Graceland’s Blue Bayou’s new menu

Names such as Cullen Skink and Steamed Venison Ravioli as starters made our mouths water.

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A night of good food and wine, that’s what greeted us as a small group of journalists from local newspapers were invited to the Blue Bayou on Thursday night. Graceland Hotel Casino Country Club hosted journalists at their Blue Bayou restaurant to introduce their new menu.
The guests were treated by Acting CEO Pieter de Villiers and his wife Debby as well as Veneshrie Chetty.
Executive Chef, Chef Johan van Zyl, introduced the menu and explained every dish to the guests. Some were old favourites but most were new additions.
Names such as Cullen Skink and Steamed Venison Ravioli as starters made our mouths water. The Cullen Skink was absolutely delicious and was my wife, Elmarie’s choice. It is a potato and smoked Haddock broth with slow cooked Haddock and thyme infused potato cubes and crispy fried julienne leeks. Served with toasted health bread fingers.
My own choice fell on the Steamed Venison Ravioli. I was not disappointed. Venison is an old favourite of mine. The description on the menu reads “Homemade Ravioli filled with slow braised pulled Venison and Port Tomato and soft chilli Chakalaka and topped with caramelised onions.”
The Chakalaka was soft, spicy and full of flavours while the Venison (Blue Wildebeest) filled Ravioli balanced the spiciness of the Chakalaka. The caramelised onions added that little extra to the dish. This would be the dish to start with if you like a bit of spicy.
The main meals had names such as Seared Beef Fillet, Grilled Norwegian Salmon and Coq Au Vin. All of which made my mouth water and I had to resist the urge to try and taste more than one dish. My choice fell on the “Twice cooked pork belly” and Elmarie’s choice was the Grilled Norwegian Salmon.
The Salmon was served with mashed peas, creamy mielie rice risotto, charred corn, lemon butter creamed horseradish and lemon curd. The fish was fresh, very tender and full of flavour. Salmon does not have the flavours of freshwater fish as we know it in South Africa with our Tilapia etc. The flavour is far more intense and richer. It also has a very creamy texture which is not overbearing. This will be a winner for those that love Salmon.
The Pork Belly was in my opinion the best choice of the evening. The Pork Belly was beautifully presented with a butter fried polenta square, flash fried wild mushrooms and a crispy fried crackling stick filled the middle of the plate and a Confit tomato on the side all finished off with a Port and thyme gravy. The Pork Belly was perfectly cooked and melted away, it was that soft. I will definitely order this dish again.
Elmarie’s choice of desserts fell on an old favourite of hers namely the buffet display of desserts. I, on the other hand, couldn’t resist scrutinising the menu for the “pièce de résistance”. I found it as the “Steamed Apple Pudding”. The presentation could not have been better. It was served on a large plate with Cinnamon dust on the side. The large piece of steamed apple pudding filled the middle of the plate with three Baked Maluti Apples on the side, flanked with a small scoop of Vanilla pod ice cream on the other side. The taste was divine. The sweetness of the pudding was not overwhelming but subtle. Double cream Sherry Crème Anglaise topped the pudding off to perfection.
The Blue Bayou’s new menu is small but caters for a variety of tastes. Please try the cuisine on the menu and tell us what you think.

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