According to Wayne Dietrich, Head Chef of The National eatery and speakeasy in Parktown North, smoky undertones and light, zesty dishes are the flavours of this winter. The National, a dining room away from home, forms part of Chef James Diack’s The Brightside Group and has just released its spicy new winter menu, which stays true to James’ method of sticking to seasonal ingredients. With dishes inspired by Texan, Asian and South American culinary culture, the menu features food choices that will hit the comfort-eating mark.
“Our winter dishes are about warming the soul with fresh, healthy ingredients prepared with our classic flavours of smoke and spice,” says Chef Wayne. An astounding 95% of the ingredients at The National come off the Diack family’s farm, Brightside in the Magaliesburg. Passionate about seasonality and sustainability, the team is committed to providing a world-class experience from nose to tail, root to leaf and beginning to end, and they hope to inspire others to live more consciously. “Some of the standout, seasonal ingredients featured on the winter menu are beetroot and pumpkin both of which are featured across a variety of dishes. We have used spice, including cumin, coriander and paprika, to bring out our classic, smoky flavours and have played with winter colours from the choice of plate, to the combinations of multihued ingredients,” continues Chef Wayne.
Must-try dishes on the menu are the steam buns – a starter served with crispy sriracha fried chicken; the duck curry – a main of confit, pulled duck legs cooked in a homemade Thai red curry paste; and the Mississippi Mud Pie dessert, which boasts chocolate upon chocolate, but is still light enough to polish off.
“The National is an everyday speakeasy eatery and the second restaurant we opened as part of The Brightside Group,” says owner, Chef James Diack. “Our team at The National will always be driven by the group’s philosophy of delivering simple, beautiful, flavourful food, combined with gracious hospitality. We look forward to sharing our passion for food with our patrons this winter”.