The Shortmarket Club in Cape Town is know for its extraordinary dishes, both experimental and delicious. Head chef Wesley Randles pushes the culinary envelope with food that celebrates unusual tastes and textures – it’s all about quality, sustainability and flavour.
The five recipes you can try are:
1. springbok tartare with ponzu dressing
Prep time: 30 minutes / Cook time: 20 minutes / Serves: 6
For the springbok tartare
300g springbok loin, diced into very small cubes
¼ red onion, finely diced
20g parsley, chopped
Maldon salt, to taste
100g walnuts, roasted
2 endive heads, separated into leaves
100g Parmesan cheese, grated and frozen
Edible flowers, to serve
For the ponzu dressing
100ml rice vinegar
300ml mirin* (rice wine)
3 pieces of kombu* (kelp)
30g bonito (dried fish) flakes*
300ml lemon juice
300ml lime juice
100ml soy sauce
300ml walnut oil
For the pickled shimejis
100g shimeji mushrooms
100ml rice vinegar
*Available at most Asian supermarkets
To make the ponzu dressing, heat the rice vinegar, mirin and kombu in a pot. Once warm, add the bonito flakes and infuse for 15 minutes, then strain the liquid and allow to cool. Add the lemon and lime juice and soy sauce to the cooled mixture. Add the walnut oil and mix well.
For the pickled shimeji mushrooms, cut the stems from the shimeji mushrooms and reserve for later use. Heat the water, rice vinegar and sugar until the sugar dissolves, pour over the mushrooms tops and allow to cool.
Make the tartare by combining the springbok cubes and onion in a bowl with the parsley, pickled shimeji mushrooms, Maldon salt and walnuts (reserve some for garnish), then add the ponzu dressing (about 5 tablespoons, to taste, or more if desired). Arrange the springbok into three piles on each of six plates. Lightly dress the tartare with some ponzu dressing, and garnish with endive leaves, pickled shimejis, roasted walnuts, Parmesan and edible flowers before serving.
2. baked ricotta in a fig leaf with gorgonzola sauce
Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 20 minutes / Serves: 6
For the baked ricotta
250g ricotta cheese
80g Parmesan cheese, grated
30g goat’s cheese
1 large free range egg
6 fig leaves
A little honey, the zest of 1 lemon, and olive oil, to serve
For the Gorgonzola sauce
500g Gorgonzola cheese
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta with the Parmesan, goat’s cheese, egg and polenta and mix well. Roll into six balls. Coat the fig leaves well in cooking spray, wrap each of the ricotta balls in a fig leaf and secure with string. Bake for 12 minutes.
To make the sauce, place the cream in a saucepan and simmer until the volume is reduced by half. Add the Gorgonzola and stir gently until melted and combined. Pour some cream sauce onto each of six plates (or in a bowl on the side). Peel back a section of each fig leaf to expose the ricotta ball, place on a plate and drizzle a little honey over the top. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of lemon zest and a splash of olive oil.
3. salsa macha
Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 10 minutes / Serves: 6
200ml olive oil
50g sunflower seeds
9 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
thumb of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 whole chillis, sliced and deseeded
30g dried sultanas
20g fresh basil stems, finely chopped
1T sesame seeds
50ml sherry vinegar
In a pan, heat the olive oil, and fry the sunflower seeds and garlic until golden. Add the ginger and chilli and fry for 20 seconds. Add the capers, sultanas, basil stems and sesame seeds, and cook until the sultanas swell. Deglaze with the sherry vinegar and serve immediately over freshly sliced tomatoes.
4. fresh fig with brinjal puree
Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 45 minutes / Serves: 6
For the brinjal purée
Fine salt and olive oil, to taste
3 garlic cloves, peeled
Juice of 1 lemon
12 fresh figs
50g hazelnuts, toasted
60ml hazelnut oil
30g of sorrel leaves
Thin Slices of bread, toasted
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Cut the brinjals in half, season with sumac, fine salt and olive oil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the brinjal skins, and blitz the roasted flesh with the tahini and garlic in blender until smooth. Season with the lemon juice and salt to taste.
Add a generous spoonful of brinjal purée to each of six plates. Tear the figs in half (2 per person) and arrange them around the purée. Garnish with the toasted hazelnuts, hazelnut oil, sorrel and edible flowers. Serve immediately with thin slices of roasted bread.
5. springbok loin in caperitif and nectarine jus with salt-baked celeriac, oyster mushroom and smoked bone marrow
Prep time: 90 minutes / Cook time: 120 minutes / Serves: 6
For the Caperitif and nectarine jus
1½ onions, peeled and halved
3 carrots, peeled and halved
3 celery sticks, washed and trimmed
3 leeks, washed
5 garlic cloves, peeled
3 quail carcasses, roasted
1kg venison bones, roasted
Zest of half an orange
2 fresh bay leaves
3 juniper berries
150ml Caperitif fortified wine
1L beef demi-glace
For the salt-baked celeriac
600g cake flour
4 large egg whites
Juice of ½ lemon
30g garlic bucks?
50g wild rosemary
50g pine needles
1 celeriac, peeled
For the mushroom and smoked bone marrow
Olive oil, for frying
6 large king oyster mushroom slices
6 smoked bone marrow* medallions
For the springbok
2 springbok loins
Olive oil, salt and pepper, to taste
20g fresh bay leaves
*Available at selected delicatessens
Sauté the onions with the carrots, celery, leeks and garlic. Deglaze with the port and raisins, add the roasted quail and venison bones, and cook until the volume is decreased by half. Add the orange zest, bay leaves, juniper berries and Caperitif, and reduce the liquid by half. Add the demi-glace and reduce further by a third.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Combine all the salt-baked celeriac ingredients and mix well to form a dough. Wrap the dough around the peeled celeriac and bake for 45 minutes.
In a hot pan, fry the mushroom slices in olive oil until golden on both sides, then place a bone-marrow medallion on top of each slice. Place on an oiled baking tray further in an oven at 180ºC for 3 minutes.
Season the springbok with oil, salt and pepper. In a hot skillet, sear the loins until deep golden brown on all sides, then allow to rest for 5 minutes. Place them back in the pan with the butter and bay leaves and cook until rare. Allow the meat to stand for 5 minutes, carve and serve immediately with the jus, celeriac and mushrooms, and quarters of roasted nectarine on the side.