Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Lunch at The Restaurant, Newton Johnson Estate, Hemel en Aarde Valley

Following our stay at Wildekrans Lodge, we all dispersed and went for lunch in the area before heading home. We had booked a table at Newton Johnson for 1pm and were given a great table with the best view
The restaurant filled up nicely. There was a family birthday party for an 89 year old Mum and behind us some international wine people tasting at the table before having some lunch, amongst others
We had a lot of wine over the weekend and were looking for something easy to drink with our lunch choices, which are always varied. What better than Newton Johnson's Felicité Rosé made from Pinot Noir; light and fruity, such a good wine to share over a Sunday lunch
Talented young Chef Rickey Broekhoven has worked with both Eric Bulpitt and George Jardine and you will always get some good bread and something interesting to spread on it. The soft sourdough bread had a good crust and the whipped lard was scattered with baby pickled pine cones!
The menu is small and concise, but there is something for every taste
Lynne chose the Duck crème caramel, a rich and creamy smooth duck pate resembling foie gras in richness, topped with dark caramelised onions, thyme and crisp toasted ciabatta. It was superb and John was a bit envious
He chose the Pork Croquettes, with house made sauerkraut, mustard and an apple puree. More the size of bitter ballen and with lots of shredded pork inside the crisp breadcrumb coating
Chef Ricky at the pass dressing some of the fish with butterbeans
John chose the Chalmar sirloin, well seared on the open fire, but perfectly medium rare and pink in the middle and very tender. It was dressed with seared onions, a creamed onion soubise sauce and roasted celeriac and topped off with a good meat jus. We had never had roasted celeriac before; it will be added to our repertoire once we can find some of this lovely root for sale
Yes we did order the irresistible hand cut fries with roast garlic aioli and yes, we did have to take them home in a doggie bag as our eyes were too big for our stomachs
Lynne had the perfectly Pan seared Kabeljou fish, crisp, nutty and golden on one side and moist on the other, with Parmentier cubed potatoes, freshly picked broad beans from the cover crop in the vineyards, rochers of tart lemon cream and mint, with foraged dune cabbage and a good jus beneath. So enjoyable, so complete
All we could manage next was a double espresso each before heading home. It is a beautiful green valley at the moment with the broad beans between the young vines. We had such good service from our waitress Anne Davison
The bill
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