I’m quite a fan of set menus.
It’s probably because I can be horribly indecisive when faced with a menu longer than my arm, inevitably resulting in me choosing the default meal of either a burger or pizza. And if (oh the horror) there is no said burger or pizza on the menu, I’m just lost.
Set menus, though, force me out of this carby comfort zone, tell me what I’m going to like and order, and that’s that. Easy.
This is why I really appreciate Catharina’s approach to easy, laid-back winter dining: with a special two- or three-course lunch menu.
For starters, there’s a choice between mushroom and Pecorino risotto, or a confit chicken Caesar salad. As you may have gathered already, I am not afraid of the carbs, so I dove head first into the risotto. Deliciously simple, plentiful and warming to the soul, the risotto as the perfect start to a good wintery meal – and the earthy mushrooms, salty Pecorino and creamy risotto did not disappoint.
The only thing really to follow such a comforting starter is, of course, a juicy sirloin and hand-cut chips. Resting on a bed of roast butternut and topped with creamed leeks, the steak was cooked to my perfect medium-rare, tender and full of flavour. And I’d go back just for a bowl of those hand-cut chips.
But really, the way to my heart is dessert… Don’t give me something light and fluffy. I know it will be good for my waistline, but I don’t care. Give me chocolate on chocolate topped with more chocolate. Catharina’s sweet offerings are either a line-up of seasonal sorbets or, which is what I had, a rooibos crème brûlée and melktert ice cream.
And? I didn’t even miss the chocolate. The beautifully balanced flavours of the sweet crème brûlée with the cinnamon-infused ice cream complemented each other so well – and complemented the whole meal too. Which is precisely why I enjoy set menus: the flavours work together in harmony like a well-written song, and I don’t have to use my brain too much to think about what to order, leaving me to sit back and enjoy Steenberg’s amazing wines.
More details on Catharina’s lunch menu here.