I was contacted by Hello Joburg Magazine and asked to join them, with Oudemeester, for the very first evening of #HelloRecommends, all set in the opulent Maximillien Restaurant at The DaVinci Hotel in Sandton. I walked in, to be greeted by a table of fabulous foodies and bloggers, and the team from Hello Joburg.
Once seated we were treated to an education on Brandy, by Oudemeester, and sampled three varieties of the house. The 12 year old Reserve, The 18 year old Souverein and The Demant, which has been winning Gold Medals, since 2010. The tips given at these little talks are amazing. One tip that stood out was that you should never swirl your brandy before you taste it, and I always thought that I looked so clever and like all “proper” when I did this! Who knew right? Also another little tip was that Oudemeester works well with Ginger Ale….so no brandy and coke vibes here!!! Albeit that I am not a brandy drinker, any education and tips always help to enlighten ones knowledge!
Onto the food…although I do think a pairing would of been stunning, we were treated to an amuse-bouche (rather huge) of an Avocado and Crayfish Tian, which was followed by table salads, which included a deconstructed Caprese, Salt and Pepper Calamari with Mushroom Arancini and fresh Greek Salad. I managed to get my hands on the Greek salad and a piece or two of the calamari, and the next time I visit, I will be having a double helping of the Calamari for sure. A palate cleanser was served (also huge) of mango sorbet with berry coulis, which was delectable. My main was the Beef Medallions, served with a saffron and mushroom risotto with a red wine berry sauce. Dessert was the Vanilla Flavored Crepe with marmalade infused marscapone and a whiskey sauce…which was good, but half way through I started nibbling on the Edible Bouquets that were on the table and found myself surprisingly ravenous for the chocolate covered strawberries.
The Maximillien is what I would call a charmer. It’s dark wooden finishes, rich leather details and gorgeous setting will do well, for a sexy date night or an intimate birthday celebration. While the live band plays, you are drawn into the music and soulful sound, it becomes an almost hypnotic and luxurious ambiance.
We were also told about the new GoHello App, that you can download in your App store, and its focus is more on lifestyle and the happenings of whats going on in this place called Joburg, which is refreshing as its not just one platform of information.
After all this, we were handed parting gifts and merrily mad our way to our cars…albeit slightly intoxicated with brandy, wine, good food and chocolate covered strawberries! Talk about a VIP experience! Thank you Hello Joburg and all involved!
Photos: Phillip Santos
Location: The Maximillien