Tag Archives: Franschhoek

A food and wine showcase at La Petite Ferme

15 Aug

La Petite Ferme Verdict 2015 – one of the wines that was part of the food and wine showcase at La Petite Ferme.

 

Last week I had the privilege of attending a food & wine showcase – the last in their winter series – at La Petite Ferme, Franschhoek. We were treated to MCC and canapés at the fireplace before a tutored tasting for red blends with La Petite Ferme winemaker Wikus Pretorius. Then it was time for Executive Chef Sidwell Yarrow and his kitchen team to treat us to a three course food and wine pairing (with choices of starters and mains) with added amuse bouche and pre-dessert course.

With guests seated at a special long table, the team of La Petite Ferme pulled out all the stops to guide us through their carefully curated event complete with thematic centre pieces for each course. The service was impeccable and I enjoyed every minute of this luxurious food and wine showcase.

Keep an eye out for more seasonal food and wine events coming up at La Petite Ferme (the last series was priced at R750/person) or visit them for their a la carte restaurant offering with wine, open every day. Here is my recent experience in pictures:

Morena NV Catherine Brut MCC on arrival at La Petite Ferme, in front of a cosy fireplace.

The fire place in the lounge at La Petite Ferme.

The last of the canapés being served before our tasting.

Red blends tutored tasting.

La Petite Ferme winemaker Wikus Pretorius.

Domaine Magellan 2013 from France, being tasted by Schalk.

The food and wine showcase menu for the evening.

Fig and blue cheese plaited rolls.

Bread board at La Petite Ferme.

Amuse bouche: pork shank croquette.

Starter (option 1): Ocean trout gravlax, apple & celeriac remoulade ,yuzu pearls, coral tuille. Paired with La Petite Ferme Viognier 2017.

Starter (option 2): Fire and Ice, spicy yellow fin tuna, cucumber and daikon relish, sea lettuce, ponzo dressing, wasabi foam. Paired with La Petite Ferme Viognier 2017.

Chef Sidwell Yarrow talks us through his dishes for the showcase.

Mains (option 1): Rooibos tea smoked springbok, sweet potato mash, rooibos gel, thyme flowers, jus. Paired with La Petite Ferme Verdict 2015. This was my dish of the night – impeccable.

Mains (option 2): Braised black angus beef short rib, truffle mash, sous-vide baby beets, crispy garlic flakes. Paired with La Petite Ferme Verdict 2015.

Pre-dessert: “Hertzoggie”

Dessert: A Study of Papaya, bruleed banana, caramelized white chocolate, passion fruit. Paired with La Petite Ferme Merlot Rosé 2017.

The kitchen team receives a well-deserved ovasion for their food showcase.

Contact La Petite Ferme:

Telephone: +27 (0) 21 876 3016
Franschhoek Pass Road
PO Box 683
Franschhoek
7690
South Africa
Restaurant reservations
reception@lapetiteferme.co.za
+27 (0) 21 876 3016
Accommodation reservations
accommodation@lapetiteferme.co.za
Tel: +27 (0) 21 876 3016
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Lunch at Holden Manz

11 Jul

The Holden Manz estate and vineyards, set amongst the Franschhoek mountains. Picture from holdenmanz.com.

 

Last month I had the pleasure of visiting Holden Manz Wine Estate in Franschhoek for the first time. This hidden gem is situated on the beautiful Green Valley Road just out of the hustle and bustle of Franschhoek town. They make superb wine, they offer luxury accommodation, they have a spa and a brilliant restaurant, they offer picnics (when the weather permits) and they also host weddings.

I had the opportunity to walk through their 5 star country house & spa filled with the most incredible contemporary art collection, visit their wine cellar for a tasting with winemaker Thierry Haberer and sit down for a flavour-packed lunch at their restaurant Franschhoek Kitchen with co-ower Gerard Holden himself, prepared by Executive Chef Ricardo le Roux.

Visiting Holden Manz Estate is highly recommended, and I’d like to return soon to taste more of Chef Ricardo’s dishes – it was fantastic. Here is my visit in pictures.

The Holden Manz country house living area.

One of the lounge areas in the Holden Manz country house, complete with piano and roaring fireplace.

One of the fabulous fireplaces inside the Holden Manz country house. Perfect for winter!

The koi pond in the country house courtyard.

The backyard terrace and swimming pool for warmer months.

The wine tasting room and entry to the cellar.

Magnificent view from the wine tasting room.

Wine maker Thierry Haberer telling us more about his wine making process and the new vintages.

Gerard Holden introduces us to Chef Ricardo le Roux.

Baguette with tomato butter and dukkah.

Citrus, salt & mint salad: poached tomatoes, charred courgette, crispy artichokes, rosemary, lemon, salt fried seeds.

Tasting some of the Holden Manz wines with lunch.

Romesco Risotto: prawn, artichoke and mustard croquette, olive tapenade, smoked cauliflower. Served with Holden Manz Visionaire 2013.

6 Hour Braised Beef Cheeks: white bean & samp cassoulet, chorizo crumbs, oxtail bitterballen, pecorino wafer, greens, plum, orange & spice jus.

Unfortunately I couldn’t stay for dessert, but next time I won’t be in any hurry!

Thank you Tanja Fourie of Grape Stuff Marketing & Communications for the invitation.

Contact Holden Manz:

Tel +27 21 876 2738

info@holdenmanz.com

restaurant@holdenmanz.com

winery@holdenmanz.com

Green Valley Rd, Franschhoek, 7690, South Africa

Restaurant Open Hours
Lunch: Noon to 15:00
Dinner: 19:00 to 21:00
Closed: Wednesday Dinner and Thursday Lunch & Dinner (June, July, August)

Take a look at their brand new winter menu:

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A midweek family getaway at Boschendal

25 Jul

The beautiful centre of Boschendal, surrounded by the Werf Restaurant, the deli, farm shop, butchery and manor house.

The beautiful centre of Boschendal, surrounded by the Werf Restaurant, the deli, farm shop, butchery and manor house.

Stellenbosch is an amazing town to live in. We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants, coffee shops, wineries, sights to see and views to enjoy. But escaping this bustling town is sometimes just what you need.

I was invited to Boschendal Farm for a midweek dinner and stay-over with my family. Boschendal is situated off Pniel Road in the Groot Drakenstein between Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. Over the past two years the new owners have revamped the farm, historical buildings and restaurant to establish a more contemporary and ethical destination that offers one of the best quality all-round experiences in the Cape Winelands.

Only a few kilometres across the Helshoogte Pass lies a working farm destination fit for royalty, but accessible to many. With a choice between many different cottage accommodation options adjacent to the main farm buildings or higher up in the mountain (closer to the bike trails), you’ll certainly find something to suit your pocket and your needs. Starting from R700/p sharing, the cottages offer between 1 and 4 bedrooms.

Our beautiful accommodation for the day: Brinkhuys Cottage.

Our beautiful accommodation for the day: Brinkhuys Cottage.

Brinkhuys Cottage, one of the Werf Cottages at Boschendal.

Brinkhuys Cottage, one of the Werf Cottages at Boschendal.

The three of us stayed in one of the Werf Cottages – one bedroom with a double bed (and a day bed), fire place, self-catering kitchen, dining area, stoep with shaded seating and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. The beautiful Le Creuset cookware was a nice touch for an avid cook like me.

Upon arrival on a Thursday afternoon we couldn’t help but explore the breathtaking gardens – a paradise for children and adults alike. After a drive amongst the massive farm’s fruit orchards, we checked out the accommodation options further away from the main buildings (perfect for mountain biking enthusiasts), then headed back where we settled into our cottage with a cozy little fire and a complimentary bottle of wine. After dark we took our seats at the Werf Restaurant next to a roaring fireplace where we were treated to Boschendal’s famous “farm-to-table” shared eating experience and some of Boschendal’s best wines. Although executive chef Christiaan Campbell was on a well deserved holiday, his professional team operated seamlessly. All ingredients are ethically sourced and produced (mostly directly from/on the farm). It was one of the best meals that we’ve shared as a family and the friendly staff left a lasting impression on all of us.

Entrance to the Werf Restaurant.

Entrance to the Werf Restaurant.

Inside the Werf Restaurant.

Inside the Werf Restaurant.

The Spanish interior of the Werf Restaurant.

The Spanish interior of the Werf Restaurant.

The second starter:

One of our starters: grilled octopus, pork sausages, oyster emulsion, parsley and lemon preserve.

Our shared beef platter with marrow bones, aioli, potatoes and much more.

Mains for two: Our shared beef platter with fillet, marrow bones, boerewors, aioli, salad, potatoes and much more.

After dinner we walked back to our cottage (with a provided flashlight) and snuggled into our luxury beds – pre-heated with electric blankets.

For breakfast we opted for the packed basket which came brimmed with charcuterie, cheeses, fresh orange juice, bread, butter and preserves, muesli, yoghurt and more. Ground coffee and a large plunger sorted us with a proper caffeine fix for the day. Breakfast can also be enjoyed at the deli – just book when checking in at reception.

This one night stay-over on the other side of the mountain felt like a much longer break-away adventure in one of the most beautiful places in the Cape. There is so much to do and see and experience at Boschendal, and all of it is great: the best droëwors I’ve ever tasted at the butchery shop, horse rides for kids, fly fishing, hiking trails, wine tasting, farm shop with fresh veggies and meat from the farm – the list is endless. It is truly accessible to locals (not only international guests) and is highly recommended for people and/or families who are keen to explore the majestic Groot Drakenstein outdoors. Boschendal’s honest approach of “local, seasonal, ethical” is a shining light in a very competitive market.

Thank you to the Boschendal team and to Atmosphere PR for making our stay possible.

One of the roads on the working farm side of Boschendal Farm. Magnificent scenery.

One of the roads on the working farm side of Boschendal Farm. Magnificent scenery.

The Orchard cottages on Boschendal Farm, perfect for outdoor lovers and mountain bike fanatics.

The Orchard cottages on Boschendal Farm, perfect for outdoor lovers and mountain bike fanatics.


Book your mid-winter farm retreat now on 021-870 4290 or accommodation@boschendal.co.za and profit from the winter-warmer special at one of the Boschendal Orchard Cottages, valid 1 May to 30 September 2016: 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom at R1500 per night B&B for 2 adults and 2 children under the age of 16 or 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms at R1900 per night B&B for 2 adults and 2 children under the age of 16. Please use the reference Bosch002 when booking.


The Werf Restaurant: +27 (0) 21 870 4206 / werf@boschendal.co.za

Winter opening hours:

Lunch: Wednesday to Sunday 12:00 to 14:30  (Seated by 14:00)

Dinner: Thursday, Friday & Saturday 18:00 to 21:00 (Seated by 20:30)

Booking is essential. Download the Winter 2016 menu here.

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Review: Lunch at Ryan’s Kitchen, Franschhoek

30 Apr

Ryan's Kitchen interior

Panoramic view of the interior at Ryan’s Kitchen, Franschhoek

I was recently invited to experience the “new” Ryan’s Kitchen  – a recent move to a new location on Main Road gave this restaurant room to grow on the competitive and established Franschhoek culinary scene.

Given their reputation for excelling in modern South African cuisine, I was quite intrigued as to how they would present this to the market keeping in mind that they will be serving a discerning crowd of locals as well as international guests. So on Friday the 30th of January I took my husband and daughter along for a lunch trip to Franschhoek.

Chef Ryan Smith and his wife Lana make a strong team in this relatively new space. Ryan, who has worked in numerous Michelen-starred restaurants and schools across the world, heads up the kitchen while Lana commands the front of house. Their modern and fresh interior lended a clean slate for what was to come, as we took our seats inside the restaurant (we later moved to the terrace outside, as the gentle breeze started to cool down a scorching hot day).

The menu is divided into four sections: 1) salads & vegetables, 2) fish and shellfish, 3) meat and poultry and 4) dessert. Guests are encouraged to see the lists as grouped smaller dishes (like tapas) and not as “starters”, “mains” etc. Lana explained that we should order a few dishes and share, as they “love seeing the often lost art of social dining” – something that really resonated with me.

We proceeded to try quite a few dishes, and here are some of the pictures:

Bread box

Artisanal bread box with rotis and flavoured butters

Seared tuna

Seared tuna slices, pepper-pineapple and cucumber atchar.

Cape salmon

Tandoori cured Cape salmon, tomato and chilli “snow eggs”.

Brinjal dumplings

Smoked brinjal dumplings, basil and pine-nut dressing. This was one of my favourite dishes of the day.

Tapioca

Mushroom tapioca “pudding”, sautéed exotic mushrooms.

Seafood parcel

Cape Malay pickled seafood, cooked in a bag (before opening).

Seafood parcel open

Cape Malay pickled seafood, after opening the parcel. The simplicity of the presentation deceives the flavours that come out of this parcel.

Outside

Sitting outside in the sunny courtyard at Ryan’s Kitchen.

Duck parfait

Duck parfait per-peri, lemon jelly & green bean chutney.

Soufflé

Granadilla soufflé, mango ice-cream. This exquisite dish was the winner of the day.

Chef Ryan Smith

Owner/chef Ryan Smith at Ryan’s Kitchen, Franschhoek.

Some of my highlights were the beautifully presented bread box and the smoked brinjal dumplings. But the dish of the day was the absolutely breathtaking granadilla soufflé – the best soufflé I’ve ever had – perfect in every way. The soufflé cost R85, but is a massive portion and great to share.

I will recommend Ryan’s Kitchen to anyone who would love to experience a fresh and modern take on classic South African cuisine – you’ll find no clichés here. Every single dish was meticulously prepared and masterfully presented. The service was personal, attentive and very professional. This is one of my favourite new restaurants of 2015 and I cannot wait to see what the menu will bring later in the year.

Ryan’s Kitchen is open for lunch (12h30-14h30) and dinner (18h30-21h30), Monday to Saturday.

Prices vary from R40-R115 per dish.

Bookings are advised: info@ryanskitchen.co.za / 021-876 4598.

Thank you to Ryan’s Kitchen and Manley Communications for the opportunity to discover this gem of a restaurant.

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A day at Anthonij Rupert Wines, Franschhoek

8 Feb

The glass entrance door at Terra del Capo.

The glass entrance door at Terra del Capo.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to experience a day at Anthonij Rupert Wines in Franschhoek. We put aside a Saturday as we heard that it was worth spending more time than just the usual for a tasting, and took the drive over the magnificent Helshoogte Pass towards Franschhoek.

Anthonij Rupert Wines is home to two exquisite tasting rooms. The first is their Terra del Capo Tasting Room, situated at the entrance to the property, which was designed to showcase the company’s Italian-inspired Terra del Capo range. At the restored original Manor House on the farm, wine aficionados can also enjoy tailored wine tastings  of the Cape of Good Hope and Anthonij Rupert Wine ranges.

Both tasting rooms are unique in their own rights and offer visitors an exquisite day out to the Winelands. Earlier in 2014 the farm introduced two beautiful vintage trams offering visitors a complimentary transport system between the two tasting rooms as well as the adjacent Franschhoek Motor Museum on the picturesque L Órmarins Wine Estate.

Below is our day at Anthonij Rupert Wines in pictures. It is surely one of the best day-trips to make in the Winelands, and offers exceptional value in terms of scenery, wine tastings, tapas and adventure. The tapas restaurant at Terra del Capo is still one of the best kept secrets in Franschhoek (not too commercial, not overcrowded) and it is very affordable. I’ll return there often – one of my favourite new places to eat. You can sit inside with a view of the cellar, or outside underneath the beautiful olive trees on comfortable couches.

This experience is highly recommendable for food and wine lovers looking for a quality day out in the Winelands, but is also a picture perfect romantic Valentine’s excursion with your beloved – especially with the newly released L’Ormarins Brut Classique and Rosé. The motor museum at the adjacent L’Ormarins is breathtaking (even for those who aren’t necessarily gearheads) and the sheer beauty of the pristine grounds and gardens will leave you in awe.

Anthonij Rupert Wines & Terra del Capo is open: Tuesday – Sunday, 10h00-16h30.

Cost for tastings: R10-R60

Prices for tapas vary from R20-R150

Contact: Elana Bernhardt – 021 874 9041 / tasting@rupertwines.com.

The Franschhoek Motor Museum is open:

Mon – Fri: 10h00 – 17h00  (last admittance 16h00)
Sat & Sun: 10h00 – 16h00 (last admittance 15h00)
Open most public holidays (phone for confirmation +27 (0)21 874 9000 / fmm@fmm.co.za)
No motor bikes

Admission prices are R60 adults, R50 pensioners, R50 motor club members, R30 children (3-12yrs).

The lush green gardens at Anthonij Rupert Wines.

The lush green gardens at Anthonij Rupert Wines.

The tram waiting for us under one of the huge trees at Anthonij Rupert Wines.

The tram waiting for us under one of the huge trees at Anthonij Rupert Wines.

The beautiful vintage tram - our ride for the trip to the Manor House and L'Ormarins.

The beautiful vintage tram – our ride for the trip to the Manor House and L’Ormarins.

The exotic entrance to Anthonij Rupert Wine's Terra Del Capo tasting room.

The exotic entrance to Anthonij Rupert Wine’s Terra Del Capo tasting room.

Lounging on the counches under the olive trees outside the Terra del Capo tasting room.

Lounging on the couches under the olive trees outside the Terra del Capo tasting room.

The cheetah statue outside the entrance to the Terra del Capo tasting room at Anthonij Rupert Wines.

The cheetah statue outside the entrance to the Terra del Capo tasting room at Anthonij Rupert Wines.

The tapas prep area at Terra del Capo's tapas restaurant.

The tapas prep area at Terra del Capo’s tapas restaurant.

Inside the tapas restaurant at Terra del Capo, adjacent to the wine cellar.

Inside the tapas restaurant at Terra del Capo, adjacent to the wine cellar.

The private boardroom / dining room / tasting room at Terra del Capo.

The private boardroom / dining room / tasting room at Terra del Capo.

Olive oil tasting of the Terra del Capo 2012 and L'Ormarins premium ranges.

Olive oil tasting of the Terra del Capo 2012 and L’Ormarins premium ranges.

Opening our tapas lunch with a glass of L'Ormarins MCC at Terra del Capo.

Opening our tapas lunch with a glass of L’Ormarins MCC at Terra del Capo.

Olive oil and wine tasting at Terra del Capo.

Olive oil and wine tasting at Terra del Capo.

Deep fried rillette balls at Terra del Capo tapas restaurant.

Deep fried rillette balls at Terra del Capo tapas restaurant.

White anchovies, quails egg, manzanilla olives & tomato salad, caper dressing at Terra del Capo tapas restaurant.

White anchovies, quails egg, manzanilla olives & tomato salad, caper dressing at Terra del Capo tapas restaurant.

Artichokes marinated with thyme, lemon & olive oil at Terra del Capo tapas restaurant.

Artichokes marinated with thyme, lemon & olive oil at Terra del Capo tapas restaurant.

Fried calamari with lemon & chive aioli at Terra del Capo tapas restaurant.

Fried calamari with lemon & chive aioli at Terra del Capo tapas restaurant.

Zucchini fries at Terra del Capo tapas restaurant.

Zucchini fries at Terra del Capo tapas restaurant.

Lamb chops at Terra del Capo tapas restaurant.

Lamb chops at Terra del Capo tapas restaurant.

The talented chef at Terra del Capo's tapas bar. Some of the best tapas I've had in this region.

The talented chef at Terra del Capo’s tapas bar. Some of the best tapas I’ve had in this region.

A wide variety of wines, oils, preserves an decor is available at the shop at Terra del Capo.

A wide variety of wines, oils, preserves an decor is available at the shop at Terra del Capo.

L'Ormarins MCC.

L’Ormarins MCC.

The premium range extra virgin olive oil by L'Ormarins.

The premium range extra virgin olive oil by L’Ormarins.

Terra del Capo wine gift boxes.

Terra del Capo wine gift boxes.

 

The beautiful cheetah statue outside the entrance to Terra del Capo.

The beautiful cheetah statue outside the entrance to Terra del Capo.

The facade of the Terra del Capo tasting room and cellar at Anthonij Rupert Wines.

The facade of the Terra del Capo tasting room and cellar at Anthonij Rupert Wines.

The pristine grounds at Anthonij Rupert Wines.

The pristine grounds at Anthonij Rupert Wines.

View from the tram, en route to the Manor House at Anthonij Rupert Wines.

View from the tram, en route to the Manor House at Anthonij Rupert Wines.

View from the stoep at the Manor House tasting room, Anthonij Rupert Wines.

View from the stoep at the Manor House tasting room, Anthonij Rupert Wines.

The manor house stoep, where we tasted the Anthonij Rupert Wine range.

The manor house stoep, where we tasted the Anthonij Rupert Wine range.

Cape of Good Hope Ultima - one of their premium wines at Anthonij Rupert Wines.

Cape of Good Hope Ultima – one of their premium wines at Anthonij Rupert Wines.

Three of the wines in the Antjonij Rupert range.

Three of the wines in the Antjonij Rupert range.

One of the rooms inside the restored Manor House at Anthonij Rupert Wines.

One of the rooms inside the restored Manor House at Anthonij Rupert Wines.

Some of the cars that you can see at the Franschhoek Motor Museum at L’Ormarins, next to Anthonij Rupert Wines.

IMG_1246

A panoramic view of the motor museum at L’Ormarins.

 

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WIN 5 double tickets to the Franschhoek MCC & Champagne Festival, presented by Mastercard

24 Nov

A panoramic view of the champagne festival in Franschhoek (image supplied by Tribeca PR)

A panoramic view of the champagne festival in Franschhoek (image supplied by Tribeca PR)

This weekend I’ll be attending the Franschhoek “Magic of Bubbles” MCC & Champagne Festival, presented by Mastercard, for the third time. The festival is taking place on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 November 2014, from 12h00-17h00 in the grand marquee situated on the lawns surrounding Franschhoek’s iconic Huguenot Monument.

I’ll be giving away 5 sets of double tickets valued at R2000 in total to attend the festival on Sunday the 30th of November 2014 – theme: Parasols & Panama Hats. Stand a chance to win double tickets by sharing this post via Twitter or Facebook, tagging me (@the_foodfox / https://www.facebook.com/thefoodfox) and tagging #FHKbubbly & @MastercardMEA.

The Magic of Bubbles festival is one of the highlights on the yearly calendar of wine events (image supplied by Tribeca PR)

The Magic of Bubbles festival is one of the highlights on the yearly calendar of wine events (image supplied by Tribeca PR)

Tickets are valued at R200 per person, including access to the festival, a complementary tasting glass and tasting coupons (extra coupons can be purchased at the festival). Tickets can also be bought online at www.webtickets.co.za, with a 10% discount if they are purchased using a MasterCard card.

I’ve been privileged enough to attend this festival for the past 2 years as a guest, and it was my absolute highlight on the wine calendar in the Western Cape. The atmosphere, setting, quality of offering and general festive vibe is unrivaled, and a total must for any wine/MCC lover in South Africa. Make the effort to dress the part – it adds to the fabulous spirit of drinking and enjoying MCC.
Me and Schalk in front of the Mastercard Goumet Theatre at last year's MCC fest.

Me and Schalk in front of the Mastercard Goumet Theatre at last year’s MCC fest.

Well-known local MCC producers at the Festival include Pierre Jourdan, Morena, Môreson, La Motte, Boschendal, Leopard’s Leap, Noble Hill, Plaisir de Merle, Anthonij Rupert Wines, JC le Roux, Krone, Pongracz, Steenberg and Villiera. Some of France’s best Champagnes will be represented by brands such as Piper Heidsieck, Champagne Guy Charbaut and Veuve Clicquot. Bread & Wine, The SalmonBar, Haute Cabrière, Le Franschhoek, L’Ermitage, Restaurant at Grande Provence and Mont Rochelle are a few of the restaurants showcasing their menus during the festival. The theme for this year’s festival is black and white, with an emphasis on Parasols and Panamas hats. Like every year, a prize will be awarded to the best-dressed couple on each day.

Thank you to Mastercard and Tribeca PR for the generous give-away. Winners will be notified by Friday morning the 28th of November 2014.
Your tasting glass, courtesy of Mastercard (image supplied by Tribeca PR)

Your tasting glass, courtesy of Mastercard (image supplied by Tribeca PR)

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Review: Vegetarian tasting menu at Haute Cabrière

10 Jan

Haute Cabriere restaurant interior (photography by Charles Russell)

Last year, I had the pleasure of attending the launch of Haute Cabrière’s new vegetarian tasting menu on the 4th of December in Franschhoek. This 6-course food and wine experience is Pinot Noir inspired, and a product of chef Ryan Shell’s new vegetable garden at Haute Cabrière.

Chef Ryan Shell (photography by Charles Russell)

As Ryan put it: “In the kitchen, we talk about root to flower eating. Vegetables are such an exciting way of showcasing what’s in season”. With this in mind, we set off to a culinary wonderland adventure, each course surprising us with beautiful textures, intense umami flavours, intricate techniques and a sense of true fun with ingredients. Below is the full menu:

The vegetarian tasting menu at Haute Cabrière:
(This 6-course Vegetarian tasting menu is available for dinner at R595 including wine pairing.)

Chilled tomato consommé, textures and tastes of tomato, burnt mozzarella.

Haute Cabriere Chardonnay Pinot Noir

***

Asparagus and truffle custard, organic asparagus tips and pumpkin seed crumble.

Pierre Jourdan Tranquille

***

Smoked ricotta ravioli, flavours of beetroot.

Haute Cabriere Unwooded Pinot Noir 2011

***

Celeriac soufflé, remoulade, honey and celeriac puree.

Haute Cabrière Pinot Noir 2009

***

Roasted porcini, mushroom tartare, gremolata emulsion.

Haute Cabriere Pinot Noir 2010

***

Peppe Charlot, fennel.

Pierre Jordan Ratafia

***

Trio of Valrhona chocolate.

Pierre Jordan Blanc de Blanc

Tomato Consommé and burnt mozzarella (photography by Jason van der Merwe)

Asparagus and truffle custard, organic asparagus tips and pumpkin seed crumble (photography by Jason van der Merwe)

Smoked ricotta ravioli, flavors of beetroot (photography by Charles Russell)

Celeriac soufflé, remoulade, honey and celeriac puree (photography by Jason van der Merwe)

Roasted porcini, mushroom tartare, gremolata emulsion (photography by Jason van der Merwe)

Peppe Charlot, fennel (photography by Jason van der Merwe)

Trio of Valrhona chocolate (photography by Jason van der Merwe)

This dining experience was one of my absolute highlights of 2013. Every course was truly magical, and the wine pairings were just spot-on. Considering that some of the best restaurants in the world are situated in Franschhoek, Haute Cabrière had a fierce reputation to live up to – one which they surpassed by miles.

This menu also puts a new spotlight on vegetarian cooking, and will surely satisfy even the most discerning meat lover with their fresh spin on meatless cooking and intelligent way of creating bold flavours. I felt a new respect for vegetarian fine dining in chef Ryan Shell’s capable hands, and cannot wait to experience more of it.

If you are a Pinot Noir lover, a food and wine pairing connoisseur, a fine dining lover or just someone looking for great quality vegetarian fare, the vegetarian tasting menu at Haute Cabrière is highly recommended.

Haute Cabrière’s Tasting Room and Restaurant are both situated on Franschhoek Pass (Lambrecht Street), Franschhoek. Haute Cabrière Cellar Restaurant is open for lunch from 12 noon to 3pm Tuesday to Sunday; and dinner from 7pm to 9pm Tuesday to Saturday. For reservations and enquiries: Email reservations@cabriere.co.za or call 021 876 8500.

For press assistance contact Ian and Lise Manley of Manley Communications on 0861 MANLEY (626 539), email to lise@publicity.co.za or visit the Press Room of Manley Communications at www.manleycommunications.co.za. All images supplied by Manley Communications.

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Review: Vintage Wine and Venison at La Motte

7 Aug

Chef Chris Erasmus, me, and Cellar Master Edmund Terblanche

Last week I was invited to attend a Vintage Wine and Venison evening at La Motte Wine Estate in Franschhoek. I had the pleasure of sharing a table with the cellar master Edmund Terblanche, his wife Hetta (culinary consultant at La Motte), as well as Michael Olivier and his wife Maddie. I also finally got to meet Chef Chris Erasmus, one of South Africa’s most respected chefs and a master of Cape Winelands heritage cuisine.

With about 70 guests seated at the Pierneef Restaurant at La Motte, Chef Chris Erasmus told us more about South African venison, and his favourite ways to cook different cuts of meat. He spoke about the best traditional ways of preparing venison in South Africa: from marinating it in buttermilk to serving it with quinces. Then cellar master Edmund told us more about the vintage wines that we were about to enjoy with the venison dishes – 2 wines with each course. It was a rare opportunity to be sampling wines that were so gracefully mature, some even dating back to 1989.

The feast began, and we were served 4 amazing courses: from a delicate Kudu consommé to a fragrant Impala curry and a robust berry roasted Wildebeest loin. Here is the full menu for the night, along with the wine pairings:

VINTAGE WINE & VENISON MENU at LA MOTTE, Thursday 1 August 2013: (R490/person)

Braised Kudu shank consommé with root vegetables

paired with 2004 La Motte Shiraz

and

1997 La Motte Limited Release Merlot

 

Cape Winelands Impala curry with pomme puree

paired with 2004 La Motte Pierneef Shiraz Viognier

and

1997 La Motte Millennium

 

Berry roasted Wildebeest loin, pomegranate glazed red cabbage, honey roasted sweet potato and buttermilk jus

paired with 2004 La Motte Millennium

and

1995 La Motte Shiraz

 

Pumpkin tart, quince, nuts and spices

paired with 1989 La Motte Noble Late Harvest

and

La Motte Straw Wine

(click on the images below to view a larger picture)

The dessert was an absolute delight – especially with the different textures on the plate, and their Straw Wine remains one of my all-time favourite dessert wines. The food and wines were all outstanding, and the evening was a royal treat! It seems that La Motte will be hosting this event annually, so get in touch with the restaurant management to find out more (pierneef@la-motte.co.za). This dinner cost R490 per person, and some of the vintage wines were on sale after the event.

Thank you very much to the amazing staff, management and PR representatives of La Motte for this inspiring food and wine experience.

(All pictures courtesy of La Motte Wine Estate.)

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Review: Lunch at Leopard’s Leap

11 Jun

A quick break in the weather helped to photograph the outside of Leopard’s Leap against the magical backdrop of the Franschhoek mountains.

I received an invitation to experience the rotisserie lunch at Leopard’s Leap in Franschhoek this past weekend. The invitation said that I could “bring my family”, so I strapped my 2 year old daughter in her car seat and asked my brother Dirk and his partner Frans to join us.

I had been to Leopard’s Leap once before for a wine tasting, and was pleasantly surprised at the quality of their wines (at really great prices). I noticed the rotisserie lunch offering (which also include a children’s menu), and vowed to come back for it soon.

It was a dreary, wet, stormy day in the Cape Winelands on Saturday. As we arrived in the parking lot at Leopard’s Leap, we were greeted by a friendly staff member who offered us umbrellas – what a nice touch! Inside, we each received a glass of sparking wine on arrival at the table. As if on cue, a live band started playing relaxing jazzy music on the covered stoep where we were seated. The interior of Leopard’s Leap is a very impressive space. With it’s high ceilings, industrial feel, and really large floor size, this place can accommodate quite a lot of people before looking busy. But despite the size of the place, there is a definite cozy atmosphere with clever textured elements, couch areas and fireplaces. The display of the rotisserie lunch buffet is truly mouthwatering, and it certainly makes you very hungry for great food! Add some breathtaking views of the Franschhoek mountains and the scene is set for a great family lunch.

Butternut and roasted pepper soup

We ordered a bottle of Family Vineyards Shiraz Mourvedre, and headed over to the soup station for our starter course. The chef on duty dished us bowls full of steaming butternut and roasted pepper soup, topped off with fresh chives and croutons. It was deliciously comforting and the perfect food for the dreary weather outside.

The rotisserie chef in action. (picture courtesy of Leopard’s Leap)

After the soup I headed over to the salad/vegetable buffet (all sourced from their own organic vegetable garden), where I helped myself to a selection of really great roasted vegetables, couscous with butternut and danish feta, tzatziki, curried potatoes and springbok pie. The selection was very large, so I only tasted these few dishes – there were plenty other! After weighing my plate, they asked me which of the rotisserie meats I was interested in. I opted for the lamb neck and the pork belly (I’ll have to go back for the chicken!), and drizzled the pork with some apple sauce.

Dirk, Frans and myself at the table with our rotisserie lunch plates.

The food was really scrumptious, and the crackling on the pork belly was some of the crispiest I had ever had. All of the meats and side dishes were really tender and flavoursome, and I can truly say it is superb family dining. Coupled with very friendly service and a really attentive team, this was one of the nicest family restaurants that I had been to in a long time. Leopard’s Leap is certainly doing things right, and they deserve to have their seats full all of the time.

The dessert buffet at Leopard’s Leap.

For dessert, we had a choice of cupcakes (each one individually plated and differently decorated – a hit with my daughter!), chocolate mousse (my favourite of the day), pecan pie, apple pie, chocolate brownies, marshmallow rice crispies squares (meant for the kids, but I had one and it was great), malva pudding, vanilla custard and cream. We had coffee before we hit the wet road again, and spent a total of 3 hours at the restaurant. It was such a relaxing, wonderful lunch experience, and I can certainly recommend it to families with young children (they also have a great outside play area and a huge lawn), or anyone that want to gather around a table in a casual atmosphere with abundant home-style food, top class service and well-priced wines. Amongst all of the immaculate fine-dining restaurants in Franschhoek, Leopard’s Leap certainly stands out as something refreshingly different – more laid-back, more family-friendly, but still a top quality experience.

Thank you very much to the team at Leopard’s Leap for making us feel so welcome and looked after! We’ll certainly be back for more.

A table full of friends, great food and excellent wine at Leopard’s Leap (picture courtesy of Leopard’s Leap)

More info:

The food offering is available from Wednesdays to Sundays from 11:30 to 15:00.

A tempting selection of culinary and wine related items, gifts and take-away delights is available from the shop.

For more information on Leopard’s Leap Wines and all the new activities at Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards, please visit www.leopards-leap.com or contact Harry at +27 (0)21 876 8002.

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Tea at Pierneef à La Motte

18 Feb

I recently received an invitation to experience the brand new Winelands Tea at Pierneef à La Motte in Franschhoek. The invitation was hand delivered, complete with a decadent mini red velvet cake as a taste of what’s to come. The red velvet cake was heavenly, to say the least! So my expectations were high as we confirmed our tea date for the 13th of February 2013.

My husband and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary this year on the 14th of February, and as we don’t like to compete with the madness of Valentines Day, we decided to make the Winelands Tea a part of our anniversary celebrations on the 13th. We thought it would be quite romantic to be sharing a cup of the world’s finest tea in the breathtaking Franschhoek valley, while enjoying some delectable cakes and confectionery.

It was my first visit at the beautifully kept La Motte Estate in Franschhoek. We were greeted by the very friendly host, and were shown to our table. Here we each received a glass of La Motte MCC, while our waiter explained the menu for their Winelands Tea. It consisted of 5 delectable treats – 2 of whom were savoury, and the rest sweet. We each had a layered trout pancake with cream cheese, poppy seeds and chives (and some kind of almost curry-flavoured egg yolk, I just couldn’t put my finger on it!), a rosewater macaroon, a melktert-flavoured chocolate truffle, a biltong-topped choux bun filled with a delicious savoury custard, and then we also got to choose from an array of cakes. I chose a mint mousse cake, and Schalk had a caramel crunch cake. I would have to say that I enjoyed his choice more than I enjoyed mine (I tasted 3 of the 5 cake choices, and my recommendation would be the super moist red velvet cake). Still, my favourite confection of the day was the immaculate trout pancake, a surprising verdict coming from a dedicated sweet tooth like myself.

We were also presented with a wide selection of TWG teas, and I opted for the Creme Caramel flavour (a rooibos variety). We were encouraged to enjoy the tea without milk or sugar, and it was truly refreshing.

The whole experience was very relaxed, yet classy and decadent – an absolute must for special occasions. The service was impeccable and the staff were very friendly and extremely well informed. We were even treated with a glass of La Motte straw wine at the end of the tea affair – a sweet viognier with intense apricot and almond flavours. It was the perfect ending to an afternoon of pure indulgence.

The Winelands Tea at Pierneef à La Motte costs R125 per person. Sweet wine or sparkling wine can be ordered at an additional R20 per glass – totally worth it. Be sure to also take a peak inside the “Plaaswinkel” – there are some really beautiful things for your kitchen and home.

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