Christmas in July

This year, the 25th conveniently falls on a Saturday. One doesn't ever need an excuse to sit down to a feast, but now you have a very good reason to gather around the table for a winter-friendly dinner:Saturday, 25 July: (delivered on Saturday, between 2 and 5pm) R960 for 4 (R240pp) R540 for 2 (R270pp) Vegetarian menu available on requestPre-dinner nibbles Melted brie, pistachio, spinach & cranberry phyllo triangles Ginger and coriander spiced chicken koftas with plum dipping sauce Dukkah flatbread and sourdough bruschetta with: - Warm and gooey cheese and pimento dip - Roast pumpkin, harissa and sesame hummus - Shrimp cocktail dipThe Main Event Individual braised beef Wellingtons, stuffed with smoky, slow cooked brisket * Thyme and rosemary gravy Eight-hour roasted pork shoulder with apricot, brandy and rosemary glaze * Potato gratin, laced with caramelised onions Charred brussels sprouts and baby carrots, browned butter and shaved parmesan Baby spinach salad with roast beetroot, butternut, clementines and toasted pumpkin seeds Orange sweet potato, green bean & barley salad, with toasted almonds & goats cheeseTo End Individual vanilla cheesecakes with raspberries Dark chocolate orange tartlets Christmas mince pies*Pork substitute: Rolled, deboned chicken, with pecan, fig and leek stuffing *Beef substitute: Individual wild mushroom and spinach Wellingtons with roasted red pepper pureeCLICK HERE TO ORDER

Competition: Plating & Pics

We have absolutely loved seeing all the pictures of your plated-up Dish meals on social media. From this week, we're giving away a meal-for-four per week to the best-looking plate of food (or the best pic). To enter, all you need to do is tag our social media account (we're on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter), with the hashtag #howdoyoudish and we’ll pick the winner next Sunday. We can’t wait to see what you put together!

Social Distancing?

We should have been catering for a large event at UCT on Monday, not to mention an entire week of hospitality at the Absa Cape Epic. Event cancellations are coming at us faster than a cricket ball bowled by Kagiso Rabada (assuming the India ODI series hadn't been cancelled).

Famous for our Tuesday Specials, from this week, we are offering them every day of the week. You can get a daily dinner-for-four, available as a delivery or collection. The meal (for four) is priced at R250, and we've reduced the delivery charge to R25.Social distancing is really important for 'flattening the curve'. We'll keep food on your table, even if you're stuck at home!HOW IT WORKS Click here for the weekly menu.You can place your orders online, by phone (021-4470323) or by email (shoba@dishfood.co.za or info@dishfood.co.za).Orders close at 10.00 am for each day's meal. Collection is at Dish Food & Social (cnr Lower Scott & Lugard St, Observatory) from 2.00pm until 5.00pm. Delivery is between 3.00pm and 7.00pm (unfortunately, a time cannot be specified). We deliver in the greater Cape Town area, within a radius of roughly 20km from Observatory.

Boards by Dish

We developed Board By Dish to satisfy the need for a selection of tasty ‘eats’ that can just be unwrapped, and not require any further preparation or heating. They are substantial enough to add up to a meal, with a variety of items that cover the spectrum of dietary requirements (including vegan).

The menus follow several different themes, so that it’s easy to find one that suits your budget (click here to download the options). We’re also happy to tailor them to suit your needs.

April News

We’re here to feed you.There’s seasonality to food, which goes beyond salad in summer and soup in winter. Summer is all about big events, society weddings and glamorous soirées. It’s not as if Capetonians hibernate in winter, but there’s a difference in how we socialise, which means that the type of catering we do also changes.The Dish Tuesday Special has become a fixture on the calendar, between May and August every year. We know of wine clubs that specially hold their tastings on Tuesdays, so that the catering is easy. For some families it’s the night of the week when everyone sits down to dinner, or perhaps it’s just the night that the regular cook takes a break.Tuesday Specials kick off on 8 May. We have a few new dishes up our sleeves (or is that under our aprons?). The vegetarian options we introduced in 2017 were hugely popular, so we’ll be building on that.

We’re also launching Office Lunch Thursday, which is a bit like the Dish Tuesday Specials, expect for the obvious differences indicated by the name. The menu will change weekly, and orders can be placed for delivery to your office.Technically, we don’t need cake to survive, in the same way as we need ‘proper’ food. But. A slice of moist cake, whether it’s accompanying elevenses or not, is food for the soul. Our pastry kitchen is headed by Andiswa, who bakes cakes of such gorgeousness that they deserve top billing. Hence May will also see the launch of our Cake of the Week.On the restaurant front, new menus launch this month at Cucina Labia and The Red Table. Theatre on the Bay will close for renovations from April until September.Watch your email inbox for weekly updates of menus and special offers!

A Great Whisky Experience

Food is not something that happens in isolation. Cuisine is an expression of the surrounding culture, and we generally eat food in a convivial atmosphere amongst other people. Hence the "food and social" part of our name.

Food is often also enjoyed in partnership with drinks, whether wine or a variety of spirits, cocktails or beer. It is not only challenging, but also stimulating, for us to be asked to pair clients' drinks with complementary foods.

One of our favourite 'gigs' has been creating a pairing menu for the Three Ships range of whiskies. In putting the line-up together, we worked with a few of the classic whisky partners, to which we added a twist ... and a few of our own inventions. Our monthly whisky dinners at Garrett Bar have given us a fantastic database to draw on. If we say so ourselves, we think that the dried apple crisps are a fantastic carrier, in place of crackers.

After extensive renovations, the Sedgwick distillery in Wellington is now open for tours, during which you can taste their range of excellent whiskies, paired with five different 'dips'. The idea is that you take time to try each of them with the three different whiskies that accompany them. "It's all just whisky", you may say, but you'll be amazed at how different the experience is with each flavour combination.

Click here to book online.

Tuesday Specials

Take Tuesdays off this winter, with our weekly dinner-for-four special offer. The menu varies throughout winter, but it's headlined by the Dish Butter Chicken with rice and rotis for just R220 (for 4).You place your order by 10.00 am every Tuesday, or by 3.00 pm the day before if you need a delivery (extra charges apply), and collect at your preferred collection point.
  • Klooftique (87 Kloof Street, Gardens): 4.00 to 6.00pm on Tuesday
  • Wine Concepts (next to Barristers, Main Street, Newlands): 2.00 to 4.00pm on Tuesday
 

It Shouldn’t Happen to a Caterer

My drive home on Thursday evening involved a detour via the supermarket (let’s just say I wasn’t enthralled at the prospect of eating chicken for the third night in a row). Amongst the options was lamb mince, which is not something I often see, immediately available.

What’s a girl to do with lamb mince, other than koftas? And, if you’re going to make koftas you may as well go the whole hog (purely in a manner of speaking, of course) and do an entire Greek dinner. So, one thing led to another, resulting in a little themed evening on Friday.

However, I interfered in Aedan’s baklava at just the wrong time, in that I poured the syrup over the dish’s contents before it went into the oven. The result (still tasty, admittedly) was the not-quite praline version of baklava, which goes to show that anyone who gets me on their catering job – rather than one of my fabulous kitchen professionals – truly has the F team.

Gnocchi: sautéed or boiled

The debate I’m about to flag isn’t one of the world’s great existential questions, but it is an interesting one. It comes down to whether you prefer your gnocchi just boiled, or boiled and then sautéed.

One of the primary sources of flavour in cooked food is the caramelised – or browned – bit on the outside. Whether it’s a steak, a pizza, stir-fried veg, or a piece of fish, we have the Maillard effect to thank for tasty food. Hence our preference for tossing the gnocchi into a hot pan for a few minutes just before serving.

However, this has occasionally resulted in diners (presumably surprised by the crispiness) sending back the meal.

We’ve posted this as an item on the Dish Food & Social Facebook page. We’d love feedback, so please comment on the post. How do you prefer your gnocchi?

Lunch with Mature Auction Wines

We’re always on the lookout for interesting eating and drinking opportunities (preferably at a bargain price).We’ve spent at least a year nagging the powers at Nederburg to release archive wines for us to use in themed lunches/dinners at The Red Table. We were delighted when they finally invited us to select from a bunch of wines that are 10 years old (and older … except for the white wine, of course). We were even more delighted when they turned out to be Auction wines.

We’re very excited about the selection we’ve made of perfectly aged wines, from Viognier to Merlot to Bordeaux blend to absolutely scintillating Riesling Noble Late Harvest. Getting access to these wines was quite a coup, if we say so ourselves. Having secured the wines, we set Chef Edmore Ruzoza the challenge of creating a four-course menu, which we tasted last week:NEDERBURG PRIVATE BIN D212 VIOGNIER 2008 Creamy mussel chowder with a sweet corn stick bread NEDERBURG PRIVATE BIN R191 MERLOT 2004 Confit duck leg with 4 red fruits sweet potato fondant, sesame tossed mange tout and mocca jus NEDERBURG PRIVATE BIN R109 CABERNET/MERLOT 2001 Slow braised Springbok and cranberry denningvleis accompanied by rustic potato croquettes and grilled baby marrow NEDERBURG PRIVATE BIN NLH WEISSER RIESLING 2003 Quince bavarois creme with phyllo pastry layers topped with a Rooibos infused froth. You’ll note that the wine is listed first, because this is about allowing the wine to shine. This is not the time or place for culinary pyrotechnics!

These are wines that sell for hundreds of rands per bottle. We’re offering the entire experience – four courses, plus a glass of wine with each course – for just R360 per person, for groups of 10 people. There are various dining areas in- and outside the manor house, but the original dining room is particularly grand, with a table that seats 10 people in baronial style.Wine quantities are limited so don’t delay! To book, phone 021-8775155 or email: theredtable@nederburg.co.za. The experience is available Tuesday to Sunday until the end of August (or while stocks last!) and must be booked in advance. Dinners may also be possible, by prior arrangement.


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