I first met Isabella at the Palms Market. This remarkable woman treats everyone she meets with the utmost respect and like a long lost friend. Isabella has been nothing short of generous and incredible with introducing me to the most inspirational people in the industry.
Isabella invited us to attend one of her lunches at the long table at her beautiful house “The Duin Huis” in Langebaan. When we arrived we were greeted with the wide expanse of the ocean view from the wooden deck – pure bliss. Sipping on one of the best champagnes I have ever had the privilege of tasting and chatting to the most interesting and worldly people set the afternoon off perfectly. Being with creative people who are passionate about what they do in a breathtaking setting with food that tastes out of this world is soul food on a whole other level.
The first course involved oysters garnished with Tabasco, lemon, and cracked pepper. I have only ever had oysters once before when I was 16 in the Transkei – I have to admit I never “tasted” them as they just slip down my throat so quickly as I was too scared to chew them, I was not going to make the same mistake again. These oysters were super fresh and they tasted incredible. When you had eaten your oyster you threw the shell into the garden. I loved looking down and seeing all the oyster shells making a wonderful carpet through the succulents – the remnants of lots of spectacular lunches hosted by Isabella.
While we sat at the table chatting, there were handmade vetkoek – beautiful and golden with bokkoms butter and preserved green figs. This very salty and fishy butter was a new experience for me. I absolutely loved it. The sweetness of the green figs completed the combination perfectly. My Banting diet went out the window with these amazing vetkoek.
The second course was muscle bobotie with cauliflower mash rounds, words cannot describe the taste of this wonderful bobotie. It was elevated to another level when it was paired with the Dunkels Weiss from Black Eagle Breweries (a local brewery from Langebaan). I am no beer drinker but I thoroughly enjoyed this beer with the spicey bobotie.
The third course was salt baked angel fish. The fish is packed densely with course salt and put over open flames. The salt is then removed leaving the flesh of the fish succulent and tasting of the ocean. The accompanying sauce with made from the fish heads and fresh vegetables and it was out of this world. Paired with a fresh salad with thin slices of peppery radish you could not go wrong.
My stomach could not fit another thing in but I persevered 😉
The chicken and roasted vegetables with spiced rice and courgette noodles were so tasty. Isabella also whipped up some sweet potato medallions in a sauce to die for. Amidst the gluttony of eating this incredible food, we shared stories and laughed with our new friends.
To round off the day when we could not eat another morsel, we were treated with milk tart and apple pie fresh from the oven. Black Eagle Brewery paired their Moeders Melk Sweet Stout with dessert – proving that beer can be enjoyed with any meal.
To say this lunch set my soul on fire is an understatement.
To be a beautiful setting listening to the waves crash gently beneath you, enjoying tasty and amazing food in inspirational company with people who inspired me and who I aspire to be, was the BEST way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Isabella – from the bottom of our hearts thank you for your generosity and hospitality and inviting us to be apart of such an occasion. To share in your abundant talent for cooking, hosting and sharing was a true gift. We are so grateful – thank you so much.
Isabella does custom lunches for any occasion – you will not be disappointed.