Come for break­fast . . . and stay for lunch

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - TRAVEL - Lisa Crooks

OUR In­tle ex­pe­ri­ence be­gan the mo­ment we drove through the gate to be in­stantly greeted by a herd of im­pala and three cu­ri­ous ze­bras.

Thank­fully, as a novice to the game re­serve ex­pe­ri­ence, none of these an­i­mals were on the menu dur­ing our two-night stay, although with many over­seas visi­tors drawn to In­tle, game is on the menu, but is sourced from other lodges.

In­tle is the kind of place where the food is of such a high stan­dard that peo­ple come for break­fast and stay for lunch, drawn in by the in­cred­i­ble beauty of the area, not to men­tion guar­an­teed game sight­ings.

Ca­sual din­ers will be de­lighted to know that the restau­rant is open to the gen­eral pub­lic, but prior book­ings are es­sen­tial as ta­bles fill up fast.

There is also a rec­om­mended dress code of shirts for the men in the evening, a nice touch in a T-shirt crazy world.

All meals we en­joyed at In­tle were lux­u­ri­ous af­fairs, from the at­mos­phere in the gor­geous din­ing room to the de- li­cious food.

On our first night, we were spoilt with a four-course meal start­ing with a mor­eish car­rot and ginger soup.

This un­likely pair­ing was a match made in heaven, the two flavours com­ple­mented each other per­fectly and an af­ter­taste of ginger lin­gered on the tongue.

This was fol­lowed by a Greek salad, which proved to be the ideal palate cleanser, lead­ing to the main of the high­est qual­ity An­gus fil­let steak, cooked ac­cord­ing to pref­er­ence, and to ab­so­lute per­fec­tion.

The small side of pureed potato and crispy veg­eta­bles rounded it all off per­fectly.

On this oc­ca­sion, tum­mies con­tent­edly full, we skipped dessert.

On our sec­ond day, we went down to break­fast and were lucky enough to en­joy our meal with a view of three gi­raffes in the not too far dis­tance, which made our break­fast of ba­con, egg and fried tomato that much bet­ter.

The fol­low­ing evening start- ed with deep-fried camem­bert and fresh cran­berry sauce, a per­sonal favourite, and a de­li­cious meal.

The main on this oc­ca­sion was sun­dried tomato and home­made pasta, with suc­cu­lent chicken a bonus that made the whole dish sim­ply in­cred­i­ble.

Chef Tracy Roelof­sen out­did her­self with this meal and ex­plained the process of mak­ing your own pasta – mak­ing it sound re­ally easy.

We at­tempted to ca­jole a recipe out of her, but her cook­ing process is a per­sonal one and op­er­ates on a pinch of this, a pinch of that, so it is not an ex­act sci­ence.

For dessert there was a choice be­tween brandy but­ter pud­ding or a cheese plat­ter.

I had the for­mer with home­made ice cream which I pol­ished off as if the pre­vi­ous cour­ses had not ex­isted.

Round­ing the meal off, we were served granadilla and vodka shoot­ers.

As chef Tracy said, one is smooth enough to have over ice cream, two or more and you risk land­ing up on the floor!


AB­SO­LUTE DE­LIGHT: A de­li­cious starter of deep-fried camem­bert served with fresh cran­berry sauce. Right, ten­der An­gus steak cooked to per­fec­tion

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