Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Restaurant Week Lunch at Upper Bloem, Green Point

To Upper Bloem restaurant on Main Road Green Point, opposite the Cape Town Stadium, for lunch on Saturday. They were offering a Restaurant Week special and we wanted to return after our last visit, which was for the launch of the De Wetshof Limestone Hill Chardonnay in August
We were quite early at 12.15 so they were not busy, but it did liven up later on
There is an open kitchen where you can see Chef Andre Hill and his team preparing the food. He is the co-owner with Henry Vigar of La Mouette. If you are wondering about the name, Chef Andre grew up in Upper Bloem road in the Bo Kaap. To quote from their website: "Offering a selection of small plates comprising seasonal fare, Upper Bloem’s terroir approach extends beyond simply using local produce. It creatively refers to the uniqueness of Cape Town and draws inspiration from the port city’s mix of cultures and the influence that the confluence of people has had on local cuisine. Diners can expect to see modern techniques being applied to old favourites; a fine dining experience in a relaxed setting and a delectable journey of sharing plates reminiscent of the feeling of ‘home’"
The special Restaurant Week menu
John ordered a 450ml Striped Horse Lager from the Craft Beer list at R45
He says the beers on the list are all good
Lynne had a pichet of Protea Pinot Grigio at R50
The wine list is small and not inexpensive; there is the option of wines 'by the glass' served in a pichet
We think they need to add a dry rosé to the list, the food calls loudly for it
Chef Henri Vigar is famous for his small croquettes and these continue the delight
(they were substituted for the Cape Malay onions on the menu). Boerenkaas cheese sauce,
melting in the middle of crisp deep fried bitterballen with a spicy mayonnaise
The next plate was tiny morsels of deep fried battered hake with just pickled cucumber,
sweet potato crisps and tiny pancakes
The plating is enticing and fresh. This was an unctuous ostrich carpaccio, furled rather than flat,
generous in portion, in flavour and in texture, topped with crisp onion flakes,
with roasted ostrich mayonnaise, leaves and radish slices
Lynne’s Carpaccio came with shimeji mushrooms which added a lot to the dish,
both in flavour and in texture
A Salomi is a South African snack consisting of curry-filled roti flat bread
Chef had changed this to a battered and deep fried beetroot leaf. 
The flavour of the potato and courgette curry is so familiar to locals
and it is served with a mint yogurt raita. It was however quite small and fragile
and impossible to pick up and roll, so we used knives and forks
Very enjoyable
They very kindly brought John a substitute dish as the next dish had mushrooms in it
It was a Braised Cauliflower biriani with pistachio nuts and pomegranate aruls
Smoked Duck ham with sliced beetroot, salad leaves, onion, fresh coriander and dressing;
"Ouma's onder die Kombers" (Grandma is under the blankets) on grilled baby gem lettuce
And not a mushroom in sight?!
A conundrum. Wonderful triple cooked and divinely crisp potatoes. But then drowned
in a flavourful sauce which makes them soggy. Could this not come separately? Please
The sauce was flavoured with Muizenberg sour figs (Mesembryanthemum edule)
and was accompanied by burnt chard leaves, crème fraiche and a Bhadji crumb
Dessert was described as frozen naartjie (clementine) topped with deep fried curry leaves
They were indeed frozen quite solid and had the texture of fine polenta
They were rolled in dried and powdered naartjie skin. Interesting
Chef Andre still busy plating and preparing for service in the kitchen
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal; the different and familiar textures and flavours do delight,
captivate and sometimes puzzle, but it is an adventure that we recommend
From the menu
Our bill for lunch

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