The Mowbray venue is not as impactful as last years Tamboerskloof location. But with the sun setting behind a cloud shrouded mountain last nights opening night did have plenty of character. It’s well organised, with lots of parking and helpful stewards to point you the right way.
There’s loads to see and do. The Pick n Pay Chefs Theatre had presentations on everything from making spring rolls to a very entertaining presentation on Asian food from Pete Goffe-Wood. I really enjoyed Pete’s cooking demo, and he had the audience in stitches with his witty quips and jokes.
Checkers do wine tastings and food pairings with winemaker Clive Torr, who is obviously very knowledegable. The Checkers lamb was very tasty.
I bumped into two serious wine tasters who told me that the bargain of the month is to be had at Shoprite where a bottle of superb wine with a Y on the label is going for R24.95. I am going to track this wine down in the next few days and I’ll report back.
The deal is that you pay your way in (R80) and you buy a book of crowns for R100. There are 20 crowns in a book, so each one costs R5. A dish of food (small starter size) will set you back 5 to 8 crowns, meaning that you are paying R25 to R40 for a small plate of food. The wine pricing was all over the place, with a glass costing anything from 2 Crowns (R10) to 8 Crowns (R40).
You could spend a lot if you were hungry and thirsty. Most people manage to consume 3 or 4 dishes. I was there with friends so I was able to sample my way through a dozen dishes.
My evening proceeded as follows.
Bistro Sixteen82, Seared Beef Tataki. This is my favourite dish from this restaurant, and it did not disappoint.
Societi Bistro, Oyster with cucumber and ginger bubbles. Fresh light and very flavoursome. My favourite of the evening.
Cape Colony at the Mount Nelson. Mushroom empanadas. A bit doughy.
Nobu.I asked for the Yellowtail Sashimi but was told it was “off” and had been substituted with salmon. I never had good luck at Nobu.
The Greenhouse. Salmon in miso, with pickled daikon radish, rice and wakame seaweed. Absolutely delicious.
The Restaurant at Grande Provence. Chicken, lobster and white onion risotto. Hmmmm… not great, clash of flavours. Who wants to eat fishy chicken?
Reuben’s. A prawn dish. It was all a bit mushy.
Bread and Wine. Duck trifle, duck jelly, liver parfait and roast pear. Not to my taste at all.
Overture. Burger and chips with truffle mayonnaise. Burger and chips are burger and chips.
Jardine. Pork knuckle with pickled onions and mustard. Delicious.
Le Quartier Francais.Braised lamb breast, bean puree with apricot blatjang. Too concentrated and salty for my palate.
Wang Thai. Grilled calamari on a skewer with a sweet sauce and coriander. Delicious fresh calamari.
To recap, my top three favourite dishes were oysters from Societi Bistro, salmon miso from The Greenhouse and pork knuckle terrine from Jardine.
And before I forget, the most stunning dessert of the evening is the Tart au Citron Ice Cream from Societi Bistro.You can have it served to you by a nearly naked man or woman, depending on your choice.
Last night, Wednesday 24th, was the opening night, and I am almost embarassed to admit that I am going back again on Saturday for the afternoon session, as there is a lot more I want to see and taste.
Taste of Cape Town. Rhodes High School, Mowbray. March 24 – 28.
Runs every evening and during the afternoon on Saturday and Sunday also.