Friday 06 February 2009

Die Burger Restaurant review


Naweekjoernaal: Pomegranate: Stadsrestaurant nou onder koeltebome
LUCILLE BOTHA
05/02/2009 06:43:55 PM - (SA)
Sowat drie jaar gelede het Johannesburg se hoë misdaadsyfer Michael Israel uit die Goudstad verdryf.
Wat Johannesburg se verlies was, was die Kaap se geluk. Want Michael het sy gewilde restaurant, Pomegranate (kompleet met die befaamde tamatietert), saamgetrek.
Dit was eens ’n bedrywige stadsrestaurant, maar nou staan die tafels onder die koeltebome op die wynlandgoed Vergenoegd (net ’n hanetree van Faure-stasie) se grasperk. Hier eet jy tussen historiese Kaaps-Hollandse geboue met ’n uitsig op die plaasdam en sy vrolike eend-bewoners. Op ’n helder dag wys Tafelberg haar gesig.
Bogenoemde tamatietert (sowat R48) is glo sinoniem met Pomegranate, maar te danke aan Eskom was dit my nie beskore nie.
Die flinke kelner bring tuisgebakte volkoring-rolletjies en botter om die aptyt aan te wakker – pure plaas.
Hy help ons ook om ’n wynkeuse te maak. Die wynlys het werklik iets vir enigeen se smaak (en sak).
Ek skat die afdeling “Bankbestuurder se keuse” (met wyne wat gemiddeld R55 tot R60 per bottel kos) is gewild in die taai ekonomiese omstandighede waarin ons ons tans bevind. Maar as jy wil uithang, kan jy tot sowat R400 vir ’n bottel Meerlust Rubicon opdok. Die meeste wyn is per glas ook beskikbaar.
Die spyskaarte is effe kripties (onder hoofgeregte sal jy net vier of vyf woorde aantref: wildsvleis, eend, vegetaries, vis en vleis met die pryse daarnaas), maar dit gee Michael hope geleentheid om met sy gaste te gesels en aanbevelings te doen. Al die geregte kos rondom R100.
Sy beskrywing van die vars geelbek met mosterd-kapokaartappels en groente laat ons albei se monde water, maar ons besluit om twee verskillende geregte te kies. Die eendborsie en -boudjie met Pomegranate se spesiale witwyn-jus, gebraaide aartappel en groente word dus ook bestel.
Die vis is inderdaad vars en die tikkie suurlemoen waarmee dit voorgesit word, komplementeer die smaak uitstekend. Ook die mosterd-kapokaartappels kry applous – dis romerig en geurig.
Met die eend kan ons ook nie fout vind nie. Die gebraaide aartappel is egter effe lig in die boud – nie bros genoeg om die woord boerekos gestand te doen nie.
Dit is uiteindelik die nagereg – crème brûlée teen ’n billike R32,50 – wat ons waarlik beïndruk. Ek het al genoem ek beskou myself as ’n ervare brûlée-eter en hierdie een hoort beslis op my onthou-lys.
Dit word voorgesit met ’n delikate suiker-koepel, wat met die agterkant van jou lepel stukkend gekap word. Danksy die plat bakkie bedek lekker baie krakerige karamel die syagtige gebakte vla. Langsaan is ’n handjie vol geroosterde amandels gestrooi – ’n wonderlike pasmaat vir die gebrande suiker.
Die vriendelike atmosfeer, goeie kos en uitgebreide wynlys maak Pomegranate die ideale plek vir ’n uitgerekte, luilekker middagete of spog-aandete.
Die gehalte van die geregte regverdig die prys, maar as jy ’n ligter of goedkoper maaltyd verlang, soek elders.

Teken in op Die Burger

Saturday 24 May 2008

Wine Magazine Review - Feb 2008



CONTEMPORARY ECLECTIC
Pomegranate
February 2008
I was really looking forward to finding out whether the Pomegranate tomato tart was as good as I remembered from my last visit to the Melville establishment more than a decade ago.But, alas, Eskom intervened. Chef/patron Mike Israel met us outside the beautiful Vergenoegd manor house, home to the winelands incarnation of Pomegranate.
“Welcome”, he said, “it’s going to be a romantic candle-lit evening, because we’re doing our load-shedding bit tonight.”
And tomato tart was one of the electric oven-dependent menu items that had to bite the dust. The disappointment was short-lived, and replaced by a deep sense of contentment as we sipped on a glass of bubbly outside, looking across at Table Mountain and enjoying the last rays of the setting sun as they fell onto the dam in front of the manor house – do they make the water look like burnished or molten gold?
In an environment where gorgeous views are commonplace, this is exceptional. Whitethroated swallows hawk insects for their supper; a grey heron waits patiently for an unsuspecting fish to swim past; and a flock of Vergenoegd’s prize-winning Indian Runner ducks waddles past after a hard day’s snail-munching in the vineyards. Time to go in and eat!
Israel’s cuisine is fresh, simple and modern, but underpinned with an appreciation of the virtues of classical techniques – there are no short cuts in his sauces; all are built from hours in an ingredient-rich stock pot. The menu says playfully ‘poultry’, ‘fish’, ‘lamb’, ‘game’, ‘vegetarian’, and so on. And Israel is on hand with a good line of patter telling diners what he’s doing in the kitchen that night with each of those categories.
We started with beetroot carpaccio – whole beetroot, oven-roasted (before the lights went out) with rock salt and served thinly-sliced with rocket, crushed pistachios, goats cheese bocconcini and a chive and black pepper vinaigrette. It was delicious, as were the field mushrooms served with rosemary and gorgonzola in a poppy seed crêpe, garnished with white truffle oil. In both dishes, and in the mains to come, the primary ingredient dominated the palate, with the accompaniments adding piquancy and highlights, not vying for attention themselves.
We enjoyed, with gusto, slices of eland fillet, char-grilled and served with a truffle and red wine jus; and lamb rack, also char-grilled and served with red wine and rosemary jus. We could have had kabeljou, pan-seared and then steamed and served with a mango, lime, chili and coriander salsa; or deboned duck breast with a white wine and pomegranate molasses sauce.
As we were eating the main courses, the lights came back on. A mixed blessing, really, because we were enjoying the candlelight and the absence of the background humming that goes with operational electrical equipment. But it also meant that chocolate fondant was now available. It was promptly ordered, and even more promptly dispatched. Other dessert specialties are crème brûlée made with duck eggs, and a double helping of Vin de Constance. Israel says that the first time he drank this nectar, “it tasted like a glass of pudding.”
The wine list is varied and interesting. There are three categories – Bank Manager’s Choice with wines (like Kanu Chenin Blanc at R59 and Croydon Cape Blend at R58) ranging between R49 and R69; the standard category; and the R200+ SA flagship range, featuring brands like Waterford, Martin Meinert, Thelema and Meerlust. Israel doesn’t charge any corkage, but he does ask for a taste if he likes the look of what someone’s brought along.
Average cost of a three course meal without wine – R150.



Monday 28 May 2007

Another Great review in Winelands Living!!

And a lovely write up in May's Country Life by Pat Kossuth.
http://www.living.co.za


Saturday 12 May 2007

Winefly Selection: Wine & Dine @ Pomegranate, Vergenoegd


"I had the privilege to join Emile Joubert for a Food and Wine Pairing @ Pomegranate
Restaurant
. This Restaurant is situated on Vergenoegd
Wine Estate
on the R102 between Somerset West and Kuilsrivier. Open to
public: Tuesdays - Sundays from 10h00 and lunch.
As I took the left turn to
Vergenoegd following the gravel road, one would never guess what beauty is
beyond this road, just waiting to be discovered. The bell tower, historic manor
houses and greens complimented by hundreds of ducks on the dam, make you forget
that just meters away is the hassle and bustle of the R102."


Friday 02 March 2007

Monday 12 February 2007

Pomegranate @ Vergenoegd


Introduction



Pomegranate Restaurant began in Melville Johannesburg twelve years, ago in 1995 by Chef Janet Telian and famous South African actor Pierre Knoesen. Over the last ten years it was under the love and care of Michael Israel (Front of house) and Bob Knuckey (Chef) The restaurants popularity climbed and inspired many a loyal patron to frequent the establishment time after time.

After a town of many different faces, Pomegranate has now moved to the Cape and more perfectly onto the estate of our favourite wines - Vergenoegd.

For those who have not yet visited this unassuming gem in the midst of the beautiful winelands, our passion lies in service and ensuring your dining experience is complete with the complementary marriage of food and wine.

Vergenoegd wine estate is one of the oldest estates in the Cape. Tradition and untamed natural beauty lies at the heart of this wine farm. The restaurant is located inside the manor house, which is protected by heritage and built in 1773.

The restaurant is a colourful, fifty seater, boasting a large farm style fireplace and French doors opening onto magnificent gardens and vistas.

The grounds in front of the restaurant and under an ancient Jacaranda tree are perfect for long, summer afternoons and high teas.

Ample parking and grounds will cater for all wedding and function requirements

Sunday Times Review

http://www.sundaytimes.co.za/article.aspx?ID=323502

The Manor House 1773