Saturday, August 27, 2016

Bellgables Country Restaurant. Our evening at the Tokara wine pairing dinner.

It has been several months since my wife and I attended
a dinner at this "secret" venue in Muldersdrift...
Bellgables is NOT just about the food experience,
it is a feast for all the senses!
While wandering around the gardens guests can discover a variety
of strategically placed statues ...or were they guests in body paint?

This is where the dining experience starts, with a welcome drink
outside the art gallery.
Tokara was the featured wine estate for this month
and their Sauvignon Blanc "2015" was the first wine on the menu.

The art works on display can be viewed while sitting in the comfort
of a rather eclectic collection of chairs and couches.
We kept our visit here short, otherwise we tend to buy.

Candle light and cement garden décor guides visitors
via meandering paths to the dining room 

It was still not quite swimming weather,
but the seasons are definitely changing
and perhaps a dip between courses might be on the cards for summer.

On the outside looking in.
This is where the REAL magic happens
and it is a sensory overload for first time diners.

Annemarie Faca, as always,kept guests entertained with ballads 
and songs of yesteryear that will have you singing along.
Gently understated entertainment that engages with the guests
but is not intrusive.

Still a slight chill in the air?
There is something hypnotic about a fire,
and I spent a moment or two here entranced by the flames.

See what I mean about "sensory overload"?
We have eaten here on 5 previous occasions and the table settings
are always different.

You can tell from the number of glasses that we were here
for a wine pairing dinner.

Winemaker Miles Mossop
shared the story of the Tokara Estate with us.
Just enough information to keep us entertained, 
but not too much so as to bore us.
Well done Miles, I did learn a lot from your presentation.
To find out more about Tokara, visit their website:

I am certain that if you look though the Bellgables wine cellar
you will find a couple of bottles from Tokara.

This is Grace with my wife.
"Amazing" Grace is a better description of Errol's right hand.
Without her calming influence and friendly demeanour
 the dining experience would not be the same. 

Country styled Chicken soup,
served with a Tokara Chardonnay "2014".
The food seems to almost be an afterthought,
but it is was certainly the hero of the evening.
Each dish carefully chosen to showcase not only
Chef Patron Errol Gobey's creative talents
but to make certain that the wines were presented
in the best way possible.
The soup was full of flavour and it had more chicken
that a full portion of store bought chicken.
And not just a "taster" portion,
this was a meal on its own!

Seafood Terrine, 
paired with 
Tokara Reserve Collection Chardonnay(Stellenbosch) "2014"
Chef Patron Errol proving once again 
that plating is as important as taste.
The terrine was superb but the 'toast' 
that accompanied it was sublime.

Lamb shank
paired with Tokara Cabernet Sauvignon "2013"
It was at this point in our meal that I ran out of adjectives.
This particular dish is one of my "guilty pleasures"
but it is not one that I have often.
It was served on a bed of mash (my favourite comfort food)
and assorted vegetables.
To paraphrase the US Marines motto:
"Nothing was left behind"...

Chocolate Creme Brulee
served with a Tokara Shiraz "2013"
From comments that I heard around the restaurant,
to the look on my wife's face, I believe that this was the HIT
of the evening.
Making a brulee with chocolate is not as easy as it seems
according to Chef Errol, as the chocolate can split
if not done correctly...
No chance of that with this example.
To quote my wife:
Thank you so much Errol Gobey - once again a lovely evening . 
Had to refrain from licking the plates clean! 
First time I have had a chocolate brûlée... heavenly .

Creme Brulee
served with a Tokara Shiraz "2013"
As I do not eat chocolate, I was served a "regular" version.
The perfect ending to a superb meal.

Every time I come to this venue I discover
something new...this time it was this lamp.
There is so much to take in that diners need to come early..
.just to breathe in the atmosphere and savour their surroundings.

To find out more about this wonderful fine dining restaurant
and when the next wine pairing will be,

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1 comment:

Mike Jankelowitz said...

Absolutely amazing review, David!
As always, you create such an awesome picture with sights, sounds and tastes!
It looks like a wonderful night was had by all.
Sorry we missed it!
Great Blog.