Fermier for more!

fullsizeoutput_4f21There is a saying that  states:  “Good food is equal to a good mood” and I’m a true believer that a love for food is both in the art of preparing it, but also in enjoying it.  In recent years Pretoria have seen a plethora of gastronomic experiences peek out from under the kitchen counters and we, the citizens of this great city, are reaping the ever-tasty rewards.

Award winning Fermier (Farmer in French) is unique in every sense of the word.  They pride themselves on being a self-sustainable restaurant where they incorporate everything around them, from the ground used to build their restaurant, to the garden that offers fresh produce, to the pottery shop on the premises that makes the beautiful vessels to serve delicious meals in.  Everything works together to make the Fermier experience one to remember .  Adriaan Maree chef and founder has got quite the reputation when it comes to good food and brings not only local, but also International experience to the table.  He sure raised the bar in Pretoria, when Fermier opened it’s doors not so long ago.

Arriving at Fermier, I was greeted by a lovely young lady when I parked my car.  I walked up the foot path and it felt like I was leaving the city every step I took in the dark.  Dimly lit lanterns showed the way and I arrived at a contemporary structure that resembled a barn.  It was rustic, yet classy, old charm, yet with a modern twist.  Ambience were created by perfectly chosen lighting and no more than a dozen tables nestled perfectly in the cozy space.  Clearly the space and layout were carefully planned and designed.

First things first and I had to glance over their very impressive wine list and menu that offered 9 set courses for the evening.  One thing is for sure, you are not going to get Butternut & Spinach on the sides.  (ok, I chuckled at myself when I wrote this).

 

After a glass of bubbly, we enjoyed a lovely Elands Rivier, 2014 Pinot Noir.  Delicate, with berries and rose notes with a beautiful garnet colour.  This was a good start to the evening. The menu boasted surprise, esthetic enthrall and bursts of flavour.  The food was the entertainment and the line up was impressive.

First course saw an introduction with freshly baked bread, with Duck liver parfait and canapes.  Beautiful and tasty!

 

Second course in line, was a bundle of Kingklip with black radish and smoked tomato coulis/sauce.

IMG_2755

Third saw an ensemble of Mussels, Squid Sea Vegetables and a light foam. perfectly prepared. (Could’ve sworn I was at the beach with every bite).

IMG_4964

4th Course offered Tuna on a bed of Almonds, Grapefruit, Black Garlic and Olives.

91c6aa76-5373-49a2-9d3c-fe744e625615

Course 5 was surprising with Pork Neck with Summer Apple, Celeriac and Samphire.  Soft, oozing flavour and I wanted a second plate (just kidding, 4 more courses to come).

cfdbc7f6-3a6d-464c-88c6-68abfd6b4f13

We enjoyed Duck for our 6th course with Turnips, Verjus and Grapes.

624c80db-9a5e-4e6c-a502-e7fc100c5129

Lucky number 7 arrived and Springbok, tender and sliced perfectly with Porcini mushrooms, Cauliflower, Daikon and honey.  The balance between savoury and sweet was a dance of perfection.

 

f34eb3a9-0c6b-4304-8dc2-340a054b6754

Course 8 was lighter with an good selection of fine cheeses.  Huguenot, Karoo Crumble and various fruits to compliment.

IMG_3293

The last course rounded things off beautifully with White chocolate and Miso. Sweet and everything you can hope for after 8 courses of utter gastronomic bliss!

IMG_7449

So there we have it fellow food fans! Do not be fooled, although the portions are small, they pack a punch when it comes to flavour.  Adriaan Maree and his team, don’t prepare food, they create art that is absolutely super sensory!  I would seriously recommend you make this spot, one of your top ones as it’s a game-changer when it comes to haute cuisine here in Pretoria.  Their menu also change from time to time, so it will be great to see what’s on the menu in a few month’s time.  Be sure to book your table since they offer limited seating. I believe this enables them to pay careful attention to detail and give you the best experience possible.

I will most certainly go back to Fermier, for more!

Forti’s Grill & Bar and La Motte Wine Estate making magic!

IMG_1204

Well where should I begin?  Firstly, getting an invite to attend an exclusive wine and food pairing hosted by Forti’s Grill & Bar and La Motte Wine Estate was already tantalising enough that I was fathoming ideas and expectancies even days before the actual event.  Fortunate Mazzone is himself an institution in the Pretoria community and even wider, since his days as the owner of the famed Ritrovo Restaurant.  He made his move to a grandeur establishment nestled in the new Time Square Casino just off Menlyn Maine.  Forti’s Grill & Bar is a cosmopolitan restaurant that is par excel-lance in not just the exquisite cuisine it offers, but in it’s styling, bathrooms and yes, the ever so popular roof top dining experience. 

IMG_1153

I have previously reiterated that I am a total ‘scenery-slut’ when it comes to the perfect view at a restaurant and I suspect looking at THIS restaurant, Fortunato knows that his clientele is somewhat expecting the unordinary experience and off course Fortunato delivers!  Meeting Edmond Terblanche from La Motte Wines, you do gather that La Motte and Forti’s already have a long history in sharing good food and wine, and giving their following a plethora of tastes and memories.  Brilliantly styled wines with food that is ever endeavouring to ones taste buds made it an opulent and vivacious event.  The invite was extended to only a handful of lifestyle journalists, influencers and foodies and they wowed us.

Our gastronomic experience started off with a lovely Prawn ensemble that was oven grilled, with champagne & garlic served on a bed of parmesan rice, decadent and beautiful!  This was accompanied by the La Motte Sauvignon Blanc, with crisp tropical flavours.

Main course offered a lovely crusted marbled beef Fillet prepared to perfection on a a bed of fresh braised vegetables topped with rocket and greens. The La Motte Cabernet Sauvignon  2015 played its role brilliantly with a full bodied presence with it’s oak, plum and smokey notes.  The star here naturally was La Motte’s Pierneef Syrah Viognier that is totally in a league of its own.  A deep flamboyant red wine with a spicy and peppery palate that is truly unique. 

Dessert was a colour explosion and saw planks of sweet delicacies.  From Chocolate Brownie, fudge with a citrus kick and off course panna cotta that was to die for.  A golden honey coloured bottle that classifies (well in my mind that is) as an Apricotty (if there is such a word) mouth watering dessert wine with a perfect balance between sweet and acidity.

How do one end off such a perfect Forti’s Grill & Bar & La Motte onslaught?  Easy, with a sorbet that is pleasing to the eye and palate, oh and don’t forget the flavourful in-house grilled cup of Americano. 

These two players (Forti’s & La Motte) is a mean team and what really stood out, was the complimentary, symbiotic relationship these two have.  The best part of it? That you and me both can experience the fruit of their relationship.  Well done Fortunato and team! Equally well done to Edmond from La Motte Wine Estate for giving us an unforgettable experience.

IMG_1158

PS.  Go to the bathroom when you are there! It’s worth a pic or 6! 🙂

It’s Hemingway’s

 

 

Pretoria as the capital has so little options to experience fine dining that fits one’s pocket.  Hemingway’s Restaurant at Leriba Lodge is surely one of those little unexplored gems.  Stepping through the doors at Hemingway’s you are immediately inundated with the sophistication and elegance of their table settings.  I have a thing for crisp white tables and serviettes.  Add to that service with a smile or even smiles.  Waiters that caters to your every whim, friendly, available and their attention to the table was a good balance between overprotective hovering and the vanishing act. Being a special evening, we celebrated a birthday and man was this an amazing evening.

We were treated by amazing red wines from Doolhof Wine Estate and their range is ever impressing.  The food was undoubtedly one of my best food experiences I enjoyed in a long time.  Starters consisted of a beautiful Carpaccio served fresh with a Quails egg. Beautiful.  Main course offered us a lovely crisp Pork-belly prepared to perfection.  The plating and presentation is top notch and they surely know how to prepare their food.  Dessert was equally impressive and the ever-classic Creme Brûlée did not disappoint! A sugary crunch with delightful light and creamy custard sent me to foodie heaven! Hemingway’s is a sure stop for amazing food and is a great catalyst for good conversation.

The Centurion area is busy with it’s own rejuvenation process when it comes to good food, restaurants and unique cuisine.   Hemingways is sure getting it right.  They are also a good venue for weddings, family events and they regularly host tastings and festivals.  Well done guys, you won my tastebuds and I will most definitely see you again soon.  Your new fan. So people, all I have to say is…. Go! Now!