Myoga-a fusion of contemporary ideas from across the globe, served on your plate-11 July 2015

If ever you want beautiful and flavoursome dishes, Myoga Restaurant at the Vineyard Hotel is the place to visit. Head Chef Mike Basset has really carved a special niche in the foodie scene with his contemporary take on Japanese and Global fusion food. They offer various options for both lunch and dinner, we opted for the Seven Course Tasting Dinner.

Our waiter, the very lovely Adrienne, was so patient and helpful and really made sure we got the best experience, even ensuring we chose the dishes which photographed the best as after all, all the dishes taste excellent. Carl the Sommelier explained that as far as possible they try and incorporate as much wines from the Western Cape in their pairings, after all “Local is Lekker.”

Best Breadboard in CT
                                                                         Best Breadboard in CT

A breadboard upon arrival seems to be the norm at all fine dining establishments, but what we found unique about Myoga, was the variety offered to us. Delicious breads, which included a Beetroot Bread, Potato and Feta Roll and the all-important Rice Cracker, for those of us who have a love-hate relationship with carbs. The Truffle Butter went perfectly with every delectable slice. By far the best breadboard we have had in Cape Town

The Tickler
                        The Tickler

Your gastronomical journey begins with what Myoga calls: “The Tickler”, a four part Amuse Bausch, paired with the 2013 Simonsig Brut Rose. The berry aromas and floral flavours made a perfect partner for the Chicken Pistachio Boudon served with Tumeric Cauliflower, an aged Cheddar Potato Cigar with Chimacurri, a Squid Ink Arancini, with Smoked Hake and Aioli and, lastly, the Gazpacho shot with Artisan Pepper Labneh. The clear winner for me was the Squid Ink Arancini; the Smoked Hake was simply delicious.

Begin-Caramel Soy Pork Belly
           Begin-Caramel Soy Pork Belly

To “Begin”, they have four dishes to choose from and we chose the Caramel Soy Pork Belly plated with Star Anise Apple Purée, Sichuan Pepper Dipping Sauce and a Phyllo Potato Cigar. This was paired with the Stellenbosch Wine Estate’s 2012 Eikendal  Pinotage . The plum, berry and cherry notes brought out the best of the melt-in-your-mouth pork and apple dish. The crispiness of the cigar just added another dimension to the dish.

Begin-Country Rabbit Truffle Terrine
Begin-Country Rabbit Truffle Terrine

The second “Begin” dish we decided on was the Country Rabbit Truffle Terrine with water Kimchi, Southern Fried Quail Breast and Artisan Carrot Yogurt. The Rabbit and Quail were complimented by the 2011 Sijnn Saigee a blend of Mourvedre, Trincadeira and Shiraz. The Southern Fried Quail breast was so crispy and the moist Rabbit Terrine with hints of truffle was a perfect partner for this Unusual Red. The acidity from the Kimchi brought the very robust earthy tones of the wine down a level, a good combination.

Begin-Caramel Soy Pork Belly
          Begin-Caramel Soy Pork Belly

Lastly to “Begin” we had the All White Scallop, Macadamia Buttered Root Vegetable Purée, refried White Beans, Horseradish cream served with Orange Gastrique. The wine chosen to be paired with this meal is from the town of Robertson, the Springfield Wild Yeast Chardonnay. The pairing played like a smooth jazzy tune, every element was heard and felt and tasted, and full marks for this pairing.

The third course, aptly called “Winter Fashion”, is a selection of Wintery Dishes, a well thought-out refined take on Comfort Food. Making a selection here was extremely hard as everything read beautifully and had us salivating. After being reminded by Adrienne of what photographed best, we chose the Confit Duck, Veal Schnitzel and Grabouw Scotch Egg.

Winter Fashion-Confit Duck
          Winter Fashion-Confit Duck

The Confit Duck is served on a bed of Lentils, Guanciale Braise, and raw Honey smoked Sweet Potato Puree. The plating of this dish was one of the best I’ve seen, a very good looking dish indeed. Paired with the 2011 Domain Des Dieux, the musky oak notes of the wine and smooth tannin’s worked well with the duck.

Winter Fashion-Veal Schnitzel
         Winter Fashion-Veal Schnitzel

The Asymmetrical plating of the Veal Schnitzel in 3 bite size portions was very clever and though the veal was quite gamey it was brought down a notch by the 2012 Terra Del Carpo from the Antonji Rupert Stable in Franschhoek. The veal needed a matured wine that would stand up to the robust gamey flavour and the Terra Del Carpo did just that.

Winter Fashion-Grabouw Lamb Boerewors Scotch Egg
Winter Fashion– Scotch Egg

A new addition to the “Winter Fashion” Menu was the Grabouw Lamb Boerewors Scotch Egg Curry spice, Hanepoot jam, whipped Goats Brie, sweet jus , made a nice change as I always like when the dishes are put together before your eyes. Being paired with the Blended 2012 Cederberg Merlot Shiraz, tasting each element separately, one would think the two would have a fight, but once together a truce was called.

As usual every meal needs a trip to the seaside and this was no different as the fourth course called “Surf & Turf” didn’t disappoint. We were really pleasantly surprised by this course, all three dishes we had along with the pairing’s were impeccable. We tried the Black Salt Squid, Ancho Chilli Garlic Chorizo Prawns and Butter Marron.

Surf 'n' Turf-Ancho Chilli Garlic Chorizo Prawns
Surf ‘n’ Turf-Ancho Chilli Garlic Chorizo Prawns

One of the star dishes of the meal from this course was the Ancho Chilli Garlic Chorizo Prawns, mild Buffalo wing, Blue Cheese Spuma,
Avocado butter, crushed tortilla Chorizo Prawns. The spiciness of the Chorizo was strong enough to stand up to the normally overpowering flavour of the Blue Cheese and the Unique Blended 2012 Fable Mountain Five Blends wine was the perfect wine for this dish.

Surf 'n' Turf-Black Salted Squid
Surf ‘n’ Turf-Black Salted Squid

Black Salted Squid-, black Aioli, Anchovy, Lime Condensed milk, White Almond Gazpacho Sphere, Iberico Ham, Celery scented Potato paired with the Wooded 2013 Sterhuis Chennin Blanc.

Surf 'n' Turf-Smoked Butter Poached Marron
Surf ‘n’ Turf-Smoked Butter Poached Marron

Smoked Butter Poached Marron- Salmon crispy, Caramel Tamarind, Tamari seed brittle, Broccoli Rabe paired with oaky the spiciness of the 2014 Fairview Viognier

We were then treated to Palette Cleansers which offered a much needed breather after 5 delicious but rich courses.

Cleanse
                           Cleanse
The Event-Hoisin Baby Kabeljou
The Event-Hoisin Baby Kabeljou

Then it was onto the main “EVENT” and here was where we found THE STAR DISH. It was unanimously decided by all three that the Hoisin Baby Kabeljou, Bok Choi exotic Mushroom stir fry, Black Beannglaise, Shrimp Crackers, Coconut smoked Cucumber, Edamame Beans paired with the 2010 Domaine Des Dieux, a slightly acid wine, pairs beautifully with the fish resulting in a perfect partnership. The flavours start to dance in your mouth.

The Event-Boer Spiced Blackened Ostrich
The Event-Boer Spiced Blackened Ostrich

We also had the Boer spiced Blackened Ostrich, smoked Butter Spinach Phyllo parcel, Tomato Pomegranate salad, curried Apricot puree paired with another Unusual Red, the 2013 Spice Route Mouvredre.

The Event-Urfu Chilli Beef Shin
The Event-Urfu Chilli Beef Shin

Last but certainly not least we tried the Urfu Chilli Beef Shin, smoked Tongue, glazed Beef fillet, Heirloom Beet Salad, Beet yoghurt and Red Quinoa this was partnered by the 2009 Beyerskloof Field Blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon.

And then onto my favourite part of every meal: DESSERT, or as the folks at Myoga names it the “FINISH”, and what a finish it was. They really do catered for all your needs, sweet and savoury options.

The Finish-Black Forest Memories
                                                         The Finish-Black Forest Memories

The famous, Black Forest Memories, Cherry Cheesecake sphere, Chocolate log,Choc mousse, hot dark mousse, dark sponge, Morello ice cream,Chocolate Streusel, Choc blini, which really was taking the Black Forest Cake on a journey into the woods, you really got the whole walk in the forest feeling and what I like best was that it wasn’t overly sweet, it was just right, and would be enjoyed by everyone. They paired the dessert with a delectable medium bodied Dekrans Cape Ruby.

The Finish-No Baked Cremelat Cheesecake
The Finish-No Baked Cremelat Cheesecake

The No-Bake Cremelat Cheesecake would appeal to non-dessert eating and also cheese lovers equally and if you fall into one of the aforementioned categories you would love this offering.  It needs the honey sweetness of the Pierre Jourdan Ratafia as it cuts through the medley of beets done 4 ways, pickled, puree, dried and a pink beet labneh, plated with ciabatta crisps and Gorgonzola snow, a cheese lover’s dream.

The Finish-Granny Smith
The Finish-Granny Smith

The last dessert was an ode to “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. The not too sweet, Granny Smith, the moist sour apple cake, caramel crème patissiere, roasted apple ice cream, apple gel and an almond apple crumble. Paired with one of my favourites Boplaas Cape Tawny, the citrus, brandy oaky notes added the little sweetness needed by this Apple Orgasm.

My husband,twelve year old daughter and myself,starting discussing the gastronomical journey we had just been on,and we found that Myoga really does cater to everyone’s need’s. As we started compiling our final notes and thoughts on our time, we found ourselves thinking happy thoughts, thinking back to all the beautifully prepared dishes presented to us, each one as perfect as the last one. But alas the encore….“THE SURPRISE” as a curtain closer they bring you a medley of sweets, plated exactly as your amuse Busch…and you are left thinking, “really these guys are awesome, must bring everyone we know, no-one will be disappointed!”

The Surprise at the end...a sweet version of the Tickler
                                                  The Surprise at the end…a sweet version of the Tickler

For more pics of the yummy dishes we had please visit our JAR PHOTOGRAPHY FACEBOOK PAGE.

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