Rants & Raves
Faber – a shake-up in the winelands
I was fortunate to attend the opening of the much anticipated Faber last week. This hub of creativity and synergy between acclaimed chef Eric Bulpitt and Avondale proprietor Jonathan Grieve is sure to cause a shake-up in the winelands culinary landscape.
FABER is the Latin word for artisan, or craftsman. “We work with our hands, using produce from the land. It’s the perfect way to capture who we are and what we do,” says Chef Eric.
Both chef and wine-maker share a commitment to sustainability and dedication to their craft so it just made sense to open a restaurant where they can showcase this.
To bring together and embrace ground-breaking bio-dynamic and organic farming practices to produce wines that reflect the terroir and Avondale’s organic and bio-dynamic food garden, stone fruits and citrus from the farm’s orchards, eggs the eco-friendly egg-mobile and free range chickens, just made sense. In time the farm will provide a steady march of broiler chickens and pasture-reared organic beef to the kitchen.
We kicked off our eating experience with pumpkin fritters with a cumin aioli, which was so good we asked for seconds. The bread board was interesting with paper bread, fresh rolls and seed loaf, something for everybody.
Kombu cured yellowtail with watermelon, crispy onion, watercress and olive tapenade, paired with the Avondale Cyclus 2013. Our starter was almost too pretty to eat. Fresh, light and a good balance between sweet and savoury, although I missed a little more citrus oompf.
Our main dish was Karoo lamb shoulder, pumpkin seed pesto, wilted greens and spring herbs, paired with the Avondale La Luna. I have never tasted lamb that tender, buttery and fragrant. A beautifully balanced dish where the flavor of the lamb is showcased.
The dessert alone is worth a second and third visit. Cream cheese and honey sorbet, Avondale muscat blueberries, coconut crumble and blueberry macaron, paired with Avondale Camissa 2015. I can easily finish a tub of the sorbet, velvety smooth and tart and perfectly balanced with the sweet honeycomb and crumb.
FABER restaurant is situated on the scenic Avondale wine estate near Paarl in the Western Cape winelands. The restaurant is open for lunch from Wednesday to Sunday from 12h00 – 15h00 and for dinner from Friday to Saturday from 19h00 – 21h00.
Reservations recommended. For bookings and more information phone 021 202 1219 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit FABER on Facebook and follow faber_sa on Instagram.
Avondale is a 300 year old, family-run farm that is situated on Lustigan Road, Klein Drakenstein, Paarl – on the slopes of the Klein Drakenstein Mountains.
Peregrine Farm Stall
No wonder this landmark on the N2 has received a Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence in 2016. If you have never stopped there, do yourself a favor and t(m)ake the time. Peregrine has been there since 1964 has been serving generations of travelers seeking honest homemade fare and warm country hospitality. Situated in the beautiful and fertile Elgin Valley, Peregrine offers an abundance of locally sourced artisanal goods and wholesome, responsibly farmed, fresh produce.
I remember in 1981 when we bought our house in Onrus, we would always on weekend trips stop there on way to buy their delicious pies. I think the pies are still a very big drawing card, judging by the queues, but skilled bakers rise at dawn to continue the age old tradition of carefully crafted breads, pies and pastries. They use locally sourced unbleached stone ground flour and their own natural yeast starter in our artisanal breads. Naturally and slowly fermented and then baked in a wood fired oven. So while you are in the bakery, stock up on cakes, rusks, breads and something for the sweet tooth.
The Legendary Peregrine Pie
Pecan Nut Pie
We had a family gathering for Breakfast and although we were there by 9, the restaurant was packed already. The coffee is delicious, the service quick and friendly and I can think of no better way than to kick-start my day like this. The menu is substantial and surely caters for the whole family. Craft Beer is sold on tap and my kids thought their iced coffee was the best she ever tasted.
One of the breakfast options
Fax: +27 21 848 9723
Reuben’s at The One & Only
Last week Thursday I was lucky enough to indulge in Reuben Riffel’s new summer menu. Oh wow, every dish was just so beautiful and innovative, yet comforting and homey.
Fresh off the plane from a fact-finding and tasting mission to the US, the resort’s celebrity chef Reuben Riffel is brimming with ideas for a menu with new vision at Reuben’s One&Only. Reuben and his team’s focus are still on fresh, local ingredients and plenty of clean flavours but the menu has a fresh new approach to old classics. Reuben says: “Where the menu was quite big before, I’ve reduced it and really pushed our focus on amazing seasonal ingredients. We’ve refined things a lot and there’s more seafood too – don’t worry though, the signatures like chilli squid and slow roasted pork belly will remain”, he laughs.
Diners can expect mouth-watering new signatures on the ‘less is more’ menu – look out for stars such as roasted kingklip with prawns and fennel cream, slow cooked cured salmon with star anise, orange and vanilla as well as the pan fried scallops with cauliflower créme and pancetta with miso corn, says Reuben. Plating too has undergone a rethink at Reuben’s, and in keeping with international trends, simplified presentation lets the magnificent local ingredients sing.
Chef Reuben has stayed true to his heritage of Cape flavours and ingredients and harnessed flavours from his childhood, growing up in a food-centric home, yet with a new and fresh feel. He offers plenty of local inspiration to diners, while bringing in an undeniable cosmopolitanism and international flair. “We’re discovering more amazing suppliers and producers every week – from vegetable growers to cheese makers and artisan meat curers, and it’s exciting to share their offerings on the menu”, says Reuben.
Chef Reuben tries to keep it as local as possible with trout from the Franschhoek Valley, A-grade beef from nearby farms and seafood and shellfish specials depending on daily catches. Of course, the 5000-strong cellar at Reuben’s reflects the emphasis on provenance too – with scores of choices from some of South Africa’s maverick cellar masters, selected by master sommelier Luvo Ntezo. A passion for connecting with these lesser-known producers takes Luvo to hidden gem wineries and boutique estates and he and his team are always excited to share their findings and flavour matches with their grateful guests,
I left Reuben’s with lasting, fragrant memories and cannot wait to return to have another go at the Smoked Sweetcorn, mozzarella croquettes with basil jalapeño dip – definitely my favorite on the menu.
Easy Tiger Burger Bar
On 3 August my family and I popped into Easy Tiger Kenilworth for a quick burger and shake after braving the voting lines. The restaurant was not full when we arrived, but slowly filled up, I think everyone had the same idea as us. We were seated immediately and our menus given to us. As promised, the menu consist of burgers, shakes, chicken wings and Spare ribs and a few sides. I think the Muizenberg branch has a more extensive menu, but here it was small, but exactly what we needed.
The Triple Bypass Burger (R75) definitely is the post popular and it definitely delivered on taste for the boys in the family who ordered it. One of the boys, ordered the Tree Hugger Burger (R55) and what a delicious “mess” it was. One huge portabello mushroom serves as the Patty and the Truffle Infused Mushrooms sauce was delicious. I ordered the ribs, which was fall off the bone tender and the sauce delicious. As sides we ordered cheesy fries (R35) and the chili poppers(58) …… now there is something to rave about. I think chips is triple fried, because they are so crispy and even with the truffle-infused cheese sauce they do not go soggy. The chili poppers is quite a big portion, so share with someone or order it as your main course
Soft Drinks, Tiger’s Milk and Part Wolf craft beer taps are available. The milkshakes were so good, but I could not finish a burger and a milkshake. My boys however, did it with ease!
Service: If I read all the reviews about the good service at Easy Tiger, I know we just chose a bad day and maybe staff did not pitch due to election issues. We waited for a long time to get our food, but simply because the waiter who served us, served the entire restaurant on her own ….. in and outside. She was amazing, kept her calm composure, had the biggest smile throughout the service and although we waited for quite some time, I have to commend her on a job well done. Give that girl a raise!
Kalk Bay – 136 Main Rd Kalk Bay
Bree Stree – 120 Bree Str Cape Town
Muizenberg – 70 Beach Rd Muizenberg
Kenilworth – 166 Second Ave Kenilworth
After much deliberation and thought, I have decided to add another dimension to my website www.my-easy-cooking.com as well as my monthly Newsletter.
I receive so many requests for restaurant and hotel reviews and have always steered away from it, simply because I have never thought I had a “professional” food or hotel critic opinion to offer.
The reality is that your restaurant or hotel is not always visited by professionals chefs or food critics, they are visited by ordinary people and families, just like my family and I.
So finally I have decided to add this extension to my site. The reviews will be based on my/our overall experience, service and quality and standard of food services.
If or when we strike a bad experience, you will be the first to know. My review will never be to put any establishment in ill repute, but rather help to improve service and at the same time offer a valuable service to my loyal readers.
With every review you will see a stamp:
Good overall experience
Not sure, will have to give it another go!
Service or food not good at all.
Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon.