I know I have not been on the blogs much lately, I guess just a mixture of being busy, and for a while I stepped away from the stoves, I just didn’t have any confidence in my cooking after a rather nasty incident with a patron. But I am back, and I am feeling again…I have missed food…and most important, I have missed the feeling I have when I create in the kitchen.
Today, we had to do a little celebrating, so my lovely husband and I went to discover a new destination for lunch. Now this is definitely what I would refer to as a “Hole in the Wall’ type place, which is exactly the kind of restaurants I love. I am not one for the top 5 restaurants in the country, in my opinion, fine dining does have its purpose, however, for me…I am more the “mom & pop” kind of chef, where food comes from the heart and the creativity on the plate is such a large part of you. Maybe its the artist in me as well that brings these feelings out.
The Crossways Country Kitchen is exactly what I love about the industry. Briefly listening to the owner, I am so excited for the ideas he has, and WOW, it will bring so much into the community and more importantly for the “foodie’ community of the Eastern Cape. I really look forward to his vision.
You can find out more about the restaurant here
We were warmly greeted by the handful of waitresses which are so lovely and friendly, and told we may sit anywhere, as there were many open tables. I was rather surprised as I thought they would be more busy, however, we were early for lunch, and by the time we left, they were buzzing with people.
We were brought the drinks menu and asked for a wine list, I was slightly confused as there was not an actual menu.
The waitress brought us our wine, and in tow were 2 more waitresses, one with an easel and one with a large blackboard which was set up in front of us. I absolutely loved this, however not very practical when they got busy as there was only one menu floating around.
We settled on a wine I have never heard of. Brampton Viognier, which was so fruity. The aromatics are splendid: springtime perfumery, fresh ginger, peaches, apricots and honeysuckle. The palate is waxy and delicate yet with an underlying strength and focus. Aromas follow effortlessly onto the rich palate the wine just set the mood for an absolutely wonderful meal.
We started with the roasted tomato soup with basil pesto and lovely homemade bread. The bread was so delicious, beautiful soft crumb texture yet the crust was so crispy and chewy – exactly how I love my bread, with oregano and nuts, this was a perfect companion to this hearty earthy soup.
As always mains are a tough decision as I always want to have so many things! I finally settled on my old time favourite Lamb Shank with spring onion mashed potatoes with a lovely red wine & onion gravy. The lamb was so full of flavour and just fell off the bone, definitely country cooking at its best. The spring onion in the mash just gave the mash such a beautiful uplifting flavour which enhanced the flavours of the lamb.
Justin had the smoked pork neck with rustic butternut mash, when the food arrived I had one of those breathtaking moments. The sight of this dish made my mouth water! The roasted naartjies and the beautiful Fall colours on the board just oozed creativity, I was in love!
I was already so full however when the dessert blackboard was set out for us, and there was a cheeseboard…I had to have! Very seldom do you find a cheeseboard part of dessert, so we enjoyed cheese, preserves, crackers and a lovely cuppachino for dessert.
The setting was just stunning, about 40kms from Humansdorp, just off the N2, take the Sunnyside turn off, nestled between cows roaming free. Open from 9am to 3pm, Wednesday through Sunday, from what I understand the menu changes all the time, and the pork belly is something to look out for!