I popped into Taste of Cape Town last night. It was the first session and I wanted to get a feel for this year’s event. I will be there again for the Saturday afternoon session to give it a proper go, but here are my initial impressions and some tips on things you should taste and buy.
One of the more unusual dishes which was also very tasty was the Scotch egg from The Brasserie. I also had the mussels with tomato and chilli there which were tasty.
I tried the 24 hour braised lamb breast with parmesan polenta and smoked tomato jus from Dash Restaurant, not bad. Their banana macaroon with roasted banana puree, banana caviar & banana gel was an impressively intricate dish under the circumstances. The macaroon was nice and chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside, but you need to like banana.
From Signal I had the slow roasted beef short rib, grilled rib-eye, goats cheese arincini, miso-roasted sweetcorn, pickled beetroot & smoked BBQ jus. This was a great dish.
The pop-up restaurant last night was La Colombe. I had the Ostrich tataki & tartare. The ostrich was amazing quality, so tender. The tartar wasn’t bad but I wasn’t excited about the tataki.
Things that I want to try on my next visit…
I want to visit De Grendel as I’ve been hearing good things about their restaurant. Maybe I’ll have the BBQ quail.
I must try the crispy pork belly strips from 96 Winery Road. I hear they are the sizzle. And I must admit their Nobu-style line fish sounds amazing!
The pop up when I’m there on Saturday is Bruce Robertson’s Boat House and I haven’t had his cooking since The Showroom so would like to check it out. Maybe I’ll go for the chilli-bite hake.
TOP TIP: The menu is below, browse it and find the dishes that grab you before you go and save yourself a heap of time.
There are a bunch of stands selling products and offering tastings. I highly recommend visiting Jorgensen’s Distillery and trying their limoncello if you are the last person in Cape Town who hasn’t done that already. There are stacks of local olive oils represented so do some tasting and stock up on some local oil at good prices.
Try the green olives at Vesuvio. I bought some. They are the business. Also the yoghurt at Curds & Whey, amazing and such good value! You must try the flavoured balsamic reductions at Froggit. Seriously.
There’s a craft beer tent and plenty of wine stands to quench your thirst.
TOP TIP: Take your own wine glass and save yourself 2 crowns.
And finally, if you don’t already have a copy of The Entertainer voucher book, they are available there. If you want to know why you need one, read my review here.
More details at the Taste of Cape Town website: http://tasteofcapetown.com/
I want back on Saturday and spent about 7 hours wandering around tasting, socialising and relaxing. What an awesome way to spend a day. I have some more recommendations for you.
Here are the dishes I tried:
I had another Scotch egg from The Brasserie, I couldn’t help myself. And they sold out both sessions so I recommend you make that one of your early missions.
One of my absolute HIGHLIGHTS was the BBQ quail, baby gem ceasar, parmesan & croutons from De Grendel.
I tried the flash friend calamari with homemade tartar sauce from Il Leone and it was fantastic. Not a particularly interesting dish, but if you’re a calamari fan then you will be in your element.
The crispy pork belly strips with homemade tomato chutney from 96 Winery Road were not as nice as I was expecting. Because the whole strip is crispy (as opposed to just the crackling), it found it quite dry.
From 96 Winery Road I also tried the thinly sliced line fish with spring onions & ginger, drizzled with hot sesame oil & finished with a soy reduction and wasabi mayonnaise. It was tasty but very saucy, I found the fish was overpowered.
I also had a taste of the parmesan risotto (vegetarian) from 96 Winery road and enjoyed the freshness from the added tomatoes and some greens which I can’t recall right now. Needed a pinch of salt.
I had the salad of grilled prawns, rice vermicelli, basil, chilli, lime & cape Malay curried coconut foam at Signal. I wasn’t wild about it but their slow roasted beef short rib is still in my top 3 dishes.
At Savour I opted for the seared scallop with crab & green mango salad with nam-jim dressing. I wasn’t blown away. Should have gone for the Thai quail curry option.
I had the fresh chilli-bite hake, finger ‘tjips’ & periwinkle mayo from Bruce Robertson’s Boat House. That was pretty good and one of the bigger portions there.
The pop up for Sunday is Makaron, and if I visited I would opt for the smoked lamb belly.
I tried the lamb pie from Dish Food at the Taste Bites stand and that was a great pie. Also good value in terms of volume if you’re hungry.
And last but not least, I visited the Asara stand. They are pairing a few things with their wines. You can select savoury or sweet combinations with each wine. It’s great value because you get a snack plus a glass of wine for 4 or 5 crowns. I had the (delicious) lightly wooded chardonnay with the chicken burger. Then we had the paired sweet option as well which was the egg & bacon macaroon! Very different. While you’re there, try the White Cab, an unusual and enjoyable wine.
In terms of products to check out. I recommend investigating Falke Salt, Wild at Heart cordials (especially the ginger), Inverroche fynbos gin and Las Paletas artisan lollies (as in ice cream lollies – amazing flavours). Talking about ice cream, fans of The Creamery will be pleased to see them there too.
I took some awesome photos, which you can see on Facebook here. Well, I think they are awesome. For an amateur. With a cheap camera. 😉