A Hidden Gem...
Recently discovered this little gem of a restaurant in Waterkloof at The Club Centre. Harissa Bistro, is actually a sister restaurant of The Green Peppercorn in Johannesburg. They too serve tasting plates. (I love this idea of dining. This way, you are able to get a good serving size of more than just one of their dishes and you are able to taste a variety of meals in one sitting.)
I decided to treat myself one Friday evening to a dinner-for-one and totally by chance 2 of my close friends had also made reservations for the same time and we had actually been seated next to each other and so my dinner-for-one turned into a intimate dinner with friends.
So, Harissa Bistro, does not have an actual wine list that you choose your wine from. They have an actual wine display in the restaurant where you can walk in and look at the wines, read the labels and check pricing. It is quite the pleasant experience as the sommelier really know his wines and the finer details. I had explained to him that I was in the mood for a red wine, that is not heavy and has a nice creamy finish to it. Immediately he pointed out 3 wines that he suggested that I consider. Eventually I opted for the Almenkerk Lace Vineyard Blend. This is a Syrah, Merlot, Cab Franc, Cab Sauv & Viognier blend that is aged for 23 months in French barriques coming from the Elgin region.
Our server brought out some fresh bread and a hummus dip to tease our taste buds whilst we had a look at the electronic menu.
I decided on the tasting plate starter.
- Beef Bobotie Samosa
- Chilli Salt Squid (they were my favourite on this plate.)
- Goats Cheese Bouche (basically puff pastry with a great mix of goats cheese, beetroot & carmelised onions.
- Lamb Ribbetjie. This lamb has been marinated in a beer and marmite mixture that had me picking off of his plate with some of the butternut polenta.
- Crab Briyani. As soon as this dish came out of the kitchen and I smelled it, I was jealous. The smell of the coconut milk is incredible. Mozambican Crab, Prawns and Mussels served with Basmati rice.
I again decided to try the tasting plate. Beef fillet served 3 ways.
My new thing is have a side salad with meals, instead of fries. (You know, the 'healthy' option...) Lots of Feta. Just that made me happy already. Really fresh ingredients and everything still had that crunchy freshness to them.
So. It was time for dessert and honestly, I had already eaten so much and I kind of figured I was going to regret having dessert. But something told me I just need to try the Chocolate Fondant with Amarula Custard & Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. Wow... Lets just say I most certainly did not regret anything after having this. Lets start with the Ice Cream. It is freshly made and it still has some of the vanilla pod scrapings in the ice cream. So nice, light & creamy at the same time. The coffee chocolate Fondant. It should be a death by chocolate, so I couldn't finish all of that. The centre wasn't entirely molten as I had hoped it would be though.
BUT. Now... To tell you about this Amarula Custard. It will blow your mind. The texture of Caramel Treat. The taste of heaven. It would melt in your mouth and as it spread, you would taste the different flavours of the custard & Amarula. It is probably the best dessert that I have had in a while.