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The Silo Hotel Dining

Tel: +27 (0) 21 670 0500
30 March2020

by Nicole Sorour

Bring The Royal Portfolio Dining Experience Home.

As many of our guests stay at home to combat the spread of Covid-19, we wanted to share some of our Executive Chefs’ favourite recipes for you to try at home.

Mussels Laksa is a signature dish enjoyed by guests at Birkenhead House prepared by executive chef, Oliver Coetzee. Fresh mussels foraged from the rock pools of Voëlklip beach below the hotel are delicate and aromatic. Guests often join our chefs on these mussel picking excursions.

The mussels are cooked in an Asian seafood broth infused with lemongrass, fresh ginger and green chillies. The mussels are served with white coconut laksa and curry foam (a nod to South Africa’s Cape Malay culinary heritage) and garnished with shaved green apple.

Birkenhead House is in the seaside town of Hermanus and is surrounded by sea, pristine beaches and towering mountains. Oliver grew up in South Africa’s Western Cape where the cuisine has a strong Malay influence. He’s also had a long time passion for Asian flavours. The culmination of these influences with the abundance of fresh, local seafood makes for a truly tantalising menu.

Mussels Laksa

Serves 8

Ingredients for the coconut laksa 

2 medium onions, chopped
3 tbsp fresh ginger
3 tbsp fresh garlic
5 green chillies, slit lengthways 100g lemongrass

4 tins coconut cream 50ml fish sauce


Sauté onion, ginger, garlic, chilli and lemongrass on a low heat until the aroma is released – about 5 minutes. The onions should be soft and translucent but not caramelised. Add coconut cream and fish sauce and simmer for 15 minutes on a medium heat. Set aside to infuse. Strain once cooled.

Ingredients for the mussels and stock

660ml water
1 onion, chopped 1 lemon, halved
1 stalk celery
1 carrot, chopped 3 cloves garlic 2kg fresh mussels


Place all the ingredients, except for mussels, in a pot and bring to a rapid boil. Add mussels, cover with a lid and steam until they open. This will just take a few seconds. Remove mussels and set aside to cool (discard unopened mussels). Reserve stock.

Ingredients for the curry foam

275g crème fraîche
660ml mussel stock (see above)
3 tbsp curry powder
10g salt
12.5g soy lecithin (or gelatine)
Shaved green apple and micro coriander, for garnish


Combine all ingredients in a small pan and heat to 40°C. Blend and set curry liquid aside.


Whisk curry liquid until it becomes foamy. Allow to settle. Cook mussels in laksa until warmed through – about
4 minutes. Present them in a serving bowl, then pour broth over mussels. Drape with foam and garnish with shaved green apple and micro coriander.

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