Archives for April 2015

Winter is coming!


Sole Colbert


Winter is coming!

Every year we do something a little different during the quieter months, starting this May we are doing an “Old days, nowadays” feature with some menu extracts from half a century ago.

This winter we celebrate dishes served in the First Class dining rooms of the Union-Castle Shipping Lines, as well as the original dining room at the Nellie. The chef at the time was Hans Kuhnel. Chef Kuhnel must have liked it at the hotel as he spent 25 years in the belly of this legendary landmark.


Seafood cocktail


Consommé croûte au pot


Filet de boeuf à la Richelieu


Sole à la Colbert


Poire belle Hélène


Crêpe Suzette

This classic winter special is available from 1st May – 30 September 2015 at R395 per person. Please contact Restaurant Reservations on 021 483-1948 or e-mail: for any further enquiries or to make a booking.

As always we also be featuring classics like beef wellington and a cheese fondue.


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World premier by acclaimed author Alexander McCall Smith,  a play opening at the Planet Restaurant on the 5th of May. 


Playing in Planet Restaurant every Tuesday evening from 5th May to 9th June 2015, a fun-filled evening of sumptuous food, delightful theatre and music from down memory lane.

A brand new play, written by the brilliant Alexander McCall Smith of No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency fame, will open in Planet Restaurant on Tuesday 5th May and will run every Tuesday evening until 9th June 2015.

This world premier, directed by renowned director Nicholas Ellenbogen, is set around characters from all over the world finding their way home after the war, via Cape Town. All lovers of music, they gather over a drink at The Nellie to share songs and stories. This is a nostalgic feel-good play in three acts: the “fishing fleet” ladies who travelled to India; love and beauty in the Australian outback; and Tickie the clown in the Lion’s Den, provide captivating entertainment in the iconic Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel.

Relax and enjoy a delicious three-course dinner created by Chef Rudi Liebenberg, starting off with bubbles and canapés in Planet Restaurant’s Conservatory Bar.  The cost is R450 per person for the show and dinner, including the bubbles and canapés which will be served from 6.30pm – 7pm, thereafter guests will be seated in the restaurant.  To make your reservation or for any further enquiries please phone 021 483-1948 or e-mail:

MN_April2015_Actors_LR_08 - Copy


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Pickled Fish


Pickeled Fish

Pickled Fish

Cape Malay Pickled Fish

Yield 6 portions


500g firm white fish finger sized strips

100g seasoned flour
3-4 eggs beaten
Oil for deep frying


2tbsp vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves chopped
3 large onions sliced
1 tbsp grated ginger
3-4 whole dried chillies
1 cup grape or cider vinegar
½ cup water (as much as needed)
½ – 2/3 cup brown sugar (depending on sweetness required)
6-8 ea pepper corns
3 cloves
3 all spice
3 bay leaves
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp coriander whole crushed
2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp masala
Salt and pepper to taste
½ – 1 tsp corn flour (optional)


Sauté onions for about 2 minutes add ginger, garlic add dry ingredients. Add the sugar, caramalize slightly and add vinegar with water and allow to simmer. Dissolve corn flour in a little water and add to the simmering sauce. Allow to thicken and remove from heat.

For the fish

Heat oil in a large pot. First coat the fish in seasoned flour shake excess, then coat in egg then into the hot oil. Fry till golden, remove with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper towel. Place fish in container and pour over warm sauce.

Allow to cool and refrigerate

Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with fresh sour dough bread

Recipe published in food and home 2011, photo taken by Neville Lockhart

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Finding Burger (part 5)

Cheese 1

Part 5


I like progress, part of progress comes because of feedback, some fantastic and some not so great. One guest mentioned that the meat was tasteless and lacked seasoning….this was a concern which made us run back to the production line. But the night before a guest from Dubai ordered just the patty, RARE! AND he loved it, so much so that he returned the next night again for the same. This man only enjoyed the meat no frills no fuss, only the meat. When he called me over he just asked, “chef, what is your favourite wine?” … it is on nights like this that we know why we do what we do

But with every little bit of feedback we listen we look we taste and we are critical…..we have to be. It was at this stage that we decided that we still had to look at the patty again, even if it was an isolated incident, we have to be true. It was actually a good thing that we had a look, because it made us realise that we had to change the salt. The salt needed to change and come from a reputable source, free from any additives: enter, Kalahari salt. Step one complete.

It has been over a long time that my burger thoughts have been wondering, we have been working on the patty, more salt less salt, more fat less fat. Quietly chipping away, checking and tasting and grilling and tasting. It is still not perfect.

On Saturday night we enjoyed the sum of all the parts. I had more questions, could I taste the cheese, but really identify it, did it really make a difference. Did the cheese enhance the overall experience? …I was more confused. Could I not just enjoy the burger? …. but, leave the cheese and immediately you know about it! Ok so the cheese stays.

What about the chutney? We have been working on a chutney for some weeks now as I am not convinced that the tomato chutney is working, I want something that will make me sit up and think when I take a bite. Over the years we have made chutney with almost any ingredient left standing about, always with mixed results. But the one thing that always makes a great chutney is brinjal, it just brings together the sweet, the bitter the sour and the spice all into the right consistency. More about this later.

Finding Burger Heaven – Part 4

Finding Burger Heaven – Part 3

Finding Burger Heaven – Part 2

Finding Burger Heaven – Part 1









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