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Myrna Robins

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Restaurants

Posted by on in Restaurants

 

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Why Monica Lewinsky, I wondered as I savoured my first slice of a delectable pizza, thin, crispy, topped with capers, chopped anchovies and black olives on a tomato and mozzarella base. The flavours were so well integrated, the wedges the right size for eating with fingers, the size generous, that I could find no fault with it.

Vern and I visited Kurt and André’s new gastronomic venture with great anticipation, having heard a series of good reports about pizzas and puds.

Although they have not yet sorted out their liquor licence, the pub section of the FLA was well occupied, the long bar propping up mostly male customers and one couple preferring the sofa option. On to the spacious dining area behind, which is dotted with two long and two small pale blonde tables and trendy stick-leg 60’s-style chairs. Attractive lighting overhead was just becoming functional but there was enough daylight to take in the simple courtyard garden at the back, glimpsed through a wall of full length French windows. Al fresco dining should be popular as the weather warms up, wooden ranch type seating beckons between stone paths and the beginnings of a veggie garden.

Inside the feel is Scandinavian minimalist, with a modern fireplace emitting welcome heat at one end. At the other, Karoo aloes in tall floor vases flower either side a wall of huge butter-coloured platters on the wall. “We’re looking for five more to complete the scene...”

Settling at a small table, we were given wine glasses and a practical menu – the pizza takeaway list printed on an A4 sheet of white paper which can be replaced and updated with little expense. The pizzas start at R65 for the only vegetarian option, simply entitled Milkmaid. where the basic tomato and cheese base is topped with fresh basil. Six others follow, named after a variety of female celebrities, three of whom are deceased, and ranging in price from R85 to R95. Vern was very happy with his choice, topped with salami, feta and sweet peppadew (not pepperdew, why does no one get this spelling right?). It is dubbed Montserrat Caballe, a Spanish soprano who died in Barcelona last year, Google tells me. Ah.

Mae West lends her name to a topping of smoked chicken breast, more peppadew and smoked cheese, while nonagenarian Gina Lollobrigida is remembered with chorizo and camembert. Social media queen Kim Cardashian tweets about roasted BBQ rib and fresh rocket on her pizza and Mamma Cass’s name graces toppings of green bacon, blue cheese and green fig preserve. (I had to look her up as well – she was a member of the Mammas and Pappas pop group and died at the age of 32 in London.)

Service was solicitous and friendly. The blackboard announced the dish of the day as pork rib and mash, and the dessert was cheesecake (R45. )

And whether or not you appreciate the allure of presidential seductress Monica Lewinsky, succumb to the charms of the Fat Lady in the certain knowledge that your supper should prove to be a delicious experience.

 

A great and affordable addition to the McGregor dining out and takeout scene, The Fat Lady’s arms is open from 5 – 10pm from Wednesday to Sunday. Weekend lunches will follow soon. Find the venue in the middle of McGregor on Voortrekker street, and call them on 082 786 4888 for more info.

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Posted by on in Restaurants

 

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A history stretching back 320 years. Renowned Polkadraai Hills terroir. A five-star   hotel, gourmet and bistro restaurants. A Gin bar with impressive stock. A wide choice of wines in two ranges. An estate managed by hosts with heart.

 

 

Michael Olivier, who handles their PR, is meticulous in recording developments, events and releases on this large and diverse estate and sharing them on his widely read blog. While international visitors dominate at the height of the tourist season, now is the ideal time for locals to investigate and enjoy the many attractions available at Asara.

 

As always, I find the early history of our Cape wine farms a source of endless fascination with Verdun no exception. Back in the latter part of the 18th century the farm was part of Vredenburg , which, together with Vlottenburg was bought in 1772 by Paul Roux and inherited by descendant Kosie Roux, who named his farm Verdun after the WW I battle of Verdun which was raging at the time. Some decades later he and his son, also Kosie, marketed their Gamay , then the only one bottled under this name in the Cape.

 

In the mid-1990’s the farm’s fortunes were revived when Francois Tolken bought Verdun and committed to planting a full 83ha to vine, rebuilding the old cellar and appointing a highly regarded winemaker to oversee the project.

 

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By 2 000 Verdun estate wines began making gentle waves on the Stellenbosch scene and its gamay production was revived after a break of about 15 years.

Four years on and the estate had changed ownership and was now called Asara (after a trio of venerable gods.)The wines continued increasing in quality, collecting both local and international awards.

 

Development in the form of luxury hotel, restaurant and specialty bar were in place a few years later, and today the Sansibar bistro and gin lounge bar boasts the largest selection of gin in the southern hemisphere. There is a choice of dining venues to follow visitors’ tastings. And there are vineyard walks to start the day after a good night’s sleep.

 

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The staff at Asara find time to support those less fortunate than they are, and this extends to donations to animal welfare and the well-run Stellenbosch branch of the Animal Welfare society in particular. So it was in July, Mandela month, that their chef produced large quantities of peanut butter dog biscuits for the Society kennels, now headed by efficient animal lover and former winemaker Lorna Hughes. Buy a packet or two from the Asara Tasting room and deli, or from the society offices close by. They look tempting, but are not recommended for pairing with Asara’s flagship Bordeaux-style blend, the Bell Tower.

 

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Tagged in: Food Restaurants Wine
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Posted by on in Restaurants

 

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Sited in the supremely beautiful Devon Valley, and named after the friendly Zulu greeting that can be translated as “Hi, how are you?” Kunjani wines start any encounter with the twin advantages of an enviable location and a companionable  name.

Comparatively new on the block, this multicultural enterprise is owned by German entrepreneur Paul Barth and South African businesswoman Pia Watermeyer, while the wines are made by well-known, well-travelled  winemaker Carmen Stevens. Their website reveals that they also operate a restaurant and cottages for travellers to hire.

Their trio of warming reds arrived , each in a dark bottle, with cork closures, adorned with black labels bearing gold lettering. The back labels offer brief notes on the nose, palate, and expected life of the contents.

 

 

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Kunjani Shiraz 2015 sports a gold from Michelangelo 2018, produced from homegrown grapes, which underwent malolactic fermentation in barrel. The wine matured in French oak for 12 months in a combo of new, second- and third fill French oak. The characteristic white pepper is there, spicing up the juicy flavours of red and black berries, balanced by some acidity for freshness. Alcohol levels of 15% are on the hefty side. The website lists the price at R220.

 

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Grapes for the Kunjani merlot 2017 were also sourced on the farm. They  were destemmed and cold -soaked for a few days before pressing. Secondary fermentation took place in barrel and the wine matured for 14 months in French oak. Moderate alcohol levels are in keeping with this medium-bodied merlot that presents tobacco and spices along with fruit on the palate, with no trace of greenness. It is priced at R190 and will pair happily with a wide range of winter fare, both casual and formal.

 

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As with the other two, homegrown grapes were harvested for the Kunjani cabernet sauvignon 2017 , then sorted into two lots to provide blending components. Yeast was added to one after four days but the second lot was left to ferment spontaneously for some time. The blend was matured for 14 months in French oak. Characteristic hints of chocolate, mint, blackcurrant and dried herbs are there, along with a hint of vanilla. This Stellenbosch cab has good ageing potential and costs R220.

Visitors can head to the tasting centre on any day of the week. For more info, visit www.kujaniwines.co.za.

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Make time for at least one visit to the Cape winelands this summer, as cellars gear up for harvest and aromas of crushed berries fill the air.

 

Delheim’s 2019 Harvest Festival

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This perennially popular event takes place on Saturday January26 with a pink theme to celebrate Delheim’s famed pinotage Rosé, one of the country’s first, launched back in 1976.

Tickets, which will be limited to 120 adults and 30 children cost : R650 per person and R150 for children (5-17 years old). Activities include grape-picking and stomping, vineyard tours and tractor rides, followed by a relaxed harvest feast: Think fresh salads, dolmades, baked breads, cheese & preserves, pickles, a variety of meats and fruit. Cheese straws, olives and grapes. Fynbos cupcakes and pinotage icecream round off the meal. Delheim wines are included, with juice for the small fry.

Book through Quicket. For more information, visit www.delheim.com or contact Delheim on marketing@delheim.com or 021 888 4600

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GROOTE POST’S FIRST 2019 COUNTRY MARKET ON 27TH JANUARY

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Start the  year off with a day of family fun and relaxation at the Groote Post Country Market in the Darling Hills.

 Arts, crafts, homeware and décor, clothing, jewellery, accessories, toys, plants, flowers, delicious eats galore and more are on the menu, including Darling gourmet produce like  Weskus Worswa, Darling Honey, Darling Olives, the popular Darling Brew and of course Groote Post’s well-loved wines

Relax on the lawns under the trees and enjoy the popular music and entertainment provided by DJ Riaan. The little one will be kept busy with a variety of kiddies’ activities: tractor trips, guided horse rides, face painting, sand art and zorb balls to name a few. 

The Three Market Lucky Draws will take place at 12h30, 13h30 and 14h30, the winners each receiving a hamper with products from the market and Groote Post wine, but you must be present at the draw to win.

Groote Post’s award-winning restaurant, Hilda’s Kitchen, will be open as usual, but please note that booking is essential. Dogs are welcome but  must please be kept on a leash at all times.  

  • Entry to the Groote Post Country Market is free of charge.
  • Groote Post Country Market opening hours: 10h00 to 15h00
  • For further information on the Groote Post Country Market

Contact I Love Yzer: 022 451 2202 or info@iloveyzer.co.za

www.grootepostcountrymarket.co.za · Facebook.com/GrootePostCountryMarket · @GPCountryMarket

 

 

 

 

 

Franschhoek Summer Wines

 

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Another popular annual event, the 2019 garden party takes place on Saturday, February 02, from noon at the Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards . Wines being poured included the Vigneron’s choice of MCC, white, rosé and light reds. They will complement the fare prepred by Chef Pieter de Jager and his team. Live music will add to the enjoyment.

Tickets, cost R280 per person, and pre-booking via www.webtickets.co.za is essential, as tickets are limited. The cost includes entry, a tasting glass, tastings of the wines on show as well as discount voucher to be used for the purchase of any show wines on the day. 

 For more info contact the Franschhoek Wine Valley offices on 021 876 2861 or email info@franschhoek.org.za

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CELEBRATE THE 2019 WINE GRAPE HARVEST WITH NEDERBURG

 

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Nederburg Wines invites you to its annual Harvest at Dusk Festival at the farm in Paarl, on Saturday, 16 February 2019.  Join in the fun of picking and stomping grapes, and kick back and relax while feasting on freshly-prepared fare matched with award-winning wines, while listening to the sweet sounds of popular South African musician, Mathew Gold

Chef Lisa Cilliers of The Red Table restaurant, situated in Nederburg’s historic manor house, will be serving up a bountiful harvest feast of family-style table platters, delicious mezze, ; farm-fresh salads and vegetables to accompany delicious slow-roasted meat; as well as ‘korrelkonfyt’ and peach upside down cake served with vanilla ice cream for dessert.

Nederburg wines will be available for purchase, as will soft drinks, mineral waters, coffees and teas. 

Date:               Saturday, 16 February 2019

Time:              16:00 till late

Cost:               R460 per person (including Nederburg sparkling wine, the harvest experience, musical entertainment, the harvest feast and service charge)

R220 per child aged 6 to 12 (including a soft drink, juice or water on arrival, the harvest experience, musical entertainment, the harvest feast and service charge)

Free for those aged 6 and under.

Booking is essential. For reservations, go to www.webtickets.co.za.

 

 

 

Grande Provence Harvest Festival  -  a barrel of family fun 

 

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February is harvest time in the winelands and the date to diarise for the Grande Provence Harvest festival is  Saturday, 23 February 2019.

 

Get ready to pick and stomp grapes with the whole family to the jovial beat of the Kaapse Klopse  followed by a harvest table  laden with delicious fare and the  sounds of live contemporary music.  With plenty of action for the children including a jumping castle, face painting,  lawn games and tractor rides, adults can look forward to a laidback day of country food, fine wines and a cellar tour and tasting.

Festivities kick off at 10h00. Tickets cost R650 for adults and R325 for children under 12. Booking is essential. For more information call: (021) 876 8600 or email reservations@grandeprovence.co.za

 

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“PESTO & WINE PLAY” AT NEIL ELLIS WINES

 

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At this family-owned winery on the Helshoogte pass slopes, visitors can take part in a food and wine adventure called Pesto and Wine Play. Four pesto recipes have been created to pair with four Neil Ellis wines and visitors can discover their own choice of combos. The four, which are served with pita bread, are Chickper curry pesto, beetroot and almond pesto, mint and pecan nut pesto and kale and cashew nut pesto.

The four wines with which to pair them are

Amica Sauvignon Blanc: A complex, vibrant, barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc from a single vineyard in the Jonkershoek Valley with notes of white florals, nectarines, lime and lemon.

Whitehall Chardonnay: An elegant Burgundian-style Chardonnay from a single vineyard in the Elgin Valley with youthful lime and melon aromatics, gorgeous ripe citrus notes, great texture and freshness.

Bottelary Hills Pinotage: A multi-faceted Pinotage from 20-year-old bush vine vineyards in the Bottelary Hills, showing dark plum, cherry and blackberry fruit with elegant floral notes and a touch of dark chocolate.

Jonkershoek Cabernet Sauvignon: The estate’s signature Cabernet Sauvignon with all the hallmarks of the Jonkershoek Valley. Known for its classical structure and perfect balance of elegance and fruit power, it has complex notes of blue and black small berry fruit with touches of cedar and mint. 

The cost of the experience is R100 pp. For enquiries and bookings (bookings only essential for groups): 021 887 0649 or info@neilellis.com. The venue is open Mon – Fri from 10h00 – 16h30, and on Sat and public hols from 10h00 – 17h00/

 

Tel: 021 887 0649 · Email: info@neilellis.com · Website: www.neilelllis.com

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DELHEIM’S VEGAN-FRIENDLY DUO

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The 2018 white and rosé wines are trickling onto the market, and will soon become a steady stream. Among the early birds are the new vintages of Delheim’s perennially popular pair- their sauvignon blanc and their pinotage rosé.

To start with the latter, this blush has a long and illustrious history, being produced regularly since its launch in 1976, when the late Spatz Sperling first presented it to the local and German markets. It offers a good mix of candy and berry aromas, while the berry flavours on the palate are balanced by crispness and faint floral wafts of perfume , thanks to a tiny portion of Muscat de Frontignan. The prevailing drought has not affected the usual good quality and the moderate alcohol levels of 12,5% add to its attraction. Expect to pay around R75.

The 2018 sauvignon blanc will please a wide variety of tastes, as its nicely balanced, green fig and citrus notes complementing a hint of flint. Alcohol levels are moderate at 13,5%, and this wine, while fresh as a daisy, is not overly acidic. It sells for R79.

Both wines have a band on their back labels stating Suitable for Vegans. This is a good idea if, as Delheim says, they have had an increase in queries from visitors and diners as to the acceptability of their wines to vegans and vegetarians.

Of course today dozens of producers do not use egg white or fish products in the fining of their wines, while others, choosing the minimimalist approach, are not fining their wines at all. Bentonite is the product most widely in use today, a type of clay that is far less messy than working with egg whites which used to be popular. Delheim is one of the cellars that has been using bentonite for several years.

 

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