Last year, I had the pleasure of attending the launch of 1On19 - a menu concept focused on one flavour paired with one cultivar - at The Westin Cape Town's On19 restaurant.
The series continues but with a new chef at the helm, Stephen Mandes – the Ultimate Braai Master of 2014. He has spent time in restaurant kitchens around the city, including Mount Nelson Hotel, the Cape Grace, Mondiall Kitchen & Bar, Restaurant Jardine and de Grendel Wines.
Chef Stephen Mandes
Far from slapping a chop on the braai, Mandes delighted with delicate and well-balanced dishes celebrating the ingredients – fynbos and Shiraz. We sampled Mandes’ new menu 19 storeys up in the air with the spectacular views accompanying great conversation, service second to none, and some bold and unique flavours.
On the menu
While last year’s strawberry and rosé menu had five courses to get stuck into, the fynbos and Shiraz menu had six perfectly constructed, beautiful dishes:
The rooibos lemoncello and puffed kingklip, paired with a Corder cool climate Syrah, surprised with its bold flavours. The rooibos went a long way in tempering the sharp kingklip while the Corder brought both together flawlessly.
The sour fig salami intrigued all the diners and we were all surprised when no salami made it to the table but an entirely vegetarian dish. The local flavours from the sour fig salami, indigenous leaves, seed crusted chevre and a delicious tangy hibiscus vinaigrette paired well with Ormonde’s Chip of the Old Block.
Next was the fine dining version of snoek and patat
with honeybush gastrique – by far my favourite dish of the night as the sweet and salty made for a perfectly balanced dish reminiscent of the “real thing”. The Innocent from Lammershoek’s savoury undertones was a great match for the dish.
The spekboom, mint and rooibos granita served as a welcome burst of fresh and cool flavours.
The main course was nothing short of a treat. Quite a fan of gamy meat myself, I utterly enjoyed the perfectly cooked springbok served with chocolate num num jus, fermented cabbage and a sweet potato croquet. The main was paired with a Shiraz from Meerendal, with a smokiness complementing the springbok perfectly.
For the grand finale, we enjoyed an apple cobbler with fynbos honey, thyme and olive oil gelato paired with an aromatic La Vierge Anthelia Shiraz.
Chef Mandes and his team will present the lime and Chenin Blanc and coffee and Pinotage curated menus for the months of May and June. For more information, visit On19.Our dinner was graciously sponsored by The Westin.