The Homestead in Plumstead.
Pop-up restaurants are trending globally and as the name suggests they are about offering fine  dining experiences for a limited time, often in unexpected and quirky places. 

I attended  such an event recently at The Homestead, with guest Chef Joszka of Cargill’s fame.  As Capetonians we are pretty spoilt for choice when it comes to wonderful venues in great  locations, serving fabulous food so was surprised I had never heard of The Homestead, which is in Constantia rd, Plumstead.

It’s  a beautiful 1820 heritage building, a renovated Cape Dutch ‘farmhouse’. The lush garden is  an ideal setting for sundowners or a garden party with the wraparound ‘stoep’ perfect for al fresco dining. The abundant vegetable and herb garden is often the inspiration for a menu  selection, using the freshest home grown produce available.

The menu for the ‘wine and dine pop-up restaurant’ evening was curated by Chef Joszka in  conjunction with Food Fanatics head chef, Elrika. Each course was carefully considered, to  not only taste sensational but pair with the excellent wines from Iona, while factoring in  seasonality and the availability of fresh, organic produce.

Before being seated at the two beautifully decorated long tables, we enjoyed bubbles and  canapes out in the garden with very welcome gas heaters helping to keep the winter  evening chill at bay. 
Then it was into the dining room, with its unique Victorian look and feel,  for the meal. The crisp white linen, crystal glasses, unusual handcrafted crockery and vases  of flowers adding to the ambience.
Ahead of service, Chef Joszka explained his menu selection and assistant wine maker at  Iona, Bobby Wallace, provided some history about the farm and background on the wines  being served. 

To whet the appetite we were served freshly caught kabeljou ceviche with a  glass of chilled, crisp Sauvignon Blanc. The delicate lime, gooseberry, herb and ruby  grapefruit notes were a perfect match for the tart, slight acidic and heat of the dish.

The starter was a modern twist on a classic: Crayfish Thermidor served with a mushroom,  leek and gruyere cheese, which was melt in your mouth delicious. Art on a plate but it was  equally fabulous to eat and complemented by a glass of Chardonnay. 

For main we had Beef fillet, Bordelaise Sauce and Potato Dauphinoise. The portion was  more than generous, the fillet spot on with a hint of pink in the middle. The ‘One-man Band  Blend’ - shiraz, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot , mataro and viogner - was full  bodied and robust enough to deal with this bold and rich dish.
Beef fillet at The Homestead.


Dessert was probably the most controversial dish of the night: Gorgonzola Crème Brulee.  The buttery blue cheese flavour was evident but it was juxtaposed with the sweetness of the  vanilla. Smooth, creamy and delicious. Sweet, but not – in fact just the right amount of both  savoury and sweet - like a cheese platter after a meal. 

Gorgonzola Creme Brulee at The Homestead
Gorgonzola Creme Brulee at The Homestead
We ended the meal with a rather gutsy Iona Coretto Grappa, served with an Almond and  Orange Biscotti. I must confess to dunking it into my grappa, reminiscent of an Ouma Rusk  but with an alcoholic punch! 
A strong cappuccino was the fullstop to a wonderful evening.
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Gorgonzola Creme Brulee at The Homestead
Grappa and Biscotti at The Homestead.
The entire evening from discovering this ‘hidden gem’ of a venue to the food, wine and company was a wonderful experience and even nicer to learn that The Homestead and Food  Fanatics recycle almost everything and have their own composting and grey water system.
Plus they support a local primary school in Grassy Park with fresh produce.

The cost: R495 which makes it really good value for money – you’d be hard pressed to find a  4-course food and wine pairing for this price … so totally worth it. 
The next pop-up  restaurant date is to be confirmed but for more information about these, the venue itself or  catering by Food Fanatics go to www.foodfanatics.co.za