Naked dim sum

When you bear more than a passing resemblance to the heir to the British throne, as Tulbagh bubbly royalty Luke Krone (below) does, hosting an annual Summer Elegance Festival on the family farm is a no-brainer. This year, prompted by Chinese dissident artist Ai WeiWei on the cover of The New Statesman magazine perhaps, Luke has contracted the dim sum duo of Mynhardt Joubert and Eugene Nortje to offer dim sum with a twist at this year’s Festival on Twee Jonge Gezellen on December 8; eight being the most auspicious number on the Chinese calendar. The twist will be naked dim sum with recipes tweaked to account for summer conditions plus the abundance of bare flesh sipping fizz on the day.

lk Naked dim sum

My thoughts on Mynie and Eugene in the Sunday Times Food Weekly on Sunday.

Moerby Kultuur unlocks your inner Vespa

“Moerby Kultuur” is a pair of delicious double-entendres: mulberry and to throw together (as in a recipe) while culture could be in the yoghurt or a ballet. It started off as a catering partnership between Free State ballet dancer Mynhardt Joubert and Johannesburg designer and part-time farmer Eugene Nortje who met in Rosie’s, a bar in De Waterkant of Cape Town, and decided to cater corporate lunches to pay the bills.

The pair unlocked their inner Vespas and headed off to Riebeek-Kasteel, that bohemian village in the Boland that is more affordable than Franschhoekfranschhoekcellarwines Naked dim sum
by franschhoekwines
and closer to Cape Town than Greyton. Bar Bar Black Sheep was the name of the restaurant they started next door to Anton Espost’s Wine Kollective bottle store and Crisp, an organic vegetable shop.

The food was unashamedly Boerekos; the wine list, unique. “This is the best book I’ve ever read,” enthused one dame in terrifying black about the wine list, “the descriptions are terrific.” From comparing Adi Badenhorst’s whites (just one of the many Platter five star sighted stunners this year) to the enthusiasm Elvis had for sleeping pills and describing another Platter sighted laureate Eben Sadie as “the baby Jesus of SA wine,” it was compiled by searching for an appropriate image rather than a string of adjectives. Although the Eben theme is perhaps one metaphor too far when you note he is married to Maria.

When it came to food, the hearts of various animals were de rigeur while the Lucky Star fish cakes “made from a recipe from a 70 year old ousie in my kitchen” served in a tin can, were a future classic. The décor was Rocky Street Yeoville circa 1970 with Andy Warhol’s silkscreen of Chairman Mao with a slash of scarlet lipstick confirming the arrival of the yellow peril in the Platteland. A Chinese theme that saw them match dim sum with local ingredients to Swartland wines at CROK (Cultural Revolution on Kasteel) in the old Dutch Reformed church hall in Hoofstraat on the Sunday before China’s national day, 1 October.

Dishes such as wild boar terrine with crab apple and mint sauce paired with the Annexkloof SMG 2010 Mediterranean blend (♥♥♥♥♥ in the blind tasted Neil Pendock’s Winelands Guide 2013) confirmed it is not necessary to pay Franschhoek prices to enjoy a spicy Swartland red, as this one costs all of R55. Dutch importer Fons Aaldering, who supplies exotic ingredients to 2600 Asian restaurants in the Netherlands, was so impressed, he signed up M-K to prepare dim sum for twenty Chinese restaurant owners coming to the Winelands later in the month.