MY Pond Hotel’s Lily restaurant has proven to be a consistently excellent venue for Sunday lunch.
Under the management of Stenden South Africa, staffed with a full-time chef and benefitting from the counsel and marketing genius of hospitality consultant Andre Steyn, the hotel has revitalised its restaurant, offering high-quality fare at an affordable price.
WHETTING YOUR APPETITE: One of the starters at Lily’s Sunday lunch was smoked salmon timbale with avocado, tomato and cream cheese, served on a potato cake with rocket and a balsamic and berry sauce Picture: JON HOUZET
On the invitation of Steyn, my mother and I returned to the Lily on Sunday to sample some of the creations of chef Lara Krull, who writes a weekly recipe for Talk of the Town.
Assisting the core staff at the hotel are a team of enthusiastic Stenden students, receiving hands-on real-world training in the hospitality industry.
Our polite and attentive waitron was Stephanie Fietzek, a first-year student from Rwanda and with German lineage, an example of the international reach and flavour of Stenden.
There was a choice of two starters on the Sunday lunch menu – smoked salmon timbale with avocado, tomato and cream cheese, served on a potato cake with rocket and a balsamic and berry sauce; or, grilled mushrooms served with a herb salad, toasted foccaccio and parsley creamed feta, topped with sundried tomatoes.
My mom and I both opted for the smoked salmon timbale, a delicious combination of tastes and just enough to whet the appetite for the main course.
A bottle of Fat Bastard shiraz was recommended by management and went down well with the rest of the meal.
For mains, my mother chose the smoked chicken with a lemon, herb and garlic cream sauce, served on spinach risotto. She said it was excellent.
She could detect a wine marinade, but this could be the chef’s secret. On inquiry, student Thomas Walaza, who was working at reception, told us the chicken may be flavoured with jus, mixing wine with the chicken’s own juices.
I had the rare barbecued steak with peppercorns, rosemary and roast potatoes. Be warned: when they say the steak is rare, it is very rare. But then it is especially prepared like that.
A lot can depend on the cut of the meat. A prime piece of meat may barely need to touch the grill and still be exquisite. Fatty, stringy meat is not so enjoyable.
Both main courses were served with seasonal vegetables, including corn, peas, butternut and beetroot.
SWEET SMORGASBORD: The mini dessert platter, comprising of strawberries and cream, a chocolate coconut square, a mixed fruit tartlet, honey, Milo and nut covered ice-cream, and creme brulee Picture: JON HOUZET
There was also a vegetarian option – olive, caramelised onion and herb tart topped with roasted rosa tomatoes and drizzled with pesto.
For dessert, we both went with the tried and true mini dessert platter, this time made up of strawberries and cream, a chocolate coconut square, a mixed fruit tartlet and honey, Milo and nut covered ice-cream. A surprise, not listed on the menu, was a little creme brulee accompanying the other mini-desserts.
My mother said she could have done with just a larger helping of strawberries and cream, but I relished every bit of sweetness.
Sunday lunch at Lily is currently on special for R75.
Book at Lily on (046) 624-4626.