Snips & snails & puppy-dog tails

This last week has been full of surprises and both good and bad events.

Saturday we had been planning on going to a tweet up at Burrata in The Old Biscuit Mill. I’ve heard good things about their food, but I was also keen on seeing some of my twitter friends whom I had not seen in a while. But then I was told that my son and his girlfriend Amber were coming down to attend their great uncle’s 90th birthday and would be staying with us. I really do hate it when people flake out on a commitment, so we decided we would just pop into Burrata and have dinner and then get home to hang out with the kids, so off we went.

It may have been better if we had cancelled as it ended up with the usual Cape Town event – more people showed than RSVP’d so there was not enough room in the restaurant for us all. In Cape Town you never know which way it will go – either more show than expected or fewer. It makes it very hard to cater. We ended up having to use every chair in the restaurant and the owner was very accommodating.

The menu said that you could make no substitutions on the pizzas – a bizarre idea to me. If I do not like capers, why should I eat them just because the chef things the taste combo on that pizza is not quite perfect without the capers? A bit rigid for my taste. I decided I would rather not have pizza. I was going to try the risotto with crispy pork, granny smith apple and currant vinaigrette. But then the waiter came to tell us the specials and there was wild boar on the menu which in my head was going to be like pulled pork. It was sort of, but it had the gamey taste associated to…well, game. And I did not fancy it.

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Norm kindly offered to swap with me as he had ordered the risotto with crispy pork.

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It was full of flavour. The risotto was perfectly cooked and seasoned. But I found the small chunks of uncooked apple a bit odd – I had expected them to be cooked. It was quite salty as well. Final verdict – it was ‘OK’. Would I rush back to order it again? Nope. The pizzas however looked fabulous, so I will indeed go back for a pizza should I get the opportunity.

We finished off our dinner and then headed home to spend time with the kids. The next morning the girls were all heading off to the Hout Bay Harbour Market, but Trevor and I just relaxed at home. I made pancakes and strawberries in a lovely sauce and we had a nice day.

The kids baby daddy came to collect Trevor and Amber and they headed back to George that afternoon. We then heard the next day that Trevor and Amber’s cat had been hit by a car and killed. I was so sad for them as they had raised Gremlin from a tiny wee ball of fluff and he was like their child. Amber works away and Gremlin is such good company for Trevor when he is on his own. I understand that as my dogs and cats are so special to me and such good companions when on my own.

Our pups have not been well either, they have taken turns now not eating and feeling a bit miserable. We took Panda to the vet as he had the worst of it, but they think it is just a virus and he indeed did perk back up.

My birthday was yesterday and we had to arrange a dog sitter for Navajo as he still cannot be trusted on his own. It is like we have a toddler to deal with. A messy, hair shedding, rambunctious toddler who is full of nonsense. But we do adore him.

I received some fabulous presents, a shelf unit for outside to put plants on, a buddha, a tuareg necklace, some gorgeous little hanging planters and some birds which you stick in plant pots. I then later got some stunning candlesticks from Mandi which match my other art on my mantel piece. Very spoiled!

My daughters had been very sweet and organised 2 dinners for my birthday. The first one was for just family and we opted for a venue where we knew we would have a special meal. We chose Myoga at the Vineyard Hotel. We were going to opt for the 7 course taster menu which can be seen at http://www.myoga.co.za/downloads/dinner_menu.pdf

We had been once before and I had high expectations based on that visit. I quickly found out that the experience was so special the 1st visit due to the staff. We had an amazing waiter who knew that menu inside and out and he also knew food. He spent so much time explaining the menu, answering questions and making sure we were aware of what we were ordering and that our expectations were met.

In contrast the waitress we had last night was clearly just doing a job. She did not smile, she did not converse, she basically gave out the menus, told us we had to order all 7 courses at the start of the evening and we could have time to decide and then wandered off. For what felt like ages.

We all felt a bit shell-shocked by the vast array of choices and just picked something quickly and ordered.

I chose the following for my 7 courses:
The Kataifi prawn, orange gastrique, coriander pesto. This was really nice, plump prawns, crispy coating and a lovely sauce.
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Twice cooked pork belly, apple parsnip puree and bacon chutney. I had hoped by being twice cooked it would be crispy. It wasn’t. It was rather horrid in fact.
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It was gelatinous and fatty. And YES I know pork belly is fatty, but there is fatty and there is fatty.

Next was Steamed mussels in a creamy broth. The mussels were fresh and fat and scrumptious. The broth was incredibly salty. So salty I could not really enjoy it. Which was a shame as I so love that dish normally. But it was not inedible, rather it prevented you from eating the broth only, the mussels themselves were delicious.
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Next was the Prawn and Chive risotto, squid ink emulsion, tempura squid. This was a HUGE portion, more the size of a main. But it was fabulous. The tempura batter was perfectly crunchy, the squid was tender, the risotto was full of big chunks of tender prawn. This dish was a stunner. Unfortunately my phone had died and the pic was taken with no flash 😦

risotto

Next there was a palate cleanser of 5 different sorbets to choose from, I opted for Coconut and lemon. It was fresh and tangy and really yummy.

The Main I chose was due mostly to the sides as I am a red cabbage freak. I went for the BBQ Pork Tenderloin, pan crisped potatoes, sauteed apples, red cabbage, chorizo, red currant jus and chive sauce. It was very nice, the apples kind of threw us as we thought we were eating potato, and thought it very odd in texture til we realised it was apple. Silly us. That is a problem with not having the menu in front of you, you cannot remember what the heck you are eating by the time you get to the 2nd or 3rd course.

Most of us could not finish the main course as it is just such a huge amount of food. I find the portions at La Mouette and Cheyne’s to be perfect – you leave completely full but not so full you feel nauseous. You still have space in your tummy to eat (and enjoy) every course.

I was then presented with an additional course as it was my birthday! The chef had made a plate with what tasted like malva pudding, ice cream and happy birthday written in chocolate sauce. Very cute.

bday cake

For my last course I opted for the Trio of sorbet. The desserts were all very elaborate and complicated and after 6 previous courses, I could not face it as the thought of a heavy dessert was too much for me.
The sorbet flavours I received were strawberry, passion fruit and banana, and coconut and lemon.

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It was the perfect decision.

We continue our celebration this weekend when we do a dinner at Don Pedro, that is on Friday so I can actually have a proper knees up as it is not a school night.

We had a lovely evening and I am feeling very blessed and loved. Cheers!

me n norm

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