You heard it here first – seaweed is the new kale. This was just one of the many talking points at Dine4Six’s collaboration with Chef’s Table at the Belmond Mount Nelson. The exceptional food, friendly chefs and the surreal experience of dining behind the scenes in a top chef’s kitchen were also great conversation starters for our group of six almost-strangers.
Motivation to attend a Dine4Six event is two-fold – a unique culinary experience, and an opportunity to meet new people. Exciting food surely goes a long way to facilitate conversation, along with the necessity of passing around plates during family-style courses. Each dish served to us had influences from a different part of the world, sparking conversation about travel, business trips, and world cuisine.
Two tourists, a couple of local travel-loving foodies and a young social media manager were my companions for the evening. Any initial awkwardness was kept at bay by the arrival of our first glass of delicious Saronsberg wine and the well-timed arrival of each of the generous courses. Members of our party were treated to an extra two courses, not on the menu, to thank us for attending.
Despite the pressures of running a kitchen, chef Dion Vengatass and his team walked us through the finer details of the menu with infectious passion. We were also invited to take a walk through the kitchen to engage with each of the chefs as they worked, a rather thrilling personal touch.
The food was exceptional and varied – the full-flavoured tuna tartare with popcorn and seaweed dust and the tender quail breast served with charred baby corn and chorizo ranked among the evening’s favourites. The grilled springbok loin was a feast for the senses – lightly smoked and served with middle Eastern quinoa, dried dates, figs and labneh. For dessert, the menu merely read ‘chocolate’, and an indulgent selection of brownie flavoured ice-cream and coffee-flavoured delights arrived.
It’s one thing to enjoy a world-class meal with friends, but it’s a rewarding leap to step out of your comfort zone and enjoy a new experience with strangers. Both Chef’s Table and Dine4Six come highly recommended.
‘People who love to eat are always the best people.’ – Julia Child
Find out more about Dine4Six here and keep an eye on our website for more information about their future events.
Mischa Ruby Fisher