Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Jazz and Fondue Sundays at Delheim, Stellenbosch

We were invited to the first of Delheim’s popular Jazz & Fondue events, which will be held every Sunday until 25th August
and headed off, on one of our rare but lovely sunny winter days, to this farm high in the Stellenbosch Simonsberg foothills
We received a very friendly welcome
This week, the band was a group who came together while at the South African College of Music at UCT
Held in the cellar tasting room, we were shown to a table in the back corner
Our lovely waitress Isipho explained the menu and what we could have
Our fondue and a bottle of wine were complimentary, as we were reviewing the event
The "wine bottle" on the table is a pepper grinder, made to look like Delheim's first wine, Spatzendreck. Michael "Spatz" Sperling came to the Cape from Germany in 1951. He joined his uncle Hans Hoheisen and his aunt Del on the Delheim (Del's home) farm, where he started to experiment with wine making, eventually adding to his knowledge by consulting with established winemakers. His first wine Spatzendreck, a natural sweet, was tasted by a friend who pronounced it “dreck”. He bottled it with a picture of a sparrow relieving itself on the label and it has been a favourite dessert wine for many aficionados ever since. Sperling is the German word for Sparrow and Spatz is the colloquial equivalent. Spatz died in 2017. We published an obituary. Delheim is run by his son and daughter, Victor and Nora
First came the two complimentary glasses of glühwein, nice and hot, sweet and rich with the flavours of cloves and other spices
John said he thought it might have apple juice in it as well
The Menu and the Wine List. Tickets cost R350 per person. Entry includes glühwein on arrival, the musical entertainment (band cover charge) and the fondue (with bread and vegetables). Note that all starters, meats and desserts will be charged extra. Wines will be on sale by the bottle or glass. Each lunchtime show runs from noon to 15:00.
The band which was playing on Sunday. They played lots of African jazz and some classics, which we enjoyed
The cellar is quite small and so we don’t think the bands need amplifiers as the sound can amplify in the space all on its own
It was sometimes rather hard to hear the waitress or each other
The timetable. Be there by 12 noon. And you must book beforehand
Isipho opening our wine
We were given a bottle of the Delheim 2016 Sur Lie Chardonnay, which went perfectly with the rich cheese fondue
It is full of toasted brioche, citrus and peach with long flavours, a good zing of acidity and some good salty minerality
We could have had the Shiraz, but prefer a white wine with cheese fondue
Our neighbours on our table ordered the soup for their starter, which was Butternut
We shared the Cape Malay Platter at R70 and, compliments to the chef, it was totally delicious, all of it
Two sensational mince samoosas with bubble crisp pastry and that was only one layer thick. Applause
Tiny, crisp and light as air chilli bites - we could have eaten a plate full
Two spring rolls, again with crisp pastry, filled to the brim with soft and tender shredded roast meat
Not sure if it was lamb or beef, but they were moist and moreish
It was in a very interesting sauce which tasted of sesame or nuts, a little like a sate sauce without the spice
Don’t hesitate, have this when you go. The whole vegetable pickle in the middle reminded us of Piccalilli
Then the cheese fondue. They gave us the vegetables first which was very good strategy and very good for us,
as one normally eats too much of the bread, which came later. The texture of the fondue is perfect;
it coats each mouthful with a thick coating of what tasted like good cheddar cheese fondue
Cauliflower works so well
Broccoli too. And it stops dripping almost immediately
We and the other couple did order the Sirloin to accompany the meal, but it didn't arrive
Not too much of a problem, we had so much fondue and dipping accompaniments to eat
The Sirloin apparently comes sliced and ready cooked, so you don’t dip it in the cheese
And we could not resist sharing a slice of the German cooked cheesecake, not something you see often,
so light and very satisfying, drizzled with a thick syrup, and went well with the coffee served at the end of the meal
Our bill for the extras: the starter platter, one dessert and two coffees came to R200 including a tip
Oops, weren't those coffees supposed to be complimentary?
Thank you Delheim for a lovely event

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