Going full circle at Myoga Restaurant. We recently enjoyed a tasting menu here—and it ended the same way it began. Though one plate was savoury, the other sweet (that's all we can tell you as Chef Mike would like to keep it a surprise).
Mike Bassett has fallen back in love with food—and we couldn’t help but love his menu too. Read here for the story behind his re-emergence on the foodie scene, and we chat to him below about his spell-binding menu.
In the fast-paced, ever changing culinary world, how difficult is it to come up with original ideas - like the full circle menu - what do you do, or where do you find the inspiration?
If anyone has to keep up with the Joneses it is us chefs. It seems like in the age of modern tech and communication everyone is a critic and the worst part is so many more people actually know what they are talking about. It’s intimidating. So, sleeping, eating and drinking food is what you do, but thankfully experience brings an easier measure to inspiration.
Your favourite dish on your menu and why?
I love my heirloom tomato salad with toasted cheese ice cream and lacto fermented basil. I love it for three reasons: nothing tastes better than a real tomato; the toasted cheese ice cream screams of a roadside toasted cheese from my childhood; while the lacto fermented basil is made with a probiotic, so it is alive and really good for you.
How important is the wine journey in a tasting menu, and what is your wine of the moment?
To be honest I leave the wines up to my sommelier Carl Davis; he’s a really talented guy. Both Carl and I love the hipster approach to wine making evident in the Swartland for example, wines that complement the food on merit not popularity or price.
What's your favourite meal to cook at home?
I have a few firm favourites: meat balls for one, made with my own blend of short-rib and porterhouse, and oh yes, roast chicken. I enjoy air-fried foods; almost anything in the air-fryer is fantastic!
What SA ingredient are you enjoying the most at the moment and how do you apply it?
Local black garlic is currently my firm favourite, we use it to add depth to some of our dishes, it’s great with red meat.
I want my guests to leave Myoga feeling as if... they have had an experience that transcends, of eating something truly memorable.
Open Tuesday to Saturday for lunch 11:30 – 14:30; Monday to Saturday for dinner 18:45 – 21:30; from 29th November until the end of December, Myoga will be open for Sunday lunch from 12:00 – 14:30 serving a la carte menu. Myoga Restaurant is situated at The Vineyard Hotel in Colinton Road, Newlands. Bookings are advisable, call (021) 657 4545 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information visit www.myoga.co.za