Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year Greetings from all at RiverBend Lodge

Here's wishing all of you.......

All the best for 2012......!!!

Lemon Puree recipe - for Smoked Salmon!

Here is another of Chef Jonathan's personal additions to create a great burst of flavour.

Lemon Puree


6 lemons - remove the rind with pith
160g Castor Sugar
100g olive oil
100g water
pinch of Turmeric for colour


Place Lemon rind with the white pith into a saucepan, bring to boil and simmer for 1 minute. Strain off water, cover with more cold water and repeat the process 5 - 6 times until tender to the touch. (The purpose of this is to boil out the bitterness from the Lemons).
Place the Lemon rind into a blender, blend until smooth, add sugar, water, and turmeric. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a squeezy bottle and refrigerate.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Recipes to enhance your New Year Lunch

Our Executive Chef, Jonathan Hodder has some suggestions for you to take your New Year Lunch to a new level - should you have either Parma Ham or Smoked Salmon on the Menu....!

Parma Ham and Pea Mousse with Crispy Egg - the Pea Mousse Recipe


3 egg yolks
10g flour
120g milk
150g frozen peas
35g egg whites
50g whipped cream
2 leaf gelatine (soaked in cold water)


Put on milk to boil gently, whisk egg yolk and flour together - whisk until smooth. Add a little of the hot milk to yolks, whisk and add back to remaining milk. Using a spatula, cook out the milk and eggs until smooth and thick custard......allow to cool.
In a blender, blend peas whilst frozen (to keep the bright green colour). When the peas are broken down add the cool custard and blend until smooth and pass through a sieve. Melt the gelatine in a pan with a touch of water - be careful not to burn the gelatine.
Whisk egg whites and cream, add first the egg whites to pea custard and fold in gently...followed by the cream...and once completely folded in...refrigerate until set.
Makes 10 - 15 portions.

Tomorrows Blog will feature the Recipe for Lemon Puree....for your Smoked Salmon.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Greetings from RiverBend Lodge

A Very Happy Christmas from all of us at RiverBend Lodge to all of you wherever you may be.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Celebration of Elephants

Probably the biggest single reason why there is a thriving Hospitality Industry in the Sunday's River Valley......... Let's celebrate them in this time of Celebration!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Martial Eagle

At the back end of November we featured a Forest Buzzard on our Blog, and promised to bring you a photograph of another Summer visitor - a Steppe Buzzard. We haven't managed to get a good image of the Steppe Buzzard.....but we can feature another Raptor today...a Martial Eagle.

Martial Eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus) Status - uncommon resident...listed as vulnerable.

                                                               A wonderful sighting!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tasting Menu at RiverBend

On Monday night (12th December 2011) we were treated to a Tasting Menu with Jonathan - an exercise to explore various flavour combinations and wine pairings......


Spiced lentil and roast pepper soup, onion bhaji

Smoked salmon trout, pickled cucumber, lemon puree

Parma ham, pea mousse, crispy egg

Poached kingklip, tomato cous cous, vierge sauce

Roast tender loin of pork, crispy belly rosemary gnocchi, caramel apple sauce

White chocolate pannacotta, fresh berries, honey comb

We will be bringing you recipes for individual elements which form part of the dish.....Lemon Puree....Pea Mousse......Caramel Apple Sauce - elements which take each dish to new heights!!

We are busy 'reinventing' our wine list - which we will share here once it is done.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Miss South Africa" at RiverBend Lodge

                                                              "Miss South Africa"!!!!

Jonathan Hodder's first Dinner Menu

Our Guests at RiverBend Lodge were treated to Jonathan Hodder's first Dinner Menu at RiverBend yesterday evening.

Carrot and Orange, vanilla olive oil

Crisp Belly Pork, poached Prawns, spiced Apple dressing
Smoked Salmon Trout, pickled Cucumber, Fennel herb dressing

African spiced Kudu 'chakalaka' braised shank, confit Tomatoes, and Onion puree
Curied Monkfish, Spinach, Onion bhaji, curry bubbles
Roast butternut Risotto, Rosemary, Pecorino cheese, Truffle oil

Cheese platter with preserves and crackers
White chocolate panacotta, Strawberries and basil, honeycomb
Coconut frangipan tart, spiced Pineapple, mango sorbet

What a pleasure to stand to be able to watch and learn.....and taste every now and then!!! Debate which wine would pair best with various dishes!! Taste the elements of the dish individually...and then they all come together to create what can only be described as a 'Taste Sensation'!!
Becoming a Culinary Destination is one our Quest's and we are taking this seriously.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Jonathan Hodder - new Exeutive Chef at RiverBend Lodge

As promised - we would like to introduce you to our new Executive Chef at RiverBend Lodge, Jonathan Hodder.

Jonathan is married to Vicki and they are expecting their first child in January. Born and raised in Dorset, England, Jonathan has worked in some highly rated establishments. He began his career aged 16 and, before leaving England to move to South Africa with his wife, was the Sous Chef at Alan Murchison's resturant Paris House (which got a Michelin Star within one year of opening), having previously worked at The Queen's Square (Head Chef), La Becasse (French for Woodcock) and L'Ortolan (in Reading, Berkshire) amongst others! Jonathan relates an interesting story about the name L'Ortolan. An Ortolan is a rare bird which, whilst migrating in France, was caught in long nets and served up as a delicacy - eaten bones and all.

Having also had a spell in the famous Fat Duck Resturant in Bray - Jonathan is sure to be serving up some 'Gastronomic Delights' to Guests at RiverBend Lodge. We look forward to keeping you updated with photographs, recipes and Jonathan's food and wine philosophy!

Jonathan replaces Adriaan van Niekerk who is leaving us on to go on an East African culinary adventure. All of us at RiverBend Lodge, and many of the Guests who have stayed at RiverBend I'm sure, wish you all the best Adriaan. Go well!

                                                                   Jonathan Hodder

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Largest Elephant in Addo National Elephant Park

This is the largest Elephant in the Addo National Elephant Park...and he goes by the name of Vali Moosa.
He has been rather solitary of late, but has just come into musth and has joined up with one of the herds.
Vali Moosa is one of the bulls brought in from the Kruger National Park - and perhaps we are witnessing the birth of yet another 'legendary' Elephant in the Addo National Elephant Park, following in the footsteps of the one and only Hapoor. Incidentally this photograph was taken at the waterhole named after his illustrious predessor!
Our Guides at RiverBend Lodge will be more than happy to take you on a drive through the main section of the Addo National Elephant Park. RiverBend Lodge is situated on a Concession area of the Addo Park - the Nyathi Concession, which is 14 000 hectares in extent. Our motto is "THE LUXURY OF CHOICE" - you choose! We'll do our best to deliver.

'Click' on the image to view larger version.

Three Banded Plover (Charadrius tricollaris) album

Finding the nest of the Three Banded Plover is no easy the nesting part, unfortunately, is not included in this album.

The chicks in these images are really tiny - I would imagine one could fit one into a matchbox!!

It brings me great pleasure to be able to share these images.....and after having spent so many hours with these little birds I am reminded of the wonder's of this Creation.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Reviews and Roadblocks - Greetings from RiverBend Lodge

Should you wish to avoid the mad rush that can be encountered at this time of the year - here is the ideal place to do it.

Don't take our word for it though - go and check, (on the Trip Adviser link on our Website Homepage), what our Guests (note the Capital 'G') have to say about their stays at RiverBend Lodge. I will quote from some recent reviews!

"Highlight of our Trip" (Chook-in-Sweden 27th Nov 2011)
"Truly Outstanding" (Nailbiter London 27th Nov 2011)
"Mindblowing" (Flackwell 26th Nov 2011)

These are some the comments from the reviews...!

"This (RiverBend Lodge) was the absolute favourite part of our trip....."
"Joe (one of our Guides) was awesome...."
".... Steff and her crew made us feel like we were the most vip Guests (Capital added) they had ever had..."
"Julia was not only a sweet and caring lady, but extremely professional and competent and our baby loved her..."
"My only complaint was that 2 nights was way too short and I was wishing we had stayed a couple more.."
"This was truly a wonderful experience from start to finish".
"Steff (RiverBend Lodge Manager) and her team were excellent".
"Steve, our game driver, was excellent and knew his subjects".
"I would not hesitate to recommend".
"But it was personal care I have not experienced before from a hotel manager".
"I just also want to give the chef the thumbs up as the food was absolutely devine and the best meals we had eaten in South Africa".

So if you would like to indulge yourself, away from the 'maddening crowd', come and experience this kind of Roadblock at RiverBend Lodge this Christmas!!

'Click' on photo to view larger image.