Monday, September 19, 2011

Taste of Joburg 2011

Ah, Taste of Joburg, I think this must be my favourite annual Joburg event :) As is tradition, I was at the Saturday afternoon session. The weather treated us well, not too hot (in fact the day started out downright chilly with a breeze and overcast but it got quite nice and sunny but afternoon).

It was The Trucker's first time at Taste and I think he enjoyed it too :) Between us we managed to try an awful lot of dishes! Hey, and this year we even had seconds of our 2 favourites (both desserts that we shared, so I guess it was one whole portion each in the end - haha).

So, the favourites of the day were definitely the Honeycomb mousse with salted peanut and chocolate gastrique from La Belle Terrasse (our first was far better than our second tho, I think because it was colder so the outer chocolate containing the delicious mousse was harder - and oh those salted peanuts complimented the flavour so perfectly!!) and the Self-saucing Malva pudding and kumquat preserve with home-made ginger ice cream from roots @ Forum Homini (always a strong favourite of mine!).

My favourite main was also from roots, their Springbok bobotie with home-made gooseberry chutney and marinated baby tomatoes. I was surprised to see that the chef from roots has now opened another new restaurant called Gray. We tried 2 of their dishes: the Beef jap roll with honey & beetroot puree, asparagus and wasabi aioli (my fave of the two) and their Pepper-grilled sirloin cube with smoke cauliflower puree and mustard seed sauce.

I was also surprised at home many dishes contained mushrooms that never even mentioned them :P My next favourite main was probably the Baby spinach gnocchi with blue cheese and walnut sauce from Oliva Bar & Kitchen.

The item that I think we had the highest hopes for (but didn't really live up to the expectation) was the deconstructed 'Rocky Road')Honey and rose water ice cream, chocolate brownie praline and home-made marshmallow) from The Saxon.

What else ... The Sashimi-style Scottish salmon with a variety of shoots, ginger and garlic chips and a citrus dressing from Bellagio was pretty average (although tasty).

I especially liked the prawn in La Bonne Table's Mediterranean vegetable tatin and aubergine caviar with Mozambican Prawn ... pity the rest was not especially impressive.

There were way too many mushrooms for me in the Crunchy prawn & ricotta pasta 'pillows' served on wild mushrooms with a smoked salmon Champagne cream from Piccolo Mondo (my own fault really).

I ended the day with the Oxtail burger with pear ratatouille from Sel et Poivre & Le Petit Sel, which was pretty average too, I thought.

The only other thing I really enjoyed this year was a delish brandy Cocktail (no idea what it was, but it was good!) with Fish Eagle. Other than that, there was nothing much I was blown away by in the exhibitors. What I found really quite sad (although I guess it was an eventuality really) was that they started charging for the wine-tastings. So much for promotions, but I imagine it can kinda get out of hand. So we tried some wines and some champagnes and all round had a lovely afternoon :)

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