Contemporary Dining at Idiom

With two years trading under its belt, the Idiom Restaurant & Tasting Centre has fast become a must-visit destination for those seeking a vineyard setting with 180 degree panoramic views of both sea and mountain with spectacular cuisine and a wide range of top wines to match.

Situated near Sir Lowry’s Pass, Idiom is one of the southern-most vineyards in the Stellenbosch appellation with a positioning on the upper slopes of the Helderberg Basin. The elevated vantage point offers a unique coastal perspective of the full profile of the Cape Peninsula across False Bay whilst having the green, windswept vineyards and rugged, fynbos-covered mountainside as a backdrop to this unique Cape Winelands’ destination.

The restaurant space acts as a space from where the beautiful landscape can be observed in its different moods. The interior design is reserved in its almost Scandinavian simplicity, offering a calming, sheltered place to taste Idiom’s superb range of wines and enjoy a leisurely afternoon with friends and family. The dining experience continues to ensure that clients get a wonderful balance of flavours, with visual presentation showcasing the impeccable technique and the young talent being developed in the kitchen.

“Our focus is on contemporary cuisine bringing to life a fusion of our family’s Italian heritage as well as modern flavours and textures of the­ Cape. We have seventeen different grapes varieties from all over the world planted at Idiom, giving us plenty of scope for inspiration”, notes Roberto Bottega, who has headed up the project of developing the signature Idiom Tasting Centre. “Over the last two years, we have been working to establish the identity and desired direction of our Restaurant and Tasting Centre. Our main trading window is lunch, to take advantage of the views. Our primary goal is to create a top class food offering to match the scenery and complement and showcase our Idiom wines. We offer a Contemporary Dining experience, which is a 2- and 3-course seasonal menu, with a recommended wine pairing for each dish. We want customers to have a memorable visit to Idiom.”

“Each Idiom wine has its own unique character and flavour profile and we actively try and express those characters in the culinary offering, often using the colour spectrum as a guide,” adds Bottega. “Our current team in the kitchen, under the leadership of Calum Anderson, has a good understanding of this concept. The cured trout starter paired with Idiom Viognier and the lamb ragu paccheri paired with Idiom Zinfandel are two of my current favourites on our chef’s new menu.”

Guests can also request older vintages from Idiom’s library and enjoy wines at close to cellar door prices – an added benefit compared to dining at other top end establishments.

The owners

The Idiom project is run by the Bottega Family. Family patriarch, Alberto, was born in Italy and immigrated to the Cape in the 1950s. After a successful career upcountry in computer programming, banking and finance, he returned to Cape Town to retire to the Cape Winelands. In 1999 the first vines were planted from scratch on his Da Capo Vineyards farm and the first commercial vintage of Idiom was made in 2004.

Alberto’ son, Roberto, joined Idiom after 12 years of trading financial markets in London and Johannesburg. He has spearheaded the development of the Tasting Centre and manages global sales for Bottega Family Wines. He has developed a passion for Italian wines and is also the co-founder of a specialist wine import and distribution project called Vinotria, which he manages together with Pedro Estrada Belli. Vinotria’s portfolio includes wines from internationally acclaimed wineries such as Donnafugata in Sicily, Ornellaia in Tuscany, and Livio Felluga in Friuli, to name a few.

The Chef

Calum Anderson is an established head chef with 17 years’ experience of working in top-end restaurants, hotels and game lodges in South Africa, England and Australia. He has worked at leading hotels including The Cape Grace and Singita. During his career he has worked under some extremely gifted chefs including Gareth Collins, Giles Thompson, Chris Galvin, Peter Gordan, Bruce Robertson, Charles Le Febvre and Reuben Riffel. As a chef, Anderson has cooked for celebrities including Ellen DeGeneres, the British royal family, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Clinton, Sheikha Al Mayassa of Qatar, Brad Pitt, Andrea Bocelli, Michel Roux Snr, Fran Drescher and William Shatner.

Anderson’s food philosophy is to ensure the integrity of the elements is upheld, that dishes are full of flavour, interesting and unusual.

“Visually, dishes should be natural and beautiful to the eye but not overly complicated as I believe this is my expression of how I see and feel about food.”

He is assisted at Idiom by talented sous chefs Donovan Christian and Bronwyn Solomon, who also heads up the pastry section.

Explore Italy at Idiom

Besides the contemporary dining offering at Idiom, there are other simpler Italian-inspired options to enjoy. Antipasto platters, with a selection of freshly sliced Italian cold meats such as prosciutto and salami, as well as cheese boards, with Italian and local soft and hard cheeses, are popular choices. The regional Italian pizza menu combines light thin crust bases with carefully chosen toppings using ingredients that transmit the tastes of the different regions of Italy.

“The regional pizzas are the first step to creating a dedicated Italian food offering, which in time, may require its own separate space,” says Bottega. “Regional Italian pastas are also being added to complement the pizzas. We are planning a rotating regional Italian degustation menu in order to showcase the fantastic regional wines we import with appropriate food. Italian wines are designed for food, and we hope to have this concept ready for the end of the year.”

Idiom is one of the leading producers of Italian varietal wines in South Africa, so it makes perfect sense for us to expand and take ownership of the Italian wine space in the country,” continues Bottega. “Visitors can taste Idiom’s locally produced Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Barbera, Nebbiolo and Primitivo (Zinfandel) wines at the wine bar or in the restaurant. We supply a number of leading Italian restaurants with both our locally made Idiom and imported Vinotria portfolio of Italian wines. Having access to the imported wines as reference points has been very important. Firstly, we have learnt a tremendous amount about the wines of Italy, and it has allowed us to monitor the progress, quality and style of the Italian varietal wines we produce locally, and to better understand the potential of our Cape terroir,” adds Bottega.

Did you know?

Idiom – currently the VIP Winelands Lunch Choice of local operator, Cape Town Helicopters – is now accessible by helicopter for those who want to take a spectacular trip to the Cape Winelands along the coast. The 4-hour VIP aerial adventure and Winelands Culinary experience departs from the Waterfront and takes in parts of the Cape Peninsula before arriving at Idiom.

http://idiom.co.za/

Advertisements

Enter now for the Sanlam Top Destination Awards

The Sanlam Top Destination Awards 2018 will be held at the prestigious Bay Hotel on Thursday, 20 September. Ideally located in Cape Town’s tourism hub, the five-star hotel boasts unsurpassed views across the world-renowned Camps Bay beach, making it the perfect location for a gala evening of this caliber.

Sanlam Top Destination Awards was created in celebration of local hospitality personnel that have pioneered ahead of the game in the travel and tourism industry. The black-tie awards, taking place in the newly renovated Rotunda, welcomes guests to an evening of decadent dining, tasteful entertainment, fine wines and an authentically #AfricanExplorer theme.

Title sponsor for the awards remains financial giant, Sanlam. Other sponsors in support of the Sanlam Top Destination Awards 2018 include Romatex Hospitality Textiles, 3D Virtual Africa, Travel Africa TV, David Green Time Pieces.

How to enter:

Establishments can enter by registering on www.discountraveler.co.za. Public voting is open for guests, patrons and supporters to cast their votes on both the Discount Traveler and Top Destination Awards websites. Voters can win incredible prizes, including one of four uniquely crafted David Green time pieces, valued at R 4 000.

Voting closes on 1st of August 2018.

The Palace’s Plume Re-imagined

The re-imagining of The Palace’s chic-classic restaurant is now complete. Influenced by the social, café culture of South Africa’s famous cosmopolitan restaurant hubs with the emphasis on the experience, Plume’s new menu invites the exploration of diverse textures and indigenous flavours paired with exciting, proudly South African wines. Created by an award-winning sommelier, Marie Manyoha, and Executive Sous Chef, Robin Brophy, guests experience a tantalising six stage meal – a journey enticing all of the senses. The wines offered for pairing with each stage have been carefully picked by Manyoha to compliment the explosion of textures, flavours and aromas of the food.

The Palace’s F&B Manager, Brandon Govender, says: “We are delighted to introduce the re-imagined Plume, where dining is an experience for the senses, a place to entice your eager palate and indulge your inquisitive mind.”

The Plume Textures menu is a set experience, starting with an Amuse Bouche, fittingly called “Camps Bay Holiday”, comprising beetroot and cream cheese espume, ethically sourced caviar on Mother of Pearl, seawater gel, tomato soil and flavour scallops. For starters there is “Textures Corn Salad”, a delightful surprise consisting of panna cotta dust that has been gellified, popped and grilled.

The first main course is olive poached salmon served with balsamic jelly, salmon confit, pea puree and crisp sweet potato scales. This provides an uplifting prelude to the second main course of succulent ribeye log, potato puree, rainbow root vegetables and Turkish delights.

The invigorating meander of tastes and textures continues with decadent strawberry, mango and salted chocolate, before culminating with port and cheese.

Plume is open on weekends 19h30 for the textures experience, with one sitting per evening starting strictly at 20h00. The first main course is served at 20h30 and the second main course is served at 21h30. The cost is R1250 per person and includes the whole sumptuous food journey.

Venturing to Plume for dinner is also an opportunity to dress accordingly for the experience and to escape your parental duties for one evening. The dress code is smart / elegant and no jeans, sneakers or flip flops are permitted and no children under the age of 12 are allowed.

The reopening of Plume is part of the reinvention of Sun City’s culinary landscape. With over 30 restaurants, Sun City caters to all tastes and has something for everyone. While family restaurant brands are on offer, Sun City has now created several signature restaurants. Among the new or refurbished signature restaurants are the Bocado at the Cascades, Legends at Soho and The Brew Monkey at the Valley of Waves.

For more information about Sun City and all the changes, visit #NewSunCity connect with them on Facebook SunCitySA or follow them on Twitter @SunCityResortSA and Instagram @SunCityResortSA.

Eikendal Vineyards swirls Cheesecake & Wine Pairings this Summer

Eikendal Cheesecake & Wine HR (2)

Zesty citrus flavours, followed by a rich berry delight Eikendal Cheesecake & Wine HR (1)and rounded off by a sultry salted caramel enchantment. These are the delectable cheesecakes that are on offer at Eikendal Vineyards as part of their brand new Cheesecake and Wine Pairing Experience – the first Stellenbosch wine estate to offer this.

Eikendal’s crisp Sauvignon Blanc pairs like a summer’s breeze with the creamy Lemon Cheesecake, while the plump Berry Cheesecake fuses seamlessly with the Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay blend. The pairing ends on a high note with the estate’s award-winning Janina Unwooded Chardonnay, which brings out her charm alongside the decadent Salted Caramel Cheesecake. All worth every single calorie!

Eikendal Cheesecake & Wine HR (11)

Eikendal, conveniently situated between Stellenbosch and Somerset West on the R44, isEikendal Cheesecake & Wine HR (7) renowned for its award-winning, internationally acclaimed wines. Apart from the Cheesecake & Wine Pairing Experience, visitors can enjoy a Wine Tasting (which includes a tasting of the estate’s exclusive Icon range), a Cookie Tasting for the young ones, Cellar Tours, Fly Fishing, Cheetah Encounters, Vineyard Rides and a kids’ play area. The popular Cucina di Giovanni offers languid lunches and dinners and visitors even have the option of extending their Eikendal Experience by spending the night at the Eikendal Lodge.

The Eikendal Cheesecake & Wine Pairing Experience costs R80 per person and will be swirling the senses from October 2017 until April 2018, Tuesdays to Sundays between 10:00 and 16:30.

Eikendal Cheesecake & Wine HR (14)

To book for this sensory indulgence or for any queries relating to the Eikendal Experience, contact Chantal-Lee at 021 855 1422 or send an email to info@eikendal.co.za.

Bottelary Hills Pop Up Lunches pay homage to heritage fare

Chef George Jardine to enthral with traditional tastes and champion wines

28 May, 27 August & 19 November

BHWL feasting LR

Bottelary Hills Feasting

Discover what makes fine country food and slow-crafted wine so special when you book a seat at this year’s trio of Pop Up Lunches featuring the Stellenbosch wine route of Bottelary Hills and celebrated, Scotland-born chef George Jardine.

The must-do winery lunch series has grown to become a feature on the calendar of food and wine-lovers who can’t miss this annual taste exploration showcasing different farms and wines of the region each year. Stepping up the attraction, a headline chef is part of the mix too.

George Jardine with knife LR

Chef George Jardine

On the heels of Bertus Basson’s participation in 2016, comes celebrated chef George Jardine whose stellar career includes a string of successful restaurants and his most recent project – the fine dining eatery in the heart of Stellenbosch, Restaurant Jardine.

For the Bottelary Hills Pop Up Lunches 2017, Jardine will present his signature foodie pizzazz at Hartenberg Wine Estate on 28 May; Kaapzicht Wine Estate on 27 August; and, Mooiplaas Wine Estate and Private Nature Reserve on 19 November. At the same time, guests will have the chance to socialise with the winemakers or owners themselves.

 

The theme of the menu and events will serve to highlight the deep historical roots of the region and farms of Bottelary Hills.

Known for producing champion wines, Bottelary Hills is one of five sub-routes in the Stellenbosch wine region and is situated to the northwest of South Africa’s famous wine capital.

Bottelary Hills is home to some of the oldest wine farms in the country and many of them have been nurtured over generations by the same families. As a result, they have an incomparable understanding of the terroir, which shows in the wines the region produces,” says Stellenbosch Wine Routes manager Elmarie Rabe.

“Then pairing these wines with the cooking of one of South Africa’s most acclaimed chefs is an opportunity no epicurean dare miss.”

BHWL food service LR

Bottelary Hills Dining

For the lunch at Hartenberg Estate on 28 May, guests will get insight to heritage stretching back to 1692. Hartenberg lies in a valley on the free-draining, north-eastern slopes of the Bottelary Hills where its vineyards were planted to take most advantage of either morning or afternoon sun. There is a difference in altitude of some 250m between the vineyards, providing sought-after diversity to its portfolio. At the hand of renowned cellar master Carl Schultz, the estate has become known especially for is outstanding Shiraz wine.

On 27 August, it’s the turn of Kaapzicht Wine Estate. The name is derived from Dutch and refers to the sweeping views of hills and Table Mountain the estate enjoys. The Steytler family has farmed the 190ha property since 1946 and specialises predominantly in red cultivars. Kaapzicht’s unirrigated vineyards thrive in ancient, weathered granite soils and are cooled by breezes from the Atlantic Ocean just 30km away – ideal conditions that produce full bodied, fruity and award-winning wines.

The final Pop Up Lunch on 19 November features Mooiplaas, which has a reputation for spectacular scenery almost equal to the elegance of its wines. Here too, is a farm built on heritage, care for the land and topographical contrast that results in diverse microclimates. Cape Granite is the foundation material of the soils on the estate, which comprises some 100ha of vineyard and 70ha reserved for its nature reserve.

Tickets to the Bottelary Hills Pop Up Lunches cost R550 per person and include a wine tasting prior to lunch and the ensuing three-course feast, served generously with glasses of estate wine paired with each course. Each guest also gets a bottle Bottelary Hills wine to enjoy at home too.

Booking for every one of the popular events is required as the tickets are limited. To make a reservation or see a map of Bottelary Hills, visit the Stellenbosch Wine Routes website. For more information phone (021) 886 8275.

Get social and share your experience with Stellenbosch Wine Routes on Twitter @StellWineRoute and Facebook.

Eighty Ate – A new Cape Town favourite

There are not many restaurants out there that understand the makings of a perfect salad. Eighty Ate Restaurant at Cape Town Hollow Boutique Hotel does!

Eighty Ate Restaurant, Cape Town

Eighty Ate Restaurant, Cape Town

I visited this restaurant, across from the Company Gardens in Cape Town, earlier today and could not resist sharing photos and urging all my friends to put it on their Cape Town to-do lists. So now I’m even blogging about it, urging you to put it on your to-do list too!

The menu offers a great variety of out of the ordinary, mindbogglingly mouthwatering meals with specially chosen wines you rarely see in supermarkets.

A fresh, inviting restaurant with stunning flavours and huge potential!

Book your table on 021 423 1260 and see for yourself.