If you haven’t yet dined at Wishbone Cafe & Bistro, then you’re missing something in your life. Surrounded by the impressive architectural masterpieces of 11 Alice Lane, they offer a surprisingly varied menu for breakfast, lunch, sundowners, and dinner. Centred around a modern versus traditional feel, Wishbone references the strong glass of the surrounding towers & mixes it with warmth & comfort. Amazingly, the restaurant also doubles as an art gallery, and they showcase regularly updated curated artworks in partnership with Berman Contemporary Gallery.
Embracing Sandton’s modern & inspiring energy, Wishbone’s urban, casual whilst still sophisticated menu has been specially created by Executive Chef Peter van Schaik to satisfy any palette. The menu is complemented by an extensive & carefully curated wine list & our two Sommeliers Pieta Dreyer & Johannes Jacobs will be happy to recommend a suitable wine pairing for your meal.
It was during one of these lovely #SandtonSunsets that we headed back to Wishbone for a food & wine pairing with Buitenverwachting Wines. Buitenverwachting means “beyond expectation” and the name is apt. Rooted in deep, decomposing granite soils and cooled by temperate sea breezes from the nearby oceans, Buitenverwachting’s vines produce internationally acclaimed wines of great complexity with unique aromatic profiles. I personally picked up a surprising hint of cloves on the Chardonnay.
We arrived just in time for sunset and as we sat outside, watching the reflection from the surrounding buildings change from blue to yellow to orange to pale pink, it again became evident that Fridays in the city can be a truly beautiful thing. We enjoyed a selection of canapés and snacks out there, with a DJ playing some classic tunes in the background, before heading inside for the main event.
A gorgeous table setting awaited us. Stunning King Proteas adorned the table, and the lighting was golden and warm and inviting. As our main orders were being taken, we were told about our starter accompaniment, the Buiten Blanc, a 97% Sauvignon Blanc with 3% Semillion. This paired well with an incredibly rich, buttery sweet corn soup starter. This was a highlight from the evening’s menu. Very smooth, the soup had a hint of smokiness, which we later found out was from actually roasting the corn over fire. The wine boasts “hints of fig, gooseberries and a little bit of nuttiness that comes from the Semillion.”
The kitchen at Wishbone does not disappoint. Whenever I see an extremely varied menu, I get nervous but somehow they manage to do everything exceptionally well. And that’s why I chose the ostrich main with confidence. Ostrich is often massacred in restaurants, and prepared far too well done. Though one of my dining partners was hesitant, I assured him I was certain they would prepare it beautifully. I was not wrong. Incredibly soft medium to medium-rare meat arrived at our table, just as requested. Served with sweet potato puree, roasted veg and red wine jus, it was a fantastic (and extremely filling) dish. This was paired with the Merlot, “a rich, round, full-bodied wine, with a dry finish. Dark purple plum and blackcurrants are evident.”
Tall Dark & Handsome opted for the fish main, a teriyaki salmon served with wilted greens, pomme puree and soy pickled ginger. I sampled his dish extensively. It was delicious! This was paired with the Sauvignon Blanc (100%): “gooseberries, green pepper, grassiness, very refreshing, with just a hint of lemon.”
After mains, I felt so well and truly full, I could very easily be rolled out. But dessert was still on the way. As you may know, I tend to pass on dessert 99% of the time, due to my ongoing battles with sugar, but I just couldn’t do it this time. I chose the chocolate mousse intending to have others eat it but once it arrived in front of me, all resistance crumbled. The deep fried spring roll pastry shards it was served with left me feeling far too happy. I even had a bite of Tall Dark & Handsome’s brownie, which was soft and moist and nutty and everything a brownie should be! The dessert was served with Buitenverwachting’s Christine, a Bordeaux blend of 45% Cabernet Franc and 55% Cabernet Sauvignon. “Dark chocolate hints, blueberries and black currant, with undertones of tobacco that work well with the chocolate dessert.”
And just when I thought I might pass out right there and then from fullness, the cheese platter arrived. If you know anything about me at all, you know that it is impossible for me to pass on cheese and I’ll leave it at that. The cheese platter was served with the Chardonnay, a “strong full-bodied wine, with a creamy butterscotch taste and a touch of oak, which works well with cheese”. Surprisingly for me, not someone whose palate is good at breaking down tastes and hints on wine, I picked up clove on the Chardonnay but nobody else I asked seemed to taste that.
An absolutely exquisite dining experience once more at Wishbone. We could not have asked for a more considered and well-curated menu. The wine pairing was perfection, and Buitenverwachting has a new convert in me.
Jean, representing Buitenverwachting, and Pieta from Wishbone