who needs wine...?

Next a wave of smoked rooibos, thyme and red barrel-stave-smoked snoek paté with a garlic crouton and a twirl of sweet mustard sauce. Served with Fairview’s Oom Pagel Semillon, which was also very wooded and a good match
Another fish course: a tiny fish frikkadel (cake), with a tomato and raw onion salsa and our traditional Mrs Ball’s Chutney and mayo. This went with Ken Forrester’s 2016 Old Vine Chenin Blanc, a wine good for all occasions and super with fish
Suddenly, we had this choir doing a Black Mambazo/Paul Simon rendition of "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes" and others. Excellent, adds atmosphere. The restaurant has lots of tourists
On to the meat courses and, of course, we had to have some game. No not caribou but an Impala, Kudu and Springbok brochette, nicely smoke-flamed, dressed with spicy chakalaka sauce, on a bed of pap - ground white maize known as mielie meal, the staple diet of many African nations. This was paired with Billy Hughes' 2010 Nativo
Also on the table were bowls of traditional Umngqusho - samp (dried white maize kernels, reconstituted) and beans. We, personally, don't like the very popular Pap; for us it is close to tasteless polenta and was served at boarding school for breakfast every third day - enough already. John skipped porridge every third day, preferring the oats and Maltabella (sorghum porridge) served on the other two days. But we do love samp and beans. The soaked maize kernels and brown borlotti or speckled sugar beans are cooked together in stock and spices for hours, until they are soft and melting and well flavoured. Each of the two has a different texture and they go so well together
Ah, we are watching the courses get bigger and bigger.... Next came a duo of Karoo lamb chops, currently more expensive than fillet steak, thickly coated in a barbecue sauce and defying the use of cutlery - all South Africans like to pick up their chops and chow. But we ate politely; well, almost all the time.. They were served with chips and potato & carrot mash. Now we are getting that full feeling. What wine could this be paired with but the Steenberg 2014 Merlot? Perfect with lamb
Oh dear, what comes next, can we resist? Can we cope? Confit duck cuisses! served with fig jam and mash. We tried, we enjoyed, we were failing. Another good wine, Stellenrust’s Cinsault. There are HORDES of new and excellent Cinsaults appearing on the market. A grape which has always been a big part of SA’s red wine portfolio but has flown under the radar for many years...
Oh hell. Just as the trapdoor in Lynne's innards slammed shut, they serve the most interesting Cape dish. Denningvleis is lamb knuckles cooked in a sweet and sour tamarind, molasses and sugar sauce with lots and lots of spices, but no chilli. Served on traditional Cape Malay yellow turmeric rice, seeded with raisins. This dish originated in Indonesia and has been cooked in the Cape for over three centuries by our Cape Malay population, so it is one of our oldest recipes. It was delicious and falling off the bone. We managed just one mouthful. And this is a full sized portion, no more sissy tasting portions from chef. Suitably paired with the spicy 2014 Kloovenberg Shiraz
Thank heavens for the sparky conversation around the table, or we might have been losing the will to live, because ..... now it was time for dessert. And not one but two, both served with ice cream. First came Malva pudding in a cardamom sauce. John tried it. Lynne stood well back and said no more food thank you. And then another - Cape Brandy Pudding. We have made this our recipe of the week, in case you are now so hungry that you want to try it. The dessert wine is one we always recommend as the wine that goes with all desserts, especially those difficult ones like Christmas pudding, chocolate and trifle: Pierre Jourdan Ratafia from Haute Cabrière; it is a sweet wine made more interesting with the addition of some of Pierre Jourdan’s potstill brandy
And guess what? Next came local cheeses with fig preserve and chutney. Some then had coffee, Lynne some mint tea for her digestion
A bubbly Jenny Morris with one of the invited industry guests, Iwan Jooste
Chef Jamie with another guest; actor and broadcaster Soli Philander
The usual fun, games and giggles with the restaurant manager
Lynne had a long chat with Chef Jamie
Time to phone our Uber. We have to mention that the staff was absolutely superb. And, unusually, they have all been with the restaurant from the beginning. It opened more than 10 years ago. Chef believes in encouraging them, and promoting and training them. What an evening, what a meal. Thank you so much Jenny and all at Karibu
Late night at the Waterfront with all the lights on
And as we walked (OK one of us was staggering a bit under the weight of doggie bag food) to the taxi, we spotted this huge mast and went to investigate. She is Super yacht M5 (formerly Mirabella V) and she was moored in the V&A Waterfront. She is a 75.2m sloop with an 88.5 metre mast supporting 36000 sq m of sail; the largest single-masted yacht ever built
A small (but very powerful) Carbon Cub sea plane is housed on her after deck. Is this the world's smallest aircraft carrier?

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