Waltzing Mathilda

I was invited to attend the Theatre Dinner Evening at The Mount Nelson Hotel last Tuesday with my friend Retha. 

  

It’s a new concept for the hotel I understand and is held  at Planet Restaurant every Tuesday evening from 5 May to 9 June 2015. The evening is priced at R450 per person. 

‘The Summer of 1946’ is a play which has been written by Alexander McCall Smith and directed by Nicholas Ellenbogen. It’s musical theatre which is my favorite genre. 

We were shown to a little conservatory type room off the main restaurant for bubbly and canapés on arrival and then we headed into the restaurant for 7pm. 

The stage was set up in the centre of the restaurant and the 3 courses were served to align with the 3 acts. 

There were 2 starters to choose from, either chicken liver parfait with a pear chutney served with a warm brioche, or roasted cauliflower soup with toasted almonds. 

I chose the chicken liver parfait. 

  

The chicken liver was light and smooth but it was rather a big portion so I could not finish it. I am not sure what all the little bits are other than the pear chutney but I found the sweetness of the extras to contrast rather strongly with the richness of the chicken liver. A new experience for my taste buds. 

Retha is allergic to garlic and told the waiter this when she sat down, but he only came to say that both starters had garlic when he was actually serving the starters. He asked if she wanted a beetroot salad which she declined and said ‘just bring me something, just not a beetroot salad or anything with garlic.’ He came back with a stunning looking salad Caprese.

  

So many places never seem to be able to cope with a surprise like that but the kitchen rallied and Chef Rudi saved the day.

While eating our starters we watched the 1st act of the play which was a woman’s perspective on seeking a suitor and a spouse in 1946. I suspect if I had to adhere to the restrictions put on women in that era I would have ended up as a trouser wearing cat loving overweight lesbian who smoked a cigar.

Potentially.

  

For the main we had a choice of Chicken Chasseur or Kob Meunière and I chose the Kob. I would have been happy with either they both looked divine. 

   

 

The fish was lovely, plump and moist and buttery. It was on a bed of long stemmed broccoli and baby potatoes. It was so delicious.

Again one of the ladies at our table was vegetarian and the kitchen brought her a lovely looking dish of gnocchi. They were very accommodating. 

The 2nd act was the bloke’s perspective of trying to find a wife. The lead actor was a young handsome fella who played the saxophone and had a lovely singing voice. 

  

The dessert was warm apple cobbler with orange blossom ice cream and english custard cream. 

  

I loved the crispy edges of this dish but it was rather large so I just nibbled round the edges like a menopausal mouse. There were little pots of very thin creamy custard, more like what we call creme anglaise in Europe. I liked it as I am not a fan of pouring cream over my desserts. But I do like custard and this was closer to custard than cream in flavour. 

There was a lot of spice in the apple – maybe allspice? I am not a spice fan so I avoided the middle of the cobbler. It was so large I could be happy with munching the crispy edges. 

We watched the third and final act while  we were having our dessert. I really enjoyed the 3rd act as it was full of madness and frivolity.  So much madness that I turned to the woman next to me and asked her if the fish had been infused with acid or was she also seeing women dressed as a penguin and a lion. 

  

It was a bit random, maybe that was supposed to represent Cape Town? Lord knows, I was lost but I enjoyed it. 

We were working the next day so didn’t linger for coffee, we headed home to Hout Bay.  We stopped off in the ladies and had an attempt to take a selfie as we thought it funny we both ended up wearing Cruella Deville-esque black and white. We were not very successful in getting a nice pic. 

  

The next day I had an appointment to see David King for Body Reactivation and floated home all relaxed. I had thought Norm was cooking as he said he shopped but I somehow ended up cooking most of it. He had bought a lovely piece of hake and we cooked that with mash, cabbage and mushy peas. It was rather delish if I say so myself. 

We are working to a deadline due next week so work is hectic. I’m so exhausted when I get home. I was glad at least Norm was here for support this week. We have also had a few bouts of load shedding as well which is not easy to cope with. Thursday we had no electricity that evening so Norm got us takeaways. We knew Cassarechio has a generator so he picked up a pizza. I couldn’t Google the menu and fancied a change and the owner Jorge made it up specially for me. 

Friday night Lily and Josh drove down from George and their friend Mike also stayed over so we ordered burgers for the boys and kingklip for Lily and I. We just relaxed at home.

  

Today my friend Annette and I had bought a coupon from Daddy’s Deals for a facial, mani and pedi 90 minute treatment at Beauty Magic in Parklands. We would never normally go so far but for 200 bucks it was a bargain! I pay more for a mani usually. We had the treatments and chatted the whole time. 

After we decided to go to Maestro’s On The Beach for lunch, despite the bad experience we had last time. The view is what always drags us in. 

  

  

And the cocktails.

  

But the fact that they allow people to smoke outside despite the law meant we had to move tables. We both ordered the chicken schnitzel with chips. 

  

We enjoyed the food as we were starving. But after we finished we tried many times to get our waitress’ attention even asking another waitress to get her. No luck. We gave up and just went to pay at the front. Our plates were piled up by then, my worst pet peeve is not having the plates cleared. Shocking service.

So many venues just cruise on their location and don’t care about the food or service. We have the same syndrome in Hout Bay. 

I think that is our last visit there! Anyway. 

Tonight Caitlin and I cooked. We made kohlrabi and carrot fritters, baked aubergines, green beans and grilled halloumi. It was divine. I made an avocado and yogurt sauce for the fritters. All the veg were grown locally as part of the Harvest of Hope project.

  

It’s been a lovely week and tomorrow is Mothers Day so we are off to Kalk Bay for the day. I hope your Sunday is fab. 

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