Artist Rembrandt van Rijn’s wife herself would have given a nod of approval if present at Fusion Boutique Hotel on Sunday when staff of the fine dining restaurant, named in the lady’s honour, pulled out all stops to treat guests to a newly introduced Sunday lunch buffet.
Executive Chef Thank-God Okele, his dedicated team and restaurant staff under guidance of Food and Beverages Manager Mussa Chirwa, afforded patrons the five-star treatment this establishment in the vibey part of Polokwane is known for.
Among works of art, opulent décor elements and bold furniture pieces lovers of cuisine savoured a three-course spread of starters to desserts that impressed. In keeping with Sunday lunches being laid-back family gatherings characterised by good food and opportunity for catching up, the creative minds in the kitchen came up with an encompassing meal that was strikingly presented. With the respective starters, salads and desserts they opted for individual servings while the hot buffet constituted seven different dishes. Additional to that was an assortment of breads with onion marmalade, basil pesto, garlic butter and strawberry jam.
Starters entailed balsamic glazed pulled beef with root vegetables wrapped in rice paper, seafood cigars with anchovy dip and banting-friendly marinated chicken wings, while the all-time favourite Greek salad was served on skewers alongside baby marrow carpaccio.
The mains were representative of a twist to the traditional. Lamb shank Wellington, prepared with a Diemersfontein Pinotage reduction that featured dark chocolate and coffee notes and served alongside a mushroom sauce, chicken curry served with poppadoms, creamy garlic mussels, pasta and aubergine parmigiana, roasted whole pumpkin and potatoes as well as compressed jasmine rice made for a gentle cross-over between aromas and flavours.
Dessert offered a variety of sweets that promoted fresh local produce and no one could be blamed for wanting to start on the far side of the serving station first. The mini-macadamia and white chocolate cheese cakes, petite fruit and berry trifle as well as the chocolate brownies, marshmallow and strawberry kebabs formed a tempting visual feast.
Discussing the menu prior to the start of the sitting, Okele said with it he embraced the traditional wholesome Sunday meal with dishes that perfectly complemented one another. The whole idea was to bring families together in five-star style, he added. Okele was quick to attribute the end result to his team of 16 chefs and two executive sous chefs without whom he believed he wouldn’t be able to achieve anything.
As the conversation progressed he spoke of a passion for food, the inclination towards a fresh and continental approach to dishes and his love for exploring.
In the company of connoisseurs time passed without notice. For those who wanted to continue savouring the moment the appealing nooks and crannies of Fusion Boutique Hotel were for the taking, as was the case with the recently installed gazebos on the upper deck. These coveted seating arrangements serve as tempting outside rooms ideal for cocktails around sunset or for moving on after dinner.
Make a booking for that not-to-be-missed Sunday lunch buffet with Saskia Restaurant on 015 291 4042. Locate them on the corner of Suid and Hans van Rensburg streets in Polokwane.
Story and photos: YOLANDE NEL