Archives for October 2014

The Oasis Bistro re-opens for summer-time lunching


oasis ceviche

Ceviche at Oasis

The long-awaited lunch time re-opening of Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel’s Oasis Bistro is upon us. On 1st November the restaurant, with its spectacular location overlooking the magnificent hotel gardens, will re-open with an extensive Mediterranean-inspired buffet as well as an à la carte bistro-style menu with an impressive selection of grilled meats and roasted line fish. Guests can also look forward to daily specials harvested from local markets. And on Sundays, the much loved Alvin Dyers Cape Jazz Duo will be there, playing easy-listening South African jazz classics.

The Bistro’s relaxed atmosphere, inviting terrace and well-thought out wine and cocktail list, lends itself perfectly to a warm and welcoming sunny bite.

Oasis Bistro is open daily from 12h30 for lunch. For bookings please do call 021 483-1948 or e-mail:

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Pan fried Dusky kob with a watercress veloute

Kob, garlic, watercress

We have been working really hard in simplifying a couple of our dishes, removing layers of extra work. Featured this week a pan fried dusky kob, it is from the SASSI list all the way from the Eastern Cape. Dion decided that we could not just do normal pommes dauphine so we used a little bit of the smoked kabeljou in the mix, just to give it a little extra lift. The sauce is made with watercress and a light foam made with wild garlic. The sauteed vegetables is selection of greens featuring kale,  broad beans and green beans.

From next week we will be changing this dish and will be using Trout and the Kob will be featured with loads of butter and lemon…..à la meunière.

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Dalla Cia Wine and Dine 28 November, 2014

sweetbreads and scallops

Pictured is the second course with the pan seared scallops with sweetbreads and prosciutto by far my favourite dish.

canapés on arrival
Dalla Cia Sauvignon Blanc 2014

goats cheese agnolotti
olive petals,basil gel,garlic crumbs
Dalla Cia Sauvignon Blanc 2014

pan seared scallops
crispy fried sweetbreads, lentil salad, celeriac and cauliflower purée
Dalla Cia Chardonnay 2014

salmon “mi cuit”
summer green vegetable with lemon, slow cooked egg yolk
Dalla Cia Pinot Noir 2013

beef lamb shank
grilled lamb fillet,tomato, globe artichokes, pickled onions
Dalla Cia Classico 2013

pan fried rib eye
barbecue beef neck, cannellini beans, rosemary and thyme jus
Dalla Cia Giorgio 2011

traditional tiramisu
with grappa soaked sponge

freshly brewed coffee
Dalla Cia Cabernet Sauvignon|Merlot Premium selectionGrappa

starts at 19h00 | R485 per person
reservations essential | +27-21-4831000 I

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Restaurant week

Beef Rib eye with cauliflower

It is Restaurant Week from 23 October – 2 November 2014
With over 125 restaurants participating country wide, this is an opportunity to explore restaurants some new some old that you have not tried before. Last year the planet restaurant took honours, being named best restaurant during this period.
Prices differ from restaurant to restaurant
A standard Restaurant Week menu is R95 for lunch and R175 for dinner.
Planet has 3 stars, which makes it R325 for dinner. All bookings for Restaurant Week are made on

Menu 2014

Hot smoked trout roulade with a almond gazpacho and nasturtium
Grilled beef rib eye with pulled braised beef cheek, sweet potato pavé and roasted cauliflower
Lemon verrine with compressed pineapple and a berry sorbet

Three course menu, at R325 (three stars)
It is not just the three course menu….. it is the little extra’s we provide, from the canapés and the breads to the little mignardises after your meal with a touch special treatment!

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 For weeks now Steve has been nagging me to take artichokes, I don’t know if I have been holding off because of the price hoping that it will become cheaper or the fact that it is a very tedious task, that requires a lot of hands. So this week they arrived the first 100kg. If you want to see chefs disappear, deliver 100kg of artichokes…..even the guy in pot wash runs. The trainee in the corner just hopes that you do not look his way.
We cannot deny that they are beautiful. Love them with olive oil, garlic and lemon. For me they have to be served cold and is essential as part of a mezze.
What went through the mind of the first person to eat an artichoke? How many leaves did he eat before he got to the heart, never mind the choke and the thorns.
100kg of artichoke will yield maybe 10kg of edible heart, and lower leaves. We do not get many varieties, we get ours from Porterville, from the Magic man’s back yard. Packed with goodness, and a list full of healthy facts. The leaves should be tightly compacted squeaky and should not be loose.
This is not a recipe on how to prepare artichoke hearts but rather how to enjoy the whole thing. This is less intimidating.
Cut away part of the stem leaving about a 1 cm, peel the stem and peel through to the smaller leaves, remove the smaller leaves at the base working up two rows. Then trim about 1 cm from the top leaves of the artichokes , this is where most of the thorns would be. Rinse under running cold water.
In a large pot, put in about two litres of water, ½ whole lemon sliced, bay leave, one -two garlic cloves, sea salt and crushed pepper. Add the artichokes. Bring to a boil and simmer. Cook for about 30 -35 minutes . The outer leaves should come off easily.
We often trim away most of the leaves for our recipes and preparations but this is where most of the fun lies when having a dinner party. Place cooked whole artichokes in the middle of the table, each leaf is pulled from the choke, with leaf in hand pull the inside of the leaf between your teeth. Have some handy dips available like aioli, and a simple vinaigrette made from lemon juice and olive oil. Continue until you get to the centre. Scoop out the choke(hairy bits) then eat the globe.
Be on the look out as we feature more dishes with artichoke on our menu this month

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All chefs had to start some where, mine started with a big bowl of  spaghetti with bolognese. I can still taste the sage my mother used. Until this day it is a highlight to cook and to eat, ultimate in simplicity and patience. When I got slightly older and could look down in a pot while stirring, I was given lessons over the phone, step by step. My mothers recipe is slightly different to the one I use today, with the biggest difference being the addition of milk in mine. I want to share this as this is where a lot of things started in my life. My journey my meditation.

Ragù, as it is known in Italian, is a meat-based pasta sauce traditionally served with tagliatelle. As with many recipes, it varies according to the region, with some strong interpretations of what it is and what it is not. The classic bolognese ragù is very different to the spaghetti bolognese most of us grew up with. The ingredients are simple – onion, carrots, celery, stock, wine, milk, tomato and pancetta – cooked slowly and served with a fresh pasta, such as tagliatelle or pappardelle. Spaghetti was never used – only outside Italy. Some recipes contain no garlic or herbs. Red wine can be used instead of white wine, or pork and beef mince mixed in some cases I will even add some chicken livers. I like to add fresh herbs at the end. This recipe contains more tomato than traditional versions (just because i like the stuff)

last thing spend a little extra to buy a good pasta like de cecco.

Serves 6-8


60ml olive oil or 60g butter
1-2 large onions, chopped
150g bacon, minced or chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
150g carrots, diced small or grated
150g celery sticks, diced small
2 bay leaves
650g beef mince
150ml dry white wine
250ml (1 cup) chicken stock
250ml (1 cup) milk
400g chopped canned tomatoes
400g fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
Pinch of grated nutmeg
15ml (1 tbsp) chopped fresh oregano
30ml (2 tbsp) chopped fresh parsley
30ml (2 tbsp) chopped fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
800g fresh tagliatelle
lots of Freshly grated parmesan, to serve


Heat half the oil in a large, heavy-based pan and fry the onions and bacon until onions are soft. Add garlic and fry for a minute, then add carrot and celery and fry until soft. Add bay leaves, transfer to a bowl and set aside. Heat the remaining oil in the same pan and brown the mince (this adds flavour, but you can also just add the mince to the vegetables). Return vegetables to pan and bring to a simmer. Add wine and stir to deglaze (remove any bits sticking to the bottom). Add stock and simmer until reduced by . Add milk and reduce by . Add tomatoes and simmer until reduced by . Cover with a lid and continue cooking for 1 hour. The sauce should be thick. Add nutmeg and fresh herbs and season. Cook tagliatelle in plenty of salted boiling water until al dente and drain. Do not rinse as the sauce will not stick as well. Toss the sauce through the pasta and serve with plenty of parmesan.

First appeared in Sunday Times food weekly, January 2013


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Kirstin, 2014 McCain Tribute to Good Taste Winner


2014 McCain Tribute to Good Taste Winners From left to right: Kelly Du Preez (Category Manager, McCain Foods (SA), Gontse Moyane (Top Student winner), Stephen Billingham (President, South African Chefs Association), Megan Cornelius (Assistant Category Manager, McCain Foods (SA)), Kirstin Hellemann (Professional Chef winner).

2014 McCain Tribute to Good Taste Winners
From left to right: Kelly Du Preez (Category Manager, McCain Foods (SA), Gontse Moyane (Top Student winner), Stephen Billingham (President, South African Chefs Association), Megan Cornelius (Assistant Category Manager, McCain Foods (SA)), Kirstin Hellemann (Professional Chef winner).


Our very own Kirstin Hellemann, Chef de Partie at the Planet restaurant took first prize in McCain Tribute to Good Taste(Professional Chef category) Her winning dish a lamb loin wrapped with a pulled lamb bobotie.
This is the second time this year that she has shinned at the top. Earlier this year she took top honours with Willem also from The Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, winning the South Africa Nestlé Professional Golden Chef’s Hat competition.

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Simonsig Wine and Dine, 31 October 2014

For our second last installment in our wine and dine series we feature Simonsig. If all works out we will have a suckling pig to go with the Redhill pinotage and cherries would just have come into season.

canapés on arrival:

crisp fried salmon, tuna and monkfish wrapped with seaweed served with an asian slaw
Simonsig Chenin Blanc 2014

nettle soup with quail breast and crisp fried leg
Simonsig Sauvignon Blanc 2014

pork porcetta
served with a herbed polenta and fennel
Simonsig Redhill Pinotage 2011

pan fried venison
kohlrabi and sweet potato pave, prune purée
Simonsig Tiara 2010

blue cheese soufflé
Merindol Syrah 2011

cherry clafouti
poppy seed tuile
Simonsig Brut Rose 2013

freshly brewed coffee and infused Tea

starts at 19h00 | R485 per person


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Abalimi Bezekhaya Salad 4



Abalimi Salad

Abalimi Bezekhaya Salad 4

In this weeks Abalimi salad we have kept things so basic, we received beetroot, kohlrabi, turnips, peas, broad beans, cabbage and lettuce. The broad beans, cabbage and peas will be for later in the week. But for today we want to keep easy and simple with cooked beetroot, pickled kohlrabi and lemon dressed turnips. With some toasted pine nuts with toasted oats. To finish lemon aioli and a good helping of olive oil

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