Bay foodie collective Food in PE served up its first Supper Club in Chicky’s Yard on Sunday, leading a group of 30 diners through a gourmet food and wine pairing.
The quartet of Tayla Foong, Kgosi Motsepe, Reade Foong and Marc Ahiba aim to tempt Bay taste-buds with regular pop-up restaurants, kicking off the venture with the Sunday night supper last weekend on May 28.
It was such a success they are now planning the second, with a date of July 30 pencilled in. The ticket price of R400 per person signals quality over quantity, so expect fine dining rather than hearty grub at future Supper Clubs.
For the Love of Wine owner Robyn Schubart paired a white and red wine with two of the three courses, prefacing the first sip with pointers on how to savour the Supper Club experience to the full.
“It’s about including all of the senses: what we are tasting, seeing, smelling, even what our ears are listening to,” Schubart noted with a nod to the singer guitarists gently strumming in the background.
“This evening is an amalgamation of artists, whether it is on a plate or in a glass and it is that combination of elements that adds up.”
Schubart uncorked wines from Remhoogte for the evening: a chilled chenin blanc (R79 per bottle) for the starter of yellowtail ceviche, followed by a pinotage (R165) for the main course of rack of lamb (Sunday’s diners so enjoyed the pinotage from the exclusive family-owned Simonsberg estate that it ran out before the end of the meal!).
The meal itself was prepared by likeably modest chef Harald Greeff and pastry chef Charlotte Grundlingh, topped and tailed with a tasting of locally made rum and coffee.
Certainly, judging by the food sampled on Sunday, Greeff is a talent to watch out for: he has experience at various Bay eateries including Muse and he also hosts cooking classes, pop-ups and private dinners. Self-trained pastry chef Grundling specialises in Middle Eastern cuisine and loves to create innovative desserts.
The name of her catering business, Manna Delights, comes from the biblical nourishment provided for the Israelites in the desert during their flight from Egypt, hence “manna from heaven”.
Grundling hopes she too can provide something just as sublime to bless the taste-buds of diners. Brickmakers Distillery Company founder Eugene Coertzen served Rhino Rum (R220) – which he makes right next door – as the aperitif.
“It makes an excellent cocktail and mixer,” Coertzen told diners as they inhaled the potent fumes, and many chose to dilute the tipple with a splash of water.
Perhaps surprisingly, Coertzen has found that although Coca Cola is seen as the traditional accompaniment to rum, as in “rum and coke”, the old South African fizzy cool drink Fantapine is also a popular mixer.
Ground Floor Cafe rounded off the evening with its mobile coffee bar. However, serving coffee in disposable paper cups after such a lavish presentation for the rest of the feast rather brought the event back down to earth!
Greeff presented a ceviche of yellowtail with mango and pink peppercorn jelly, fresh radish, avocado cream; finished with a chilli and lime dressing and garnished with pea shoots
The limey finish and creamy acidity of Remhoogte First Light Chenin Blanc picked up on elements in the dish and worked surprisingly well. It was light, fresh and so well balanced.
Greeff served rack of Karoo lamb with roasted baby onions, pickled beetroot, burnt leeks, asparagus, bagna cauda; he finished this with lamb jus and garnished with kale micro greens.
The lamb was the undoubted star of the dish and Greeff’s simple treatment of searing the fat then roasting the meat in a low to mid oven for a relatively short time allowed the intrinsic flavours to burst through. A far cry from so many overdone Sunday dinners!
The fruitiness of Remhoogte Vantage Pinotage complemented the deliciously tender pink meat, the bush vine-bred grapes lending a wonderfully opulent mouth feel.
Grundling baked an aromatic Turkish coffee cake, spiced with cardamom. This she sliced and served with Han-Mmade sea salted caramel ice-cream (a nod to collaborator Marina Sea Salt), along with then finished the dessert with halva sauce, crushed home-made pavlova, tiramisu blobs, gold dusted raspberries and pomegranate, drizzled with gojigojji berry, rose and vanilla tea syrup and finished off with pistachio dust.
Grundling says the inspiration for her confection was the British Eton mess of crushed meringue, whipped cream and strawberries. She put her own spin on the dish, transporting it to the orient for an “Eastern mess” with the addition of Levant touches like the Turkish cake, tahina, cardamom and pomegranate seeds.
The salted caramel ice-cream from Han-Made was a “local is lekker” touch, made by young entrepreneur Hannah Mclean who has just opened a permanent outlet at the WERK complex. Creamy and utterly delicious, it was a perfect foil for the cake and meringue concoction.
- Further information on the next Supper Club from Food in PE