Thursday, June 28, 2018

The new Winter menu at Societi Bistro

An invitation to join other media to sample the new winter menu at Societi Bistro was very welcome on this cold and wet Saturday lunchtime, especially as Lynne was getting over a bad dose of flu and it meant she wouldn't have to cook supper that night - we only take one main meal a day
The tables were set with blankets as well as the usual napery, but it was nice and warm inside
First a gin tasting of Inverroche, Cape Town and Cruxland gins. Lynne chose the Cruxland
and had a classic gin, lime and tonic. Good gin makes a really reviving drink.
John had a beer instead, he is not a great gin fan
The gins for tasting. We are not great fans of flavoured gins
but the younger members of the media really enjoyed them
A brief version of Societi's extensive and interesting wine list. This is one of the very few restaurants where all the wines are available by the glass and, if you don't know the wines, they are happy to give you a small taste of a couple before you choose one
Specials of the day
The new Winter Menu, some favourites have had to stay at customers' insistence, but there are some new items as well. Some of the dishes are named after regular customers who love the dish so much
The wine list has many of our favourite wines
Lots of 'crack' around the table as we get to know each other
Some new and some of the usual suspects all enjoying the experience
We were going to have some of the starters first and all the dishes were served family style so we could sample everything on offer
Rich and oily marrow bones on toast with capers, parsley and tomato.  Serving it this way does make it more enticing for many people who might be put off by the conventional way of serving the bones filled with marrow, (which is the way Lynne prefers it!) The flavours are good, just have a napkin at the ready to wipe your chin!
Lynne really enjoyed this starter of Mushroom Fettuccine 'Luan Nel', well flavoured with Gorgonzola, creme fraiche, garlic and Grana Padano, named after a friend. One to return for often - we can see why Luan loves it - especially as she doesn't eat mushrooms at home because of John's allergy
Large rectangular Ravioli stuffed with spinach and feta, with olives
and Grana Padano cheese in a rich Arrabbiata tomato and chilli sauce
These are the Snail vetkoek (snails in gorgonzola and garlic butter encased
in a deep fried savoury donut. Not sure if this is a good way to highlight
the delicate snails, as the vetkoek stay rather gluey inside?
Time for the main courses. The Teriyaki pulled pork neck with pancake tortillas, salad, salsa and lemon slices was a wee bit confusing visually as it looked a little Mexican, but was very enjoyable
The Lamb shank is done in a tomato, red wine and braised vegetable base and comes on creamy buttered mash. It is a substantial portion, well flavoured and falling off the bone
Butter chicken served with pieces of naan bread and
fluffy white basmati rice is a classic and was very popular
The Vegan Black Bean hotpot with miso, coconut cream and basmati rice served on tiny rotis was a surprise hit around the table, enjoyed by many meat eaters. It had lots of great texture and flavour
Comparing photos of the food, or was it cats?
Time for dessert and for Lynne a total surprise.  She does not have a sweet tooth, but
relished all of these delicious desserts and really tucked in. The Chocolate Nemesis cake
is truly rich and dark, and divine
A nicely tart and sticky lemon tart served with cream 
Oh that cheesecake! People were raving about it and there were a couple of stolen moments, but
the staff did provide more. Baked, creamy but light as a feather, not cloying or heavy, just beautiful
as great cheesecake can be (but very often is not). Well done the chef who baked this
The classic Crème Brulée was perfect in its dark cracking caramel and its opulent decadent richness
Perfect with a double espresso for John who was in his element
Rain beating down and filling our dams, we were full and satisfied
and looking forward to a fire and a nap, and maybe a cat on a lap, at home
There are neighbours! 
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