Tokara have been making olive oil since 2000 and at a time in South Africa when olive oil manufacturing didn’t exist. They’ve won awards and were also the first South African olive oil producer to bottle single cultivar olive oils. By choosing a particular cultivar you can match it more closely to your personal taste preference and to the food that will pair with it and I love their Mission and Leccino oils, which are milder in flavour. I want to bake a cake with these. The olives are all hand harvested and then cold pressed in their boutique facility and they now have 22 hectares of Coratina, Leccino, Frantoio and Mission under cultivation.
It was wonderful to visit the farm last week and taste the new 2017 vintage side by side for direct comparison. I was invited with a group of media to an event. It was also the first time I had visited the very beautiful Tokara Deli with its a double volume stylish interior and breathtaking views all around. They obviously sell all their olive oils and olive products in their boutique, along with a stunning selection of food related products, books and home ware and it took a great deal of self-control not to max out my credit card in this shop.
If like me, you have a large pantry with multiple bottles of olive oil, it won’t be a problem to go stock up with the single cultivar, as well as the blended olive oils, all complimenting your food in different ways. You can visit Tokara and taste the oils in either the Deli or in the wine tasting room, and during harvest, you could even taste them fresh off the press, Italian style.
After our tasting, we headed to the main restaurant where chef Richard Carstens treated us to a 3-course olive oil lunch. With each dish the olive oil had a shining moment and I was particularly inspired by the use of the Tokara Multi varietal olive oil ice cream, ginger mousse for dessert.
For starters, we enjoyed a dish of home cured trout with sushi rice, kohlrabi and gooseberries with Tokara Leccino olive oil and a wasabi dressing. For mains, we ate black pepper balsamic beef with olive oil poached carrot, buffalo mozzarella and Tokara Premium olive oil parsley sauce. All delicious.
This meal was obviously enjoyed with Tokara wines and I was totally impressed with their Elgin Sauvignon Blanc 2017 which was vibrant and fresh.
Tokara is a restaurant that sits proudly in My Comprehensive Guide to Eating out in Cape Town, and now I’ll also be adding the Deli in as an excellent option if you are looking for a more casual meal.
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