Things at Spruce HQ have been rather manic lately; we have barely had any time to get to our weekly blogging done 🙁 . Thankfully, we are now back in the full swing of things and thought we would re-cap on a divine food and wine pairing we were invited to a couple of weeks ago at Level Four (situated in the 54 on Bath Hotel in Rosebank).
Rosebank is all of a sudden the BIG thing in Jo’burg – the revamped Mall is packed on the weekend, complete with just about every major retailer; high rise executive apartments are on the way up; and Standard Bank has moved into their stunning premises – so, we were interested to see what the restaurant offering from one of the most upmarket hotels in the area would be like…
We arrived somewhat frazzled – yet another bout of load shedding, and insane traffic on the way to the event – but immediately felt a sense of calm as were welcomed onto the pool deck outside Level Four with a glass of Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Semillon.
Once seated, we were given a bit of background about the Fleur du Cap estate and wines. Interestingly, Fleur du Cap was one of the pioneers in South Africa of unfiltered wines, which allows for the natural flavours of the terrior to remain in the wine making process. The result: delicious! We were both thoroughly impressed with each of wines served that evening, most particularly, the Laszlo red blend (2006).
The wines – Semillon, unfiltered Chardonnay, the Red Blend, and a Noble Late Harvest – were paired with our 4 tapas courses for the evening.
Butter poached prawn, sweet corn and lumpfish caviar. Butternut variations.
The approach of the evening was to make the food ‘interactive’ for the guest – as an example, one of the second courses was served with the almond gel and celery on a wooden board, to which we added the potato and fontina croquette. This achieved the sharing nature of tapas, but also allowed for the warm croquette to not melt through the gel before eating.
For us, the highlight of the evening was the main course – looking at the menu, we automatically assumed we would have either the duck, or the ostrich or the fillet. To our surprise, each of these dishes was served; and every single one of the three was absolutely delicious. The meat in each dish was perfectly cooked (no mean feat when serving around 50 people at the same time), including the ostrich – which is notoriously badly cooked at many restaurants!
By the time, dessert arrived we had both had more than enough to eat and drink but still managed to savour both of the desserts served.
The restaurant exudes a modern, elegant feel complete with large checkerboard marble tiles and plush chairs, and hotel-quality service. It is definitely the type of place to head for a special, intimate occasion and we loved the beautiful little Verve Cliquot Champagne bar attached to Level Four.
Our big thanks to 54 on Bath, Level Four, Fleur du Cap and Norman Goodfellows for such a treat of evening!