Saturday, July 31, 2010

Moyo - a Fillet Peppered to Perfection

Well, let me start off by stating upfront that I’m not a food fanatic, on the contrary I have a very “narrow” palate. This does, however, make me very particular about what I enjoy eating and drinking. Steaks, like most red-blooded South Africans, are a particular favourite of mine.

My mandatory trek to Moyo’s (Melrose Arch) was the result of a work dinner. And as work dinners go, this was not what I’ve become accustomed to – our group was rather large and the dinner was actually in Johannesburg (usually out of town on projects) – but I digress, the Moyo’s experience is the reason for my contribution to Thando’s Foodiefix today.

For those of you who live in Johannesburg and the rest of South Africa, you will surely know about the Moyo’s franchise. And like me, you have most likely made your minds up about what to expect from the owners’ attempt at a uniquely African dining experience. But surprises, even pleasant ones still exist in this day and age.
The starters that were ordered, by group consensus, were an assortment of platters (including assorted samoosas, salad platter of couscous salad, Halloumi and olives, an Impi platter of liver pate, biltong and breads), but I chose to skip these and made my way down to their cosy wine cellar.

I and a handful of my colleagues decided to indulge in some wine tasting. There were two wines (one white and one red) made available to us for free tasting. I tucked into the red, a glass of Iano Shiraz (or Syrah as our host insisted); a smooth red, with a touch of pepper to the taste, this definitely set the tone for the night. The wine we chose (I say we, but I do not remember it going to the vote) was a bottle of Thelema cabernet sauvignon, also smooth but the slight lingering sweetness was not my cup of tea. It was quite enjoyable nonetheless
For my main course, I poured through the African inspired zinc-copper covered menu, a bit kitsch if you ask me, and settled on having the 250g fillet steak (also offered in 400g). Now I must be honest, I was waiting with baited breath doubting whether I’d made the right choice because my two previous visits to Moyo left me particularly dissatisfied at the end of my meal. Furthermore, I rarely have praiseworthy steaks outside of a trusted few steak-houses. My meal arrived, served on a shovel-designed platter (handle and all), actually impressive given that the rest of the ambience attempts always fail to impress me.

Fillets, in my opinion are best served medium to medium-rare, and seasoned with black pepper. This particular steak came encrusted with black pepper, with a side of chips and mixed vegetables. On my first bite I immediately regretted not ordering the 400 gram option. The meat was succulent on the inside and had a perfect consistency complimented by the half crushed black pepper corns, awesome! On the outside the meat was not dry either and all these tastes were well accompanied by the sweet mixed vegetables and the chips.

These two sides were decent. The vegetables quite sweet and I must say, very delicious. The chips were not the greatest, however. They bordered on the soggy and the bowl that they were served in did not help matters, it looked like the bowl from a pestle and mortar set for crushing spices, too deep.

- Andile "Stanzo"
So if ever The Meat Co. in Melrose is too full be sure to pop into Moyo for their Fillet and not their traditional Senegalese fair.
Big Thank you to Andile for making my blog more objective.

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