H|H Food & Wine

Ocean & Ash by Chef Guy Clark

It was 10 years ago when I discovered a molecular master piece in Heston Blumenthal’s Sound of the Sea where oceanic sounds were paired with a seaside inspired seafood dish and was believed to scientifically elevate flavors of elements in the dish.

The owner of award-winning Fat Duck restaurant in Berkshire, said research carried out with Oxford University revealed sound can boost taste.

“We ate an oyster while listening to the sea and it tasted stronger and saltier”, Mr Blumenthal said.

It was this very concept that made me think that Tinstwalo Atlantic and its now nouveau chef Guy Clark are both blessed and ingenious with the launch of their Ocean and Ash menu.

Whilst in 2007 you were given a prerecorded iPod with oceanic sounds that would increase the authenticity of each morsel on your plate, chef Guy and his team are complimentaryly offered this experience on a silver platter at Tinsawalo Atlantic, a stones through away just behind my wing backed chair are the ebbs and flows of crashing waves and the mist of salted serendipity.

We swim through an eight course menu aptly named after the produce sourced along the low tide ocean just mere meter’s from the conservatory styled restaurant.

The first course includes three variations of one of Guy’s new favourites, seaweed – which, he says, makes perfect sense, seeing that it is available in abundance right on the restaurant doorstep.

‘I believe in celebrating ingredients in their purest form, using methods and techniques that enhance flavour, presentation and texture. Sourcing and utilising local, sustainable and organic is key to delivering an ethical and superior menu.’ 

The subsequent three courses carry ‘smoke’ as a central theme –  innovative creations include Springbok, snoek and pistachio ash balls and Rooibos smoked kudu with wild garlic smoked ‘skattie’ cheese and ocean water cured egg yolk, presented over burnt wild garlic ash – which is then also used for the fourth dish, Liquid umami.

The fifth course of Atlantic line fish, burnt lemon rind, scallop and seaweed velouté pays homage to Tintswalo Atlantic’s breathtaking seaside location and Cape Town’s reputation as a glorious seafood dining destination.

It’s a dish and experience I am sure Heston was aiming to emulate in his Berkshire based bistro. The sounds of Waves crashing, the light chill and aroma of seaweed mist. The line fish perfectly cooked and the scallop as fresh as the ocean breeze behind our backs.

‘Fynbos’ was the dish and theme that followed; Fynbos rabbit is wrapped in a fermented goats cheese known as Phantom Forrect encased in ash, a white mould gingerly grows and was served with wild sorrel butter. Like the water wandering outside the coursers seamlessly flowed from course to course, continuing the  “Ocean & Ash” motif.

The final main course comprised of a sextet of a savored umami thanks to a varied use of unique textures of  mushrooms, from shimeji, king oyster to shitake.

Paying homage to a favorite local herb Chef Guy focused on fybos fauna. ‘Buchu’. This consisting of Buchu ice cream, ash meringue and ocean salt itakuja valrhona chocolate, completed our explorative taste sensation on a sweet note.

The restaurant at Tintswalo Atlantic  is open to both in-house hotel guests, as well as other diners by prior arrangement and subject to availability, with breakfast, lunch and dinner served daily.

The menu will be priced at R1100 per person. Reservations are essential. Menu Subject to seasonal change. 

To book, contact Tintswalo Atlantic | Tel +27 21 201 0025 | reservations2@atlantic.tintswalo.com

I was an invited guest of  Tintswalo Atlantic, Images and Opinion, my own.

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