When one talks about Bree Street in Cape Town, generally the topic of conversation is what and where to eat. You are unable to walk 100 yards without coming across somewhere more than decent to dine. One could easily start at breakfast and work your way through lunch, aperitifs and then dinner all on this one road culinary strip. The quaint and interesting shops between the dining hotspots are perfect to wander in and out of, all while making your way from one food oasis to another.
Recently I had the pleasure of joining the Wine and Dine evening at Mink & Trout in collaboration with Iona Wines. My heart gave a quick skip and a jump as I stood in front of a beautiful salmon pink building framed by bright green gums and Dutch window frames, that had been finished in a beautiful bottle green. The signage was minimal and simplistic, right up my alley.
As I arrived I was warmly greeted by the manager, Jeremy Motaung and offered a drink. I went for my staple gin and tonic, Hope on Hopkins was the tipple on offer. I sat at the bar, perfect for after work drinks and took in the alluring and on point decor. The exposed brick worked perfectly with the velvet covered seating, warm lighting as well as the gold and green finishes. The energy was warm and welcoming, relaxed but yet special.
Once seated we were greeted by our waiter for the evening, who was attentive and friendly. We were then joined at our table by Iona Wines, Marketing manager, Juliette Collins - who gave us background story on Iona Wine farm, which is found in the Elgin Valley and explained the wines that we would be tasting that evening. Iona's mantra is to proceed with great care and gratitude in all that they do, their philosophy is to make wine that expresses the soils and climate as closely as possible, making use of sustainable farming methods and to maximise the use of natural products in farming wine. Everything is done in-house, from the vineyard to wine distribution. This brings Andrew and Rosie Gun owners of Iona, great passion and joy.
To begin, Sophie Le Rose was poured which had delicious wild berry and spicy notes with rich cranberry and strawberry aromas. As we enjoyed this a breadboard was brought to the table which included crispy thin sourdough Melba toast with creamy aoli and duck liver parfait. This was delish! Perfect to line our stomachs for an evening full of recreational drinking.
Next up was the Iona One Man Band white, which only limited barrels are made, this was paired with the Tuna Ceviche with pickled vegetables, avocado and a cream cheese & miso addressing. The wine was lovely with pure fruit, elegant and vibrant notes, it was floral with white stone fruit and blackcurrant. Tangerine lingers on the mid pallet with long savoury finish of pea shoots, fine herbs and a sea breeze complex, classic and poised the perfect combination with a light fish ceviche. The tuna was impeccable, deep red in colour and melted like butter in your mouth the fresh accompaniments worked perfectly and added the necessary crunch.
Land & Sea - when I first read this combination I wasn't too sure, but intrigued on how it would come together as a dish. Confit pork belly and monkfish loin with savoy cabbage and fennel seed roasted carrot purée served with a white bean and saffron cassoulet – with most perfectly cooked lemony squid perched upon the pork belly was accompanied by Iona One Man Band red. The wine was elegant with ripe, juicy red and black fruit. Lovely white pepper and sweet exotic spice on the nose. The entry is intense, with underlying cedarwood, followed by a long savoury, earthly finish with fine-grained tannins. They both worked effortlessly together and I was in love with the flavour the wine offered after each mouthful. This course definitely delivered; it was so refreshing to have something different and be spectacular. Perfectly cooked vegetables, that were vibrant and colourful, this is something that is often overlooked, the humble vegetable should be treated with as much respect as the opulent protein. The creamy cassoulet which was well flavoured, against the salty and crispy pork with a parma crisp was heaven. The monkfish loins was impeccably cooked, as there is a fine line with monkfish many people overcook it, but here this was not case.
While we enjoyed our meal, it was wonderful to watch the tables around us relax and laugh, be at ease and enjoy the open theatre kitchen. Once again the vibe and energy really appealed to me and made me feel comfortable relaxed and happy.
It was time for the final course which was a traditional tiramisu with amaretto biscuits, salted caramel and fresh raspberries. This was by far one of the best Tiramisu's I've had as it was perfectly balanced and not too sweet it was paired with the Wilderer Grappa which complimented it superbly.
The evening was flawless and each dish stood out in its own unique way, with the each wine finishing it off perfectly, as if they were meant to be . Thank you to Leigh Trout and Kevin Mink, for an evening of perfection, I left feeling satisfied on so many accounts! I would highly recommend a meal at Mink & Trout on Bree Street, I can assure you, you will leave fulfilled and content.
Mink & Trout
127 Bree St, Cape Town City Centre
+27 21 426 2534
Open every day for lunch & dinner except Sundays
Monday to Friday: 09h00-16h00
Weekends by appointment
GPS. 34°16'42.43"S 19°4'58.26"E
+27 28 284 9678