I have been a huge fan of Brad Ball and the exquisite dishes he serves up at Bistro1682 ever since I found olive oil sand on my plate. Even though I was a tad confused as to how he had created such a thing, it was love at first bite!
I visited the Steenberg estate last week to photograph and taste (of course) his latest epiphany moments which have made their way to the menu. Each dish wasn’t just beautifully presented, it also had the perfect combination of textures and the most vibrant colour combinations. The Raw Bar, that uses only the freshest ingredients that are as locally sourced as possible, changes regularly depending on what’s in season and within reach. So feel free to visit often, your senses will never be disappointed.
And in case you can’t get out to Steenberg for a culinary experience that is second to none, in the setting that is positively enchanting, then catch him at the Taste of Cape Town Festival 19 – 22 April.
|Roasted beetroot salad with home made Chevin, walnuts, micro leaves and roasted garlic|
The beetroot, with it’s unctuous hue, contrasted well with the tart Chevin that Brad and his sous’ make on the premises. I will never have a vampire problem because I could eat garlic for days, especially when it has been slow roasted and buttery like these were. The only problem with this dish is that it might not be big enough.
|Local trout (salmon when available) tartare with Japanese pesto, a rice ball, dots of Japanese mayo and thee finest pork crackling known to humankind|
The pork crackling with the trout tartare is genius! It added a depth of flavour and texture that still makes me smile. The Japanese pesto is made with lemon grass and a hint of chilli and the black sesame seeds add that sense of drama.
|Braised pork belly with palm sugar caramel, sesame prawns and a Tom Yum salad|
This was, by far, my favourite dish. The pork belly is braised for a number of hours, pressed and then fried to a sticky crisp on the one side. The meat is soft and delicate and the caramel brings out that sweetness that good pork is known for.
|Beef fillet prepared on the bone and served with peas, tomato and roasted garlic, pearl onions, cauliflower puree with pangritata and veal jus|
All fillets might want to consider being cooked on the bone. The flavour is completely different and the meat had that melt-in-the-mouth quality. The cauliflower puree was the perfect complement and served the same indulgent purpose that starch would’ve. The pangriatata, which is ciabata crumbs that have been fried to a crisp, added that signature crunch to this dish.
|Chocolate brownie, crisp pastry wheel and marzipan frozen cube with apricot and chocolate sauce dots|
The chocolate brownie was still gooey in the middle! And while I don’t think there is much more that needs to be said about this dish, the frozen marzipan cube with the warm dark chocolate log and crisp pastry wheel – sigh – my soul sequestered.
|Deconstructed carrot cake with sous vied rounds of carrot, naartjie segments, cream cheese frosting and raisin coulis|
What an awesome day of flavours, thanks Brad.