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Fine Dining For Less is our new monthly post bringing you gastronomic experiences without astronomic prices. This isn’t about “Cheap Eats”. No, there won’t be reviews of roadside stalls (as much as we love them) and don’t expect it all to be white table cloths and a spread of cutlery as far as the eye can see either.

Fine Dining For Less is about bringing you award-winning and highly reputable establishments who offer many ways for you to dine for less.

Fine Dining For Less #1.
Fine Dining For Less #1

Guest bloggers will join us sharing their finds and, of course, if you’d like to share any of your own, by all means, mention it in the comments below.

So if you’re in Capetown, Dubai or Adelaide this month, these are the venues where your Rand, Dirham or Dollar will stretch a little further.

Let’s begin by giving a warm welcome to our guest blogger, Nadine Carroll. Nadine has her finger on the pulse of all things Capetown. Follow the link to her blog, Living It Up CT to check out more of what’s happening in that vibrant city and these links will make it easy for you to follow her on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram

Capetown, SA: Catharina’s at Steenberg – A feast for your taste buds and your pocket!

Hi, I’m Nadine. Cape Town, aka the Mother City, is my hometown and I love exploring new places and spaces both locally and internationally. Food, wine and travel are among my big passions and go together perfectly when my wanderlust strikes.

Fine Dining For Less. #1
Catharina’s Restaurant @ Steenberg Farm.

If you’re looking for a fine dining experience that will tantalise your taste buds, then look no further and head on over to Catharina’s at Steenberg to enjoy their delicious two or three-course lunch. At R165 and R195 respectively, indulge all your senses at this award-winning restaurant with talented Scottish Executive Chef Archie Maclean at the helm.  

Beautifully presented dishes cooked simply with the freshest produce and finest ingredients are what keep eager foodies coming back for more.

Along with the extensive wine list that has won many awards over the years, attentive and friendly service and the contemporary, inviting décor that tells a fascinating visual story of the feisty Catharina Ras, the founder of Steenberg in the 17th century.

Fine Dining For Less #1.
Crumbed Mushroom starter @ Catharina’s Restaurant.

For starters, choose from Soup of the Day, Crumbed Mushrooms or Caesar Salad. My Crumbed Mushrooms with a spiced couscous and lemon and garlic butter were a treat.

For Mains, one can choose between the Curried Seafood Risotto, Sirloin Steak or Chicken Burger with hand cut chips. This was an easy choice for me as I adore risotto and had never tried a curried version. The subtle and fragrant curry flavour took this seafood risotto to another level.

The choice of desserts looked delightful but sadly I had no space left for sweet treats – Crème Brulee, a selection of 3 Seasonal Sorbets or the Chocolate Cremeux. I’ll have to try one of these on my next visit.

Fine Dining For Less #1.
Curried Seafood Risotto @ Catharina’s Restaurant.

Be sure to make a reservation to experience all that Catharina’s has to offer. On cool winter days, stay warm beside the roaring fire. Alfresco dining beneath the oak trees is a must during the balmy summer months. You may just spot a resident owl or two.

This special deal is valid from Monday – Saturday from 12.00pm – 15.00pm and runs until 30 November 2017.

Dubai, UAE: Tesoro @ Taj Hotel halves your bill one day a week! – Shona @ paraphernalia.co

Located in one of Dubai’s prestigious hotels with uninterrupted views of the Burj Khalifa, the award-winning, Tesoro at The Taj Hotel takes you on a global journey.

Chef de Cuisine, Aabas Mehrotra, has designed the menu around the vast nationalities visiting the hotel. His experience with Asian, Indian, Italian and Arabic cuisine provides a strong foundation for his menu.

Fine Dining For Less #1.
Starters from top left & clockwise: Wasabi Prawns, Tuna Tataki, Burrata salad & Duck pancakes.

Make a start and order wasabi tempura shrimp while you peruse the menu. The mezze board is a mix of local bites and a great option to share. Arancini, Caprese Salad, Guacamole, Hoisin Duck Pancakes & Tuna Tataki are all tried and devoured starters.

As for mains, the signature Miso Black Cod served with marinated shitake mushrooms, water chestnuts and edamame is a must. Although, it’s hard to choose between that and the Teriyaki Sea Bass over bok choy and asparagus.

Lamb shanks are cooked for 12 hours to get that rich sticky consistency and both Argentinian and Australian steaks are on the menu. Thai and Indian curries are rich with flavour. Sides include green beans with pine nuts, char grilled white and green asparagus, truffle mash and spicy sweet potato chunky chips.

For those of you with a sweet tooth, there are fabulous options. This paraphernalian’s tastes run to savoury so the dessert list is up to you.

Fine Dining For Less #1.
Mains from top left & Clockwise: Seabass, beans & pinenuts, Black Cod & Shanks.

Tesoro has come up trumps with their Fine Dining For Less offer. Every Thursday they slash your bill in half. That’s lunch or dinner and your beverages of choice. Yes, that’s on adult beverages too.

Adelaide, Sth Aus: Botanic Gardens Restaurant (BGR) – Festival of Food! – Shona @ paraphernalia.co

With 180° views over the main lake of Adelaide’s Botanic Gardens, this award-winning restaurant resides in a beautifully maintained heritage rotunda. Shaded by well-established Morton Bay Fig and Gum Trees, BGR is a haven to relax and enjoy head chef, Paul Baker’s garden-to-plate menu.

Botanic Gardens. Adelaide. South Australia. Australia.
Inside BGR. A magnificent location.

Much of the herb and vegetable component of the menu comes from just outside the restaurant’s doors. The wine list too is local, showcasing South Australia’s well recognised and smaller boutique wine labels. The garden comes into play again providing barley for a limited edition craft beer, Botanic Ale.

In the kitchen, Chef Paul prepares seasonally changing menus. Ever flexible, dishes are often tweaked based on produce availability. Expect flavour and texture surprises from indigenous plants and herbs and every plate leaves the kitchen Instagram-ready.

BGR take part in Adelaide’s Festival of Food with 7 other restaurants. The concept attracts foodies to these iconic venues with a dining package offering remarkable value.

House-made bread precedes an entrée tasting plate, a main is chosen from 5-8 options and there are petit fours to finish. This package at BGR is just $42.50 for lunch Tuesday through Friday and $52.50 for Saturday lunch and Friday dinner.

Botanic Gardens. Adelaide. South Australia. Australia.
BGR Entree Tasting Plate from Festival of Food 2016.

Their entrée tasting plate will likely consist of whipped buffalo curd with lovage verde, green tomato & quinoa; dry aged beef tartare with harissa, sprouted legumes & labne; tommy ruff escabeche with mussel custard & a squid ink cracker.

Mains may include pork belly with Warrigal greens, braised abalone & crispy saltbush; Mulloway with fermented cumquat, broccoli, pickled lettuce & hazelnuts; lamb neck with freekeh, quince, onion caramel, parsley cream & vanilla.

Botanic Gardens. Adelaide. South Australia. Australia.
BGR’s Barramundi main from Festival of Food 2016.

Click on Adelaide’s Festival of Food to learn more or download either the iPhone or Android app.

Discovering ways to enjoy fine dining for less: it’s a thing we love….