The ATI Holidays’ staff members consider themselves a bunch of foodies; David (our Big, Bad boss and managing director) is known as the curry King of Windhoek. He is English after all!
So when The Olive Exclusive informed us that Chef Anthony was joining the team, we immediately offered our discerning palates as a testing ground for any new dishes which he might be planning on unleashing on the unsuspecting public, we’re completely altruistic like that.
Chef Anthony is a well-known, multi-award winning chef in Namibian circles. He studied at the Polytechnic in Windhoek (Namibia) and has been a chef for more than 13 years, working for both big hotel chains and more recently Chef Anthony was the senior chef at The Wreck Restaurant in Swakopmund, before returning to Windhoek to head up the team at Olive Exclusive.
Chef Anthony is a proponent of molecular gastronomy, a la Heston Blumenthal, which looks at flavours and textures and uses science to bring about unique combinations and dining experiences.
The idea of transparent ravioli makes my head hurt
When you think of dining out in Namibia, fine dining is not the first thing that comes to mind. Dining out in Namibia usually entails a hunk of steak and chicken is regarded as a vegetable.
So when the invitation came through for us to sample Chef Anthony’s fare we were… reserved and polite… nah we jumped and grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
I suspect that we were all of the opinion that we were going to have a really well prepared meal, but of the ‘standard three course variety’ – little did we know that a five course tasting menu was about to assault our taste buds – and how happy we were to be assaulted!
The evening’s menu:
Cucumber samosa with lamb jus and candied radish
Tom Yum Prawn Tea with Shitake Mushrooms
Three mushroom risotto and saffron chicken with porcini mushroom sauce
Beef fillet with roasted baby veg, kimchi cucumber and Rosemary red wine sauce
Trio de Olive
Blueberry Pie, Granadilla Créme Brule and Pistachio semifreddo
Thanks to the Food Network I actually know what a jus is, but the fact that Chef Anthony managed to not only shape shaved cucumber into a samosa, but he managed to stuff it too – that just went way over my head.
Not only did the food leave us making rather impolite but appreciative noises, it was beautifully presented and Chef Anthony’s flair for the dramatic came to the fore with the serving of the courses.
The Olive Exclusive has always been known for good food, in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, and Chef Anthony has just helped them raise the bar.
From August onwards the Olive Exclusive and Chef Anthony will be offering a tasting menu three nights a week – Windhoek is not usually treated as a tourist destination, rather as an over-night stop at the beginning or end of a holiday, but a dining experience at the Olive will make anyone’s stay in Windhoek a lot more palatable.