South Africa is a lot more than seeing the Big Five up close and personal. Believe it or not, it’s cupcakes and macarons too. Yup, South Africans love them just as much as we do. Having been to Taste of Sydney, I’m thrilled to find out that Taste of Cape Town is on while I’m living in the Mother City. A hungry appetite and an eagerness to try anything slow cooked, baked, grilled, fried, flambéed, caramelised and laden with as many calories as possible is the key.
As a seasoned Taste goer, I browse the menu with a fine toothcomb. I narrow it down to De Grendel, Fyndraai Restaurant, 96 Winery Road; Savour Restaurant at 15 on Orange Hotel; and Signal Restaurant at Cape Grace.
The two stand-out dishes are 96 Winery Road’s crispy pork belly strips with homemade tomato chutney. The crackling is crunchy and adds a nice texture to the slow cooked pork belly, which is juicy and full of flavor. Signal Restaurant’s slow roasted beef short rib, grilled rib-eye, goats cheese arancini, miso-roasted sweetcorn, pickled beetroot & smoked BBQ jus is by far my favourite dish. The beef falls apart when I pick it up with a fork and it just melts in my mouth.
I’m keen to see which artisan producers are on display. Inverroche is an independent South African distillery producing a variety of gins, including Gin Amber which has hints of citrus, juniper and fynbos. I’m not much of a gin lover but I find the flavour to be subtle and not overpowering. Might just get converted to becoming a G&T drinker after all!
The Craft Beer Project is a beer lover’s mecca with numerous beers and cider on tap. Hay bales are set-up around the marquee so revellers can bask in the sun while sipping their boutique brew.
The Lint Chocolate Tent is my last stop where skilled chocolatiers are making the beloved Lindt balls and pralines. For R5 ($A0.55) you could buy any bar of Lindt chocolate and with flavours such as caramel and raspberry on offer I can’t resist.
If you’re in the Mother City when Taste of Cape Town 2014 is and love all things food and wine then I definitely recommend spending a day eating your way around the festival. Taste of Cape Town runs from a Thursday to Sunday with two sessions on the weekends.
Get your stripes: Tickets this year were R80 for general admission or for R180 you receive general entry, Taste glass and R100 worth of crowns.
All pictures courtesy of Teresa Lane