Written by Andrew Alexander
During our stay at Kievitskroon, dinner was booked at their signature restaurant, Granita. The restaurant has a very clean look to it. Cream walls adorned with various artwork, wooden ceiling to create a warm ambiance, comfortable chairs and white tablecloths. It definitely has a formal feel to it but not at all pretentious or stiff. We were shown to our table by our waiter who offered us some drinks while we had a look at the menu.
The menu was a 6 course with 4 courses being paired with wines. The kitchen also services the room service orders and we frequently saw food going out, but it was more along the lines of sandwiches/burgers/mains, but still very nicely presented in a contemporary way.
While we waited for the amuse bouche, bread was brought to the table with a selection of herb butter, balsamic and evoo and plain butter. The bread was warm and slightly sweet, with a soft texture.
First, the amuse bouche: I received a beef mince Chinese dumpling, which the menu stated had orange in it which I didn’t pick up at all. It was served on a Chinese soup spoon, with soy sauce and a pea sprout and was tasty. Magen got a tiny cracker with cream cheese, smoked salmon and onion sprouts which she was thrilled with.
Starter No 1
For starters, I had the roulade of quail with chicken mousse, liver and young spinach terrine and corn puree. I was impressed to see the technique used in this dish: the roulade was prepared with finesse and cooked and seasoned perfectly. I’m not a chicken liver fan at all but I ate the terrine which was pleasant enough and the corn puree had an intense corn flavour which complemented the dish very well. Magen’s starter was a grilled prawn salad with wild rocket, baby tomatoes and mildly sweet dressing. The prawns were seared beautifully and nice and plump and not overcooked at all.
The starter was paired with Constantia Uitsig Unwooded Chardonnay.
Then the soup course: mine was a curried potato soup and Magen had a spicy lentil soup. Both were very enjoyable and warming.
The fish course consisted of pan seared sea bass, pea and saffron risotto and spinach foam. The fish was beautifully cooked with the skin crispy and brown and the meat moist and flaky. The risotto was nice, but not as rich as risotto usually is; the saffron was quite prominent and it could have done with a little more butter/parmesan. The spinach foam I didn’t like at all as it was very insipid and in my opinion detracted from the beautiful fish. Fish was paired with Hartenberg Riesling which went very well with the dish.
Before the mains we were given a palate cleanser of lemongrass and vodka granite. Lemongrass is something im also not really partial to and I found the flavour too intense but Magen finished what I didn’t. it was very refreshing despite this.
The main was confit duck leg, oxtail agnolotti (sort of like a tortellini), pomme dauphine, wilted baby spinach and sautéed veg. The duck leg was delicious, the oxtail was tasty and a nice addition to the plate. The pomme dauphine was cooked nicely but could have had a bit more seasoning, whereas the wilted spinach was a bit salty. The few sautéed veg rounded off the dish nicely and along with the red wine jus, completed the hearty dish.
Magen had potato gnocchi with roast veg and napolitana sauce. The gnocchi was awesome…handmade as opposed to the bought in stuff. Topped with a rich napolitana sauce, basil pesto and parmesan. My main was paired with Haute Cabriere Pinot Noir which was superb with the dish and on its own.
Dessert was a deconstructed pear tartin with nougat ice cream: roast pear, a disc of golden puff pastry and caramel sauce. The ice cream had a predominantly hazelnut flavour with a hint of vanilla. At this point we were both full so we politely refused the coffee and friandises and instead decided to go to our cottage to sleep off the very satisfying dinner.
Breakfast at Kievits Kroon
The next morning, before checking out, we went to Kingsley’s Restaurant for the breakfast buffet. The weekend buffet includes fresh oysters as well as sparkling wine. There was so much on offer, from freshly baked continental pastries and fruit to the cold meats and cheeses. There was a hot buffet which ran from the traditional bacon, sausages and hash browns, grilled mushrooms and tomatoes, all the way around to an egg section where a chef will cook your choice of omelette, poached, fried or scrambled egg as well as waffle machine which was a welcome surprise.
I had some pastries and fruit, followed by a croissant with smoked salmon and cream cheese along with a glass of Kievitskroon MCC and finally ended it with some bacon, eggs and hash browns.
All the food was beautifully presented and well seasoned and prepared and the chefs kept a keen eye on the levels and the freshness of the food. The breakfast buffet is the best one I’ve been to in Pretoria so far.