Zinzi Restaurant – Hunters Tsala
With great excitement I drove from Wilderness to Harkerville to Zinzi Restaurant, at Hunters Tsala. I knew that we were in for a real treat for lunch, having eaten for the first time at Zinzi’s 6 months ago, and also being privileged to stay overnight on that occasion, in a lofty and very comfortable room with a wonderful view over the treetops. It is a lovely drive from Wilderness, driving along the N2 through the most beautiful section of the Garden Route.
On arrival we were greeted with glasses of Louisvale Bubbly, pink and white. Very civilised I thought, and stood in the beautiful gardens in the warm sunshine chatting to new and old colleagues and sipping bubbly.
There was a choice of 3 starters, making it extremely difficult for me to choose, as I wanted all three! I eventually chose the Traditional Greek Salad, and indeed it was traditional! No lettuce or rocket, just cucumber, tomato, red onion, olives and feta. I was offered a spoonful of the Creamed Leek Risotto to try, and nearly swooned with delight. It was so gorgeous, and the rice was perfectly cooked. I didn’t try the Butternut and Red Pepper Soup, but everyone who had ordered it, raved about it.
We had one of my favourite wines served with the starter, the Strandveld Adamastor, a white Bordeaux blend of sauvignon blanc and semillon. I first discovered this wine at a wine show in Johannesburg at Gallagher Estates which was showcasing new boutique cellars.
The pinot noir at Zinzi Restaurant was served with the main course, where there was now 4 dishes to choose from. The linefish catch of the day turned out to be grilled hake. Since when was hake line caught? I really object to hake being referred to as line fish, and wish that restaurants would stop this practice!
I had the Veggie Cakes for my main which were made with finely grated carrots and courgettes, and topped with grilled Halloumi Cheese. They were served on a bed of rocket and baby spinach with a Thai dressing, and were really to die for!
I was most fortunate to sit next to Gerhard Maritz and Kobus Buys from Hopefield Country House, as I had never met them before, and what wonderful and interesting guys! I’m looking forward to a Chaine weekend at their place later this year. Also there was Sue and Mike Mills from Belvidere Manor Hotel in Knysna. Another place I have never been to, but will certainly make the effort to go there soon.
Then we came to dessert, and I had to force myself to choose one, so went for the lightest, the Nutty Meringue which was served with Strawberry Soup. It was light and sweet, a perfect end to the meal. As there was no particular wine served with dessert, we all happily drank the Adamastor and more bubbly!
While we were finishing off our coffee and wine, Mr and Mrs Hunter senior came over to say hello, and to chat. They originally started Hunters Hotels, including Hunters Tsala, which are now very ably managed by their son Ian.
Well, all good things come to and end unfortunately, and we reluctantly said our goodbyes and drove home from Zinzi Restaurant at Hunters Tsala before it got too dark. It was a lovely day, and such a pity that more Chaine members did not come along to join in the special day.
Review by Denise Lindley of the Francois Ferreira Academy in George of her meal during the Chaine de Rotisseurs lunch held there.