When Bellingham & Fumo collide!

Most of us grew up with the smells from our mom’s kitchen.  Well, some of us in anyway.  To be able to sustain oneself to the stage of reading this, you survived by having food to eat.  In my case, I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family that is just totally over the top when it comes to preparing delicious meals and trying out different cuisine.  Another thing about growing up, were my memories of Sunday lunches where we as children could actually have a sip of wine.  Mom would take out the bottle of white wine, a Bellingham bottle.  Jip, those Bellingham wine bottles that were shaped like the mountain side.  I can still remember parts of the television advertisement where the landscape changed into the bottle.  That was a very clever advertisement, because most Bellingham wine drinkers can and would probably still remember that advertisement.

So I was invited to an evening of culinary delight and premium wine at an extraordinary Italian Restaurant called Fumo (here in the capital Pretoria) last week.  The evening was in partnerhsip with Bellingham Wines.  No, there was no hill-shaped bottle in sight, but rather an unveiling of a premier range of wines from Bellingham Wines.  The story of Bellingham is one that alleady started in the early 1700’s and then much later to where Mr & Mrs Podlashuk bought a derelict farm called Bellinchamp which means “pretty fields” and was forced to build it up to what it is today.  A creative Hub which produces world class and award wining bottles of wine, with a local and international following.  It is not longer the Bellingham we knew, but rather a journey of wine ending up today with 3 genres or ranges of wines called the Innovation series that can be seen as more contemporary wines, the Homestead series that hatched special wine concepts and praising itself as very inventive and lastly their flagship, the Bernard series,  a tribute to the wine pioneer, Mr. Bernard Podlashuk who had the vision to make superior, intricate and beautiful wine.

Now imagine this, an evening where the current Wine maker Niel Groenewald of Bellingham Wines enticed everyone with glamorous intrigue around the premier wine they produce.  Sampling them was a palate-adventure and true learning and appreciative experience.  Chef Claudio Uccello, the Executive Chef of Fumo and his team, showered us with Italian cuisine to capture our senses and indulge our tastebuds.

IMG_0323
Josper grilled Tuna & Smoked Salmon.

The evening started with the 1st course of Josper grilled Tuna and in house smoked Salmon with crostini bread paired with the elegant Homestead Saugvinon Blanc 2017. Boasting fruity flavours with a soft crisp finish.

IMG_0322
Stuffed Baby Squid in a black ink curry

The 2nd course offered us, stuffed baby squid in black ink curry, accompanied by a Bernard series Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2015.  A lovely layered golden wine with citrus flavours and spicy oak.

IMG_0325
Sea Bass with Culatello Ham on Mushroom Risotto

3rdly, We enjoyed a wrapped Sea bass with Culatello ham and beautiful mushroom risotto and off course a stunning Bernard Series Old Vine Pinotage 2015. Lovely berry flavours with a lasting oaky succulent fruity finish.

IMG_0327
Lamb Loin & Almond Crust with celery puree and baby carrots.

Our 4th course was a delectable Lamb loin with almond crust, celery puree and baby carrots.  Paired with a Bernard Series Small Barrel SMV 2014. Alluring black berry aromas, layered with chocolate and intense fruit that is smooth and lovely.

IMG_0330
Chocolate Budino, with white chocolate mouse

Rounding things off, we enjoyed a naughty (yes very naughty but lovely) Chocolate budino, white chocolate mousse with pistachios and Angel hair partnered with their Homestead Shiraz 2015.  An intense dark vino with notes of plums, blackcurrants and pepper.

Listening the Neil tell the story behind each and every bottle, made it almost feel like a ballet of different notes, flavours and scents combined to present a new generation in wine from Bellingham.  No longer (in my mind) will I think of the old green mountain shaped bottle, but rather of their premium and exquisite ranges on offer and when you pair them with cuisine that is world class from Fumo, you are sure to enjoy and evening that is LUX to the fullest!  The evening was a wonderful collision between Bellingham & Fumo and we got the best of both worlds! Visit their sites and support their quality products.  Go! Now!

 

 

 

Say hallo to The Publican Bar & Grill!

The Publican Bar & Grill is situated in the Southdowns Shopping centre in Irene, Pretoria and close to the John Vorster offramp.  The Publican greets you with a contemporary mix of leather, stoned walls and an amazing fireplace that hypnotises you the moment you set foot through their doors.

I always say that it’s the small things that count when visiting any restaurant or eatery and here we can check all the boxes.  From the light pink Orchid at reception, the copper light fittings and even the bathrooms are tastefully done.  They surely didn’t skimp on anything when it comes to their decor.

The hostess immediately greets you with a smile and swiftly guide the way to your designated spot.  Flowing through the restaurant you end up on the stoep (veranda) and are immediately taken aback by the view and the gazillion lights.  (I’ve said it before, I’m a sucker for a good setting).

Tables are minimalist and well set and the darker tones on their furniture and black serviettes gives you a very ‘expensive’ or exclusive feel to what you are about to experience.  Their waiting staff works as a team and you are informed on their wines and given drink options.  I enjoyed a delightful deep red called Silver Myn from the Zorgvliet Wine Estate.

Immediately options on starters, mains and desserts were raised and I was impressed with the passion they show when explaining their menu options, from preparation to the moment it arrives on your plate.  It’s infectious.

For starters I just HAD to enjoy the Thick Cut Bacon with fresh parsley salad.  (By the way, the world is better because of Bacon). Delicious!  Mains feature a New York strip steak, Black Angus Beef and was beautifully prepared.  I would’ve like a bit more fries on the side though.  To close the evening off, I enjoyed a delectable Eaton Mess and was engulfed with a sticky viscid meringue, berry coolie and cream.  I was in heaven.

The Publican Bar & Grill gets it right and should be on your list if you are a meat-eater and enjoy lovely flame grilled meals.  They also have good vegetarian options available.  This eatery is a sure catalyst to an amazing evening filled with friends, great food and choice wine……… did I mention the view??  Go! Now!