I plant my flag. I sit by the warm fire. I see the road traveled so far,fruitful, full of joy and with lovely characters along the way.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Review Pomodoro Ristorante - Morningside - Johannesburg

I was so excited to have my first wine tasting since when? Well.. two months! This time we were guests at Pomodoro Restaurant. Pomodoro was once my favorite restaurant in Johannesburg, before they relocated to a more commercial hub. I was a bit nervous that their fantastic Italian cuisine had suffered from the move to Morningside. I was nervous about the idea that the romantic atmosphere, that I appreciated so much, got lost.

A fresh interior, Italian flavours and passionate management greeted us into the 'Pomodoro world'. The world I left behind, for whatever reason. A reason I could not remember.

First impression at the entrance:

• Good atmosphere
• Fully booked
• Friendly waiters
• Nicely laid tables
• Modern look
• Sadly enough it missed romance

Klein Constantia organized the Gourmet Wine Evening. Klein Constantia is the oldest, most enduring vineyard region in the Cape. ‘Family owned and run, Klein Constantia's philosophy is founded on quality rather than quantity, reflected in the wines regularly inviting accolades, both locally and internationally’. That evening we were spoiled with KC Rose (Cabernet Franc), Vin de Constance, Klein Constantia Sauvignon Blanc, Klein Constantia Cabernet Sauvignon Red and KC red.

After a short introduction from the manager, warming up the tast buds for the evening, the cook shared his passion for Italian food and knowledge about preparation and flavor. He explained the variety of the menu:

Shot of chilled yellow pepper and roasted tomato soup

Truffled chicken liver parfait with toasted brioche and ginger ale syrup

1st Course
Spiced confit duck ravioli with an orange and pepper veloute

2nd Course
Red wine poached springbok shank with sweet potato puree in a Cabernet Sauvignon jus

Praline semifreddo on a burnt pistachio brittle with espresso gelato in a Belgian chocolate cup and a macadamia nut gastrique.

Do I need to squeeze your arm? Absolutely not. This is the best menu I have had in many many years.. stunning. Except for the Springbok shank. It just did not work for me, but in general shanks are not what I would order from a menu, ever. Dealing with the bone and cut around the fat are not what I enjoy. You could stand on your head and blow bubbles and I wouldn't eat it. The sweet potato puree made up for it and the jus was stunning.

We agreed 200% that the starter was the best dish of them all. We are serving our guests for Christmas, guess what? Truffled chicken liver parfait! Without a doubt. At least, I'll try.

The representative of Klein Constantia introduced us to their wines, but as the other guests (not part of the wine tasting) chatted in the background, we could not hear a word she said. Unfortunately..
Management really impressed me with their wine and food knowledge, their passion and attention. The waiters let me down. Although they smiled, they were not part of the diner event as such. Just collecting the plates and serving them, without them understanding how special the dishes were. The dishes definitely needed more attention, more words, more sharing.. more love..

That said, I have come to the following conclusion: a hub location, warm, great food but it missed romance.

Overall experience?

Value for money?
Yes, absolutely. It is the best menu I had in a very long time, and the set price of 320 rand (I think, but can't remember precisely.. because of the wine I guess) including wine was fantastic. In one word: scrumptious.

Food         4/5
Service     3/5
Ambiance 2/5

Overall review

Warm regards,

Abigail Summer

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