Swartskaap Serenade

March 9th, 2011 § 1 comment

Bar Bar Black Sheep in Riebeek Kasteel is one of my all-time favourite restaurants, in one of my favourite towns. Hence my garbled attempt to do the place justice in a four-minute review on SABC3’s Expresso Show yesterday morning… At the center of the retro-fabulous Short Street development in this hot and blossoming town, Bar Bar Black Sheep serves country fresh fair with cosmopolitan flair.

The red arrow top right.... my blaar

I initially thought the  Short Street development in Riebeek Kasteel was a charming barrio of old buildings, until developer Anton Espost pointed out the zol leaf on the gable of one little shop… dah…. all of the buildings were erected a few years ago but with a great eye for lived-in ambience.

And in the midst of all this, Bar Bar is a haven of bright table cloths, enamel plates laden with delicious food and a surround sprinkler system to alleviate the Swartland heat.

My horse for a pitcher of Pimms!

Chef and owner Mynhardt Joubert was a professional ballet dancer who thankfully swapped his ballet shoes for kitchen clogs. No Black Swan dramatics here but his level of dedication to fresh produce and real food that delivers on flavour would induce such feelings of self-loathing in Natalia Portman, she’d fall face first in a fresh malva pudding… And never mind the carbon footprint, a lot of Bar Bar’s food is cultivated but a few footsteps from your table.

Backyard bounty

Light, crispy delicious courgette flowers

The menu is creative – unusual dishes sourced from exotic cultures and made with the best local produce – yet includes easy favourites to please less adventurous eaters, like fish cakes, fillet, slow roast pork and pasta. But how can anyone resist this, the prettiest plate of soup you’ll ever see?

'Cacik' - ancient Turkish soup

Don’t be a ninny, order the Cacik! Made with yoghurt, cucumber and mint and served with fig, prickley pear, pine nuts, herbs and a drizzle of olive oil, this cold soup warms my heart. The beautiful blue blossoms are cucumber flowers.

Pho Bo or not, that is the question

Pho Bo, a Vietnamense dish with slices of beef fillet in a hot herby broth with noodles, is not for the faint hearted. She’s hot, chili hot! But a wonderful taste sensation if you can stand the heat. And sometimes served with a little hand-held Chinese fan…take heed.

More than anything on the menu, I love how friendly this restaurant is. And how that facilitates having a great time with family and friends. And dogs. And little people. There’s space for all.

Milly my hound and a nice young man

Ah, lest I forgot… with all this talk of local produce, central to the quality times at Bar Bar would be the wines of the area. From the Mullineux cellar just a few metres away, to hotshots Eben Sadie, Adi Badenhorst and smaller producers within a 50km radius who press with passion. Bar Bar showcases the locals and there’s a great bottle of wine to be had at almost any price.

Stock up at The Wine Kollective next to BBBS

As all good things must end, we decided to finish a lovely meal with a little lemon tart. My friend Susan insists that I  include more people (and more recipes) in my blog… so thanks Sanna for this one… we had such a good time an angle grinder would have come in handy to get this crazy senora off her seat!

My only reservation about this post is that I may never again get a table… so if you promise not to go in droves on days that I head out… the number is 022 448 1031 and their interwebs is www.bbbs.co.za

Here’s to black sheep with grape appeal…

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