Thursday, October 04, 2012

Taste of Joburg 2012

On Saturday afternoon, we went to my favourite annual Joburg event. And I haven't missed a year yet! This year the food was a little disappointing :( It wasn't so hard to find the things I really wanted to try ... Usually I struggle terribly to narrow it down.

But the weather was far nicer this year, not so sweltering hot so we could enjoy the entire afternoon there. And the stands were laid out very nicely this year, making for a good walking circuit. I didn't feel terribly crowded either, which is good :)

So, I started with the Moroccan flavoured spring rolls, stuffed with braised oxtail, spicy cous cous, julienne vegetables, served with a chilled apricot, lime, fresh coriander and yoghurt salsa from La Cuchina di Ciro. I liked it, pity the spring rolls were so tiny tho :(

Later in the day, we also tried their Rich dark chocolate brownie topped with a Zabaglione gelato & caramelized almonds. Now this was delish!

Then we were side-lined by the Fine Brandy tent, where they were offering a cocktail with a taster plate of food. The food wasn't really my scene, but I did have a taste of the Wild Mushroom Risotto, which The Trucker got with his Oude Meester Franklin cocktail, which I didn't like at all, too bitter for me. And then I had the Klipdrift Gold Julep, which I really liked. And I tasted a little of the Pomme Puree and Fruit Chutney that was served with the slow roasted Pork Belly.

Next we moved onto the Gyoza (Japanese fried dumplings) at Padbok Thai and Sushi Restaurant (that may be the worst website I've seen this year! Visit this one instead). I completely loved these, with soy sauce :)

Then, going entirely against my no mushroom rule, I tried the Deboned blue cheese & mushroom stuffed chicken served on Emmental & Gruyere croquette with mushroom jus infused with black truffle paste from Sel et Poivre and Le Petit Sel Bistro. It was quite nice, but the chicken skin was a bit weird ...

Later, I also had a Belgian Trio of Macarons from them. I've never actually had a macaron / macaroon before. They're a bit weird, I don't quite understand the fuss. They're much like meringues. But they were nice enough. Very mad colours! Haha.

We ended our mains circuit with the Crispy deep-friend sushi with spicy salmon tartar from Yamato Japanese Restaurant, which I think was my least favourite dish of the day. The deep-fried sushi seemed to just be rice that was far too crunchy and didn't complement the salmon at all! We should've shared this dish instead of getting one each, but it sounded so interesting.

And the Melanzane Parmigiana Aubergine tomato bake with mozarella and parmesan from Al Dente, which was superb. I do love my Melanzane and this was perfect.

The mains were not the highlight of the day for me, which is unusual. This year the desserts won hands down.

We started with the brownie mentioned above and moved on to the Double Chocolate Passion Fruit Brulee, served with almond biscotti from Piccolo Mondo at The Michaelangelo. I'll admit I'm a sucker for Creme Brulee, generally. And I was super curious as to how it could be Double Chocolate as well as Passion Fruit. It was delish!

I had the Macrons and then we shared the Tiramisu Marscapone cheese, Savoiardi biscotti with a hint of cafe espresso & Marsala from the Mastrantonio Group. I am not a huge Tiramisu fan, but The Trucker was keen to try this and I quite liked it actually :)

We ended our tasting of the official restaurants with the Chocolate Chilli Baklava with mixed nuts, cinnamon and honey from Prosopa. Now I am definitely not a fan of baklava generally, but the chilli chocolate made this a must try for me. Wow, it was delish! Really liked it :)

We also tried a few fabulous things from the exhibitor stalls. By far my favourite (which we only ate later in the evening), was my Rose & Pistachio cupcake from Sublime Cupcakes. The Trucker had the Key Lime cupcake which also tasted delish.

I also really liked Naughty's but Nice Belgian Chocolates. They did a special range of 7 Deadly Sins Truffles for Taste. I tried the Lust truffle, Red Velvet. Delish :) Wish I'd had space to try a few of the others!

We, of course, had to try a yard glass of Margarita's from the Original Cocktails stand. Money well spent :) And then there was an awesome Polish Butchery stand (unfortunately I forget the name & can't find anything useful online) with some tasty cabanossi and smoked carpaccio.

An all round excellent way to spend an afternoon :)

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