Three weeks ago I was privileged to experience the new Homespun by Matt Secret Supper Club, which is offered on Monday nights, a dinner of 15 courses which I was blown away by, it being of an international standard, making Homespun one of our country’s top restaurants. Last week I returned with my friend Stuart Bailey, to experience the 7-course Tasting Menu which is served from Tuesday to Saturday evenings, finding it to be a dinner at an extremely generous cost, and to be another evening of Fun Dining Fine Dining.
Chef Matt Schreuder invited me to try his 7-course Tasting Menu (costing only R470 – they also offer a 3-course Tasting Menu at R350), and requested us to try it with their wine pairings. As I was the driver, I reduced my pairings to little sips of the beverages served. Stuart and I made the dinner experience even greater by each ordering a different dish in the three choice sections of the menu, served alongside four fixed dishes, tasting each other’s choice dishes too.
The ambiance of the restaurant was different compared to the previous dinner, there being more light (the Secret Supper Club makes a greater use of candles), which assisted with having better light for the photographs. Our table was at a window, with additional light coming in from outside. The restaurant was full, giving a gentle busy buzz to the venue, compared to the Secret Supper Club only offering the dining experience to a table of ten (the number of diners is possibly to be increased). Chef Matt walked the floor, and chatted to diners st each table, demonstrating to some one of their magical dishes (Dragon’s Breath) from the Secret Supper Club Menu, to great laughter. At the Secret Supper Club Chefs Matt and Chris de Jongh introduced each dish to the table, whereas our Swedish waitress Hilja introduced each dish, detailing each ingredient. She introduced and poured beverage pairings too. The beverage pairing costs R700 for half a glass and R845 for a full glass.
Our table was laid with wooden slatted place mats, glassware, a linen napkin, and a blue-beaded cutlery box, adding an indigenous touch of colour. As soon as we sat down, we were offered an Aperitif, Stuart choosing to drink a cocktail called ‘Coco Melon Bubbles’, made with Spiced gold rum, Malibu, coconut, watermelon syrup, apple juice, coconut caviar, soda water, and Dry Ice (R90), smoke billowing out of the glass which was brought to our table by Mixologist Ben James Dean Bond, an amazing creative start to our dining experience. I ordered still water.
The menu can be read via QR code, in keeping with Covid protocols, and Hilja talked us through it, taking our order for the choice dishes. I was served the Aperitif Cocktail Homespun G & T, made with their own home-made gin, tonic and orange bitters.
Our Amuse Bouche of Salmon Ceviche was served almost immediately, with sesame seeds, blueberry gel, cucumber caviar, and lime foam, in a beautifully presented bowl with shells, with smoke created with Liquid Nitrogen, another presentation winner.
The second course was ‘Caprese’, not resembling a Caprese salad I have ever eaten, but containing all its elements of goat cheese balls, a basil sponge cake, balsamic vinegar ice cream, smoked tomato purée, Pecorino and basil herb crumbs, and topped with dried tomato skin chips, in a Tiger’s Milk sauce. This course was paired with Iona Sauvignon Blanc 2020 or Lanzerac Pinotage, Stuart and I trying one each.
Our Starter choices were Beef Tataki Tempura, and Prawn Dumplings, I ordering the former and Stuart the latter:
# Beef Tataki Tempura : the beef fillet cubes were tempura-ed, served with caramelised white onion purée, pickled ginger, Maldon salt, and a wasabi mayo. The wine pairing was Doring Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2019 made by Fryer’s Cove, the wine estate closest to the ocean in our country.
# The Prawn Dumpling dish was another wow showstopper, the dumplings made with prawn, cream cheese, and corn, in a crayfish consommé being covered with dehydrated Bonito flakes, a Japanese speciality called Katsuobushi, Chef Matt having discovered by chance that they move when heated, and a Togarashi emulsion of seven Asian spices. This dish was paired with Rietvallei Chardonnay 2019.
Our first palate cleanser was described in the Menu as ‘Molecular Delight’, and was a refreshing Champagne sorbet, lime and mint foam, strawberry caviar, and strawberry syrup.
Our Main Course choices were Beef fillet, Linefish of the day (Hake), and Gammon. We chose the first two options:
# Stuart ordered ‘Matt Special Beef fillet’, served with crispy onion, carrot purée, wasabi mayo, crispy capers, walnut crumbs, burnt butter and thyme mash, and ponzu-reduction. It is a busy dish with its many elements, but the hero is the fillet, deliciously soft and tender. It was accompanied by a steak knife. It was paired with a Thokozani Blend 2019, of Shiraz, Mourvèdre, and Viognier. Thokozani is an empowerment project of Diemersfontein wine estate outside Wellington.
# My pan-fried Hake was served with dashi, squid tubes, confited onions, elderflower pickled cucumber, beetroot pickled onions, leek purée, Dukkah spices, sago crisps, avocado mousse, Togarashi Mayo, and a yuzu sphere, a beautifully presented dish. I would have preferred to eat it with fish cutlery. The fish dish was paired with Spier Creative Block 2 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2019.
Chef Matt personally presented the electrifying triple Palate Cleanser 2, starting us off with a bite of Electric Daisy, acting as a ‘buzz button’, stripping our mouth of all previous flavours we had tasted, leaving us with a sherbet taste, and a pins-and-needles sensation in our mouth. Chef Matt told us that Sommelier Flora Jost had brought the Madagascan flowers from a visit to her home country Reunion, and what journey he took to obtain seeds so that he could have the flowers grown locally, finally sourcing seeds from Florida. Our second step was to eat the naartjie sorbet in a glass of Nitida MCC The Matriarch sparkling wine, and then drink the liquid. Tasting the wines from our previous course now made them taste completely different. Another wow experience.
Our last Dessert course was a choice of Chocolate Torte, Panna Cotta, and Créme Brûlée, Stuart and I choosing the first two of these:
# Chocolate Torte: This dessert was served with Cornflake milk ice cream (mmmmm), granadilla white chocolate ganache, raspberry gel, mini meringues, white chocolate powder, and strawberries, excellent for chocoholic me. It was served with a beverage I had not heard of before, African Ruby Rooibos Vermouth. My only disappointment with the dish was from a photography perspective, the chocolate torte not contrasting with the dark plate on which it was served.
# Panna Cotta: The Tonka Bean Panna Cotta was served with Pina Colada sorbet, apple and litchi gel, coconut blossom caramel, a fennel and apple salsa, and pie crumbs. Stuart was not excited about this dessert, not meeting his expectation of the texture of a Panna Cotta. It was served with Glen Carlou Chenin Blanc 2016.
And so another special dinner at Homespun by Matt came to an end. It was interesting to hear that the restaurant is such a hit that a number of diners book a table ahead when they leave the restaurant, having enjoyed their experience so much. For many that have seen my previous Homespun review and my photographs of our second dinner cannot believe that a restaurant of this caliber can be located in Blouberg. Chef Matt proudly spoke about his staff, and how long most of them have worked for him already since he opened the restaurant six years ago, clearly a well-oiled team, which is passionate about what it serves and how it does so. Bravo Homespun!
Homespun is offering reduced prices for its Tasting Menus during October : 7 Courses on Friday and Saturday R395, 3 courses R315 on Tuesday and Wednesday, 7 course Veggie Tasting Menu Friday snd Saturday R395.
Homespun by Matt, Porterfield Road, Blouberg, Cape Town. Tel (021) 556-2824. www.homespunbymatt.co.za Instagram: @homespunbymatt @chefmatt_homespun
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein