Crystal Court Celebrates South African Cuisineon October 4, 2011
Nicholas Froneman, the new Executive Chef at The Palace of the Lost City has redesigned the Crystal Court menu to embody the potency of South Africa. Indian’s, Malay’s, French Huguenots’, indigenous tribal people, the Portuguese and Afrikaner’s have all had a meaningful affect on South African cuisine and the new Crystal Court menu is a gastro-tribute to South Africa.
“I have drawn from our regional and seasonal ingredients to showcase the best of South African food,” says Froneman. “We have such a diverse cuisine and I particularly want to introduce our eclectic food culture to foreign and local guests.”
Froneman’s favourite signature dish is the 450g free range Beef Prime Rib Chop served with sauté spinach, chakalaka and sweetcorn mash. “The dish sounds really simple but I select the meat, dry it for 21 days and when served with these delicious local accompaniments it’s my own version of a jazzed-up ‘Shisa Nyama’, an informal township term for a braai or a barbeque.
Dry aging is an art that requires extensive training and knowledge. The result is a steak that is bolder and significantly tenderer, with a buttery succulence. The dry aging process is very time consuming and expensive, requiring extra effort and high-quality beef. Up to 20% of the original weight of the loin is lost during the dry aging process.
Guest’s can opt for either traditional desserts like Amarula Cheesecake and Malva Pudding or indulge in the South African Cheese Plate which includes onion marmalade, preserved fruits and Melba toast. “South African preserves and dried fruit are as famous as our Biltong. Preserves, known as konfyt are diamond shaped wedges of watermelon, apricot, quince and green fig, soaked in lime water, then cooked in sugary syrup and seasoned with cinnamon and dried ginger.”
Be sure to visit the Crystal Court Restaurant at The Palace of the Lost City to sample Froneman’s take on traditional South African cuisine.