Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Ritual Cafe, Linden, Johannesburg

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The Ritual Cafe opened its doors at 32 7th Street, Linden six months ago.
It recently held a media launch night, 
which was attended by Bloggers, food writers and journalists.
7th Street is the new "go to" food strip in Linden.
Currently there are 10 restaurants in the stretch between 3 and 4th Avenue

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Owner, and self taught chef, Sean Ackermann and his wife Julia
prep for the media dinner.

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These ceramics were all made by Julia,
as was the rather quirky crockery (but more of that later)

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The colours of the restaurant are cool and relaxing 
and the table decoration understated and functional.
I can never understand why some eateries want to "load"
tables with crockery, glassware and cutlery that diners might never utilize.
For me, uncluttered "eating spaces" work.

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The first dish out of the kitchen was this wonderful warm tomato soup.
I have eaten at Ritual Cafe before and I know that Sean has a penchant for "hot".
I was therefore pleasantly surprised that the "bite" in this  soup
was subtle and sublime.

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One of the starters on offer...
A Brinjal stack on Bruchetta...a taste of the meal to come?

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These should be served with a warning...
"Patrons be aware that these deep fried tortilla wraps with Cajun spice
are highly addictive and the tomato and red pepper chutney that accompanies it
is equally "dangerous". 
The management of Ritual Cafe , its employees, or anyone else associated
with this restaurant, takes NO responsibility for the amount
of this product consumed by diners.
Note to "addicts"...they are sold in bags that can be taken home to enjoy,
if they last that long"  
Basically, what I am saying is that this snack is SERIOUSLY delicious!

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Sean believes in supporting local suppliers for all his produce.

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Something different in the drinking water.
A pleasing change from the regular ice and lemon.
And I did not have to keep asking for water.
The jugs were replenished and replaced on a regular basis

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Chef Sean, welcoming his guests for the evening...

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The kitchen is not a huge space, but it does produce great food,
as we were about to discover.

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This was the starter dish...
De-shelled mussels in a light curry sauce,
Cajun Calamari and Lamb meatballs.
Although I enjoyed each element on the plate,
my vote goes to the lamb meatballs.
Instead of full portions, Chef Sean decided to serve his dishes tappas style.
This enabled us to get a taste of the most popular dishes on his menu.
In retrospect, I believe that it gave him an idea to serve these dishes 
as a main course in future...a great way for a first time visitor to sample the food options

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 I have to mention the hand made crockery.
The first time I ate here, I thought that the green "streaks" 
were part of the food decoration.
It turns out that they are a pattern within the plate...a little disconcerting,
but it adds a dimention to the serving.

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If I thought that the deep fried Tortilla wraps needed a warning,
then these sweet potato chips should be included as well.
They arrived as a side for the sliders,
but were almost gone before food arrived.

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These three sliders are offered as "full size" burgers on the menu.
From left to right they are...
Beef, pear and blue cheese. Haloumi and vegetables,and Lamb.
All were delicious, but if I have to be honest, 
the beef was number one for me! 
This slider trio should also be a dish on the menu

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And finally, just before dessert.
Another trio of tasty delights...
The Gnocchi dish was sublime, 
and it seems to be one of Chef Sean's signature dishes.
Three melt in the mouth sliced sirloin pieces.
And a Thai vegetable curry that I have to admit was too hot for me,
but is was enjoyed by the majority of the diners at my table.

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Dessert...
This is a "must try" dessert...
A Fig ice-cream on a bed of Basil.
A mouth cleansing way to end off the meal.

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Ritual Cafe is open Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner.
They are closed on a Monday and Sunday.
For reservations call 0795733989. 
You can follow them on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/ritualcafelinden/?fref=ts


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