When presented with invitations to wine tastings or pairing dinners, the response can at times be less than enthused. We have wine tasting fatigue. A first world problem if there was one, we know. What the South African Consulate, South
African Wines and Riva restaurant have achieved, however, is far from tiresome.
We speak, of course, of the Discover South Africa wine festival.
Chef Allistaire is youthful and innovative, and he is a zealot of South African food. Combining these factors result in an industry leader, who brought his culinary skill and vision to the restaurant of Riva at the Parklane Hotel in Causeway Bay (a restaurant with rooftop bar we had never set foot in but were blown away by; for both the sophisticated ambience but also the panoramic views of the harbour). The result? A meal that showcased all the good that South African is known for; warmth, flavour, individuality and the chance to explore and understand a culture that is actually little known outside of its own region.
We feasted (truly, we waddled from the 27th floor) on typical flavours of SA reinvented; biltong made an appearance in a Boere ceasar salad–the salty spicy cured meat venerated by South African complementing perfectly the soft egg. Lamb neck bobotie, a SA take on shepherd’s pie, came almost a parmentier with tender and tasty shredded lamb layered on the bottom with a curry flair and topped with egg. We ate three helpings of this.
Chef Allistaire is game; he has no problem serving a glorified cheese and onion toastie (which was absolutely delicious) alongside his take on hargow, filled with lobster and prepped by the team of local chefs he has commandeered for a week. The food is great and we applaud the kitchen at Riva for carrying out the vision of a visiting chef so effectively.
If the chance is presented, a visit to Park Lane in Causeway Bay in honour of the South African Wine Festival is highly recommended. For foodies, it is really a chance to eat some of the best South African food we have experience in Hong Kong. Running until the 16th of April, if the chance is not presented, we suggest creating it.