Recently, we were treated to a lovely evening of experimental dining at Est Est Alea in Parktown, Johannesburg. Est Est Alea is what is known as a Tasting Restaurant and is the evolution of Cube Tasting Kitchen. Chef Dario De Angeli takes diners on a delightful culinary journey. The tasting menu consists of 16 courses or plates of highly interesting dishes. As a result, the entire evening is quite a memorable experience. This is fine dining at it’s best however and communication between the chefs and diners is encouraged. The decor is simple elegance with a minimalist style. There is an open-plan kitchen that lets diners watch as their meals are expertly created. However, the real magic occurs once the dishes arrive. Each dish is rather unique and some outright unusual. Therefore, you will leave with a better understanding of culinary science.
Experimental Dining & Cuisine
It is obvious that the chef is intent on pushing boundaries when it comes to preparing meals. The resulting effect is simply superb! Dishes explore various aspects of taste, texture, plating and serving styles. Best of all, a range of exclusive boutique wines and impressive cocktails are available. The drinks were all amazing and complemented the meal perfectly. This article will guide you through the strange dining experience that only Est Est Alea can offer Johannesburg residents.
Fine Dining Starters
Our Starters consisted of the following:
- Aerate – an aerated sesame sponge with soy foam aerated on top of it (mix of salty and sweet flavors that result in a pleasing but unique taste)
- Burnt – beetroot and leeks topped with slightly burnt parmesan cheese (has a burnt taste at first before the flavors take over).
- From Dust – tomato and onion mixed with olive oil pressed into a cookie shape and topped with a chickpea puree (very strong flavors).
- Lolly – sourcream, and chives shaped like a lolly with chips sprinkled over it and served on an agate crystal (quite tasty and pretty).
- Then Pop – a Thai green curry served up as a sphere that bursts in your mouth (sphere becomes a soup with a curry aftertaste).
- Staples – cornbread served with garlic butter, grilled corn and popcorn (a divine combination).
- Street Food – prawn and vegetables in a pie-like dish served with eel on top and a sweet sauce (delicious).
Main Course Meals
The Main Course consisted of the following dishes:
- My Favorite Snack – cucumber spaghetti with tomatoes, onions and topped with truffles (a palette cleanser).
- Smoke Signals – smoked pork belly/Kesler rib served with various other meats and aubergine all glazed in honey (sweet-tasting dish).
- Tropical Beach – a mango mint salsa and mango ice (light and refreshing palette cleanser).
- More Rustic – braised oxtail with a fillet on top served with mushrooms, cauliflower, and a sweet pumpkin seed praline (a delicious combination of flavors).
To end of the evening, the following desserts were served:
- The Berries – chickpea meringue topped with a blackberry pastille, raspberry paper and a berry mousse (served on an agate crystal).
- Chewy Stuff – a dry toffee shot of toffee crumbs served in a shot glass that becomes extremely chewy in your mouth (very strange texture and affect).
- From the Bees Knees – Lacuma (Peruvian superfruit) ice cream on a biscotti rusk served with a honeycomb, dried bee pollen, and honey syrup (an interesting mix of tastes).
- Hot Chocolate – a solid chocolate ball placed on coconut slivers. Dissolves when you pour hot chocolate over revealing orange slices inside (yummy)!
Thank you to Est Est Alea for hosting us for dinner! However, as always, all opinions are my own!
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