On Thursday I was one of a number of writers who was invited to taste samplers of the new Summer 2017/18 Menu at Shimmy Beach Club. It was a meal prepared for us by new Head Chef Mike Keaton, working alongside Executive Chef Adrian Cook. 

We were welcomed with a very summery Basil Kombucha Grande cocktail, offered with or without vodka, and topped with a basil leaf. Whilst sitting outside, a platter of poké spoon canapés was shared, a trio of chicken,  vegetarian, and salmon. 

We were welcomed to Shimmy Beach Club, and  introduced to Chef Mike, who has previously worked at Saveur, by Chef Adrian.  We were told that we would be served mini tasters of starters, main courses, as well as desserts, some being old favorites retained from previous years, while others were newly created dishes. The menu style is a cosmopolitan mix of Asian and Mediterranean dishes. Graham Beck Brut sparkling wine was offered as we were seated, and a range of Nederburg wines accompanied the courses. A number of guests could not eat certain seafoods and pork, and halaal-friendly dishes were quickly prepared for them.

Each guest was served a platter of four starters, and it was difficult to photograph all four of them together, not doing justice to each individual mini starter:

#.  A mini heirloom tomato salad with air-dried Parma ham, orange and green melon, basil, and Boccaccini mozzarella

#.  A mini Thai salmon and tuna fish cake, prepared with chili and garlic

#.  Fresh local black mussels in a spicy teriyaki and beer sauce, which I passed on to a fellow writer, as I am allergic to mussels.

#.  A quiche containing an interesting combination of biltong, feta, peppadew, and spinach. 

The starters were not very exciting to me, but I have become very particular about what I eat since eating more healthily in the past year. 

The main courses were more to my liking, especially my old favorite of pork belly, luckily a small portion. Once again we were offered a platter with four main course samples:

#   Lamb lollipop, with a mint sauce, and served on a chickpea and feta salad. I am not a fan of chickpeas, and therefore only ate the lamb. I rarely eat meat now, so it was a treat to taste this tender piece of meat.

#   The mini Moodie Burger, named after Shimmy Beach Club GM Malcolm Moodie and a menu favorite, was mini only in size but not in stature, it being a beef patty wrapped in bacon, topped with avocado, and topped again with tzatziki, an unusual burger combination. It was a lethal temptation, so I excluded the Burger Buns, but could not resist the rest of the treat, grateful that the portion was small.

#   The portion of sesame-seared  Norwegian salmon, served with mirin and soy glaze and tenderstem broccoli, was tiny, a pity as it was by far the healthiest dish of our lunch.

#   The pork belly was cider-braised, and luckily the portion was small, but I ate it all, even the small piece of crackling it was served with. 

As all resistance was crumbling, I was very grateful that the dessert platter contained such small sweet treat tasters :

#.  The stewed Guava cheesecake was very refreshing, and
the colour impactful, even if guava is a winter fruit. It was served with a very unusual peanut butter ice cream. 

#.   The gelatine-free pineapple fridge tart was made from tinned pineapple, and was topped with cream and a miniature apple, and mint.

#   The Bar One chocolate mousse was beautifully presented in a spoon, an experiment of serving it on chocolate shards not being successful, Chef Mike told us honestly.  It was perfection, and a treat for a former chocoholic! 

#   Last but by no means least was the heavenly Popcorn Créme Brûlée, popcorn being a weakness. The popcorn topped the brûlée and was coated in brûléed caramel itself, oh my!

I requested a dry cappuccino, and it was perfectly made. 

It was a spoiling lunch, and very different to the foods that I now eat at home or order at restaurants. The menu offers versatility, and most dishes are carb-free. The salads, as well as fish dishes, on the new Shimmy Beach Club Summer Menu mean that any diner at Shimmy can eat without coming home hungry. 

Shimmy Beach Club, South Arm Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. Tel (021) 200-7778. www.shimmybeachclub.co.za Twitter @ShimmyBeach Instagram: @ShimmyBeach Monday – Sunday.

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel 082 55 11 323 Twitter: @Ulmenstein Facebook: click here Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein