Invited guests tried the specially-created dishes presented by the eight finalists: Queen Victoria Hotel’s Dash Restaurant, Reuben’s at the One&Only, Den Anker, The Grand Beach, Sevruga, Harbour House and Willoughby’s & Co, but it was the deconstructed springbok bobotie from Signal which found the most favour with the judges. Drake said Executive Chef Malika van Reneen’s dish had remained “true to the brief of the historical trade route era, while at the same time delivered excellent value for money”. Dash Restaurant at the Queen Victoria was the runner-up, with a seared magret duck breast on a spiced Elgin pear puree.
Almost 6 000 votes were cast by visitors who tried the fusion dishes at participating restaurants. These votes were tallied and the dish which found the most public favour was Sevruga’s miso-marinated kingklip with garlic and ginger emulsion, winning the People’s Choice Award, with 2 350 votes.
Willoughby’s & Co waiter Jason Batt won the Waitron Award for his efforts in promoting the Master of the Trade Routes dishes to diners, single-handedly selling 339 tempura prawn rolls.
All dishes entered into the Master of the Trade Routes culinary challenge were inspired by the vibrant and diverse flavours representing South Africa’s roots from Dutch to Chinese, Indian to Italian, Portuguese to Malay and French to British, paying homage to the V&A Waterfront’s heritage.
The V&A Waterfront’s Executive Manager of Strategic Marketing, Chantelle Cole, said the response to the Master of the Trade Routes had been phenomenal and that another culinary challenge was planned for winter 2013. “The Master of the Trade Routes was embraced by our regulars as well as new visitors to the Waterfront. It has been a chance for visitors to rediscover old favourite restaurants as well as find a reason to visit some of our excellent hotel restaurants,” Cole said.