I rarely look up the establishments I frequent upfront, instead preferring to experience it first-hand and then to have a look at how these restaurants have chosen to describe themselves, I find it keeps everyone honest, and in this case I’m delighted to say it was spot on.
2 Chefs, 10 courses perfectly paired with a range of Longridge’s finest.
The juxtaposition of Santi Louzan Fidalgo owner and Chef at Little Saint, classically trained in French cuisine vs Richard Bosman the self-proclaimed “cook” and arguably purveyor of perhaps the finest charcuterie in the country.
Each chef would prepare 5 dishes served in an enviable train of constant and seemingly unending deliciousness.
- Canapés consisted on fresh and spicy tomato gazpacho and smoked white fish scoop with lime zest and chive paired with the MCC Brut Reserve 2009.
- This was followed by the Cheeky oyster, fresh battered and served with guanciale paired with the MCC Brut Reserve 2009.
- Then to one of my favourite combinations of the evening, ok I will admit I am slightly biased as I have a particular predilection for any variation of cured pork. 9 month cured Culatello, sometimes referred to as the “King of Cured Meats” similar in texture to prosciutto albeit a little dryer but similar in texture. Served with Fior di latte and black garlic. Served with the award-winning Longridge Organic Chardonnay 2014 which I really enjoyed.
- Next was the apple, cucumber and prawn cocktail with chocolate mayonnaise. This was an interesting course, beautifully constructed. I was surprised at just how well this dish came together, this course was served with the Longridge Pinot Noir 2014
- Smoked trout ribbons, beautifully presented, wrapped around Labnah and avocado with sun-dried salsa. This was accompanied with one of the many highlights for me the Clos du Ciel Chardonnay 2014, now I’m not a particular lover of this type of wine but my goodness was this fantastic. Made from vineyards planted some 20 years ago above Longridge in the Helderberg, citrusy and hardly any oak derived character even after being in French oak casks for 14 months. At Five hundred of your South African Rands, money very well spent if you ask me.
- Beautiful and consistent presentation showed the mark of perfection in the next dish, it didn’t take too much of a stretch of the imagination to deduce which Chef produced this course. Potato cup, truffle cream, egg yolk, cucumber, basil and parsley oil with a crispy spring onion root. This course was paired with the Ou Steen Chenin Blanc 2015
- Gochujang a spicy and pungent Korean condiment made with red chillies rice and fermented soybeans apparently fermented for years, all I know is its was wonderful addition and enhancement to an all too familiar favourite. Our lamb chop was marinated in this lovely spicy paste with rosemary and garlic accompanied with cucumber and carrot pickle. The Bordeaux style Ekliptika was the wine of choice for this dish.
- I loved the elegance and presentation of the next dish, an inspired variation of the old surf and turf that we grew up on when you just couldn’t decide if you wanted meat or fish. Pan-fried pork and Hake beetroot ashed Kohlrabi (a distant relative of our lowly cabbage) red radish, carrot puree, pea puree, black pudding jus and fennel oil topped with mustard seed caviar. Now reading this, I’m sure your thinking this surely could not have been on one plate. I assure you each component of this course was able to stand out in its own right without making the collective seem disjointed. Well constructed and well Executed, ably accompanied by the Longridge Pinotage.
- Our palate cleanser consisted of the mix berry and bubbles granita with Longridge Rose MCC NV, refreshing and slightly tart.
We were then invited to enjoy our plate cleansers, whilst the chef’s prepares for the finale, the Desset Course.
- The Star du Spectacle was without a doubt the Mousse Mess. Gooseberries, Berry coulis, handmade chocolate, chocolate mousse, custard all made without the addition of refined sugar instead making use of honey, ginger crumble. True to its name, and what a glorious mess it was.
Eating is a sensory affair and Little Saint epitomizes this philosophy. Isn’t this the entire objective of eating out after all? This has been so much more than a gastronomic affair and would serve as a worthy addition to any Bucket list. I will be back.
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Contributed by Mario Arendse