The pop-up restaurant culture is on the rise and I like how these are casual and very creative.
Recently, I attended Franschhoek winery, Haute Cabriere’s pop-up restaurant which was at the Fairmont Zimbali Resort, on the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal.
Basically, this was a lunch preview of what will be on offer at the events which will be taking place at Zimbali Lodge and Fairmont Zimbali Resort which are presented by Franschhoek’s Haute Cabrière wine estate, together with chefs Nic van Wyk and Westley Muller.
This is the second season that the pop-up restaurant is happening, following the venture's success in 2017. The pop-up restaurants will be hosted in Johannesburg, Durban, Pretoria and the Garden Route and Fairmont Zimbali Resort plays host to the only pop-up restaurants in KwaZulu-Natal.
During this tour, diners can look forward to a six-course tasting menu, each course paired with a different wine to create a unique and unforgettable taste experience.
For starter's we had whole wheat ciabbatta, quince jam, bocconcini cheese croquettes with smoked aioli paired with Pirerre Jourdan Belle Rose. This dish was a perfect starter, the ciabbatta had a nice, thick crust with a delightfully chewy core.
The menu includes meals such as pea soup with chorizo and pork puffs paired with the Haute Cabrière Chardonnay Pinot Noir which is part of the main category. This is one dish that I enjoyed the most. The chorizo and pork puffs blended perfectly together, giving the soup more richness and the chorizo bringing in a meaty flavour to the dish, which is something I really enjoyed. The wine was a bonus to the dish, it created a delightful taste experience.
Another meal on the main category was the pan fried Patagonia calamari with black tomato sauce and sealed scallop paired with the Haute Cabrière Pinot Noir Unwooded. The whole dish was well presented. I loved the calamari, it was also flavourful and meaty. What i did not like was the sealed scallop, it was tasteless, I had to season it with salt and dip it into the tomato sauce to enjoy it. I don't know if that's how it's supposed to be ( tasteless) but it was a no for me.
The menu was completed with a chocolate torte with amaretti crumbs, candied pecan nuts and salted caramel popcorn paired with the Pierre Jordan Ratafia.
I really enjoyed the menu the chefs prepared. The food and the wine were both good, but with the dessert they could have paired it with a “not so sweet” wine maybe? The Pierre Jordan Ratafia did not do it for me.
Haute Cabrière Marketing Manager, Lientjie McLachlan said last year’s overwhelming response and support was humbling. They sold out within weeks of announcing the tour, a sign that their loyal followers outside the Western Cape are very eager to experience Haute Cabrière in their own cities.
“It was an absolute pleasure sharing our passion for both food and wine with those who know and love the brand, while also introducing new food and wine enthusiasts to our wines and Chefs Nic and Westley’s cuisine,” said McLachla.
Fairmont Zimbali Resort General Manager, Nils Rothbarth said: “We are delighted to be hosting the second season of the Haute Cabrière Pop-Up Restaurants and look forward to sharing an unforgettable dining experience with our guests. Due to popular demand, this year we have also introduced a Sunday Roast and Cooking Class events."
For reservations you can call the venue on 0325385000 or email [email protected]