Cape Times

Cape Town: 021 671 0623


Newlands: 021 657 4545 60 Colinton Road, At the Vineyard Hotel and Spa, Newlands Email: Lunch Tuesday to Saturday; Sunday

buffet 12pm to 3pm; dinner Tuesday to Saturday 6.45pm to

10pm GPS: 33° 58' S / 18° 27' E version of a Scotch egg, with Grabouw lamb boerewors, curry spices, hanepoot jam and goats brie.

For me, the stand-out dish was a superbly cooked, innovative risotto under the heading “winter fashion”. (Hope that soon switches to spring.) Visualise butternut, stinging nettle, and blue-vein clotted cream, with naartjie flavours infusing the aftertaste, and toasted pistachios for added crunch.

Tops in the flavour stakes, falling under “surf ‘n turf”, were orgasmic shucked oysters, paired with oyster lemonade, diced alums, yuzu-soy caviar, egg white pearls, and the funky addition of bacon powder. Close contender, lightly smoked monkfish croquettes, releasing heady, smoky aromas when cut, were pillowed on puréed green pea pods, with the finishing touch of white mussel nasi goring-spiced hot foam and bottarga (salted, cured fish roe) shavings.

We were defeated by our main courses: lamb shawarma flavours in a steamed lamb chop, that included lemon goats cheese butter in the exotic mix; and baby kabeljou, pungent with hoisin, featuring both a bok choy exotic mushroom stir-fry and coconut smoked cucumbers.

While my London Cordon Bleu companion ended elegantly on a Granny Smith note, I was mistakenly talked into “black forest memories”. You are asked for you complete menu choices upfront. Had I known the size of the portions, I’d have pleaded lack of capacity. This decadent dessert is for serious chocoholic­s only. Wait for it: a luscious presentati­on of a cherry chocolate sphere, chocolate log, chocolate mousse (both cold and hot) chocolate variation, dark sponge, morello ice-cream, chocolate streusel and chocolate blini.

Wine-pairing is obviously subjective, and to my palate, some of the pairings overwhelme­d the delicacy of the dishes. But knowledgea­ble young sommelier Carl Davis is keen to introduce diners to lesser-known wines from the Swartland and Hemel-en-Aarde valley, and his enthusiasm is infectious.

Seven-course tasting menu R325. With wine pairing R565.Dinner menu: starters fromR95; mainsfromR­185; desserts R65 to black forest memories at R75.

 ?? Pictures: MIKE BASSETT ?? FRUITY FLAVOURS: A too-good-to-eat white chocolate and strawberry tart with strawberry sorbet.
Pictures: MIKE BASSETT FRUITY FLAVOURS: A too-good-to-eat white chocolate and strawberry tart with strawberry sorbet.

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