Bosman’s at the Grande Roche
Bosman’s Restaurant at the Grande Roche Hotel, Paarl – 5 star dining at its best
What is it about having overpriced, seasonal flowers brighten your already well decorated living room or having the warm, flickering light of twenty scented candles burning while you relax in your bath, that makes you feel so good?
These moments of cherishing oneself are often called luxuries – things that we can do with out. More and more with the stresses of our modern, career-driven lives, I think they’re necessities.
So with this in mind, my wife and I headed out to Bosman’s at the Grande Roche Hotel in Paarl on a still, Saturday evening. Greeted by name at the door on arrival – check – escorted to the table by a fleet of efficient waitering staff pulling out chairs and laying (unnoticed) napkins across laps – check. We hadn’t started our meal and we already felt completely spoilt – check!
The setting is outstanding with manicured gardens framing the greater Paarl area as the view stretches on to the hazy, purple mountains in the distance. By the time we had taken in the view and appreciated the magical chandeliers that shone above us, Glenroy our sommelier had offered us a lovely glass of Silverthorn MCC. “Light, dry with strong minerality to it, which makes it very refreshing to start off proceedings and made by the winemaker from Steenberg”, explains Glenroy.
The luxury of this type of dining is that it comes with a knowledgeable sommelier that really adds to the interest of the night – it becomes an education rather than just satisfying your digestive needs. I overheard Glenroy telling some other guests that he had been a waiter for a number of years at Bosman’s before being given the opportunity to go on courses by the Grand Roche to be trained to become a sommelier. I watched, and listened, to his passion about local wine throughout the night and thought how wonderful it is that Glenroy has been afforded the opportunity to now live out his dream.
We couldn’t resist the five-course tasting journey although there is a 3 course option and an a la carte menu to choose from. We started with an amuse-bouche of Beef Tartar with Quail Egg, courtesy of Michelin-trained Executive Chef, Roland Gorgosilich.
My somewhat aloof and very pregnant wife suddenly realized that all of the dishes on the menu may not be suitable for her in her present state. Concerned, she asked our waitress who replied that it had already been noted with the chef – another little tick on the list of ‘everything is taken care of’ when you dine at Bosman’s.
We were then presented with a line up of sublime flavours and delicate, elegantly plated dishes of food, expertly paired with an interesting array of local wines.
Slow Braised Oxtail Carpaccio with a Mushroom-asparagus Salad and Garlic Bon Bon. A creamy Cauliflower Soup with Duck Breast, Praline and Pea Salad. The soup light, yet still creamy, and perfectly seasoned, accompanied with a Chardonnay from La Brie in Franschoek – balanced and not overly wooded. Each delicate mouthful of flavour enhanced the constant experience of elegance and sophistication.
The timing between each dish was perfect – just as you thought it would be nice to… there be the next dish being expertly escorted through Busman’s chic black and white dining area to be placed in front of you.
The two main dishes – Seared Skatewing with Saffron-olive oil Broth, Braised Onions and Bean Cassoulet and Butter Poached Springbok Loin with Celeriac-parsnip puree, Cep Mushrooms and Port Jus were absolutely faultless – the springbok loin being the most tender and delicious I have ever tasted.
These two dishes were separated by a strawberry sorbet that not only cleansed the palate but danced and delighted upon it as well.
What was really fantastic about this 5 course meal is that it was so well planned and balanced that after enjoying it we felt full but not as though we needed to be rolled out of the door, which so often happens with extended course dining.
After this luxurious treat of fine dining, and being bid farewell by the well-trained and friendly staff of Busman’s, we climbed into our car. I immediately noticed the sea sand, white dog hair, old wrappers and crumpled up parking tickets that littered the car and they reminded me again of real life.
We still had a smile on our faces as we drove back to the bond and utility bills that needed to be paid and the lawns that needed to be mowed, because through the experience of dining at Bosman’s, we had elevated ourselves to royalty even if was only for three hours!
What a luxurious and delicious experience. Book the babysitter and treat yourselves. Life is too short and you definitely deserve it.