As a special treat I decided to take my wife out for supper last night. For once in my life I actually made reservations beforehand! I had travelled up and down Soutpansberg Road in Pretoria on numerous occasions and had never noticed a real gem of a restaurant right under my nose!
Viewing the restaurant from the road doesn’t give you any inkling of the absolutely enchanting venue that is really there. I approached the large entrance doors with great trepidation, although they were impressive, I was worried that the doors may have only been a front with no substance behind them. I needed have been concerned at all. It exceeded my wildest expectations easily.
The restaurant is tastefully laid out with ample space for anyone wanting to entertain your spouse or a larger gathering of friends. Apparently the restaurant can cater for groups up to 100 people at a time. We were seated right next to the fish pond with the muted sound of a waterfall in the background.
Out host and owner of the restaurant, Gideon, warmly welcomed us and personally looked after all our needs for the rest of the evening. Maryna the chief chef explained the various dishes to us and also popped out to see us during the meal to find if we were happy the food. The focus of the personnel ensured that we were well looked after and lacked for nothing.
In trying to explain to work colleagues this morning as to how I experienced the food, I actually ran out of superlatives! It was more of a gastronomic experience than a well prepared meal. The fusion of different styles in each of the dishes pampered our pallets to the extreme!
Starters consisted of pan seared scallops with Saffron Risotto, then pasta love letters with a delightful spicy Harissa Ostrich sauce which had just a hint of a bite in it. The main course was Fillet Mignon prepared in a vacuum to preserve the natural juices with Thai Lime and Orange Jus, served on a bed of sautéed Swiss Chard with (wild) mushrooms rounding it off. When trying to describe the main course as anything less than the ultimate best tasting food I have eaten in many, many years, I would not be doing it the justice it deserved. The desert was a great fusion of tastes with each one complimenting the next taste experience. As far as I can recall, it was Espresso Semifredo with a touch of Amarula Cream just rounding it off. The desert was consumed slowly, with many pauses between spoonful’s enjoying the various tastes, as you worked your way through the different ingredients. After this a plate with three different cheeses, plum chutney and warm fruit tart rounding off the meal. South Africa really does make some very good cheeses and we don’t have to stand back for any other country. The house wine was a Merlot which was a good choice with the meal.
Our host Gideon took me on a tour of the kitchen and I really liked what I saw. Here was a place that could inspire any chef to rise to great culinary heights.
I never got a chance to do a tour of the wine cellar, but this will have to wait until my next visit which should be mid July 2012 when my daughter comes to visit us.