Saturday night took myself and a friend to my very first evening at Spasie which featured Craig Cormack of The Goose Roasters. Craig put together a warming Winter menu which matched the very chilly Cape Town weather last weekend.
The night is part of a series of Chef’s Table dinners where Spasie hosts a different chef each week who creates a unique menu paired with wine. Chefs may be newcomers or well established. Either way Spasie guarantees a night of quality fine-dining.
I hadn’t heard of the Goose Roasters before the night. It’s basically a catering service with chef-quality food. Craig and his team also provide consultation for the food and beverage industry as well as host pop-up restaurant evenings on request. The past 24 years of experience has seen Craig working at The Cape Grace restaurant to joining forces with Bertus Basson of Overture as well as standing as the chairman of the South African Chefs association for 2 years.
Here’s what the menu looked like:
The mushroom dish was the highlight, perhaps because I tend to more vegetarian dishes and have a big love for mushrooms. Craig played with textures and temperatures in this dish, with a variety of mushrooms - some pickled, some sautéed mushrooms and others coated in a crispy bread crumb batter, served with Parimigiano and little bits of crème fraiche. It had all the complementary components for the mushrooms to soar.
The pea soup was the best I’ve had, made from whole peas which gave the soup a super bright green colour, instead of that brown green we often see. It was made with homemade pork stock, and served with smoked ham terrine, with truffle oil that matched the smokey pea flavour of the soup well. It was such a carefully considered dish, one that paid attention to every component, which kept the flavours nicely balanced.
The dessert also deserves a mention for its originality. It was a dish made up of different components all using butternut. There was a butternut fritter, butternut cheesecake, butternut puree and then to change things up - a walnut ice cream. Of course a dish we would probably only find in this butternut loving country of ours. Craig showed off his creativity with this one confusing the senses with a vegetable we associate as savoury. Very clever.
Spasie’s Chef’s Table series is definitely one to try. It offer diners a totally different experience to those we’re used to having at restaurants. The rustic open space holds a surprisingly intimate and warm setting, and there’s guaranteed to be good wine, so I recommended the wine pairing dinner option.
Spasie also hosts other dinner evenings during the week so see their website for the all the details.
- Ceili McGeever