The baby is 5 months old, has taken to solid foods, takes 4 naps a day and goes down for the evening at around 6pm. This is all marvelous and means that Mr H and I can actually have evenings to ourselves again *hallelujah*. We felt like celebrating this newfound freedom, so an invite to taste the 4 course food and wine pairing at Dash restaurant came at just the right time and last week, Mr H and I donned our “date night” attire, kissed the baby goodbye (she was left with the most capable of babysitters) and swanned off to the V & A Waterfront to feel like adults.
Dash is the Queen Victoria Hotel’s 36 seater restaurant, part of the Newmark Hotels portfolio, and has been open since 2011. It has an amazing view of table mountain and is intimate and secluded for romantic rendezvous’…and two people wanting to pretend that they don’t live in a baby-filled haze.
Upon entering the hotel, we were immediately assisted, taken to our table and made to feel rather like royalty. A place is only as good as the people that work there and Dash has hit the jackpot with its staff who were friendly and attentive all evening (this wasn’t just because we were “media”, I watched the way they interacted with every guest).
Sundried tomato butter and a honey and mustard butter were brought to the table to accompany fresh, warm bread and Dash’s signature martinis, one elderflower and the other pomegranate, were set down before us to help prepare our palates.
The first course was parsnip soup with bacon jam, a cream foam and olive toast. I adore parsnips because I think they’re so quintessentially British. I struggle to find them in Cape Town and my roast dinners are just not quite complete without roasted parsnips. With this in mind, I had high hopes for the soup and was NOT disappointed. I love a soup that’s been “suped” up; texture and flavor had been truly thought about and I found the dish to be deliciously creamy with sweet and saltiness coming from the jam and earthy tones from the crushed nuts and olives. An absolute winner.
The second course of Klingklip carpaccio, avocado mousse and salmon tartar was a little lost on me because I’m not a raw fish lover. Of course I gave it a bash. A really good one. I almost ate all of the tartar. Which is totally unusual for me but the dish, which was beautifully presented, featured a scrumptious beetroot puree and fresh pea shoots which worked wonders with the wine which was Newton Johnsen’s Felicity 2015 Pinot Noir.
Adjusting my waistband, we moved onto the third course of seared duck breast, confit baby chicken, cranberry jus and carrot puree, paired with Raka shiraz.
You can’t go wrong with shiraz and berries. A top-quality pairing. There was a large amount of slightly cooked carrots which were nice enough to look at but a bit superfluous. However, the duck was nicely cooked and paired beautifully with the wine.
It was at this point that we had to tell the waitress to pull on the reigns because we were swelling up like a zeppelin.
At around 9:15 (I only mention this so that I can appear slightly more adultish as usually I’m in bed by 9 surrounded by burp cloths and teething rings) the dessert said hello. It was Chef’s Chocolate Surprise served with Paul Cluver Riesling Noble Late Harvest 2014. I’m not too sure what the surprise was but there was certainly a lot of chocolate.
The problem with the dessert? It was too chocolatey.
What? There was too much chocolate?!
Yes, there was chocolate ice cream, a chocolate crisp, chocolate brownies and a perfectly cooked chocolate fondant with a middle that would make Chef Carl Casper shiver in delight. It was a chocolate overload.
And if that’s the only criticism I can find, then you should all be getting in your cars and driving straight to Dash now to put that dessert in your face.
We left full. Content. And very happy that we are now “back in the game”. Dash provided a wonderful environment for a romantic evening out.
This 4 course pairing menu costs R395pp, and you get a decent sized glass of wine too! | For more information, visit their website