Friday, February 10, 2012

Goat's cheese lollipops at The Greenhouse

Bright red caramelized goat’s cheese lollipops peek out from a patch of wheatgrass like two festive flowers. A small clay flower pot showcases crudités ‘planted’ in edible soil created from herb mousse and breadcrumbs. The Greenhouse seems to be a suitably named restaurant for such imaginatively themed canapés.

They also provide some clues as to why Chef Peter Tempelhoff has been graced with multiple awards lately. Not only did The Greenhouse earn top spot as best restaurant in South Africa at the Eat Out Top Ten awards, Peter also earned Grand Chef status for the five restaurants that he oversees within ‘The Collection by Liz McGrath’ for Relais & Chateax. While we don’t have the Michelin star rating in South Africa, becoming a Grand Chef means having to meet Michelin standards and having international appeal.

My dad, who's really more of a burger and chips guy, really loved the way gourmet delights were combined with simple ingredients, such as foie gras with lentils. It also goes a long way in bringing that hearty South African food culture to the fore. Asparagus, smoked potato, chorizo and sweet corn chowder adds simple yet romantic flavours to the salmon trout mi cuit. The warm sweet potato mousse is served with crayfish and leeks and served in egg shells. For me, this is what stands out most about The Greenhouse; that it brings fun to a multiple course fine dining experience.

At the end of an evening there is not one thing less than perfect to point out. From the smell of garden roses on entering the property to the early-evening light spilling through large trees into the dining room, to the perceptive service and Vin de Constance pairing with smoked chocolate and peanut gateaux, it is all just; delicious. And full of fond food memories, like lollipops.

An article based on this blog post was published in the February issue of AbouTime magazine, the 1Time Airline in-flight magazine.

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