As many of you will know, when I travel I love to eat great food and drink with good company!
I have just returned from a wonderful trip to Cape Town with my parents and we had a culinary experience second to none!
Here are two of my most delicious lunches had – ASH Restaurant and Tokara Winery
ASH is what happens when you focus on flavour, instead of all the other unnecessary frills. The menu is concise, considered and seasonal.
This eagerly awaited charcoal-cooking-themed eatery is a joint venture by Chef Ash Heeger, who’s worked at La Colombe and The Test Kitchen in Cape Town and The Ledbury and Dinner by Heston in London, in partnership with Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants and Publik Wine Bar.
Hay smoked Trout – cured in hay smoke, citrus cream cheese, fresh apple, apple & mustard dressing, pickled lemon and watercress – subtle flavours with beautiful crunchy notes of fresh apple – simply sublime!
Beef Short Rib – treacle cured and slow cooked, signature spinach & wild garlic cream, smoked onions, charred spring onions. A dish my father is still raving about!
One of my favourite ingredients is Lamb and this did not disappoint! Lamb Shoulder slow cooked and rolled, peanut butter baba ganouch, rosemary oil, onion shells, dune spinach & black pepper topped with pickled lemon
An amazing selection of what Ash calls ‘Snackles’ – a wonderful way to eat like I love to – lots of different small tappas style bites. We had the Crackpops – emmentaller & parmesan croquettes with charred spring onion mayo
The other ‘snackle’ was the Pig head slow cooked and pulled, rolled with raisins – apple & scheazuan and hannepoort sauce on the side
There is a strong emphasis on nose-to-tail eating, with sustainability being a driving force behind every dish. Every component on every plate has been conceptualised with this in mind. In what is possibly the coolest open kitchen ever – with teal and black tiles – this is where the smoky magic is created. A highlight was watching the smartly clad bevy of chefs move around, stirring, slicing and dicing. Chef Ash is ever visible, either with her sleeves rolled up in the kitchen or stopping at tables to talk through the dishes.
Cutlery wrapped in a napkin – simply sophisticated
The wines at ASH – curated from Publik Wine Bar – This Flotsam & Jetson chenin was a first for me, and I could have carried on!
The most unbelievable Lemon Meringue Pie I have ever eaten!
Next up on my culinary tour was a re-visit to Tokara Wines.
TOKARA is a picture perfect destination which offers visitors a unique combination of award-winning wines, brandy and olive oils, a gallery of fine art, a restaurant featuring one of South Africa’s leading chefs as well as a delicatessen.
The views are amazing and the artwork around the winery is also wonderful to peruse. It was the perfect day to be there on Valentines Day!
Richard Carston is the Executive Chef and he did not disappoint!
This was amazing and in my mother’s words “simply heavenly”! Baked Salmon ‘Alaska’ – sweet meringue, smoked salmon ice cream with caviar
Ponzu glazed linefish with sushi rice, radish salsa, ulva, furikake, shisho & herbed Kombu cream
Duck is another favourite of mine – Roasted Duck with eggplant puree, harissa kimchi, apricot, almond & gooseberry sauce
Fire roasted miso beef with carrot puree, shimeji, spinach, buckwheat, Huguenot cheese & mustard jus
Dad’s favourite – slow cooked deboned lamb shank off the bone, melt in your mouth deliciousness!
This was a special on the day we went, very light and refreshing – pannacotta, meringue shard and grapes and sorbet
I don’t normally have dessert, however, whenever I see a good chocolate something, I sure do! Chocolate cremeaux, orange ice cream, yuzu parfait, almond & honeycomb – unbelievable!
We were very spoilt this Valentines Day, as Karl the General Manager chose a very delicious 2009 Tokara Sauvignon Blanc from the cellar.
I would highly recommend a day out in the winelands and make Tokara for lunch if you can – book early as they fill up fast! There is also a lovey deli, which serves delicious food and the Tokara wines, where you can sit back, relax and enjoy the views.