The Road to Paarl - The crossing of the roads to Paarl and Wellington from Malmesbury

A momentous week; we have more stories to tell than we’ve had in months and, especially important, the President’s announcement that liquor sales are back to normal conditions and the borders are open to tourists, with adherence to proper precautions. The announcement is great news for the economy, especially ours in the Western Cape, and we hope that it will bring some relief to everyone who has suffered so much in the last nine months. Enjoy the great wines we’ll tell you about, support your favourite restaurants, but please be sensible, wear masks, keep your distance; we don’t want to lose you. Enjoy the stories…

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If you haven’t yet had Wagyu beef, you do need to try to taste this extraordinary flavourful beef, with its distinct marbling of fat that melts while it is cooking, leaving the beef superbly tender and gives it that "melt in your mouth" experience. Yes, Wagyu is very expensive, but you will always remember it and want more. And the good news is that the fat is unsaturated fat, and is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, making it one of the healthiest red meats. It is now farmed here and you can find it at good butchers and in fine dining restaurants. Read on...
The 2021 edition of the Platter wine guide has been launched. We have had the privilege, for a good number of years, of being invited to the gala presentation of the guide and giving you an illustrated story of the event. Sadly, this is another event which has had to be taken to the internet. There has been a dearth of media information, so we have had to use a back door to give you the list of the Five Star awards. Many of these have gone to some of our favourite wineries and some to interesting newcomers. There is a large number of wines which received the coveted Five Stars and it reflects the ongoing improvements in quality of South African wines, especially in such challenging times. It seems that the online launch was only for those who have paid for a subscription. The rest of us, media included, will have to wait for the book to appear in early December. Read on...
On our way home from the Black Sheep restaurant we went via Kloof Nek, which is a quick route home for us. It was such a beautiful hot and clear day so we stopped in the Glen and John took some photographs of the views. We often drive this way but, every now and then, it is good to stop and pay attention to the beautiful view of the mountains and the sea from here. Read on...
We are still trying to adapt to what we need to do in the time of Covid - observing the restrictions and staying safe. There are many things we used to do that we miss a lot. But we can eat out and, because we want to support an industry that has been very hard hit in lock down, we try to eat out when we can. It is not always going to be top end restaurants; we live on pensions and money is a bit tight but, even if we just have one course, it is exciting and stimulating to go out and eat someone else's food. We had not been to The Black Sheep in upper Kloof Street for a long time and being in the area recently made us determined to go again. A sunny Wednesday and a need to have a story for MENU saw us eat there and have a really great meal. Read on...
RMB WineX 2020 was always going to be different. COVID-19 has made it impossible for us all to gather under one roof this year. However, simply because you cannot come to WineX, doesn’t mean that WineX cannot come to you – in your own home, with your own hand-picked group of friends and family. Read on...

MENU has appeared nearly every week since March 2003, initially as a free newsletter from our shop, Main Ingredient, and has been sent to our subscribers by email. Many of our subscribing readers have followed us from our earliest days and we appreciate your support

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