Nestled in the Noordhoek Farm Village, among all the little hubs you’ll find The Foodbarn. Fine dining styled food prepared by Chef Franck Dangereux to be enjoyed in a relax re-purposed barn.
The clientelé and reviews speaks for itself and the food, is not only beautifully presented,its delicious and real value for money. They have a few menu options to choose from as well as specials,but be sure to call and make a reservation.
I loved how they have the option of every dish being paired with a wine. we opted to try both the Spring à la Carte Menu and the De Meye Wine & Food pairing Menu. Both superb.
But no more words,let the food do the talking.
As you can see,simply delicious,please make sure to visit The Foodbarn in Noordhoek,you wont be disappointed.
Friday the 18th saw us ready for Catharina’s Restaurant second Romp and beside the regulars,a few new and exciting reds joined the party.
On arrival guests were able to enjoy the 2010 Graham Beck Brut Rosé,the salmon colour is not only attractive but prepares you for the sharp explosion of raspberry on the palate.
The tables once again arranged to encourage conversation was laid and ready for the Rompers. the lovely warm colours was perfect to say goodbye to Winter and welcome Spring.
We were then welcome by Sommelier at large, Higgo Jacobs, he then proceeded to introduce the Wine Farm’s who were represented this evening.
A moreish starter was served at the table. A Barley & Ham Hock Soup consisting of Pulled Ham Hock, Parmesan, Spinach & root Vegetables. The soup was so delicious, many Rompers asked for seconds and Chef Garth and his team was more than happy to oblige.
Tasting Notes: Typical red fruit flavours of plum and red cherries, balanced with a touch of oak on the nose. Juicy mouth filling flavours of red berries, plums and smoky hints, supported by a fine, soft tannin structure and a rounded finish.
Tasting Notes –Bright ruby-red colour. Up-front dark berries with dark chocolate and subtle spicy undertones.The palate is surprisingly rich and beautifully balanced. Flavours of darker blackberry and cherry with hints of dark chocolate and spicy oak.
Tasting Notes- Black pepper, cassis and upfront ripe dark fruit fill the first impression of this dark, almost opaque wine. It is a spicy, fruit-forward, rich and complex wine with huge flavour concentration that carries onto the palate where evident, but polished tannins lend good structure and weight.
Tasting Notes: The dark fruit flavours follow seamlessly onto a mouth-filling palate with incredible texture from ripe, velvety tannins. The wine has a very good structure as a result of fine-grain tannins and the natural freshness from the acidity gives the wine vibrancy.
Tasting Notes: The wine is very aromatic and shows an abundance of black pepper and violets, with layers of plum and black cherries and careful use of oak. The rich black fruit follows on the palate, framed by firm tannins that promises good maturation potential.
The name is derived from the unique soil type (deep granite gravel on laterite or ‘coffeestone’) in which these vineyards are rooted.
Tasting Notes: Alluring nuances of tilled earth, cedar wood and cigar box combined with concentrated dark berry and oak spices on the nose. Super concentrated red and black fruit, vibrant acidity and a wonderful tannic grip.
Tasting Notes:Brilliant and pomegranate red, with a brick-red rim, this wine displays a range of dried herbs, lavender, rosemary and anise on the nose, balanced by the softer, white truffle tones. The palate is fresh with a medium intensity, showing juicy, red cherries and light black tea on the aftertaste. It is rich in both tannin and natural acidity which add texture to the wine and greatly aids in its longevity
This feisty red is called Moveable Feast because the blend will alter slightly every year depending on what’s in the barrels and how they perform – a blend of Malbec and Shiraz with Tannat, Touriga Nacional and Pinot Noir carefully blended in to spice it up.
Mains was served buffet style and delicious as always :
The reds were flowing, the rompers were romping,everyone was having ans awesome time.
Dessert,decadent and naughty ,you had a choice of
Brandy & Date Pudding, Sauce Anglaise & Amarula Crème Brûlée with Fresh Berries
Driving up through the 300 year old estate, it was quickly apparent that we have discovered yet another gem. When I was first challenged to do an Olive Oil tasting, I must admit ,I wasn’t sure how much there would be to say about Olive Oil except that it was a healthier option…than Sunflower oil.
Once again I was in for a surprise, Tasting Room Manager Wendy and her very helpful and accommodative staff, taught us everything we need to know about the humble olive.
I asked the question, what came first, the olives or the wines…The answer…the Olives. When Giulio Bertrand bought Morgenster in 1992, he fell in love with the estate and set up a long-term partnership with the Olive Oil Research Institute of Italy. He imports the world’s most up to date olive tree cultivars and production technology from Italy. As we all know the best Olive and Olive Oils comes from Italy, so how could he go wrong.
They currently have five oils on offer and we were fortunate to try all 5 in our tasting, but first we had to learn how to do an Olive Oil Tasting
The steps are:
1st – Carefully take your pre-poured glasses of oil, seal it with one hand.
2nd –Cup the glass between your hands and keep it sealed, thus warming it up.
3rd – Bring the glass up to your nose and carefully lift your hand/seal and smell.
4th – Take a big enough mouthful to coat your mouth and tongue.
5th – To get the most of the tasting, suck some air as this will allow you to differentiate between the individual components of the oil.
Olive Oil Tasting:
Monte Marcello – named after a property owned by Giulio Bertrand, using only Ligurian cultivars.
Oil maker comments by Gerrie Duvenage
NOSE : The first whiff is of fresh very ripe olives. By warming the oil slightly with your hand the secondary aromas of sweet ripe apples and toasted almonds will become more evident.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS: This is delicate oil; perfect to combine with delicately flavoured ingredients; think butter lettuce as opposed to rocket, ice-cream made with this olive oil will produce spectacular results, drizzle over your favourite fish, preferably grilled and delicately spiced, trickle generously over freshly picked, warm, ripe tomatoes and of course perfect with your favourite Italian crusty bread.
Morgenster Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Their award-winning Olive Oil is a Blend of various Italian cultivars.
Oil maker comments by Gerrie Duvenage
NOSE : The first whiff smells like freshly cut grass. By warming the oil slightly with your hand the secondary aromas of green tomatoes, almonds, artichokes and perhaps evergreen apples will become far more evident.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Morgenster’s Extra Virgin Olive oil makes a fabulous salad dressing just
On its own. Use it to drizzle over toasted Bruschetta, your favourite Italian bread or on your morning toast instead of butter. Drizzle on grilled fish, roast vegetables or stir fries. It makes excellent mayonnaise.
Don Carlo Olive Oil – produces an oil very different as opposed to the oil coming from traditional varieties. With vibrant tomato and tomato leaf aromas and flavours. It is extracted from a new international olive cultivar, recently established for the first time in South Africa at the Morgenster Estate.
Oil maker comments by Gerrie Duvenage
NOSE : The first whiff is of freshly cut grass and olives. By warming the oil slightly with your hand the secondary aromas of medium to high fruity notes of olive and tomato leaf will become more evident.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS: This is an intense oil and is perfect to combine with dishes with bold flavours and unflinching ingredients; think of hearty winter soups especially those with beans as a base; drizzle them lavishly with the oil and serve with crusty bread. Use on any dish or ingredient that you would normally enhance with the addition of pepper.
Next, they added some more goodness to their award-winning Extra Virgin Olive Oil and made these 2 delicious oils.
Lemon Enhanced Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Inspired by owner, Giulio Bertrand, is infused with an extract from lemon skin. Simply delicious.
Oil maker comments by Gerrie Duvenage
NOSE :The first layer of aromas from this oil is unmistakably citrus and lemon. Once warmed slightly the green grass aromas so typical of Morgenster’s extra Virgin Olive oil, break through the lemon bouquet leaving you with a refreshing combination of the two dimensions.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Is very versatile. Use it to marinade beef and lamb, drizzle it over fish as it comes off the braai or out of the oven, roast and stir-fried vegetables are spectacular when enhanced with this Lemon oil, great on baked potatoes or simply pour it over green salad leaves.
Morgenster White Truffle Olive Oil – The truffle is a cross between the potato and mushroom, and is only able to grow in specific climate and can only be imported-part of the reason why they so sought-after. Our favourite accompaniment to the humble oven baked chip 😉
Oil maker comments by Gerrie Duvenage
NOSE : An intense earthy nose with overtones of mushroom. At first the aroma is often associated with garlic.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Baked and mashed potatoes will never be the same once you have tried it with Morgenster White Truffle Enhanced Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Drizzle onto your scrambled egg, tuna or chicken mayonnaise to create a whole new taste dimension. Try it on bruschetta with your favourite cold meats or cheese. For the ultimate in decadence, try it on a wild mushroom risotto.
Balsamic vinegar – Typically made from Trebbiano grapes. Balsamic is aged for three years in wooden casks where it intensifies, sweetens and takes on the characteristics of the particular wood used.
TIPS : Heating Balsamic will intensify the sweetness and reduce the acidity A teaspoon of Balsamic vinegar will wake up the flavour of any bland soup, stew or sauce.A dash of Balsamic vinegar on freshly sliced fruit (especially strawberries) with or without a sprinkling of sugar will enhance the flavours and have you craving for more.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Balsamic vinegar can be used in Salad dressings, marinades and sauces. It has become extremely fashionable to mix it with Extra Virgin Olive Oil as a dipping sauce; especially good with Italian breads.
Once Wendy had us all mastered in the art of tasting and nosing oils, we were left to “play and enjoy’.
We had selection of goodies to play with:
Kalamata olives, a Greek variety regarded as the best table olive in the world.
Nocellara del Belice olives; a Sicilian variety well-known for its crisp texture and creamy, nutty taste.
Morgenster’s Black Olive Paste has a higher oil content than its Green counterpart, caused by the riper olives. Use a teaspoon full to enhance your favourite salad dressing.
Morgenster’s Green Olive Paste is unmistakably olive and yet often enjoyed by people who don’t eat olives. Stir into steaming hot pasta for a quick meal.
And of course with some crackers and rustic ciabatta breads, what more could we ask for.
We really enjoyed the combination of Balsamic Vinegar, Lemon Enhanced Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the White Truffle Oil – best combo by far.
The tastings Morgenster currently has on offer are:
The Morgenster Italian Collection wines – Morgenster Caruso, Morgenster Nabucco and Morgenster Tosca
Nu Series 1
Morgenster NU Series 1 Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon single varietals
The Nu Series Sauvignon Blanc is an everyday wine made to suit a wide range of tastes. Specifically produced as they saw there was a need for a white to add to their Range. There were definite tropical notes and paw paws were strongly prevalent. Should be good with Summer Salads and Chicken dishes.
We then got to choose from the Louren’s River Valley Range. All made in the classic Bordeaux style and blended to perfection. Having spent 14 months in 2nd and 3rd full French Oak Barrels, meaning it’s the 2nd or 3rd time the barrels have been used. Currently the available range for tasting is 2001-2006, all distinctly different due to each blended composition. Try them all and find your favourite…
Lastly we got to sample the Estate’s Flagship Range, the Morgenster Reserve, Also made in the Bordeaux style this range is oaked in brand new French Oak for 18 months and can be matured for 15-20 years if stored correctly. A delectable range indeed.
All in all, the entire experience at Morgenster was simply amazing, learning so many new things about Olives and Oils and the Wines. Wendy and her amazing staff in the Tasting Room, are not only knowledgeable, but passionate and so helpful and accommodative, you’ll never want to leave ;).
Be sure to check out their FACEBOOK page and WEBSITE, as a birdie whispered they would be opening their restaurant next week, can’t wait to taste all those Italian inspired dishes.
They also have an Annual Olive Festival in early May, with farm tours, tasting and lots more, be sure to watch this space for more info.
This month saw us visiting the 300 + year old Welgemeend Venue in Gardens, what an amazing setting just 5km from Cape Town CBD. The venue is looked after by the Friends of Welgemeend and Helena gave us some very interesting facts about the site as well as the art that was currently exhibited at the venue. You must have a look at their website and compare the “stoep” of yester years to the “stoep” we were enjoying today. Not even the vines seems to have changed.
Nederburg Wines always seem to have something for every occasion and on this one they certainly didn’t disappoint. They aptly showcased their Heritage Wine Range at this occasion.
And so our Heritage Celebration began on the “stoep” for canapés of Bobotie Springrolls, Buchu and Mint yoghurt paired with slighted wooded, crisp Sauvignon Blanc was a perfect pairing for this cool end of Winter evening. The Heritage Heroes “The Young Airhawk”, which was named in honour of winemaker Johann Grause and his wife Ilse’s son Arnold who unfortunately died in a light airplane crash.
Once all the guest had arrived we were welcomed by Sybil in the amazing room, filled with painting and artworks all the while being serenaded by the classical pianist. Helena explained a little more about Welgemeend and then handed over the Red Winemaker from Nederburg, Samuel Viljeon. He told us a little history about the Nederburg Heritage Heroes Range which was specifically created with food paring in mind and they certainly got it spot on.
Entering the Dining room, we were all oohing and aahing, its simply amazing how each month you think they can’t do any better, but Come Wine With Us always has a way of blowing you away and this time was no different. From the changing centerpieces to the Menu in a Bottle, these guys just know how to impress.
Sybil then went on to Introduce Chef Vanessa Marx from Dear Me and Tjing Tjing Bar, who especially flew in for this month’s edition of Come Wine With Us. Winner of the Eat Out Raising Star Award. Sadly she recently relocated to Port Elizabeth to open a new restaurant, we were so happy to have her create the awesome dishes for us this evening.
First Course was a Baked snoek, apricot relish paired with the Heritage Heroes The Anchorman served in “camping enamel plates”. The plates and taste evoked many memories of days camping and all those snoek braais. Our heritage for sure… paired with the fresh and fruity Chennin Blanc.The Bouquet as per Nederburg Wines – Reminiscent of ripe fruits, especially apricots and oranges.
Second Course brought on a change of scenery… centerpieces made for the spiced seared Kudu, Lentil dressing, crispy Bacon, wild Rosemary. The thorny bush and candle centerpieces created the perfect setting, to take you on that safari. Complimented by the Heritage Heroes The Motorcycle Marvel, this Rhone Style Blend, smooth and silky tannins was and excellent choice to pair the Kudu with. Bouquet as per Nederburg Wines – An abundance of spicy, peppery berry and sweet fruit characters.
Then onto a homage to our Heritage, Vanessa Marx style, Lamb knuckle ‘potjie’, samp & beans, spekboom salad paired Heritage Heroes The Brewmaster This time round it was a real do-it-yourself course. We were introduced to the “Spekboom”. The leaves we were to add to complete our salad which accompanied our main course. The best was when they brought out the potjies and you had to dish for yourselves. This was were all caution was thrown to the wind, acquaintances became friends, what an amazing idea, loved it.
Sybil as gracious as ever didn’t forget to thank her awesome kitchen and wait staff.
Lastly was a cheese course and totally South African ‘Stokbrood” included.
Come Wine With Us- Something for everyone -October 2016
If you have not yet been to an evening with Come Wine With Us,where have you been? You have no idea what you’ve been missing…
If delicious food, excellent wine and an all round good time is what you after,this is sure to tick all the boxes.
October see us visiting Beluga, The Foundry, Prestwich Street,Cape Town, for a delicious three course meal.
Join Come Wine With Us for the first in a series of “KWV Fine Brandy” evenings, where you will be taken on a through a journey of one of the world’s most nostalgic and award-winning brandy collections.
Guests can look forward to tasting the awarding winning 12-year-old and 20-year-old pot still brandies and a 3 course dinner while enjoying KWV’s Reserve Collection wines. Guests will also have the opportunity to taste KWV’s newly released truffle-infused luxury Gin, “Cruxland”.
So what you waiting for, click HERE and book your tickets, we’ll be there Thursday 8th,cant wait to see all our loyal supporters sort our favorite people.
Driving down Vredenburg road, you would be excused for thinking you lost, as you seem to have hit an industrial area. To our amusement we saw the Woodmill on our right, what a gem, but that’s a blog for a whole other day…
The story of how Stellenbrau came into existence really speaks to the love of good beer, the owner having tasted craft beer for the first time, in Durban of all places. He love it so much and moreover the fact that you don’t feel bloated or bad the next day, he ended up buying the plant and moving it to Stellenbosch. Even the location was carefully thought out. Brilliant job.
They currently offer 3 beers and all made in accordance to the Reinheitsgebot the beers each pay homage to something near and dear to Stellies:
Specially named for all the students who keeps this place buzzing and busy through the years. An amber coloured beer as per the tasting notes there should be a lingering smokey after taste and some sweetness a perfect ale.
Let me just start off by saying, that when they call it “Secret Eats” they really do mean that it is a “secret”. This group is so secretive you even have to request an invite to their event. Once you have done this and you receive your invite, they state the date and very little else. Intrigued, well then this is something you will truly enjoy.
A few days before the event, you receive a little more information…not much though… and you are also expected to complete a survey, strange I thought, but anyway I complied but it kept us wondering what they would use this information for as the questions were quite specific.
At about 12:30am on Friday, we are finally told where we need to meet and more importantly where we will be dining. Wow, were we in for a treat tonight! We would be travelling to the gorgeous & famous Franschhoek and will have the honour of sitting down to a feast prepared by Chef Darren Badenhorst from Grande Provence.
Secret phrase memorized, we were ready for our trip.This time the phrase made Greg’s night ;).
Being greeted by the very friendly and charming Gregory, we were immediately made to feel welcome. Once all +/- 24 guests arrived at our departure point, we were on our way to Franschhoek.
After about 40minutes, our bus filled with excitement and chatter, we arrived at out destinations. Gregory made us each choose a card, the newbies had no clue what this was about, but once we read ours, we quickly figured out what those specific questions were for. A lantern lit pathway led us to the picturesque Jonkershuis, the original manor house at Grande Provence.
Once inside, we were just in awe of the beauty of the space, we really were fortunate to share in a meal in this very special place. We enjoyed our arrival drink around the roaring fire-place and were admiring the very interesting and unique chandeliers made out of wine bottles. Gregory proceeded to welcome us and also introduced Chef Darren, who told us a little about the menu and also the added surprise courses, not even the organizers were aware of these delectable treasures.
While mingling with our fellow diners all complete strangers, we had to figure out who the owner was of the card we picked earlier. This was an excellent way of breaking the ice and networking with fellow diners. It was clear we all had one thing in common, the passion for excellent food, fantastic wine and superb service. Speaking for myself, I am a naturally shy person and was so thankful to have my wing woman with me, or I would never have found my person. Even though I was hesitant at first, I loved the idea as it brought me out my comfort zone and I had the privilege to meet some very interesting and colourful characters.
We then proceeded to the exquisite dining room table and dinner was served. Chef Darren came out to elaborate on some of the menu items and also the additional items he had in store for us. The knowledgeable sommelier and restaurant manager, Khuselo Mputa guided us through the wine selection at each course.
First up was the amuse bouche, Charred corn velouté, with crayfish and yazu pearls, moorish and yummy, a solid 2nd on my list of best dishes for the evening.
Then onto my dish of the evening… Ocean Risotto – textured soft shell Crab, turmeric confit Patagonia, barrel smoked langoustine, white mussel, saffron Bouillabaisse, air Asian micro salad served with Grande Provence Rosé 2014 there are honestly no words to describe the dance in your mouth, the smell, the look, every sense was stimulated. I must add that Chef Darren did not use the traditional Arborio rice for his risotto, but used white and black short grained Japanese rice instead which added great texture to the dish.
We then had a sublime Pineapple Sorbét with popping candy, which took you straight back to your childhood
Next was the meat course a variation of Lamb saddle …smoked dukkha-crusted, 18 hour slow braised, crumbed lamb pops, minted pea, butternut confit, pearl onions and porcini jus paired with Grande Provence Cabernet Sauvignon 2011.
And for who could do an entire meal on just dessert Chef Darren even had an extra surprise…PRE-DESSERT, yes people delicious and some more popping candy and gold 😉
It was apparent that Chef Darren and his team have great attention to detail and very clear that this is a very creative and experimental kitchen. The plating and presentation of all the dishes were so inspired and beautiful.
What an awesome concept,cant wait for the next one. If you interested in doing up,please visit Secret Eats,you wont be disappointed.
Having visited Le Franschhoek on previous occasions I think this time, she really put on a show for us. Spring has very clearly sprung in the beautiful food and wine town of Franschhoek. We were lucky enough to capture some of the show. These pictures will speak a thousand words…