Children and animals can wreak havoc in a working environment. And both were present at the launch of the new eatery at Diemersdal, that top-quality wine Durbanville wine estate under stewardship of the Louw family.
On the children’s side, there was only one kid: little Tienie who is destined to be the seventh generation Louw at the helm of Diemersdal. Still a crawler, Tienie was brought along to get a grip on his first official PR event and immediately caused a stir by proceeding to climb onto a Ridgeback dog big enough to swallow him whole. This caused a commotion among the lady guests who were not up for a bout of bloody canine-human violence. Well, not on an empty stomach in any event.
But they breed them tough and stout-hearted on Diemersdal, and the ridgeback calmly and submissively lay on its side as Tienie stuck his little fingers into the dog’s ears, jumped on its spine and drooled onto the animal’s snout.
While Sauvignon Blanc was being sipped outside the new eatery – a restored stable from years yonder – the joint’s heritage was underscored with the presence of two horses standing outside looking at the bevy of guests.
We all ?+¦?+º?+¦ooed?+¦?+º?+æ and ?+¦?+º?+¦aahed?+¦?+º?+æ at the muscular white Percheron called Big Boy and his mate, a tiny horsey little thingy not much bigger than the Ridgeback Tienie had been playing with.
But as it turned out, dynamite tends to come in small packages. While the guests were admiring the equine twosome, the little horse decided to show his appreciation at the attention by donning a bit of wood. Thus, before you could say ?+¦?+º?+¦easy boy?+¦?+º?+æ, the small animal unsheathed his considerable schlong for all the guests to see, and believe me, the last thing you want to look at while sipping Sauvignon and eating canap+¬s is a wrinkled horse dick the size of a baby’s forearm.
Inside the eatery it was cool, dark and horseless. Little schlong horse was upset at not being allowed inside as he appeared to have the hots for a blonde blogger from the Southern Suburbs. Miffed and rejected, he ambled back to the meadow, although the blonde did give him her number and asked him to call before sunrise.
The function had started. After a welcome and a few jokes from Thys Louw, father of Tiny Tienie, Chef Nic van Wyk waltzed along to set the tone of the Diemersdal eatery. Relaxed, farmy and informal. Tradition as in hospitality and ambience rather than in boerekos-style, with dishes dependent on ingredients, season and mood.
I’ve always been a fan of Nic’s grub. Saucy and flavoursome with an unctuous heartiness. Not a foam or molecular gimmick in sight.
So while the old stable was feeling the hum of chatting emanating from the long tables, platters of tasty stuff were plonked down. Spicy prawns. Some delicious sweetish pork cubes. And portions of lamb slow-cooked for a days to reach a flavoursome and fine, silky texture. This was washed down with more Sauvignon Blanc, which Thys was punting as his grape of choice at every opportunity he could get.
The main course was vintage Nic van Wyk. Fresh hake long-lined to prevent the fish being squelched in nets was topped with a real moreish concoction of mildly spiced salsa of North African origin. Hake is a terrific fish, but unfortunately most is flown to Spain where piles of fresh Cape hake are on display daily.
The fish was cooked just-so as to ensure a good flake textured superbly to carry the vivid flavours of the sauce.
Nic had paired the fish with a dark red wine, namely the Diemersdal Grenache 2011. Yup, the farm is about as versatile as a Samoan loose-forward, making Pinotage, Shiraz and Chardonnay of as good a quality as the famed Sauvignon Blanc.
The wine matched the fish beautifully, the spicy berriness in the wine brought to the fore by the hit of spice on the fish.
The Diemersdal eatery is not one for formal menu’s, Nic and the estate’s Grande Dame Joanita Louw following their creativity and moods in deciding what to serve.
Check it out. Just please, no horsing around.
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