La Petite ColombeJuly 1, 2019
The Northcliff Kranz RestaurantJuly 30, 2019
I’m sure you’ve all seen and heard the recent hype around Dinner Time Stories in South Africa. This unique concept involves a seven course dinner with optional wine pairing while you’re taken on a culinary trip around the globe along with Le Petit Chef (the little animated adventurer - and star of the show - who follows the footsteps of Marco Polo). The experience is about so much more than just food; it involves an impressively executed show boasting lighting, table top projections, sound, costumes and the most immaculately timed service. Suffice to say, the hype is completely justified!
I arrived at the Faircity Quatermain Hotel in Sandton on a chilly evening all ready and excited to experience Dinner Time Stories. The hotel receptionist ushered me to the waiting area where I was greeted with a glass of bubbly (perfect for warming me up). It wasn’t long before all of us guests were escorted to our tables. We were seated at tables of eight making it a bit of a social setting too. The show commenced and we were all introduced to Le Petit Chef who started the trip with an Air France flight over international waters while we were served the very first course; the amuse bouche. It was herb prawn served with a grilled pepper, basil and sundried tomato salsa as well as salmon with smoked paprika rouille. This course was beautifully and creatively presented in a little suitcase and it tasted fabulous too. I loved the prawn and homemade salsa. The first stop of our culinary trip was Arabia. In true Arabic style, this course consisted of an array of dishes to be shared. The individual components included dried figs stuffed with walnuts, fried brinjal, fried chick peas, yoghurt, courgette stuffed with tomato and mint and crispy onions. Some of the other dishes included in this course were falafel salad with soft feta, chunky greens, tzatziki salad and pita bread. Once again, the presentation of this course was absolutely amazing! While this wasn’t my favourite tasting course, it was certainly one of the most impressively presented courses. The next stop with Le Petit Chef was India – one of my favourite cuisines. The Indian course consisted of lamb curry, a lamb samosa and saffron rice. It was served with three miniature bags filled with sev, mango and pistachios so you could flavour your meal according to your own taste preferences. This course was also served with a little bowl of spinach and paneer korma and a cheese samosa as well as a traditional cooling drink (in case the heat was a little too much). This tasty and refreshing drink was a mint, double thick yoghurt and lime lassi with pear shavings. I loved this Indian course. Each of the dishes were packed with flavour. I especially loved the spicy authentic lamb curry which was well balanced by the cooling lassi. The next stop was the cold Himalayans where we served a refreshing sorbet boasting clean flavours of citrus and lemongrass. Following this was a stopover in China – another favourite cuisine of mine. Here we were served classic beef pot stickers with a sweet chilli dip as well as Chinese bbq chicken breast with egg noodles in a traditional broth with sweet potato and apple puree. I absolutely loved this dish! The depth of flavour in the broth was superb and the chicken was perfectly cooked while still juicy and tender. The next course for the evening was the dessert comprising a classic crème brulee with spiced madeleines and a sticky date skewer coated in pistachios and chocolate. We were then served the petit four – a beautifully presented miniature lemon meringue with a shard of handmade chocolate – with a choice of tea of coffee.
Dinner Time Stories will leave you with a true appreciation for theatrical food. The story was really sweet and the overall show composition, service and timing was incredible. The numerous global cuisine courses were well chosen and very enjoyable. My favourites were definitely the Chinese and Indian dishes. I enjoyed the food and I’d definitely recommend the wine pairing for a special occasion or treat. Be sure to Uber though. The wine – like the food – is very generously served. If you haven’t yet experienced Dinner Time Stories, you don’t want to miss out on this unique and impressive culinary experience.