H|H Food & Wine H|H Media Launch

H|H Maison #FirstFridays

First Fridays, held on the, First, Friday of every month at The Kitchen @ Maison, saw myself and Chris Von Ulmenstein being reminded just why Maison ticks so many boxes of a very particular and refined list of what I at-least adore about eating out and truly experiencing a journey in hospitality.

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Welcomed by friendly faces as always Julian showed us to our table. In true Maison style, wooded boards laced with refurbished paper displayed a five course table d’hote menu. Charcuterie | Octopus | Trout | Thighs | Kuji. At R400 a head with the most influential musicians serenading a variation of local Sophiatown predictions to sultry Latin American an ode to love and joy, the evening was bound for success.

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With the varied menu I missed the option of adding a flight of wines (similar to that of their commendable premium tasting) this would have elevated a few dishes and completed a full circle journey for me. If not a full flight perhaps even suggested Maison wines per course, however often this makes a space and menu feel pretentious. An eatery I have never felt Maison was. So perhaps this is the reason?

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Maison is known predominately for two wines Chenin Blanc velvety mouth-feel with lovely nutty flavors, lightly spicy undertones and an elegant smooth finish and Shiraz smooth, elegant wine, reminiscent of evenings on the veranda at Maison. Dark cherry & chocolate flavors on the nose i often find works well with Charcuterie

Charcuterie being the first course, a roaring fire a table or two too far away, i went with the renowned Shiraz. Indicative to the farm, all the cold slices from Bologna to a variation of saucisson, pates, spreads and a quince jam that paired with the freshly baked bread could melt your heart, not just the homemade coriander butter.

The crisp tempura-esque octopus** on mildly bitter pomelo-similar to grapefruit- followed, a beautiful use of colors popped on the stark white plate. A pity for me was that the flavours in no manner popped on my palette. A simple dish-perhaps intended, left me feeling like the dish was incomplete. Chris however loved the clean fresh flavours. You can’t please everyone?

**I am also a little bored of octopus, its almost as if their testicles and the over use across every eatery i have visited of late has sucked the appeal out of what was such a niche exciting ingredient.

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The trout was something that intrigued me, more so how it was prepared. Laden with course salt the family style portions were whole baked and the residule salt removed. I had often seen this done with a whole chicken by JamieO if i’m not mistaken, and wood oven roasted-as was our trout. This retains the moisture of the fish and indeed stuck true to its word. The fish was delicious a little salty in parts but was complemented by a braised fennel and sweet corn salsa.

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The Sous-Vide Chicken thigh was my favorite, a perfect winter dish, filled with flavour, super tender and topped with Sriracha-another ingredients i think has seen better days and is a bit outmoded but still one of my favourite ingredients to add a little smoke and spice to a dish. The persimmon is a new discovery for me and i loved the sweetness that complemented the smokey sriracha that corseted the thighs.

I have posted the delicious chicken thigh image on my instagram here While you’re at it FOLLOW ME: @llewellynwho

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Dessert was a contemporary Asian dish, a rhyme to rice. Kuji (fermented rice, a brewers yeast type flavour) ice cream bedded on a homemade waffle and topped with variations of puffed rice. The textures were exciting and the tart, acidic ice cream was a welcomed new discovery for my palette.

Whilst I loved the new experience and discovering a fascinating new dish-i missed the “sweetness” of dessert, a course I normally least look forward to because of its sweet nature(yes I’m confused too).

I ordered the Maison Straw Wine-hints of honey, raisins and vanilla I found this to work well in balancing the tart acidity of the Koji.

A beautifully creative menu and dishes,mostly and a fun evening!

Maison First Fridays, perhaps call them to book, the venue is quite small for winter and maybe request a menu in advance just to make sure the menu appeals to you.If i know Maison the #FirstFridays menu will be very du jour and seasonal so expect exciting new dishes to mine and space to be limited.


Maison Wine Estate THE TASTING ROOM & DELI: Open 7 days a week 10:00 – 17:00 THE KITCHEN: Open Wednesday to Sunday for lunch 12:00 – 15:00

 

 

 

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