When the culinary team at The Westin’s 19th-floor restaurant first launched its popular full-moon dining experiences, the feeling was that the diners’ attention was too much on the lunar attraction, rather than the gastronomic masterpieces of executive chef Anerith Smythe and her team.
And so, the 1ON19 dinner experience was born. These food-focussed evenings see a single ingredient featured in all five courses, each of which is paired with a complementary wine. Before each course is served, food and beverage manager and the evening’s MC, Niall Bruyns, gives guests the lowdown on the wine, the farm, and why it pairs so well with the upcoming dish.
Basil, have you met Sophie Ter’Blanche?
On the night we dined there, Niall made us chuckle with an anecdote about sauvignon blanc: When farmers started producing it in the Cape, locals struggled with the foreign pronunciation, and referred to our now favourite cool-climate cultivar as Sophie Ter’Blanche. How far we’ve come.
Our featured ingredient was basil, paired with “Sophie Ter’Blanche”. We were told that the inspiration came from basil’s potent aroma, which overpowers the rooftop garden. An amuse bouche of salmon trout ceviche with avocado and basil sorbet was a highlight, followed by the starter of basil tagliatelle, zucchini and pine nuts. Lemon ice tea with basil and ginger served as a palette cleanser. The main of rabbit confit was succulent and tender, concluded by a refreshing dessert of basil sable with lime and white chocolate mousse.
Hats off to Anerith’s epicurean prowess. Her passion and love for food shines through on each plate that leaves the kitchen.