Monday, 23 January 2012

Dinner in Makhado with a 2003 Pinotage

Recently I was up north visiting my better half who resides just outside Makhado (formally known as Louis Trichardt).  It is a picturesque town at the foot of the Soutpansberg mountain range in the Limpopo province.

Aerial view of Makhado

With the town being relatively small to Johannesburg, the choice of restaurants is limited, however, there are some diamonds in the rough. Such as the Mountain Inn Country Hotel. 

The hotel is a few kilometres north of the town, nestled on the mountain just off the N1 highway. The setting is surprisingly beautiful with the hotel being surrounded by trees and the mountain range. The restaurant has a deck that takes full advantage of the view, it overlooks the town and the surrounding area.

The restaurant itself is comfortable, but could do with a bit of a revamp, but the service is helpful and tries hard to please. The wine list is larger than I had expected, with a good variety of South African wines and reasonably priced. However, on this occasion we chose to take our own wine along as they do allow bring your own for a small corkage fee.

The wine we chose was a Cloof 2003 Pinotage which was recently bough from the Cloof wine estate situated in Darling in the Western Cape. The wine was beautifully smooth, with notes of dark berries and prunes. This has a few accolades such as the '99 being crowned as South Africa's champion in 2002, the '05 made it into the Absa Top Ten, and this '03 Pinotage was selected by SAA for First Class.

As for the food, it was lovely. Their speciality seems to be steaks with a menu to satisfy most tastes, but we decided to stick to the steaks. I had an ostrich steak with a claret and cranberry sauce, with  roasted vegetables and potato croquettes, and my partner had the beef fillet medallions with a hollandaise sauce and the roasted vegetables and potato croquettes. Our steaks where cooked exactly to our liking, and the potato croquettes perfectly crisp on the outside and smooth on the inside. My claret and cranberry sauce was exceptional, although I doubt they used an actual claret (a Bordeaux red wine) it completed the dish all the same. The hollandaise sauce was not quite to my liking as I found it overly tart, but the dish as a whole worked well, with the sauce helping cut the richness of the steak.

Over all it was a good night out with delicious food and a wonderful view, and I will definitely visit the Mountain Inn again!

No comments:

Post a Comment