FOODSTUFF: Wine rocks at The Test Kitchen

dsc_0009.jpg Inspired… but culinary stamina required. That was my impression after attending a brilliant eight-course lunch - plus extra dishes - at The Test Kitchen today, with Eben and Adi adding their bit. Paying diners are sampling their way through similar courses this evening.

June 15th marks the launch of six weeks of a Cape first ‘The Fantastic Eben, Adi and Luke show’ menu. The collective creative efforts of Swartland rock star winemakers Eben Sadie, Adi Badenhorst, and chef Luke Dale Roberts, this kicks off The Test Kitchen’s plan to showcase new menus alongside cutting edge wines and microbreweries. dsc_0005.jpg

Some standout matches I enjoyed:

Tomato and miso cream cheese mousse, which sounds simpler than the perfect red dehydrated and miniature Roma tomato combo with puff pastry shards and dots of aubergine mousse that we ate. It was all about harmony, sweet and acidity notes with the Shiraz/Grenache/Mourvedre blend of Sadie’s Sequillo Cellars Red. dsc_0009.jpg

Lovely Japanese-leaning complex combination of salty/sour/bitter flavours in yellowtail sashimi, soft yuzu dashi jelly, chickpeas, edemame, green tea and soy milk yuba. Sadie Family Palladius white 2008, a blend of numerous Swartland varieties taken from “the oldest vineyards I could find in the Swartland” according to Sadie. Neither wine nor dish overshadowed the other which is saying something. dsc_0013.jpg

The AA Badenhorst ‘Accepted white’ 2009, a blend of 10 different Paardeberg vineyards and 10 different varietals. From Luke: salmon tataki, halva, yuzu dressing, foie gras butter, Korean tartare. Simple salty and sweet elements bravely combined. As Adi summed it up best: “When you have food as complex as this, there are so many more meeting points.”

If these dishes entice, a menu of 11 to 13 courses including Eben and Adi’s wines (most pricy and some quite rare) costs R850 per person. Available for dinner only over the next six weeks.

THE TEST KITCHEN, Shop 104a, The Old Biscuit Mill, 375 Albert Road, Woodstock. Tel 021 447 2337, Test Kitchen Open for lunch and dinner Tues to Sat.

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