The Mont Rochelle Braai
Ahh… The Braai! Other than the must-see ‘big five’, world-famous wine routes, and impossible-to-imitate accent, the braai is, without question, one of South Africa’s major claims to fame. The ‘braai’ has become so well known that recently the word – of Afrikaans origin – officially secured its spot in the Oxford English Dictionary. There it is defined as “a structure on which a fire can be made for the outdoor grilling of meat.” Now, although I’m certain that my fellow South Africans are thrilled to know that ‘the braai’ has finally received the recognition it deserves, any member of Mzansi will tell you that a braai is so much more than simply throwing meat on the grill.
I Love Foodies scored an invite to enjoy a gourmet braai-style lunch at Mont Rochelle in Franschhoek, Sir Richard Branson’s South African home. Let’s just say, I can see why Mont Rochelle is Mr Branson’s abode of choice when visiting our gorgeous country. The views are astonishing!
We were greeted with some delightful bubbles, but on an unusually miserable summer’s day, it wasn’t long ‘till everyone had a sizeable glass of red wine in hand, in a desperate effort to keep warm. We were escorted to our table that was positioned in a room with panoramic views of the Franschhoek valley visible from each and every window. Anyone who lives in Cape Town and its surrounds will tell you that the weather is extremely volatile. So, knowing that, even if a nasty South-Easter wind picks up, the inside dining area boasts views that are just as striking as those that can be seen when outside.
Braai at Miko Restaurant
Comfortably seated at our table, wine glasses filled and the conversation flowing, we were slowly shepherded to the side dish buffet. Everything from roasted rainbow carrots, doughy breads, and a variety of scrumptious salads could be found on this decadent display of yumminess. We shovelled our foods of choice on to the enormous white plate provided. And then we headed outside to the sheltered (remember, it was raining) braai area for the main event.
All the Food
Juicy steaks, tender salmon, sweet corn on the cob, and a creamy pepper sauce; all the traditional braai faves you’d see at a homestyle braai, done to absolute perfection.
As there were no appetisers to ease us into the afternoon munching, we dived straight into the generous main course. These, personally at least, left me feeling very full and ready for a lengthy afternoon snooze. Perhaps some sweet breads with a chicken liver pâté could be served to ready our tummies for a hearty portion of ‘braaivleis’ (braai meat) that would follow?
The dessert was (and don’t tell my grandma) simply the best malva pudding I have had the pleasure of eating. It wasn’t too warm, the custard was creamy, and the texture of the sponge was sublime. When paired with a homemade coconut ice cream and grilled pineapple, the dessert was pure genius!
Enjoy the Mont Rochelle Braai
So, if you’re keen for all things braai, but not keen for all the work and clean-up, pop in to Mont Rochelle and let the professionals show you how it’s done. Your only job is to thoroughly enjoy the gorgeous landscapes that Franschhoek has to offer.
Call: +27 21 876 2770
* Photo courtesy of Mont Rochelle.
Article Date: February 2019
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