It gives me great pleasure to share Louise McAuliffe’s review of our #DineJoziStyle at The Grillroom & Sushi Bar.
Globetrotting Chef Jamie Sutherland shared his very colourful career with us, which explained mountains about his thought process when putting together the #AutumnWinter menu, which was launched just last week, and we were blessed to be guinea ‘piggies’ to sample it, in all its glory!
For starters, platters of freshly created sushi were presented to us. Perfection sat before us as we photographed these delightful little mouthfuls, that we then proceeded to bounce off our taste buds in a blissful manner.
Little did we know that the sushi was an entree of sorts, as the actual starters were placed amongst us in the middle of the table, our white side plates just gasping at the sights and longing to have a taste of everything placed thereon.
I wish my photograph of the chicken livers, perfectly seasoned, basking in a creamy green peppercorn sauce, lying in a crispy potato skin, did justice to the taste. Chicken liver lovers will just melt at the flavour.
For those who love a classic steak tartare with cured egg yolk (which allows people to enjoy the eggy flavour without the risk), it is cut from prime fillet steak, season with capers, gherkins and chives. Served with a light tartare sauce and teriyaki sauce to lift the flavour combination. I can still taste it!
I was so excited to discover the dried cranberries hidden under the Butternut and Cream Cheese salad, plus of course the garlic dressing, toasted pumpkin seeds, crispy onions with mixed Leaves salad. They were delish!
A poke bowl is fast becoming a favourite of mine, having first sampled one in Long Street, Cape Town, but Chef Jamie Sutherland’s just reigned me in. He is the king of Poke Bowls! Ours held generous amounts of salmon, rice, cucumber, spicy mayo, edamame beans, avocado and spring onion.
The Salmon and Spicy Crab Tower was a winner too. We were all intrigued by the spicy crab – as we were not quite sure what it was but scoffed it down all the same.
I did not get the taste the Seared Tuna Salad as it proved very popular up the other side of the table. With only one small piece left in the bowl I offered it to Edward Chamberlain-Bell, who had kindly invited us to this incredible feast. It was presented lying on a bed of mixed leaves, apple, chickpeas, pomegranate and lime. I did finish off the chickpeas and pomegranate before anyone else got the chance.
Completely bursting at the seams and no buttons to be undone, Chef Jamie Sutherland arrives back at the table to tell us all about the mains – OMG – no respite for me – it was brought on…
The first plate to arrive was the Lamb Shank. The aroma wafting my way, nearly sent me to heaven until Namritha Sivsanker beat me to claiming the bone for her little dog at home. It was tres-delicious plus tender. I did finish it off after everyone else had a taster. Guilty!!
I have never seen a Tomahawk steak before. All 700grams accompanied by crushed baby potatoes, mixed vegetables and jus was placed just a foot away from me and it is seriously huge. Huge and succulent. Chef Jamie Sutherland prides himself on no meat coming out of his kitchen with a sauce. His magical cooking method using just butter and salt and pepper to taste is just perfection. No spoiling the pure taste experience with a saucy pepper or mushroom accompaniment. Oh and I grabbed the bone for my wee pups.
Writing about this all, two weeks after the event, has me feeling full all over again. My overindulgence was well worth every morsel that I popped into my mouth.
The slow-cooked Pork belly had distinct flavours of cumin and thyme. Chef has changed the garnish from new potatoes to sweet potato mash infused with grated granny smith apple and we added a right warming braised red cabbage and the sauce is a wholegrain mustard and cream. I must admit I tucked into those veggies with vigour and the pork just fell off my fork as it was so tender.
The Kassler chop, marinated for 3 days is smoked in their Mabassa oven for 2 hours to give it a distinct smoky flavour, then was char-grilled to perfection. It was served with a warm baby potato salad with green beans and a light vinaigrette dressing, roasted red pepper salsa, adding a little kick to the dish to warm you up. I feel silly saying that everything was so tender but it really was.
The Yellow Tail Fillet served with salsa verde, lemon butter sauce, wilted baby spinach and Autumn vegetables looked to gorgeous to disturb on the plate. I snuck a tiny taster just to satisfy myself that I had tried it, but was just more worried about the last of the lamb shank heading my way.
I had a nibble on the Confit Duck Leg served with Dauphinoise potatoes, orange jus and Autumn vegetables. A true delicacy but not what I would order when I go back to The Grillroom – I think you already know what would be on the menu for me. However, I might ask for a Dauphinoise potato on the side.
Rissoto was specially ordered for our dear vegan friend Aashish Rai. Prepared with Shiitake mushroom, asparagus and parmesan, the poor guy had everyone asking to taste the one and only dish that he could eat. I refrained and moaned at the others but they wanted a spoonful of the risotto.
The Ribeye Steak – all 300G of it was just superb. Served with sweet potato wedges, Autumn vegetables and tomato chutney, again we were being spoilt with this delicious indulgence.
Finally, the Melanzane priding itself of aubergine, tomato, mozzarella and parmesan, which did not make it to me before being gobbled up by my companions, did look amazing. They all raved about it – but seriously we could find no fault. Okay maybe some more wine for Jacquelien Van Der Walt, and I would have helped her, but we had been very spoilt quite so far during the afternoon already.
I remember someone wondering just how were they going to fit behind their steering wheel, after eating so much food – I quipped that you will just have to move your seat back a foot and all will be fine!!
If you are not already booking a table to head to The Grillroom & Sushi Bar by now on 012 030 0013 or email firstname.lastname@example.org then I just know that reading about and seeing the desserts, will have you lifting up your phone. They are also available on DinePlan.
Ending off the very relaxed and gastronomic afternoon the pièce de résistance was presented to us – that something something that will linger with you forever, and confirm that your decision to dine at The Grillroom & Sushi Bar, was one of the best you have ever made in your life.
SHEW SHEW SHEW dessert after all of that… and it arrived!
We were introduced to the resident ‘dessert expert’ pastry chef Deborah-Ann, who I proclaimed to, that if I was into women, then she would be in trouble. Cause we all know the way to all of our hearts is through the stomach! Come on ladies admit it – it is not just men who adore food.
Sorry Gail Hahn but their Millionaire shortbread beats yours. Crumbly shortbread, topped with a rich salted caramel, covered in rich dark chocolate. For a little extra treat, they serve it Cointreau infused orange bonbons and a homemade bitter orange ice cream.
My favourite dessert was the Coconut Panna Cotta, toasted coconut-infused cream, raspberry sponge combined with a delightful beetroot jelly and a homemade rose and beetroot sorbet. What a beautiful sight on the plate. Too pretty to disturb but we did.
The Bread and Butter Pudding, featured layers of brioche are coated in butter and apricot jam, before being layered with dried cranberries and baked with a fresh egg, cardamon flavoured custard and to delight the taste buds more, it is served with a homemade cinnamon ice cream and fresh cream to spoil you even more.
The Passion Fruit Brulee was such a flavourful rich cream dessert, topped with crunchy caramel, the homemade pomegranate and black pepper sorbet, which helps to reduce the richness but takes nothing away from the rich flavours. My cheeks and taste buds squished up from this incredible taste experience.
A sampling of the decadent cream tarte told it own tail. Melting in the mouth sweet pastry crumbles revealed a rich smooth chocolate sponge with a layer of rich chocolate ganache, topped with strawberry curd. A creamy rich crème patisserie, the blood orange sorbet when combined with a spoonful of the tarte, brought out the sheer beauty of this dish.
The cheesecake was as light as whipped cream. You have all heard me rave about something
similar that I have not managed to encountered again until my experience at The Grillhouse and Sushi Bar. Well worth a drive to Brooklyn if not even for a spoil, but for a jolly amazing meal!
Last words from Chef Jamie Sutherland which have lingered with me since: ‘If you finish your meal with an amazing dessert, you go away feeling you’ve had a great experience! Dessert should crown the experience!’
In full disclosure, there was nothing left but bones after we demolished everything on the table. I thought my stomach was going to burst open, but if something else landed on my plate half an hour later though – I would definitely have given it a go!
Louise McAuliffe is the owner of LaMaZingMedia and a content creator. She films and produces video for websites and media publications. She also offers photographic and social media services.
All images © Louise McAuliffe.
Republished with Louise McAuliffe’s kind permission.