Liam Tomlin Food At Leopard’s Leap

The blog world is going to be buzzing with reviews on this amazing evening, and I am sure that the print media will soon follow. I received an email with a save the date request and was then asked which day suited me. I chose the Thursday, expecting an invitation to a lunch time affair and was most surprised to be invited to an evening function – dress code cocktail, and with a partner. It was fantastic that Dave was extended this invitation as I would not have gone without him. Being the ever practical person he is, Dave booked us in to a guest house one kilometer away. I was so glad he did, as we could enjoy every moment of this evening late into the night.

the leopard statue at Leopard’s Leap
the leopard statue

We arrived promptly at 7pm, me in a little black and white number and Dave dressed up (read long pants and a long sleeved shirt). The majestic building greeted us, together with staff offering us a cocktail. I am not sure how many waitrons were in attendance but each person we came across was well groomed, polite and efficient. If you put your plate down, it was whisked away seconds later. And I never had an empty glass!

Liam Tomlin Food At Leopard’s Leap
liam tomlin foods at leopard’s leap

While sipping on our cocktails we walked around the impressive dining hall, reading lounge and the shop. Cooking heaven! The shop has kitchen gadgets, spices and books, loads and loads of books. The wine is displayed on racks and there is even an old fashioned step ladder on castors so that you don’t have to go on your tip toes to reach what you are looking for. We then found the chef’s table dining room, and I cannot wait to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon enjoying the experience.

the chef's table
the chef’s table

We exchanged our cocktail glasses for wine glasses and headed out to the lovely appointed balcony to sit comfortably watching the sunset. The sun dipped behind the mountains, and as twilight disappeared, the grape vines were lit up by subtle green lighting. These vines were planted by Hein’s father 12 years ago, and the wine is fantastic. We tried the Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and Merlot.

the man pointing upwards is Dave
the man pointing upwards is Dave

Dinner was not expected – a cocktail party made me think we would get canapés but we were treated to 8 mostly wonderful courses. The well appointed kitchen had been set up in 8 sections, with two chefs at each section preparing and plating the dishes. At no stage was there a mess anywhere – the chefs were constantly wiping down their surfaces, a compliment I passed on to Liam himself. As he said, “they are good chefs”, but it is their training and leadership that makes them such.

before service
before service

We started with a sweetcorn and basil velouté and I loved it. I could have had a dozen more, and I was so impressed by the silky smooth texture, that I tried to recreate this at home the weekend afterwards. I will share my version with you next month.

sweetcorn and basil velouté
sweetcorn and basil velouté

The soup course was followed by raclette and prosciutto with baby potatoes. Half a wheel of cheese was placed under the heat, and then the melted top was scooped onto the potatoes and reminded me so much of our trip to Germany last year. It was served with baby pickled onions and gherkins.

raclette and prosciutto with baby potatoes
raclette and prosciutto with baby potatoes

Our next course was a rotisserie szechaun chicken and we could see the chickens being cooked and then carved up and lovingly plated. This dish was judged by Dave and I as the best savoury dish of the evening and we had second helpings after dessert.

rotisserie szechaun chicken
rotisserie szechaun chicken

We then moved on to what was the first of two disappointing seafood courses. The steamed sea bass with vermicelli noodles had bones in it. We had to do a fair amount of extraction. Also, I am not a big fan of sea bass, it is an imported fish with not much taste, and I would so much prefer our local fish being showcased.

steamed sea bass with vermicelli noodles
steamed sea bass with vermicelli noodles

Our next delightful dish was a spring onion pancake with roast belly of pork. I could have had a plateful of them, all nicely rolled up ready to pop into my mouth. I however stopped at one.

spring onion pancake with roast belly of pork
spring onion pancake with roast belly of pork

This was followed by seared salmon with avocado togarashi dressing, which was overpowered by the sesame. It was such a pity, as salmon and avocado have such gentle flavours, and they are a great combination.

seared salmon with avocado togarashi dressing
seared salmon with avocado togarashi dressing

Our last meat course was a duck saucisson which took Dave and I right back to our trip to France where we were in duck country. This was reminiscent of the rough duck pâté’s we enjoyed. The saucisson was prepared in the skin from the neck of the duck.

duck saucisson
duck saucisson

Now, dessert time! And not one, or two, but three sweet tastes to follow. I had my first taste of a recipe I have been wanting to try for some time, and now I have no reason not to.  The lemon posset with raspberries  and pistachio was sublime. I could have (should have) had the whole tray!

lemon posset with raspberries and pistachio
lemon posset with raspberries and pistachio

This dessert was followed by Bailey’s Irish cream parfait with cocoa crunch. It was not as sublime as the posset and it was boozy! Some people were clambering for more chocolate, but were told that there was not enough.

Bailey's Irish cream parfait with cocoa crunch
Bailey’s Irish cream parfait with cocoa crunch

Dave and I decided to get a plateful more of the chicken before heading off to sample the truffles. Dave chose one each – we have no idea what they were as no-one could tell us the flavours. But, they were made on site and were divine. I had one that was especially good and so stopped there with the food for the evening.

truffles to be enjoyed with espresso
truffles to be enjoyed with espresso

After we had enjoyed our food, our wine, and our coffee, we were offered cigars (no thanks) and Cognac (yes please). The staff just mingled among the guests, silently offering the humidor and the Cognac without intruding.

the gentleman's way to end a meal
the gentleman’s way to end a meal

A bit of confusion reigns about which door leads to the men’s and which to the ladies. We had a great debate about this, and Liam has suggested some earrings for the lady. Needles to say, there were men and women using both rooms! The wire whisk chandeliers caught my eye on so many occasions and when I downloaded my 137 photographs, most were of them. That and the center chandelier of grape leaves, over the wine tasting station will leave a lasting impression, together with the tables that teach you about meat, cheese and knives.

I want these for my kitchen!
I want these for my kitchen!

I cannot get too effusive or enthusiastic about how awesome this venue is. I am already planning on doing a few of the cooking courses and Dave will join me for those. There has been a serious investment here, and you will love your visit. Click the link for more information on Liam Tomlin Food.

Disclosure: I was invited to the opening. I was not asked to write a blog post about my experience. This post is in line with my blogging policy.

Edit: Liam Tomlin is no longer situated at Leopard’s Leap.

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33 thoughts on “Liam Tomlin Food At Leopard’s Leap

  1. Thanks for sharing your wonderful evening with us. All the food looked wonderful (sorry about bones in the fish). Very smart to spend the night close by…we often do that.

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    1. Our accommodation was not nearly as lovely as what you share with us, but it was a bed to sleep in and made such a difference to the evening 🙂

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  2. Wow! This is all amazing!

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    1. Thanks Jen, it was pretty awesome 🙂

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  3. WOW! All looks and sounds fantastic! Did you take that amazing pic of the leopard in the tree??? Its gorgeous! Food all looks and sounds amazing…..xx

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    1. It was fantastic. Sadly, I think Dave took that photo! He has a real eye and I would love him to take more for me 🙂

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      1. It is stunning!!! Tell him from me please…xx

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        1. I did, thanks 🙂

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  4. Oh Liam Tomlin used to have an amazing restaurant here in Sydney and I had to do a double take when I saw his name here. I had read that he was overseas but it’s nice to hear where he is now!

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    1. He says that he did the opposite – moved from Sydney to SA instead of the other way around, and I am so glad he did 🙂

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  5. Oh Tandy, everything looks so nice and tasty. Thank you so much for sharing such a lovely evening.
    Have a wonderful week ahead 🙂

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    1. it was an amazing evening – have a happy week as well 🙂

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  6. It sounds like you had a wonderful time and all the pictures looks amusing…..

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    1. it was a fantastic evening Katya 🙂

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  7. I’m drooling looking at that pancake. LOL @ the earrings idea. 😉 Sounds like an amzing evening, Tandy. xxx

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    1. I am going to have to make those pancakes at home 🙂 I really hope they do the earring thing!

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  8. Tandy, fantastic review: eight courses! In that wonderful place! I am envious, but your writing did them justice….

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    1. thank you so much Kate – this is the longest blog post I have written 🙂

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  9. An an amazing evening to be shared with your other half. Thank goodness Dave booked a room near by, as after all that food they would have had to roll me back to my room. Thanks for the review recap! BAM

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    1. the food at least was not too filling otherwise I would not have been able to enjoy the truffles 🙂

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  10. What such a lovely evening, Tandy!
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

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    1. my pleasure 🙂

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  11. The foold looks really good, pity about the bones though.
    *hugs*

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    1. it was a pity, but I am sure something we won’t have happen again 🙂

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  12. Wow Tandy, what a remarkable and fun evening out! Brilliant review!
    🙂 Mandy

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    1. thank you Mandy – it was awesome 🙂

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  13. Beautiful first pic – and wow I’m craving that duck sausage.

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    1. thanks Sally, Dave and I took so many of the leopard and it was has choosing 🙂

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  14. What an amazing evening that must have been, the food looks wonderful.

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    1. Sue, Dave has not stopped sharing this with everyone 🙂

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