Welcome to the 3rd instalment in our Fine Dining For Less series where we bring you gastronomic experiences without astronomic prices.
This month has a distinctly South African flavour. Nadine from Living It Up CT is letting us in on a luxurious ‘Winter Menu’ in Franschhoek and we share a little more on the Constantia Valley’s ‘Tapas for 2’ menu and remind you about the ‘Feed Me’ menu at Adelaide’s Africola.
Pour a glass of wine and ready yourself for some foodie fabulousness!
La Petite Ferme: Another of Franschhoek’s fab fine dining experiences!
Located in an exquisite corner of the valley, many will say that the breathtaking views are arguably the best in all of Franschhoek. The restaurant at La Petite Ferme dates back to 1984 and along with the unique setting, you are sure to have an unforgettable and luxurious dining experience.
They focus on sourcing the best and freshest in-season ingredients grown locally in the valley for a sustainable menu with expertly prepared and elegantly plated dishes. Recently appointed Executive Chef Sidwell Yarrow hails from Stellenbosch and brings with him an extensive international background, having worked alongside some of the industry’s best including Michelin starred restaurant’s chefs Heston Blumenthal, Nino Di Costanzo and Neil Perry.
Their exceptional Winter menu has a wonderful variety of dishes to choose from that will satisfy all fine dining lovers.
Our Starter was a sublime creation of Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi with Smoked Butter, Pickled Mushrooms and Miso Mushroom Puree – a very modern take on traditional gnocchi and one that I absolutely loved!
The Main Course was a perfectly seared Duck Breast with Honey and Wild pepper Roasted Parsnips and Butternut Mash, a wonderful and hearty winter dish that made my taste buds very happy indeed.
Our sweet treat was the perfect ending to a perfect meal – a rich Valrohna Chocolate Torte, Mocha Panna Cotta, Orange Gel and Roasted Fennel Ice-Cream. This dessert was heavenly as it wasn’t too sweet. Chocolate, orange and fennel are great flavour combinations and were beautifully balanced. Delicious art on a plate!
Some local South African dishes feature on the menu, such as the traditional Cape milk tart with a modern twist and Springbok Loin pan fried with onion marmalade.
La Petite Ferme had been on my foodie bucket list for years and I’m thrilled that I’ve finally ticked it off. But this will certainly not be my last visit – the exquisite setting and breathtaking views, award-winning cuisine and wines and superb service make for a very memorable experience.
You can Fine Dine For Less with their delicious Winter menu until 31 August 2017. Choose from 2 courses for ZAR 290 p/p, 3 courses for ZAR 345 p/p and 4 courses for ZAR 490 p/p.
Chefs Warehouse, Beau Constantia: An extraordinary 8-course Tapas for 2!
Liam Tomlin is the man behind Chefs Warehouse. Irish born with an early love of the kitchen, he honed his skills through London, Amsterdam and Switzerland before emigrating to Australia. Having worked alongside Dietmar Sawyere at the lauded Restaurant Forty One in Sydney, he opened Banc in Martin Place and was showered with accolades. A visit to Cape Town had the city steal his heart and Chefs Warehouse was born.
The second Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia was written in the stars. Space became available and so did Ivor Jones, ex Head Chef at the Test Kitchen, Cape Town’s representative in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. The partnership between Liam and Ivor places Ivor firmly at the helm with the signature ‘Tapas for 2’, an 8-course sharing menu changing regularly based on the seasons and produce availability.
Optional are Saldanha Bay oysters, fresh in and impossible to resist. Plump, sweet, juicy and topped with chilli jam, crisply fried eschalots and micro greens. Divine!
3 of your ‘tapas for 2’ courses, delivered together, may include; Line-caught Kingklip sashimi with roast onion cream cheese, house-made garden pickles & carrot Malay dressing; Coal seared tuna with hazelnut & Sesame sambal, burnt honey & tahini dressing; Beef tartar with spicy Sichuan dressing & grated shiitake. Guaranteed to induce plenty of “oooo’s” & “aaaah’s”.
Swiss Chard Risotto with sour cream, lamb Merguez, roast garlic & paprika oil; Mushroom & Onion Pinwheel Tart with parmesan Catalan, parsley & lemon gremolata might be next. These were both superb on our visit.3 protein courses complete this culinary adventure so think Pan fried Hake with Indonesian Black Pepper dressing, steamed pak choi & vinegared rice; Coal seared Blesbok with walnut & black pudding stuffing, pickled shiitake mushrooms & cauliflower cream; Lamb Rice with celeriac ricotta, tomato & thyme jus.Dessert, as the oysters, is not included in the ‘Tapas for 2’ deal but again, it’s far too difficult to resist.
Beau Constantia’s wines are a perfect match for the cuisine as are the expansive views through the floor to ceiling windows. Take a stroll around the gardens and see where the veg, herbs and fruit are grown or find a cosy nook with a glass of wine and contemplate this extraordinary foodie experience.
Fine Dine For Less at Chefs Warehouse, Beau Constantia and dive into the Tapas for 2 menu for a mere ZAR 650. Yes, that’s for 2! (excluding oysters, dessert & wine).
Africola: Feed Me & Booze Me in Adelaide’s East End!
South African chef Duncan Welgemoed, sharpened his skills at restaurants in France and the UK, including the Fat Duck with Heston, before heading up the kitchen at Adelaide’s Bistro Dom. Australian foodies have likely seen his larger than life personality on Masterchef Australia and The Chef’s Line.
Feeling a need to connect with his roots, Welgemoed opened Africola at the North Terrace end of East Terrace, November 2014.
The interior, designed by his partner in crime James Brown, created a “shebeen” – a bold and colourful African-style bar and eating house where the menu required an Afrikaans translator.
Not one to get comfortable, the end of 2016 saw Africola reinvented. Version 2.0 lost the Braai (barbeque), kept the Chakalaka (spicy vegetable relish), rationed the Boerewors (minced beef sausage) and lost the Pap (polenta-ish).
The new menu embraces Africa’s north with local South Australian produce at its core. Carnivores and pescatarians are well catered for, but the big surprise is the choice for vegetarians. Welgemoed apparently had a vego stint and decided to enhance the offer from simple side dishes.
An absolute must is the Eggplant. Lightly battered, topped with an onion and chilli jam then covered in shaved sheep’s milk cheese. The cauliflower steak is roasted in turmeric butter then coated with pomegranate and tahini sauce. A hearty meat replacement. Tahini also enhances the sprouting broccoli along with a sprinkling of chilli kick.
From the sea: smoked trout on rich baba ganouj (smoky eggplant) topped with roe gets a citrus boost with Australian finger limes. Perfectly grilled, tender octopus shares the plate with charred avocado and salted jicama. Jicama, pronounced heek-uh-ma, is a turnip style vegetable, apple-ish flavoured and delicious.
Pork sirloin is glazed and comes with fire-roasted pumpkin both mashed and shaved. The crackling bubbled to perfection, pops and melts on impact with every crunch. Hummus topped with ground spiced lamb and crispy fried chickpeas is another textural standout.
This fabulous restaurant is casual and unpretentious and may not be considered fine dining until you taste the marvels on the plate.
You can Fine Dine For Less at Africola with their Feed Me menu for AUD 65 and why not leave it to them to pair your drinks? An extra AUD 45 gets you the Booze Me menu. Tastes, allergies and preferences are noted and these guys know their stuff so why not leave it all in their capable hands?
Uncovering new venues to Fine Dine For Less: it’s a thing we love….