Noble Savage (he said):
If you’re remotely interested in food and restaurants, you’ll know that Linden is on its way to becoming the new “it” food spot. And on 7th Street, you’ll find four of the most interesting little eateries: A la Bouffe, El Jalapeño, Hashi, and Ritual Café.
The idea behind Winter Warmer is quite simple: each of the four restaurants is to prepare one main sampler and one dessert sampler, and it’s served outside the parking area in front of the four restaurants surrounded by fires and fairly lights.
And seeing the four restaurants working togetheris quite special. One would think they’re opponents, but I suspect that, as they each have something different to offer, the competition between them is much friendlier.
So mains! Lamb meatballs from Ritual Café, Udon Japanese noodles from Hashi, Chili con Carne from El Jalapeño, and Choucroute from A la Bouffe. All of the dishes were remarkable, but I think my favourite was the lamb meatballs from Ritual Café.
The most interesting dish was from A la Bouffe; at first glance, one might think its German sausages and sauerkraut, but the dish was adopted by French chefs in the 1650’s after some war with the Germans. (I was secretly wishing they would serve the frog legs, but no such luck – we’ll just have to go back!)
Next up was the desserts.
My sweet tooth fucked off a long time ago, so I didn’t even try El Jalapeño’s churro and chocolate or Hashi’s banana and chocolate springroll: I’m sure you can read more on those below. I did have Ritual Café’s Fig and port ice cream, and A la Bouffe’s Valrhona dark chocolate mousse, and both really hit the spot dessert-wise.
I really love the idea of the collaboration going on between these four restaurants. It’s such an original idea, and I hope they will do this again with different dishes. The vibe around the tables was jovial and relaxed, and everyone left with a smile.
BoozyFoodie (she said):
I was so excited when we were invited to this #DineJoziStyle event! What an interesting concept – like Noble Savage explained already. It was also the debut of this event, that I hope we see happening a lot more!
Such a relaxing vibe, and although some people may have been reluctant to attend a dinner under the stars in the middle of winter, it really worked well! Music playing, big white couches in the corner, people sipping gluhwein and sample the fare of A la Bouffe, El Jalapeno, Hashi and Ritual Cafe – the perfect way to spend a Friday evening. I really enjoyed the sense of community and ‘neighbourhood’ – the chefs from the various restaurants working together and getting ready to plate the fare on offer.
I found it difficult to choose a favourite, because the dishes were so different – everything had something special to it – the cheesy yumminess of the Con Carne, the subtle flavours of the lamb meatballs – decisions, decisions!
The dessert served was absolutely delectable!
After all that delicious food it was time to just stretch our legs a bit. Ended up chatting to Sean and Julia Ackermann from Ritual Cafe for a bit. The menu displayed is truely mouthwatering (any menu with ‘gnocchi’ on usually is for me!). The crockery displayed and used is made by Julia herself and this dynamic team is so full of energy and dedicated to this eatery. I am very keen to go back and try some of their other menu items – very interesting and creative dishes served.
And if you talk about passion for food, you simply can’t ignore the force who is Romauld Denesle from A la Bouffe. We had the most amazing meal there a while ago – and with Bastille Day around the corner, what better place to celebrate if you haven’t been there yet!
A special thanks to Edward and Robert Chamberlain-Bell for hosting us – great company for a great night out!