Dawn Kennedy – Jan 17th, 07:12
You know you’re living in a topsy-turvy world when, in one day, you find yourself paying the same price for a bowl of lentils in an Indian restaurant in town as you do for a main course of salmon trout prepared by one of South Africa’s top chefs, Roland Gorgosilich, at a restaurant that is considered one of the world’s top 100.
Bosman’s Restaurant is situated in a historic manor house dating back to 1707. Without paintings on the wall to detract from the views across the pristine vineyards, good taste is evident in every detail, including the Villeroy and Bosch slate grey porcelain plates. The cosmopolitan atmosphere in the dining room is relaxed.
Our starter’s sesame-crusted yellowtail and prawn (R80), and cucumber soup (R60), accompanied by a crisp prawn, were delicate, minimalist, cleansing and cooling on the palette.
I chose a main course from the set menu: pan-fried line fish medallions with zucchini, sautéed tomato and onion, and Aceto Balsamico reduction. The fish was perfection and melted on the fork. My partner enjoyed pan-fried salmon trout fillet with al dente root vegetables, herb barley crème and pommes mousse line (R95).
While the lunch menu is a simple one-pager, the wine list is a 68-page grey leather-bound telephone directory. What you save on lunch, you can splash out on wine. It is filled with local delicacies, such as the Klein Constantia 1988 Vin de Constance at R8900, or, if you prefer French wine, the Chateau Rieussec at R8000. Dining at Grand Roche invites champagne, which starts at R185 a bottle for Nederberg’s Blanc de Blanc Brut.
The delightful Swedish sommelier Josephine Gutentoft orchestrates guests’ drinking experience with aplomb. It was a joy to watch her morphing from the role of ancient alchemist, as she poured rich ruby wine from bulbous carafes, to that of a kindly, efficient nurse as she wheels her drinks trolley to offer guests a postprandial medicinal dram.
Josephine recommended the Intellego 2010 Chenin Blanc to accompany my kingklip. It was sublime, crisp and grassy. Only two barrels of this distinct Swartland delicacy are produced. My partner’s Crios Bride 2008 Sauvignon Blanc, with distinct pea undertones, made an interesting pairing to his trout.
For pudding, the apple strudel, with paper-thin pastry, stretchy not flaky, was served with real Chantilly cream and ice-cream.
To book, contact Christine on 021 863 5100.
Grande Roche Hotel, 1 Plantasie Street (off Main Road), Paarl.
2 course menu: R120 p/p (with wine pairing R210 p/p)
3 course menu: R155 p/p (with wine pairing R290 p/p)