The old family owned Rosebank Hotel, corner Tyrwhitt & Sturdee avenues, was totally restructured and refurbished during 2008 and is now known as the Crowne Plaza Johannesburg – The Rosebank. This is a hotel that I frequented for Sunday lunch and birthday celebrations during my teenage years, a good 28 years ago and it is a pleasure to go there now with its new, very trendy look and feel.

We, a group of Professional Conference Organisers, were hosted by the hotel for our bi-monthly meeting and then treated to a sumptuous Chef’s Table at Fresh, one of the restaurants at the hotel. Chef Thomas and his team prepared an utterly delicious menu with wine pairing for the group of 30 guests in the semi private upper section of the restaurant which leads out to a patio area, very convenient for the smokers amongst us.

The Amuse bouche was a terrine of foie gras with port wine jelly and apple chips accompanied by a Moreson Cap Classsic Brut Rose, served with freshly baked crusty rolls and bread sticks. Although I am not fond of foie gras, I found this to be very palatable. This was followed by green asparagus and prawn salad with seared scallops, saffron dressing and tossed watercress accompanied by Hermanuspietersfontein no 7 Sauvignon Blanc 2010. The prawns and scallops were cooked to perfection and the dressing and greens complimented the seafood.

Next we enjoyed cream of broccoli soup with truffle oil and poached quail eggs paired with Goats Do Roam Rosé Organic 2010. This wine, unknown to me has a very light, crispy taste well suited to the cream based soup. For the main course one had a choice of duck or salmon. The crispy roasted Barbary duck with cepe & morel jus, braised red cabbage and lyonnaise potatoes. As they often say, a chef can be judged by the success of his duck, in my opinion he succeeded with flying colours.

Some of my colleagues chose the Norwegian Salmon with lie beurre blanc, sautéed baby vegetables and a pea risotto. Their feedback was very positive. Both mains were accompanied by a Rickety Bridge Chardonnay 2009. This meal was concluded by a decadent dessert consisting of chocolate and pistachio nut terrine, naartjie anglaise and honey brittle paired with a Rupert & Rothchild Classic 2008. Tea, coffee and friandise were the final step in this most delectable meal.

This menu is available to groups of at least 20 pax @ R925 per person, all inclusive. Variations to this menu can be discussed to suit the client’s needs and budget. For more information, contact Crowne Plaza Johannesburg – The Rosebank on 011 448 3600,