Nestled in the heart of Stellenbosch a brand new fine dining restaurant is waiting to be explored. 'Drum’ is the brainchild of brothers Moskou and Danie du Toit and offers diners a culinary experience of note.
The quaint space is on the second floor of the Black Horse Centre (Corner of Dorp Street and Market Street) and welcomes guests with earthy tones and a warm atmosphere. Limited to only 50 seats, you can be sure to get personalised and speedy service. The homely balcony is surrounded by Oak Trees and is dimly lit to make you feel right at home. All the seats give you a great view of the kitchen where you can see the chefs grinding away at the edible art that is about to come your way.
Drum's menu is set to change every month so you can keep coming back to experience Chef Moskou's latest and greatest creations. There is a choice of two or three dishes per course, each carefully constructed to deliver an explosion of tastes and textures. Guests also receive a complementary welcome drink and a bread plate upon arrival. Each dish is served with a complementing wine from The Grape Grinder wine collection.
As a starter I was served garlic bruchetta with beef tagliata, grano pandano shavings, garlic emulsion and fresh greens. Each component of the meal is expertly prepared and in perfect harmony with the rest of the dish. The beef is perfectly tender and bursting with flavour and the garlic emulsion adds a subtle final flavour to every bite. This was served with the Wild Olive Chenin. The meat is not as heavy as one would expect beef to be and goes perfectly with this white wine. The matured almond and honey notes pair perfectly with the rich grano pandano cheese that rounds off the dish.
Also available as a starter are two fresh oysters served with a red wine and shallote dressing and nori and deep fried shallots. For pure spectator value this is all served on a bed of dry ice that creates the illusion that your dish is floating on a cloud of smoke. This dish is another foodie favourite as Chef Moskou has combined and array of exotic textures to bring the best out of a classic dish.
For the main course I chose 9 day marinated french trimmed lamb cutlets with a lamb jus, tzatziki snow, berry and lime foam and seasonal veg. Nothing short of spectacular! After 9 days the umami in the lamb is at a perfect balance. The lamb jus is a labour intensive red-wine reduction that adds a subtle richness to the dish, careful to not overpower the already powerful lamb. An unexpected twist to such a dark dish is the berry and lime foam. It brings a tangy sweet and sour element to the plate. The foam is light and airy and uplifts the lamb to it's real place in the spotlight.
The Grinder Pinotage is an award winning Pinotage from the Paarl region. In 2016 it took the coveted Michelangelo trophy for best wine in it's class. It is a coffee pinotage that has a juicy and complex palate with spice and berries. Combined with the complexity of the lamb dish, it served to be a perfect compliment.
'The Circle of Life' dessert was another feast for the eyes and the pallet. Dark chocolate mousse served on a sponge circle, black chocolate soil, fresh berries and a berry puree. All covered in spun sugar, this desert is decadent but not to a fault. The mouse and sponge melts in your mouth while the berries breaks the sweetness with a crisp fresh burst in every bite. The Grinder Shiraz that was served is full of bright aromas and blends beautifully with the berries in the dish.
The staff are all courteous and expertly trained to make sure you understand each complex dish. Along with the tasteful decor and the atmospheric playlist, everything at Drum ensures your attention is focussed on one thing, the food.
Even though family and business don't always work well together, Drum has certainly found a winning recipe. The intimate and cosy atmosphere is unlike most fine dining experiences. Diners' curiosity will get the better of them as they return month after month to experience what Chef Moskou and his team have dreamed up next.