1. It’s about two weeks later, and I can still taste the deliciousness of every morsel that passed my lips at the Masterchef-inspired dinner I was invited to at the MondoVino restaurant at Sunsquare, Montecasino.
2. Tired of watching Masterchef and drooling over the food they prepare on the show? Your own supper seem dismal in comparison to what they whip up on set? You can get your taste on, by popping down to the restaurant on Wednesday nights. Once a week the talented staff at MondoVino go all-out with a delicious menu inspired by the previous night’s episode of Masterchef. What does this mean? Food, glorious food. It’s no secret I’m obsessed with cooking and recipe books, and that I consider myself a bit of a kitchen ninja. I probably should have auditioned for Masterchef, but quite honestly – I don’t think I could handle the pressure. So I’ll leave it up to the professionals (and the would-be professionals on the show) and simply be a spectator. And a taster. Yum. The food was freakin’ delicious.
3. As was the wine. I swear I only had one glass. Except the service there is so excellent, that every time I took a sip, my glass magically re-filled itself. But I’m totally sticking to my story that I only had one glass.
4. The specialty dish of the night, as presented by Executive Chef, Kenneth Ngubane. The theme was “Harvest Time”. As it was a fish-based dish (I just can’t bring myself to eat it) I opted to dine from the restaurant menu.
5. The starter I picked was a Sweet Chilli Grilled Halloumi with a Pineapple Marmalade. Seriously? Wow. My favourite squeaky cheese was grilled to perfection and dripping in sweet chilli stickiness. Normally not a fan of sweet chilli, but paired with the pineapple marmalade and the saltiness of the cheese, it was superb. I could have just eaten 3 servings of that and have been happy to skip mains and dessert.
6. Not that the mains wasn’t delicious. It totally freakin’ was. Pizza with roasted butternut, feta, cashews and peppers. Crispy crunchy base – just the way I like it. I also enjoyed a non-conventional combination of toppings on my pizza – and not just your average, boring vegetarian pizza.
7. By the time dessert rolled around, I wasn’t sure I could actually manage another bite. But when I saw it, I couldn’t resist. A Berry & Plum Amaretto-infused Medley – tart and tangy berries combined with a sweet, crispy and sugary pastry? Insanely excellent.
8&9. It was also super-cool to get to meet Benny Masekwameng – he’s head kitchen ninja and one of the judges on Masterchef SA. A big smile, a big heart – it’s so awesome to see someone loving all his dreams coming true, and all his many, many years of hard work paying off. He spent the evening socialising with guests – flitting from group to group and joking about how now that he’s a celebrity chef, he feels like he needs rollerskates.
9. He’s leaving some incredibly big shoes to fill – the winner of this season’s Masterchef SA will get to take over his restaurant. That chef is definitely going to have a hard time topping Benny!
Thanks to Tsogo Sun for a delicious food-filled evening – I thoroughly enjoyed myself. As much as I love cooking – it’s awesome every now and again to eat something that I haven’t prepared myself!