The Taste of Joburg: It’s OK to be greedy, right?

2010-10-02 13:47

After a false start with a rather disappointingly ordinary bit of pork on a stick – I moved on to tastier morsels – and took numbers to repeat the experience.

Food, gourmet food, is the order of the weekend at Montecasino’s outdoor venue as the Taste of Joburg fills the piazza with the discerning, the greedy and the curious.

I would be the greedy, though I try to be somewhat discerning too.Having set myself up with a delicious glass of Chenin Blanc (remember to buy a glass on the way in), I headed for DW 11-13 where I guzzled back the braised lamb shoulder – I should have savoured it, but I couldn’t hold my fork back.

The same was true of La Belle Terrasse’s deep-fried blue camembert with Cape gooseberry compote – gooey, crispy, sweet, salty and fragrant.

Jazz Maniacs at the Soweto Hotel provided the greens with a tasty spinach and potato patty.

Nice because it steered clear of the ubiquitous creaming and instead let the spinach’s flavour shine.

In between gulping down forkfuls of the chefs’ best efforts, there are cooking demonstrations to attend and more cocktail bars than there are on a holiday island.

This adds to the festival’s vibe and lures the younger party set, who rub shoulders with the more seasoned food types.

It was great to see the South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (Sassi) cooking up fruits of the sea.

Traditionally, alas, fancy restaurant are the biggest culprits when it comes to serving endangered fish – but there’s a sea change under way.

One of the chefs I asked told me that they were making every effort to source sustainable fish only and that more and more diners were asking before eating.

I didn’t eat the fish dishes though, just in case.

For dessert I headed to Roots @ Forum Homini, a stalwart of this festival, and it was humming and had a significant queue – but the strawberry crumble with ginger ice cream was well worth the wait.

As was the pancake filled with chocolate from the Mastrantonio group of eateries.

While I would happily have eaten another six mini-courses, it gets pricey.

As you go in you exchange R100 for a booklet of Crowns and pay with that.

As one young wine taster put it, it’s a lot like being on holiday and working in another currency, which makes it much easier to spend more money.

It’s true and I did have to go back for another booklet to fulfil all my greedy appetite’s needs.

» The Taste of Joburg is on at Montecasino until tomorrow. You can get tickets at the entrance or at Computicket

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