Last week, I attended three wine & food pairing dinners in one week and it was crazy. Crazy good! My first pairing was at Monikos Kitchen in Valley Arcade. After navigating traffic for one and a half hours, we finally made it to the establishment. I did not have a plus one for the dinner (sob* sob*) and so I sat on an empty table near the entrance. It was a rather cold and windy night but the restaurant, albeit being in the outdoors, was warm because there were jikos placed in strategic spots. I don’t mind dining alone especially when I am blogging. I am always a mess when I have to take my own photos, scribble notes and taste the food and having a +1 would be a disaster because I would almost ignore them. I have mastered the art of multitasking over my three years in food blogging.
There was a welcome cocktail which tasted great. The food was actually good and the pairing was expertly done. One could tell that there was a high level of keenness and attention to detail while bringing the two together. The dessert was divine. It was a mango sorbet which I kept sticking my spoon into. Yumm! The restaurant set up is great and since it was a cold night, they provided some warmth to diners. The crowd was vibrant and I could her laughs from different tables. Since tables were filling up very quickly, I had to share a table with another diner and we talked for a bit. I saw some familiar faces in the wine circle and we exchanged pleasantries.
I found the arrangement rather chaotic because there were two types of people in the establishment. Those who came for the wine dinner and the regular diners. It was hard to interact closely with the winemakers or organizers of the wine dinner. I had a great waitstaff to bring me the food & wine but it was not yet 10 seconds before he dashed off to attend to other diners. The winemaker had to move from table to table to explain the wine. I feel like if the restaurant would have set aside a space for the tasting it would have been more successful and guests would have had a holistic experience of the food and wine pairing.
My Pinotage was also too much in the glass and it was so hard to swirl my wine while nosing it for initial flavours. Though this might not be ideal for a wine dinner, such generous wine portions would come in handy for a girls night out.
Black & Tan Tuna: Overnight marinated tuna, lightly seared served with a Wasabi citrus sauce with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil & a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds paired with Laborie Cap ClassiQue Brut.
Beef Carpaccio: Herb marinated & flavor infused beef fillet, thinly sliced. Finished with arugula, sleeves of parmesan cheese & a Sweet balsamic reduction drizzle paired with KWV Classic Pinotage.
Beetroot Carpaccio: Flavor infused oven baked beetroot, thinly sliced finished off with fresh salsa Verde & a sweet balsamic reduction drizzle, paired with KWV Classic Pinotage.
Asparagus Soup served with a parmesan cheese crisp & a form mousse paired with KWV Mentors Sauvignon Blanc.
Farm raised pork loin: Farm raised pork loin lightly seasoned stuffed with mixed herbs, Prosciutto & granny smith apples, fennel crusted slow cooked served over wilted spinach with a wild Swedish chanterelle mushroom sauce, paired with KWV Mentors Shiraz.
Mushroom Tortellini: Homemade pasta filled with a mixed of mushrooms & served with a wild mushroom chanterelle sauce, paired with KWV Mentors Shiraz.
Roasted Mango Sorbet served with a Raspberry coulis drizzle and paired with KWV Classic Cape Tawny.