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Liquid Gold
2 Feb 2013

On a recent wine-tasting trip of the Helderberg wine farms we discovered an olive oil tasting at Morgenster estate that tickled our palettes. The Italian owner imported several different cultivars, propagated them in hothouses on the estate and planted on the farms slopes before blending the results into exceptional extra virgin oils. 

Accolades include "The Best Blended Olive Oil" in the world in 2006 and "The Mill of the Year" in 2007 by L'extravergine - an open competition held in Italy. They were also the first South African oil producers to scoop the "L'Orciolo d' Oro" title at Italy's prestigious Olive oil Challenge in Pesaro and subsequently held the title for the eight consecutive years. On the local front Morgenster's "liquid gold" has also been voted the best extra virgin olive oil in the Southern Hemisphere. Mmm. Pass me another glass...


Winter's Drift Tasting Station
2 Feb 2013

And now for something completely different...

Winters Drift Wines, owned by the Molteno Brothers, recently opened their Tasting Station in the old Victorian Elgin Station building on the Glen Elgin farm, where Winters Drift Wines are grown. The station, on the Cape Town to Swellendam line, had fallen into disuse and disrepair since the 1970s but has been restored to its former glory. The Molteno’s mantle clock, a centre piece of tasting room, links the wine to their history and features on the bottle labels, with the time reading 19.03, the year in which the brothers bought the farm. A great spot for an interesting tipple.

One&Only - Vista Bar
1 Feb 2013

So it’s official. Table Mountain is one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Baffles me why they put the plaque at the bottom rather than the top of the mountain mind you! If, like me, you’re a collector, checking out some of the other six wonders might make an interesting challenge for the new year. I’ve ticked of Vietnam’s picturesque Halong Bay and the thundering Iguazu Falls on the border of Brazil and Argentina. Quite fancy eyeballing a Komodo dragon in 2013. You?

And while we’re on the topic of Table Mountain, I went for a pre-dinner snifter at the One&Only’s Vista Bar. Flip what a view. And their huge range of Virgin and non-alcoholic cocktails was good news – now you can party up a storm without having to worry about whether you’re pushing the limit for driving home.

 - Fiona McIntosh

Bistrot Bizerca
1 Feb 2013

Bistrot Bizerca has now settled comfortably into its new home at Heritage Square in the heart of the city of Cape Town and chef Laurent Deslandes is chalking up some quirky dishes on the daily specials board. Gooseberry oysters regularly feature, and unusual mains include rabbit. 

In addition to the core menu there’s now an additional menu of “afternoon and late night bites” - light cold dishes that are served between lunch and dinner, and again after dinner. And if you’re in festive mood, Heritage Square’s famous brick-paved courtyard, complete with water feature, is perfect for balmy summer evenings and long lazy lunches, or informal mid-afternoon interludes of oysters and champagne.

Although it didn’t crack the nod for Top 10 honours, Bizerca was one of only 20 nominees from which the 2012 Eat Out Restaurant of the Year, Chef of the Year, Service Excellence Award and the Top 10 Restaurants were chosen. 


The Greenhouse - Kabeljou Tiradito
31 Jan 2013

Kabeljou Tiradito, with Sweet Potato & Heirloom Tomatoes
Recipe by Peter Templehof, The Greenhouse(Serves 4) 

  • 3 yellow peppers, peeled & diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 2 jalapeno chilis, seeded & chopped
  • 1 birds eye chilli, seeded & chopped
  • 30ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 4 lemons
  • 1 small side of kabeljou, sliced thin sashimi style
  • 1 sweet potato, ½ diced & ½ sliced into chips
  • 20g butter
  • 15ml honey
  • 1 yellow tomato, peeled, seeded & julienned 
  • 1 red tomato, peeled, seeded & julienned
  • Coriander micro herbs

Sweat the pepper & chilis in the olive oil with a pinch of salt until it is soft, add the garlic and continue to sweat until the garlic is soft. Add the lemon zest and juice and bring to the boil.  Remove from the heat and blend with water until it is a salad dressing consistency.  Check seasoning and add salt if necessary.

Sautee the diced sweet potato in the butter until golden, add the honey and salt and a few table spoons of water to the pan and continue to cook until al dente. It may take more water as you go, but it needs to end as a shiny glaze on the sweet potatoes.

Fry the sliced sweet potato chips until golden in vegetable oil. 

To assemble the dish, lay the fish on a plate and squeeze a little lemon juice onto the face plus a pinch of salt. Brush on the pepper vinaigrette and top it with the sweet potato dice, chips and tomatoes as well as coriander. 

Serve immediately.

Dom Perignon Tasting Menu
31 Jan 2013

Now how’s this for the ultimate spoil - a Dom Pérignon tasting menu at The Greenhouse, Cellars-Hohenort. Relais & Chateaux Grand Chef Peter Tempelhoff’s special menu reflects his progressive African cuisine, with a selection of dishes that match the virtues of one of the world’s best champagnes. Lobster and oysters bring out the sensuality of the bubbles, while a quail, bacon, parsnip, hanepoot grape and chamomile dish reflects the complexity of Dom Pérignon. It really is a fun evening, and one that will certainly impress your beloved, or that new date!

Check it out:

Clos Malverne - Willow Creek Bobotie
30 Jan 2013

And one more treat from Clos Malverne

Boboti with a twist (serves 6)

Curried beef mince rolled in beef fillet

with curried lime and almond soufflé and turmeric poached apricot and pears.

  • Boboti roll
  • 480g beef fillet
  • 600g beef mince
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 50g onions chopped
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 50g raisons
  • 10ml Willow creek director reserve olive oil
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Pinch Tumeric
  • Pinch peri peri
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pinch ginger
  • 1 tsp hot curry spice
  • 6 tbsp chutney
  • 1/2 cup tomato Pronto
  • 50g bread crumbs

Fry the onions and garlic in the olive oil till the onions is transparent. Add all the spices and fry, then add all the mice and cook till meat is cooked. Add the chutney, chutney and tomato pronto and cook. Add the bread crumbs and leave to cool. Cut the beef fillet in six portions and flatten each portion with a meat hammer. Roll the cooled mince mixture in the beef fillet and roll in cling wrap and leave in the fridge to set for about 2 hours. Panfry the outside of the fillet till brown just before serving and cook a future 3 min in a hot confection oven.

Curried lime and almond soufflé

  • 30g butter
  • 30g flour
  • 300ml milk
  • 30ml Willow Creek olive oil
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 lime in finely chopped segments
  • Rind of 1/2 lime finely grated
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 50 g flaked almonds(browned in oven)
  • Pinch of hot curry spice
  • Pinch of tumeric

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees C and grease 6 souffle ramekins with the willow creek olive oil. Make a roux with the butter and the flour and gradually add the milk to make a white sauce. Once cooled beat in the five egg yolks, the lime segments, spices and flaked almonds. Fold in all the egg whites. Fill each ramekin 3/4 full and bake in a bain - marie in the oven for 15-20 min, until golden brown and firm. Remove the souffle from the oven and leave to cool completely. Turn out each souffle onto a ovenproof plate and bake just before serving for 10-15 min, until puffed up and golden brown.

Tumeric poached apricots and pears

  • 2 pears
  • 4 apricots
  • 100g sugar
  • 50ml water
  • 10ml Lemon infused olive oil
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Pinch of nut meg

Cut the fruit into blocks.  Melt the sugar with the water and add all the spices and the olive oil. Cook the sugar mixture for about 8 min. Add the fruit to the sugar mix and cook for 3min. Allow to cool and serve with boboti roll.

Clos Malverne - Salmon Gravlax
30 Jan 2013

Another treat from Clos Malverne

Salmon Gravlax (6 portions)

  • 600g fresh Norwegian salmon or salmon trout if you want to use local ingredients
  • 6 star-aniseed stars
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 2 limes
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 big bunch of fresh chopped dill
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 limes for wedges
  • 1/2 tsp of wasabi paste
  • 6 tbsp of good quality mayonnaise (I use sushi mayonnaise).
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed
  • 100g fresh watercress
  • Black pepper grinder

Mix the salt, sugar, star-aniseed, zest of lemon, lime, orange and chopped dill. Cover the salmon with the salt mix and wrap with cling film. Leave to cure in the fridge for 24 hours. Mix the wasabi paste with the mayonnaise and the crushed garlic. When the salmon is cured slice very thinly and plate with the watercress, wasabi mayonnaise and lime wedges. Crush some black pepper over it and enjoy with a bottle of sauvignon blanc.

Clos Malverne Ice Cream and Wine pairings
30 Jan 2013

This morning, we get some pairing suggestions from an old favourite - Clos Malverne... with a twist!  Now this is a meal that I could enjoy a glass of wine to...

Our Snow Pea, mint and lime matched with the estate’s Sauvignon Blanc – ranked amongst the country’s finest at the FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 Competition in 2011. The mint enhances the grassiness of the wine while the lime brings out the freshness of the Sauvignon Blanc. The snow pea enhances the freshness of this wine and also adds a sweet note. It is the perfect sweet and sour combo and the creaminess of the ice cream complements the creamy texture of the wine exceptionally well. 

We pair her Gooseberry and Macadamia nut with slightly wooded Chardonnay. The macadamia brings out the woodiness of the wine, whilst the gooseberry exposes the fruitiness. 

The estate’s popular coffee-style Pinotage, Le Café, is matched with a scoop of Carrot cake ice cream. The cinnamon and walnuts bring out the roasted coffee bean and mocha flavours, whilst the carrot highlights the smoky undertones and slight sweetness of the wine.

Ending your taste experience on a decadent high, the Clos Malverne Pinotage Reserve and Lavender and honey ice cream are a heavenly combination that melts into a wonderful rich, velvety mouth feel with every sip and spoonful. The honey highlights the dark rich fruit of the wine while the creaminess of the ice cream and the lavender nuances allow the flavours of the wine to linger a little longer.

Springbok Shank Instructions
29 Jan 2013

Preparation of the Shank

  1. Dust the Shank in flour, salt and pepper
  2. Fry the Shank in hot oil, keep turning it so that the whole Shank gets sealed

Method for the Sauce

  1. Wash all the vegetables and cut up
  2. Fry the garlic and onion until soft 
  3. Add all the root vegetables: celery, leeks, carrots and fry
  4. Add the tomato paste, balsamic and red wine to the vegetables and reduce till the wine simmers away
  5. Blend the tomatoes and add it  to 1 liter of boiling water together with beef stock, butter and honey (you can add more water if it thickens)
  6. Let the ingredients boil  until the tomatoes are cooked
  7. Add corn flour to thicken
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste
  9. Let the sauce simmer slowly approximately for an hour, making sure you check on it every 20 minutes

Method for cooking the Shank

  1. Line Bain Maire’s or Oven proof dish with foil to avoid the Shank from sticking
  2. Line the Shank in one layer of Bain Marie
  3. Pour the sauce over the Shank making sure it covers the Shank completely
  4. Cover the dish with foil
  5. Cook in the oven at 160 degrees Celsius for 2-3 hours (depending on the toughness and size of the Shank)
  6. Check on the Shank every hour, and remove after the meat of the Shank has become soft
  7. Remove the Shank from the sauce

Method for Gremolata

  1. Chop the parsley roughly and mix with lemon zest and garlic

Method for Mash

  1. Boil potatoes till tender
  2. Mash the potatoes  adding butter, milk and pinch of salt to taste
To assemble the plate
  1. Place the mash first and top with Rocket
  2. Place the Springbok shank on top and drizzle with the sauce
  3. Sprinkle lavishly with Gremolata to enhance the flavor and garnish with a Rosemary sprig
Madame Zingara - Springbok Shank
29 Jan 2013

Since opening their doors in Loop Street way back in 2001, Madame Zingara has created a variety of innovative culinary dishes, visual masterpieces that have delighted palates for over a decade. Ask any Zingara fan and they will all tell you the same thing; the decadent food coupled with an exotic experience is what keeps them coming back for more and then some more...

Events such Madame Zingara’s Chef’s Annual Showcase gets all the Madame’s kitchen staff to compete against each other, encouraging their creativity and pushing the boundaries. The chefs are constantly challenged; and so...

Madame Zingara has become renowned for presenting and creating unforgettable gastronomical experiences.

However one recipe has stood the test of time, going back to when the Madame first opened her doors. The Springbok shank is a recipe that has been served for over 11 years, from its humble beginnings in Loop Street, to the Theatre of Dreams as well as, for the last three years, at the Bombay Bicycle Club. This favourite recipe is also still served as specials in all her other stores.

The Madame, with much deliberation has given us the recipe that has stood the test of time and continues to tantalise even the most jaded palate.

Recipe created by Richard Griffin (serves 8)

Springbok or Lamb shank served with mashed Potato, root vegetables and red wine sauce topped with gremolata


  • Flour (for dusting)
  • Pinch of salt & pepper   (for the flour)
  • 2 x Peeled Onions
  • 1 head of Garlic
  • 1 bunch of Celery
  • Oil (for frying)
  • 6 x peeled carrots
  • 1 bunch of Leeks


  • 60ml of Tomato paste
  • 200ml of Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1litre of Red wine
  • 2 x tinned Tomatoes
  • 1ml x Beef stock powder
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 100g of Honey
  • 100g of Butter
  • 30 ml Corn flour


  • 6  Zest of Lemons
  • 4 cloves of freshly crushed Garlic
  • Bunch of Italian Parsley

Shank & Vegetables

  • 8 Springbok or Lamb shanks
  • Rosemary sprig for Garnish
  • Bunch of Rocket
  • 7 peeled Medium Potatoes
  • 50g Butter
  • 50ml Milk
Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2011
29 Jan 2013

Took a little drive out to the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley the other day for a spot of wine tasting. Really enjoyed Bouchard Findlayson’s newly released Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2011, which is lighter and more typically Pinot Noir like than the estate’s darker and more robust previous vintages. And clearly I’m not alone, the estate’s flagship wine won best red at the Nedbank Green Wine Awards 2012 – BWI (biodiversity and wine initiative) category. The competition in this category – for wines produced on farms that set aside more than 10% of their land for conservation of the natural vegetation – was stiff with 120 entries. We’re proud of our local producers that are making massive strides in conserving our environment and natural resources, while at the same time making world-class wines. This is a great wine with a fruity personality that makes for easy drinking now but if you can resist temptation it will develop a more complex character with age.


More info at:





Soft Potato Pizza - Common Room Recipe
28 Jan 2013

Soft Potato Pizza with home-cured trout, buffalo fromage blanc and wild rocket.

A recipe from Margot Janse at The Common Room in Franschhoek.

Soft potato pizza

  • 2 cups Mashed potato
  • 125g Butter 

Mix the hot mashed potato together with the butter.

  • 2 cups Cake flour
  •  2 Tbsp Baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp Salt

Mix the dry ingredients together with the hot potato mix. Knead gently until soft dough is formed. Divide into 100g portion balls. Place the balls of dough onto a baking paper and roll to 15cm in diameter. Bake in the wood oven for 7 minutes. Remove from oven.


  • 2 Tbsp Fromage blanc
  • 20g Wild rocket
  • 25g Smoked trout, thinly sliced.
  • 2g Finely chopped red onion
  • 2g Finely chopped parsley

Season the fromage blanc with salt and pepper. Spread evenly on the hot potato pizza base. Scatter wild rocket on top. Garnish the smoked salmon over the rocket and sprinkle the onion and parsley over the salmon.

More on the Eat Out Awards
28 Jan 2013

So who decides? Well, the restaurants are judged on stringent criteria, taking into consideration their food, service, ambience and other aspects of the eating out experience by two judges: Eat Out editor Abigail Donnelly and international judge Bruce Palling. Recommendations from Eat Out’s national panel of professional restaurant reviewers as well as its vocal online audience of 126 000 monthly users were also taken into account by the judges.

“It has been a dazzling year of fun dining,” said Eat Out editor Abigail Donnelly. “I have seen local chefs prepare astonishing, world-class food, and the top restaurants in South Africa have shown tremendous talent, continuing to push the boundaries in terms of creativity, confidence and full-on flavour.”

Bruce Palling was similarly impressed by the standard of cuisine on offer. The UK-based food columnist, who writes for the Wall Street Journal Europe and is on the judging panel of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, praised the range and dedication of South Africa’s leading chefs. “Some of the chefs would rank in my personal top twenty anywhere in the world.”

So, how to begin?  With a recipe from the 2012 Chef of the Year, I think...  

Introducing Food Week
28 Jan 2013

I think that by now most of us have readjusted to the daily grind, and although not forgotten, the holiday is definitely no longer with us.  However, Valentine's Day and all the long weekends are not far off, so the team at Nightjar Travel started brainstorming ideas that were 'closer to home', so to speak... right in your own kitchen, as a matter of fact.  We tracked down some top restaurants, and got them to share a recipe with us... so I guess you can call this 'Food Week' - although I call it 'inspiration'!  Remember, if the recipe sounds good but you're not up for making it, you could always hit up the restaurant of origin and have a master make it for you...   

Any project of this nature has to involve the Eat Out awards at some point during the research process, so we'll recap the 2012 awards in case you missed it.  There were no great surprises. Margot Janse of The Tasting Room in Franschhoek took top honours with the Chef of the Year award, while The Test Kitchen received the coveted Restaurant of the Year award. And yet again Cape restaurants dominated the top 10 list with only DW Eleven-13, in Jo’burg (number 6) and Hartford House in the Natal Midlands (which squeezed in at number 10) vying with long term favourites Jordan Restaurant, Overture, Rust en Vrede, La Colombe, The Greenhouse and Terroir.



Marine Photographic Exhibition
28 Jan 2013

Dave Hurwitz’s Marine Photography Exhibition at Simon’s Town Museum is making a splash. Dave, who studied commercial photography then went on to run a design studio for 21 years, founded Simon’s Town Boat Company 15 years ago, offering the only licensed boat-based whale- and dolphin-watching tours in False Bay, and thus is ideally placed to catch the marine action. Highlights of the exhibition include incredible images of orcas – sightings of which are extremely rare in False Bay – and of regular visitors, humpback whales, which migrate from the southern ocean to Mozambique each year passing along our coastline. 

The exhibition runs until the end of January.



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