Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bday Brunch at Roots

Thanks to  a wonderful set of ladies, that I have the privilege to call my friends, I spent yesterday morning and the beginning of the afternoon at Roots Forum Homini for brunch.

For those who don't know Roots is ranked number 8 and is only one of two Gauteng restaurants in the 2009 Eat Out's Top 10 Restaurants.

We were scheduled for the 09:30 Brunch sitting and were expected at 09:00 for 09:30. Roots is in the Cradle of Humankind, so it is quite a drive on gravel roads but the view is well worth it. On your drive into the property you'll get to see zebra and some other buck in the bushveld. On arrival I was greeted by a host who escorted me to their lounge and was offered drinks while we wait for the rest of the party to arrive.

We are offered orange juice and bubbly as we're seated in the restaurant. I have to say that their homemade orange juice is fantastic it's a great colour, pulpy (which is the way I like it) and sweet. However they do run out of oranges and then serve you store bought, and no not Woolies bought, which is the exact opposite of the fresh squeezed (it's light, thin and tastes like there's a preservative).

The table is set with white linen and green runners. The food courses are served on crisp white plates of different shapes and sizes.

Saturday July 24th 2010 Brunch Menu:

Poached Winter Fruit with Yoghurt Sabayon
Stewed guava, kiwi and strawberries served with a creamy custard (sabayon) and finished off with flecks of burnt chocolate. I could've done with a little bit more, of the fruity custardy mouthful that was finished off with a burnt chocolate taste, lovely!
Smoked Snoek scrambled eggs on toast with bearnaise sauce
This was the absolute triumph of the Brunch! At first look on the menu it may seem like we were going to be served scrambled kippers on toast. The eggs were soft, lightly scrambled, topped the snoek and the toast with the bearnaise sauce. The soft slightly runny scrambled eggs topped the wonderful shredded snoek, flavoured with the herbed bearnaise sauce on a bit of wholewheat bread. Although the snoek flavour was strong the scramble and bearnaise sauce came through beautifully. Absolutely wonderful combination of flavours and textures.
Mustard Sirloin mange tout, poached eggs & forestiere sauce
They don't ask you how you would like your steak but make it just as I like it, medium to medium rare. Sirloin with wild mushroom (forestiere) sauce, a soft poached egg and crunchy blanched mange tout. The steak was well seasoned although I can't remember any distinct mustard flavour. The mushroom sauce delivered a rich earthy flavour. The combination of the steak, wild mushroom sauce, soft poached egg and crunchy mange tout was sublime although quite a feet to get all on one fork and pop into your mouth without any spills.
Persimmon Soup
The persimmon soup was citrusy and sweet with kiwi balls and what our table decided was cream, we couldn't quite describe what the white garnish was, and served with a sweet bread. I would've preferred the persimmon soup slightly more chilled. 
Pastries croissants, muffins & scones

The pastries were totally misplaced and just didn't match the rest of the brunch. It was almost like an after thought and definitely did not have the touches of an executive chef. The scones had vanilla flavour and specs of vanilla. The mini muffins were maybe banana but I couldn't really say what it was. The croissants were well croissants however they wouldn't sell on a Parisian corner.

The service was not consistent, we were welcomed warmly and the food came in good intervals, however as the morning progressed our waiter became more scarce, which is strange for a place that only had two tables to serve. When the patries arrived we were not offered any coffees or teas and had to ask.

Based on brunch alone I can't say that I felt like it was Top 10 worthy, however the Smoked Snoek dish had glorious touches of Top 10.

I definitely intend going back for a lunch or a dinner to get a true picture of what Chef Philippe can do. If you have the money to spare and looking for a day in greater Joburg with a difference then make a booking and plan a stop at Roots. Be sure to take some great company because my wonderful friends made it a fantastic brunch! Thank you dolls!

Brunch R195 pp. for 5 courses

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