Friday, September 18, 2020

Lunch at George Jardine's Jordan Restaurant

The perfect day out where we could be wonderfully spontaneous

Something we have not had the chance to do for a very long time.  Sunny skies with a little cloud when we headed out to Stellenbosch for lunch at George Jardine at Jordan. We had bought a support voucher and they notified us that it was time to use it.  The clouds soon disappeared and we knew we were in for a lovely day
We stopped at Spier briefly as they have a special on punnets of vegetable seedlings, a reasonable R16 each
We bought two punnets of mixed plants, exactly what Lynne wants for her two new pots on the deck. They also have a great selection of indigenous plants for sale. You go to the Farm Store where you can also have something to eat or take away. We see that they are doing an interesting Heritage Day Braai Box.
The train stop at Spier wine estate, Stellenbosch,
decorated to show support for the South African wine and tourism industries
We wanted to visit another  wine farm on our way to Jordan and stopped at three - Stellenbosch Hills, Overgaauw and De Waal,
only to find they were not open.  This is the beautiful farmhouse at De Waal, built in 1791
And the old wine cellar, built in 1798
We ploughed onward and found that Pella was open, it is owned by Daniel de Waal
We had never been there before, but know their Mount Sutherland wines which are grown near Sutherland in the Karoo 
They are also a lavender farm, so the air is very pleasantly perfumed
Fields of lavender
Chloe Luckhoff runs the tasting room. A tasting costs R60 per person
We decided to share one, as John was driving and would want wine with his lunch
We tasted three Pella wines and one Mount Sutherland, beginning with the Pella Kannidood 2016 wooded Chenin Blanc
(named after a succulent that is hard to kill). Yeasty and rich on the classic chenin nose with some citrus and age showing
Bright fruit, citrus and wood again on the palate, a rather classy Chenin. R150
Wines currently available for sale
Their price list for the Mount Sutherland wines
The Pella Verlaten Kloof 2016 Merlot has spent 12 months in  French oak. It has some vanilla perfume on the nose, soft tannins,
some chalk and robust fruit flavours, cassis and plums; it has length and warmth and the fruit remains.  R160

We tasted the 2017 Tempranillo from the highest vineyards in Mount Sutherland. There is wildness as expected, classic umami,
and some perfume. Intense mulberry fruit, salty licorice, smooth soft tannins and good wood and chalk on the end.  R350
The 2017 Pella Oukliprand Malbec really impressed us
Violets and umami on the nose, soft tannins, supple on the palate, with a nice kick of acidity, salt and good Malbec meatiness,
then the fruit appears with cherry, mulberry and raspberries on the end. And good aging potential.
It was marked as sold out but, when we said how much we liked it, she did say they had a few left, so we bought six. R160
Onward up the Stellenboschkloof road for lunch
Warmly welcomed at Jordan Wine Estate, we were in good time to go to our table on the terrace at the restaurant
It has always been one of our favourite places anywhere, with exceptional food, wine and spectacular views
We had the most enjoyable relaxed lunch and, once again, John said "We do live in the most beautiful place"  
A reflection on a spoon of the Jordan umbrella above us
So good to see Louise Jardine again after so long. We had a booking there for last March
when our Dutch friends should have been here. The Covid lock down got in the way and we had to cancel
and Chef George Jardine looks as healthy and hale as usual
He has his other restaurant in Stellenbosch which is also open
It was good to have a chat about what they have been doing for the last few months
The terrace was filling up
The menu of the day
When the bread served sends you into raptures, you know the food following is going to be superb
Crisp topped, olive oil, garlic and herb ciabatta, Garlic aioli with a herb pesto and pumpkin seed oil, so nutty and smooth
This is served while you wait for your first course
 We each had a glass of Jordan Inspector Péringuey
Chenin Blanc
Lynne's starter of Duck Liver Parfait was just perfection. She was in raptures
So smooth and rich, it was dusted with crushed pumpkin seeds,
and surrounded by a prune purée and pickled blueberries, both great foils to the silky light mousse
And accompanied, as it should always be, by toasted buttery brioche slices
John chose the plump Saldanah Bay Mussels served en papillotte (wrapped in a paper parcel which allows the mussels to steam)
They were in a coconut milk sauce which takes up all the lovely flavours from the mussels and the aromatics added:
chilli, herbs, garlic and ginger. They were served with a small vetkoek to sop up any juices left
None were left, and the vetkoek was enjoyed dipped in them
A close up
Lynne's Chenin lasted through to her main course,
John had a glass of the Jordan Prospector Shiraz, another of our favourites
Lovely big glasses
Chalmar Sirloin, perfectly pink, comes with a soft herb crust, a very rich braised beef dumpling, fried crumbed bone marrow,
roasted onion sauce and a jus. John really enjoyed this; it is his sort of food
And we had to order a side of some of George's legendary Crisp hand cut chips to share 
Lynne's course of Roasted East Coast Hake, so soft and yielding, with a slightly curried chick pea crust which was delicious with the fish
Topped with deep fried sage leaves, crisp pancetta and roasted cauliflower florets and a very, very creamy cauliflower mousse
Satisfying, and it left no room whatsoever for anything more. We have to learn to eat more again 
Jardined! George's sauces are superb and that is our term for cleaning the plate, one wastes nothing
This was John's plate after his Chalmar sirloin! Nothing was going back to the kitchen
Our bill.  We have another voucher to use and hope to come back for John's Birthday in November, if not before then
Good to see that Jordan's other restaurant, The Bakery, is still very popular and they looked full, with lots of people enjoying themselves
On our way home we went through Stellenbosch to the Joostenberg shop, where Lynne was hoping to find some duck livers, inspired by that parfait.  Sadly none available, but she did get some chicken livers.  A really lovely day out

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