SELF CARE is definitely A Thing and can take many shapes and forms. You can call it a “Me Day” if you like, or a Personal Day, or whatever. It doesn’t matter – just look after yourself and treat yourself like someone you love.
Which is why I took myself to lunch at The Stack yesterday, something I had been promising to do for a while. There’s a great winter special on at the moment (until the end of August), it’s conveniently close to where I live, and it’s such a gorgeous, comfortable place with excellent food and great, solicitous service.
When I got there for my late lunch, I was offered a table in the main dining room or in the bar. I chose the latter; the decor and the colours please me, there was a log fire, and it was otherwise empty. Perfection.
For the special, Mondays to Saturdays lunch or dinner, you can choose any two courses for R210 or three for R250. Initially my intention was a modest and restrained two but then, well, you know… For my starter I chose the rabbit terrine which is served with tangy pickles and a truffle vinaigrette, which I followed with coq au vin.
Chicken in a restaurant is an odd thing. I hardly ever order it when I go out – and I know I’m not alone here – but whenever I do, it’s usually fabulous. I think we dismiss it because it’s chicken – boring, right? It’s a trusty go-to for home cooks, versatile and affordable. As much as we can all cook something with it, chefs can do it just that little bit better. That’s what they are trained to do, after all.
Coq au vin is the perfect dish on a cold day. At The Stack it takes the form of a tender breast with a little bit of skin for extra flavour, presented sliced with fondant potatoes, a port-braised onion, glazed baby carrots, pumpkin purée, and of course, the red wine jus. With a glass of Warwick First Lady cab sav to left of me and the fire to the right while outside it was raining, I congratulated myself on my excellent choices.
Dessert wasn’t on the cards but I asked to see the menu anyway. Just in case. Which is how I ended up with an irresistible slice of dense coconut gâteau with a dulcey crème, thinly sliced fresh apple, and dehydrated dulcey chocolate mousse which held each side of the cake like airy melt-in-the-mouth angel’s wings. Frankly, life is just too damn short not to.
The Stack now serves three-course Sunday roasts for R140 and the Cocktail Club from 3pm till 6pm daily offers half-price cocktails (R40) and pints of Striped Horse pilsner for R30. For more information, click here.
PHOTO CREDIT: BIANCA COLEMAN ©