For the last few years I have only been going back to South Africa once a year (unfortunately!) and it’s hard to keep up with what’s supposed to be hot & fresh, and over the last few years I have gone to places that I remember being good, just to eat there and realise that they havn’t kept up with the times, something restaurants need to keep in mind more than they care for (anywhere in the world).
Anyhow, this time I’d heard about Bertus Basson and Alistair Lawrence doing something new at Spice Route, and fit in a family lunch just before I left for Melbourne again.
Well Spice Route is a bit of a culinary entertainment hotspot – wine and craft beer tastings & sales, chocolate tastings, deli, distillery, charcuterie and restaurants! And massively popular, I guess if you have small kids or need to do something with a group of people this is a great place to hang out and spend a large part of the day.
I love the food for its modern approach to dishes I grew up with, and the specific tastes associated with those dishes. I had baked ox tongue with slaphaksteentjies (sweet pickled onions) that transported me right back to childhood memories of this amazing ox tongue dish my mom used to cook every Christmas and any other fancy occasion, when I would help myself to generous portions.
My main was a expertly cooked piece of yellowtail, (a local, and much loved fish), with a delicate mussel & fennel garnish. And to finish apple pie, slightly deconstructed but still with that particular taste profile I remember.
My brother had the steak, which looks rich, but also like everything you want from a steak. I’d definitely go back when I head back to SA. The service was fast too – a departure from some ridiculously slow service I found at two city restaurants, and the setting is bliss!