It was a good thing that I was warned about going too ‘bos’ on the bread because the portions are very generous, considering it’s a 4-course pairing dinner. I was contemplating undoing the top button of my classy black skinny jeans (I ditched the slouchy sofa pants) as dessert arrived. There was no way I was saying no. The apple cardamom tatin, beautifully offset with a very fresh naartjie and ginger sorbet, was paired with La Motte’s straw wine. Now as you probably know, sweet with sweet is the general rule in pairing. A Viognier, this wine delivers an intense nose of dried apricot, almond and distinctive jasmin. The finish is smooth and silky and, very importantly, there is just enough acid to balance the sweet. Sadly their straw wine is currently out of stock on La Motte’s site, so bag this one for next season.
So what’s the low-down? 1) The food is lovely. 2) The portions generous for fine dining. 3) The pairings spot on. 4) The service excellent and the venue just plain fun. What’s the cost of this night out? R495 a person. Now before you start measuring this against what a steak and a glass or two of wine would cost at your local steakhouse with jumpy castles, think about the fact that this is probably the only way you can get to taste wines of this quality with four courses of fine dining without dipping into the mortgage. I consider it seriously good value for what you get.
Taj will be holding more special 4-course pairing dinners in The Vault over the coming months. Here’s what you can look forward to:
Friday 26 July, Creation
Friday 30 August, Paul Cluver
Friday 13 September, Anthonij Rupert
Friday 4 October, Tokara
Friday 25 October, Klein Constantia
Friday 15 November, Simonsig
Booking is of course essential. Call +27 21 819 2000. Mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit them on Facebook.