Karoo Free Flow Package @ Taj

Responsible drinking advocates, under 18s, teetotallers, members of the voluntary Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use (ARA), blogging whale trolls and goblins, please stop reading now. In preparation for Ostrich October at the Pendock Wine Gallery @ Taj we asked chef Shyam Longani to put together a gourmet ostrich menu which was expertly paired with brandies by the CEO of the Brandy Foundation, Christelle Reade-Jahn. Amazing is one description for the menu:

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The dishes worked so well with six brandies from the Klein Karoo, there was some discussion on the merits of offering it as a Free Flow Package to guests from India. Forget about “eat as much as you can” buffets. This is the liquid equivalent. Responsible drinking, it is not. If Portugal can have the Douro Boys, then why not the Karoo K√™rels?

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The best dish for me by a country mile was the ostrich neck in Shiraz (Saxenburg SSS) and pot-braised overnight with aged Gruyere crostini (above). Tasting like earthy oxtail but not as fatty, it was a Lawrence of Arabia in the desert with the full-bodied Carel Nel Reserve 5 year old from Boplaas. Take out the bones, give them to your dog and call the crostini, bruschetta and you have the best canape, ever.

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The Japanese style ostrich carpaccio (above) was paired with the Cognac style Ladismith while a trio of kebabs, sausage and tandoori ostrich tikka were complemented with a fruity Mons Ruber and rustic Grundheim 7 year old. The sizzling fan fillet in a Klipdrift Gold gooseberry sauce was the best spiced dish with walnut and star anise dukkah. It would have been just wrong not to serve Klipdrift Gold as the match.

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Pasty chef Michael (above) excelled with a duo of desserts that ladies present preferred with the Barry & Nephew Muscat brandy while the gentlemen leant towards the Kingna (below) and then each other as the alcohol took its toll. Chef Shyam reported the quality of ostrich from Swartland Ostrich was superlative and the price, “very reasonable.”

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“Better than my wildest imagination” was the verdict of Christelle. “Totally first class” said designer Michael Chandler. An amazing marriage of India and the Karoo, intertwined with brandy, the soul of wine, in the glass. A variant of this menu will be available during October for tables of eight guests, served in the Pendock Wine Gallery.