I thoroughly enjoyed Taste of Cape this year. I went on both Saturday night and Sunday morning – as I feel there's too much to see, do and taste for one session, and it was really worth it.
On Saturday I went with my two House & Garden magazine colleagues. One of them is a vegetarian (Lila), the other Jewish (Staci), and then there's me with my weird food allergies (that I conveniently 'forgot' about during certain tastings, but 'suddenly remembered' during others) – so the three of us made for fussy eaters.
However, there was a lot to be impressed by. My top dishes being from Bombay Brasserie (www.tajcapetown.co.za) – the calamari and fish dishes with dreamy mint sauce; Planet (at Mount Nelson www.mountnelson.co.za) – which had their dishes paired with selected wines at the Hermanuspietersfontein (www.hpf1855.co.za) stand across the way; and Il Leone (www.mastrantonio.com/illeone) – the kings of pasta, and even though I never usually eat veal, their porcini and veal dish was to-die-for.
I also loved the fact that La Mouette (lamouette-restaurant.co.za) had a pop-up stand on Sunday, just after I'd blogged about them on friday! The gin-and-tonic dessert and the lamb dish were tops.
Although I missed this one, apparently everyone was raving about the gourmet burger from Makaron (www.makaronrestaurant.co.za) – the new restaurant at Majeka House in the Winelands. I did actually have some macarons at another stand though... Dark chocolate and orange flavour – yums!
Wines I loved: Thelema Shiraz (www.thelema.co.za), Idiom Shiraz, Mouvedre and Viognier blend (www.idiom.co.za), Ernie Els' Big Easy red blend (www.ernieels.com), and for a pocket-friendly shiraz, try Deetlefs 2010 shiraz (www.deetlefs.com). I do know they are totally sold out of their Cab Sauv and I think their pinotage at the moment too (they export 90%). So get some Shiraz before that's also gone.
|Italian Wine Tasting|
The Italian wine tasting was most informative and I'll be writing a separate blog post about the company that's doing it. But good to know you can order a case of Italy :-)
It's always good to see the guys from Jorgensen's distillery (www.jd7.co.za). I tried some of their chilli vodka – which blew my socks off – most notable is their new naartjie liquor. Seriously yummy stuff and great for a gift *Cough *cough – it's my birthday in May – *cough*
Their Naked Lemon Limoncello is also divine!
|Queen of Tarts|
The mini tarts from the Queen of Tarts stand were gorgeous and decadent, and the chorizo from Cape Mountain Charcuturie (also at the Houtbay Market) is perfect to snack on its own, or to be had in pasta dishes, which I will be experimenting with this week (www.capemountainfood.co.za).
But the winner of the 'weirdest, most unusual product', was not the alcoholic, flavoured whipped cream, nor the tequila beer, but the 'Salted Macadamia Nut and Maple Smoked Bacon Honey Nougat'. Bacon and nougat. Don't believe me? It's pictured above. Made by a company called Ma Mere Maison. And you know what? It wasn't as revolting as it sounds... it tastes like a slightly salty nougat. Yeah, I'm not buying it either...
I was also happy to see that there was live entertainment. Hot Water (www.hotwater.co.za) played on Saturday night, while Natasha Meister (www.natashameister.com) – a blues goddess – charmed crowds on Sunday in the Brandy lounge.
In any case, I'm sad Taste of Cape is over, but there's always next year :-)