Conversations in Africa

Last night when our domestic Cordelia finished work we drove her home through the township. It was dark and to be honest I was terrified! I started getting annoyed with Norm for taking the risk of driving through at night and then I started to think about how I would feel if I was Cordelia with a pocket full of cash trying to get to my home. The crime within the township is sometimes worse than the crime in the more affluent suburbs.

Cordelia then said to us that a tsotsi had been murdered near the cemetery last week. We asked why and she said that his own ‘gang’ killed him. She said that they worked together committing crime and maybe the one who was murdered was not doing the splitting of the bounty properly. Norm’s response was ‘well that is one less to contend with’ which sounds heartless but as I said before – we are hardened.

After we dropped Cordelia we then made our way slowly out of the township as it is so dark that you can see nothing. Our biggest fear is hitting a child who is playing in the streets. the trauma of that would be unbearable, but not only that, there is the risk that we would probably be pulled from the car and killed. I’ve heard of people killed for hitting someone’s livestock so can’t imagine what it would be like with vengeance for a child.

We then headed off to the event at Pure Restaurant at Hout Bay Manor. The restaurant was fully booked which made for a nice buzz. We were greeted with a big glass of merlot from La Bri Wines. As I do not drink red Norm shuffled off to find some white. We then snuggled up by the roaring fire and enjoyed the atmosphere.

We went through to be seated and discovered a cheesy lounge singer. I have a love hate relationship with lounge singers in that I either love them or hate them. I loved this guy. He sang loads of my fave cheese tunes and I happily sang quietly to myself between chewing.

As it was a wine pairing event there was the obligatory pretentious waffle about wine. Most of the wine being paired was red, so I would try it with each course just for the experience then happily shift back to my Sauvignon Blanc. The 1st course was a spiced berry consume with crispy confit duck won ton. It was such an unusual mix, the sharp tart taste of the consume against the smoky gamey duck was very interesting. The crispy pastry was the perfect thing to balance it. I was so intrigued I dug in before I could snap a pic, oops! But you get the idea 🙂

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The 2nd course was poached marron crayfish tails on lemon and almond risotto served with parsley purée and crowned with micro herbs and red radish shavings. This was paired with La Bri Chardonnay. This dish was beautiful enough to make you weep. The risotto was cooked to perfection.

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The crispy almond, the slightly bitter radish and the richness of the crayfish was just so gorgeous. My favorite dish of the night. The Chardonnay was a bit oaky for me but Norman enjoyed his.

The next course was a really odd one. It was a beet root and balsamic sorbet. I would never imagine either of these individual items as sorbet much less the two combined. But it was very refreshing and had a lovely taste.

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The next course was a fillet of roasted blue wildebeest loin. Yes I said wildebeest. Remember this is Africa. It was served with butternut purée and smoked bone marrow accompanied by exotic mushrooms and cassis jus.

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This was ….. interesting. The flavors of the various things on the plate complimented each other beautifully. Norm was rather unlucky and his piece was full of gristle but mine was as tender as any other steak- it was just a bit gamey for me. But that is the nice thing about a 5 course meal if one isn’t your cuppa tea you just move on to the next.

This just leaves the finale of warm dark chocolate fondant served with hazelnut ice cream. Oooooh, heavenly!

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The thick warm chocolate oozing from the centre was divine and the hazelnut ice cream was the perfect accompaniment for it.

One of the cool points of the evening was meeting some of the people I chat to in Hout Bay Organised, a local HB Facebook group and we recognized each other from our profile pics.
We used Home Heroes to get home after all that wine. Even with all the drama, I do love Hout Bay.

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