Monday, June 22, 2009


Although I didn’t bring my camera to dinners, this weekend provided us with the best meals since arriving in South Africa so I'm still going to share...

Our hotel package included two three-course dinners. One at the hotel restaurant and the other at the Klein Zalze winery’s acclaimed Terroir Restaurant.

Although we were looking forward to our dinner at Terroir, Friday’s dinner at the hotel restaurant did not disappoint. I started with a beautifully prepared prawn risotto (you know I’m a freak about risotto being cooked properly), had a some delicious Thai style noodles and we both chose the homemade vanilla and hazelnut ice cream with chocolate sauce…so good that even the Wife enjoyed it and she’s not much for ice cream.

Terroir is consistently in the top 10 restaurant list for the wine country. It has a wonderful atmosphere and a gracious staff that caters to your every whim without being overbearing. The Wife started with the duck confit with braised lentil puree…it was divine. I had the crispy pork trotter. It was deboned and wrapped with truffle in a light and flakey pastry parcel. I had always prided my Southern self as never having eaten “pig’s feet” but I have to admit, it was glorious.

For our main course I went with the fillet and the Wife went for the pork belly with caramelized apples. Although my fillet was delicious in its own right she so out ordered me on this one. It was only our second time eating pork belly but I pray not our last. I closed with the apple tart which was caramelized to perfection. Paired with the winery’s Pinotage it was a meal to remember.

Stellenbosch is also home to a Culinary School and we had a lovely breakfast prepared by some third year students at the school’s restaurant.

We also had some wonderfully fresh sandwiches at the Fairview Wine Estate made with their own cheeses.

We’ve had some nice meals in South Africa but Stellenbosch definitely took it up a notch.

Wines you should look out for in the States: Klein Zalze Pinotage ’06 or ’07, also their Sauvignon Blanc…Fairview (apparently a world first) has a great red called Pinotage Viognier look for these guys on the label…

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I miss cooking. Like, I really miss it. But, just as much as I miss cooking at home I miss eating home-cooked meals. It just so happens I was usually cooking them.

We’ve had some great meals on the road and tasted the work of some very talented chefs but, I don’t think anything compares to food made at home by ordinary people with extraordinary care.

On our way to Kruger we stayed at the Utopia of Africa guesthouse in Nelspruit where we were treated to our first home-cooked meals since leaving the States.

Friday night all 8 of us piled around the table and passed around dishes of flawlessly spiced lamb and spinach curry, perfectly roasted winter veggies, provolone and prosciutto wrapped asparagus topped with chutney and salad overflowing with fresh berries and nuts. We ended the already amazing meal with a heavenly pineapple bundt cake served with warm cream.

Why I never served cake with warm cream before is beyond me…but, I promise to never make the mistake again.

Breakfast the next day was just as lovely with fresh fruit, yogurt, eggs, bacon, breads, quiche and yummy locally grown and freshly squeezed orange juice.

A big thanks to the proprietor, Patricia and her cook, Emily, for making us feel at home in the best way possible- around the table with friends, enjoying good wine and scrumptious food.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

carnivore heaven

last night we went to "the butcher shop" in sandton mall. the mall is pretty close to where we are staying now and the restaurant came highly recommended by our hotel. in truth we had tried to go to an african music/dance show but when we got there we found out it was cancelled. we were already out and hungry hence why so we were spared yet another night in the lounge at the hyatt.

this place was a meat lovers dream...they had a huge meat counter and cooler after cooler of hanging beef and game. i've said before that south africans don't mess around when it comes to grilled meats and our experience here only furthered this belief.

i chose the t-bone (above)...mainly because at home the wife only grills fillet and with the t-bone you get the tender fillet side and and the tastiness of a sirloin. it was pretty darn good. the wife got the fillet, shocker i know.

our dear frenchmen went for the steak tartar. in atlanta (excluding flip) when we've ordered tartar it is an appetiser and usually a slightly thicker version of beef carpaccio. not you get a huge pile of raw ground beef with a raw egg on top...

i love meat and all but that was too much for me. the wife on the other hand loved it...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

78 days

that is how long it takes after leaving india to revive your love of indian food. our hotel in zambia had an great indian restaurant complete with a chef from northern india. i ate the delicious chicken tikka masala three times in 2 1/2 days and am still craving it now.

most people i know say they don't like indian food when in actuality they've never had it or only tried one dish. if you've never given indian food a fair shake i really recommend you hitting bombay cafe on briarcliff for their brunch buffet on sunday. it is pretty authentic except now that they have so many non-indian customers on the weekends the spice level is pretty low.

check it out and eat your weight in chicken tikka masala, dal and paneer for me!