Venues

La Colombe

La Colombe
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  • Location 0217942390
  • Phone Number Silvermist Wine Estate, Constantia Nek, Constantia, Cape Town
  • email reservations@lacolombe.co.za
  • Website URL http://www.lacolombe.co.za/
  • Opening Hours

    Lunch: Monday to Sunday 12noon to 1.30pm

    Dinner: Monday to Sunday 6.30pm to 8.30pm (limited seating every half hour for both lunch and dinner yet, guests can stay for as long as they wish)

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Cost
Lunch: Full Gourmand Menu for R990 (R1780 with wine); reduced menu R690 (R1270 with wine); Full Vegetarian Menu R790 (R1580 with wine); reduced Vegetarian Menu R540 (R1120 with wine), Dinner: Full Gourmand Menu R1090 (R1880 with wine); Reduced Gourmand Menu R790 (R1370 with wine); Full Vegetarian Menu R890 (R1680 with wine); Reduced Vegetarian Menu R640 (R1220 with wine)
Ambience
Classic elegance
Food
Asian, Fine-dining food, French, Modern, Vegetarian
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
500
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Critic's review

Linda Scarborough

Food
In 2016 La Colombe cracked the list of the top 100 restaurants in the world, confirming what its many fans already know: Dining here is a special, singular experience.

To start, you’re invited to tear open sourdough rolls and lather them with virgin butter, pickled fish and bonemarrow served in a dish reminiscent of a cross-section of bone, with the matching texture and pure-white hue. It’s a humble-seeming but complex beginning to a meal that will become more precise and pitch-perfect as it rolls towards completion.

Another amuse-bouche, the Garden, is a dainty phyllo log filled with onion gel, tartare and edible flowers that look almost too beautiful to bite. The serving tray is a flower box, sporting smooth pebbles and a real little baby-leaf plant.

Next is a West Coast oyster with apple, caviar, kalamansi and a light soy dressing. It’s transportive; you won't want it to end, but you might be forgiven for taking the cue of the shell-like crockery and tilting it back to sip that last splash of sea-tasting sauce.

Tuna La Colombe is the one thing head chef Scot Kirton is unable to take off the menu – and for good reason. It's a play on a tin can with seared tuna tataki, dots of avo purée, ginger and a poached quail’s egg. The colours, textures and flavours play together beautifully. It remains a knockout.

An Asian-style steamed pork bun is fun, and offers a nice rich and fatty mouthful of pork to balance out all the seafood freshness so far.

Then comes a seared scallop – so tender, so beautifully browned – with a little lollipop quail leg, deboned wing and breast, and a pool of sensational parsnip purée with braaied corn – sweet and popping in your mouth – and wilted bok choi. It arrives with a ‘bird’s nest’, an artful couple of feathers and a little quail eggshell from which you can dot teriyaki onto your plate. Not that the dish needs it – the flavours are concentrated and intense.

The alternative is Norwegian salmon with king crab, blood orange, melon and wood sorrel, but how could you forgo ordering the scallop again next time? Whoever did it the other way around probably feels the same…

The palate cleanser’s simple designation of Granny Smith on the menu belies the theatre it delivers. Two ice lollies emerge from a cloud of dry ice, standing to attention in a bowl of stones and pebbles. Lean in and you can hear the bubble and crackle beneath the surface. It’s a multi-sensory delight.

For mains, you might select the Chalmar beef (substitute Wagyu for R150 supplement) with langoustine, sticky and pungent oxtail, and peas. Chef James Gaag comes to finish the meat off over a single hot coal at the table, and dress the dish with golden mustardy jus from a dainty copper pot. A thrilling experience.

While vegetarians will miss out on the rich stocks, broths and reductions that bring most of the other dishes together, they will be pleased with the gorgeous beetroot risotto with creamy burrata and sage-burned butter, and the golden herb gnocchi with gorgonzola and butternut.

For dessert, you can choose between two more unusual options. The Three Ages of Boerenkaas comes in whorls and shapes with onion, quince, and walnut-and-cumin ice cream. If you have more of a sweet tooth, go for the Valrhona Azélia cremeux with Jerusalem artichoke ice cream (pickled from chef James’s family garden and roasted with hand-crafted balsamic from Protea Hill in Stellenbosch), grapefruit cubes and hazelnut crumbs. It’s vivid, enthralling and interesting in the best possible sense of the word. Every bite draws you in with its intricacy and uniqueness of tastes: earthy, nutty, salty, bitter and sweet.

The rock-like petit fours look unusual – on a bed of dark crumbs – but they deliver a very satisfying sweet kick in the form of hazelnut squares with popping candy, salted-caramel truffles and blueberry muffins.

Drinks
The wine list is sectioned into offerings by the glass, méthode champenoise, red, white, fine and rare, old world (Burgundy and Rhone), and dessert wines. If you’re not going to indulge, spring for a non-alcoholic cocktail made with fresh fruit. The Yirgacheffe coffee experience is fun for lovers of the bean.

Service
Numerous faces will come into focus during the course of the lunch as the team discreetly clears dishes and replaces cutlery. Dedicated waiters look after glasses and keep you entertained. They take their cue from your mood, knowing when to crack a joke or leave you to your savouring. This faultless service garnered them the 2016 Eat Out Nespresso Service Excellence Award.

Ambience
Having a table up against the glass windows is a real treat in winter. The blue gums and pine trees in the valley and beyond glisten with silver in the sunlight, and across the vineyards you might spy a chicken dust-bathing in the afternoon beams. In summer, the glass windows doors are flung open to let the forest air in. As for décor, it’s as subtle and soft as La Colombe’s namesake, the dove, with touches of feathery white and grey and dark beams inside.

And…
Do go visit Foxcroft, the new venture down the road by Scot Kirton and Glen Williams, which won the 2016 Eat Out Retail Capital New Restaurant of the Year.

(September 2016)

Eat Out critics arrive unannounced and pay their way in full. Read our editorial policy here.

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  • Linda Scarborough

    Food
    Eat Out Chef of the Year Scot Kirton is a master at plating pretty food, and at his new venue in the Silvermist Wine Estate, he’s also taking the opportunity to experiment and add a playful touch. Your first surprise comes in a little can – lift the lid to find a Lilliputian seared tuna tataki inside, their signature dish. Served with spelt-and-oat bread, and olive-parmesan bread sticks with herbed butter, it’s a sophisticated delight. Other starters might be dishes like a hen’s egg with poached salmon, asparagus velouté, peas and black forest ham; and the undeniably delicious Farmer Angus beef tataki and tartare with coriander mousse, black pepper puff and soft-poached quail’s eggs. Moving on to mains, the fillet of beef is done perfectly and served with fondant potatoes, caramelised onions and rich roasted cloves of garlic, with a smear of porcini and tarragon purée. An open vegetable lasagne is an unexpected hit, delivering tenfold in terms of taste expectations. Tender sheets of saffron pasta overlay pillows of spinach, all put to bed with a gorgonzola béchamel. Pastry chef Glen Williams flexes his imagination in the dessert department with a dish of ginger curd, cashew cake, mango sorbet, black sesame brittle and buttermilk. The chocolate namelaka (the creamiest mousse conceivable) with stracciatelle ice cream and raspberries provides a flawless ending.

    Drinks
    For a lingering lunch, why not order from a handful of wines by the carafe? You won’t be overwhelmed with information on the page, but the sommelier is happy to explain and assist with suggestions.

    Service
    Staff are friendly and chatty, but still extremely professional. It seems casual, yet is anything but.

    Ambience
    Simply spectacular. Making use of cool whites and its namesake colour of dove grey, the restaurant is like a modern lodge perched on the side of the mountain. Throughout the restaurant you can soak up views of the Constantia valley. It’s relaxed, yet ultra elegant.

  • Linda Scarborough

    As you ascend the winding road on Silvermist estate, time seems to slow down. At each bend, as the city tilts away beneath you, you rise to new heights of quiet anticipation. There’s a reason you feel this way – you’re on top of a mountain and about to dine at the new incarnation of La Colombe, frequent contender on our Top 10 list and no stranger to S.Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

    Food 

    As anyone who’s visited the ‘old’ La Colombe will know, chef Scot Kirton is a master at plating pretty food. While the starter and mains have many familiar elements ¬– no doubt to appease seasoned fans who might shy away from anything too conceptual – Scot takes the opportunity to be playful with his amuse-bouche, palate cleaner and desserts.

    Your first surprise comes in a little can – lift the lid to find a Lilliputian seared tuna tataki inside. It’s a treat alongside freshly baked spelt-and-oat bread, and olive-parmesan bread sticks with herbed butter.

    If you’d prefer to sidestep the foie-gras for starters, your options might be a hen’s egg with poached salmon, asparagus velouté, peas and black forest ham; a dish of tender scallops and barbecue pork with kimchi, deeply sweet and smoky aubergine, sweetcorn and a squiggle of crackling; and the undeniably delicious Farmer Angus beef tataki and tartare with coriander mousse, a black pepper puff and soft-poached quail’s eggs.

    While we wait for our mains, the palate cleansers arrive on a bed of pebbles – not edible, we are reminded by the waitress. (It seems some diners have been a little too adventurous.) They’re a revelation, though: globes of cocoa butter melt in the mouth to release a fresh burst of citrus on the tongue.

    For mains, we avoid ordering the SASSI orange-listed kingklip* despite the tempting description: miso-glazed, it’s served with smoked chickpea, potato and sweetcorn purée, and coconut and lemongrass velouté.

    The fillet of beef, however, does not disappoint, done perfectly and served with fondant potatoes, caramelised onions and rich roasted cloves of garlic, with a smear of porcini and tarragon purée. Sure to be a crowd pleaser.

    An open vegetable lasagne is one of the day’s unexpected hits, delivering tenfold my taste expectations. Tender sheets of saffron pasta overlay pillows of spinach, all put to bed with a gorgonzola béchamel. The simple description belies its rich complexity – you’ll have to order it yourself.

    Pastry chef Glen Williams flexes his imagination in the dessert department with his dish of ginger curd, cashew cake, mango sorbet, black sesame brittle and buttermilk. It may not sound instantly appealing, but your curiosity will be generously rewarded. The more clear-cut choice of chocolate namelaka (the creamiest mousse conceivable) with stracciatelle ice cream and raspberries provides a flawless ending.

    (Meal options include à la carte lunch, four-course dinner for R485 per person, or the gourmand dinner for R685 per person, or R950 with wine.)

    Drinks 

    For a lingering lunch, why not order from a handful of wines by the carafe, including a delicious fruity Normandie Karen Rosé from Franschhoek, and the unusual and slightly sweet Cederberg Bukketraube. You won’t be overwhelmed with information on the page, but the sommelier is happy to explain and assist with suggestions.

    Service 

    While the staff are friendly and chatty, they still observe all the formalities you’d expect from a restaurant of this calibre. Your napkin is whipped up into a pretty whirl if you step away from the table, your glass is topped up and wine kept chilled in a nearby ice bucket, and cutlery replaced discreetly when necessary. It seems casual, yet is anything but.

    Ambience 

    Simply spectacular. Making use of cool whites and its namesake colour of dove grey, the new restaurant is like a modern lodge perched on the side of the mountain. A shaded deck and umbrella-shaded courtyard are first-prize spots on a summer’s afternoon, but throughout the restaurant you can soak up views of the Constantia valley. It’s relaxed, yet ultra elegant.

    And… 

    If you’re lucky you’ll get salted caramel truffles among your petit fours in the custom-made box lined with cool, dark stones. (But you’ve been warned: don’t eat the rocks!)

    (March 2015)

User reviews

  • We celebrated my 50th birthday at La Colombe last night and what a wonderful experience! The service was impeccable, we had the best table with a breathtaking view and the food was sublime. Every mouthful was a gastronomic delight and the portions were just the right size! An unforgettable dining experience and the best possible place to celebrate such a milestone!
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  • It was my sons graduation dinner and we had friends from Durban with us. They rated it the best meal they have ever tasted Each course was an experience and my son who does not like fish rated the tuna amazing. The meal is not cheap but worth every cent and our waitress was very attentive without being obtrusive A fabulous experience
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  • What a wonderful experience, from the scenic drive up to La Colombe, the welcome of the staff and the little gift on the table to celebrate our anniversary, dare I say amazing presentations and the flavours of the food incredible. The presentation was mind blowing and the whole evening was pure pleasure. A must on any ones bucket list. Thank you. Diane Hosty
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  • A giggle, followed by a whisper of, "this is soooo good” – that reaction was priceless and summed up our 9-course Gourmand dinner. The flavours were surprising, fresh, delicious; a tease as it left you wanting more! While our waiter was wonderful, if I had to think of one thing that could have been better / exceptional, it would have been that other service staff knew where food needed to be placed ahead of time (this sometimes felt clumsy when our waiter wasn’t there to direct the placements). All in all, it was a treat and I hope to be back again soon.
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  • La Colombe has many incredible attributes, it is truly fine dining at its best. Chef Scott is a culinary genius and has created some truly inspiring dishes, the flavor combinations of each dish are complex but perfectly balanced and truly delicious. All the staff with in the establishment from security to waitrons and managers are all absolutely amazing and knowledgeable of both the food and the history of the estate and surroundings. Should you choose to do the wine pairing with every dish the Sommelier on duty will be round to your table to offer a briefing on each wine and answer any questions you may have regarding the wine or the pairing. The over all experience was truly amazing and I cannot wait to return and sample their lunch menu.
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  • After waiting months for our booking day to finally arrive, we were very excited for our dinner at La Colombe. We had heard all the buzz and wanted to check it out for ourselves. The winding drive up the mountain was the first steps to the journey of excitement. The food that followed was art on a plate with the flavour to boot. we went for the tasting menu and ordered a bottle of the Raatz red. The prices are high but so is the quality of the food. We had a wonderful evening and are looking forward to having the lunch menu next as at night we couldn't really enjoy the views that i am sure that from that height are breathtaking over the Constantia vallely.
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  • First visit to La Colombe since it's move to Silvermist and what a fantastic evening, in a beautiful setting, topped by an incredible tasting menu . The wonderful Manageress Jennifer looked after us impeccably and the service cannot be faulted ( we were also treated to some great singing too..) Despite there being a large group of us, the tasting menu was tailored to cater for any allergies/dislikes. Almost impossible to prioritise the best dishes, as each course had a lightness of touch and brilliant use of ingredients within. Cannot be recommended enough and I look forward to trying out the deli and picnic area in the spring - or as soon as i can.
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  • We were lucky enough to celebrate a 50th birthday party at La Colombe last night and our experience was so brilliantly fantastic that we have to write and tell you about it. We were in a seperate room, all thirteen of us, with a lovely fire warming the room and we had absolutely excellent service from Melissa and the manager Jennifer who did not leave a stone unturned to make sure our experience was the best it could be. In my humble opinion this restaurant must be one of the very best, if not the best, in South Africa this year. This is the fourth time in 6 months that we have dined at La Colombe, twice for dinner and twice at lunch and we have not been disappointed ever. Last night our thirteen guests were treated to the tasting menu. The chef added an extra dish as a birthday special but even more interesting was that only the delightful palate cleanser was the same as the tasting menu of a couple of months ago. What a pleasure and what an example. Best of all was that at the end of this wonderful evening we never felt that service was slowing down, that we were left on our own or that we were uncomfortable with having consumed too much food. And the wonderful thing was that we experienced magical tastes, magical combinations and a delightfully playful food journey. My only regret at recommending La Colombe this highly is that we might not get a booking in future so easily. As we say in Afrikaans: Doen so voort! You are superb and deserve loads of good things in future.
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  • We have been privileged to have eaten at many of the finest restaurants in the world. Only once before have I had a meal, where throughout the entire time all we spoke about was the food, and that was at El Bulli. On Saturday night at La Colombe, all we spoke about from the moment our meal started till well after we arrived home, was the food. La Colombe is not El Bulli, but in this respect at least, my experience was the same. It was quite simply the best meal I have had in South Africa. The dishes were flawless. Nothing was out of place, and every ingredient needed to be on the plate. The food was playful, exciting and executed perfectly. From the tinned tuna amuse-bouche that made us laugh, to the salted caramel chocolates and beetroot liquorish that finished our meal everything was perfect. The service was relaxed while managing to be very professional at the same time. We wanted for nothing and could have asked for no more. Even in this meal of highlights there were standouts. The scallop and sweetbreads were served on a salsa that has ruined corn for me. I simply refuse to eat corn again if its not served with aubergine, ginger and water chestnut. And the lamb… many a great chef would be humbled by that dish, so perfect was its execution. I have eaten at La Colombe many times in the past. This is the first time that I have been there since it relocated. It is better than ever before and is without doubt my standout restaurant in South Africa currently.
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  • Unfortunately I will never get to eat here, and will choose not to either. After using their electronic booking page to book a table for a very special occasion. I thought that, a week before my reservation (today) I should confirm it. When I called, I was informed that, even though they HAD received my booking- I did not have a reservation because nobody got back to me. I asked the lady how this was my fault, and she informed me that you should always follow up an electronic booking with a phone call- WHY I would waste my time with booking online when I could easily pick up the phone, I do not know. She then preceded to tell me that this was my fault, that they were fully booked and there was nothing she could do. If I had been informed of this on the day I booked, I could have made a booking at another place- THANK GOODNESS I called today, to avoid pitching up at my "reserved" time on Saturday, only to be turned away! I have been an EXTREMELY loyal to La Colombe in the past, and I can easily say that I will NEVER return, nor will I suggest it to anyone.
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  • I had been looking forward to eating at La Colombe for some time. Having bought a house in South Africa, I was keen to eat at the special places here. La Colombe in its new incarnation presented us with a most amazing dinner that I won't forget. It's tasting menu of seasonal and excellent dishes, comprising the best the season offered, paired with perfectly chosen paired wines was a wonderful experience. I wish the team the very best for the future, and look forward to another exciting meal there soon, and to the art works which will adorn the walls of the main room.
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  • It's back! Fabulous new setting, food even better and wonderful to see all the great staff still together, especially Jennifer who has to be on of the best front of house managers in the business! Congratulations to Scott and the team.
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  • Sad Very Sad . This beautiful restaurant is closed....Thanks for the Very best memories.....
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  • A few years have passed since I had the pleasure eating at La Colombe, but decided to enjoy a special lunch there yesterday. We were not disappointed - the quality of the meal was superb and the execution and service was flawless. Having eaten at five of the top 10 restaurants in the past year, I have to say that our meal yesterday surpassed all of these on every level, even if only fractionally. I would be very surprised and disappointed if this does not make a re-appearance if your top 10 in 2014 !
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  • I cannot believe La Colombe has been 'discarded' from the Eat Out Top 10! I'm absolutely shocked and appalled! Judges obviously forgot to visit this wonderful slice of Heaven... No need for me to describe any of the meals I have had the pleasure of having there, as I'm sure many of the readers/bloggers have already experienced the same feelings for themselves; if not, then you're missing out! Well done to Luke and The Test Kitchen, great work!

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  • We had the most amazing meal at La Colombe. It was lunch time (they were fully booked for dinner more than a month ago when I made the reservation). Service was outstanding as always. Food was definitely the best I ever had in Cape Town. And it is on par with anything in Europe (3 star Michelin restaurants included). The springbok starter was beautifully presented amazing flavours, nothing could have been done better. Thank you La Colombe for keep your quality and high standards. Any new buyer of the Uitsig farm that even slightly consider to close down this restaurant would have to be mad and really brainless.

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  • What can I say? La Colombe you beaut.
    A few weeks ago, when planning my girlfriend's birthday lunch I was left with a tricky decision... Where do I take her? Which restaurant in Cape town has elegance, class and leaves you with a feeling that you didn't just eat at a restaurant? But rather that you just experienced something truly majestic. Well La Colombe was clearly the first to pop into my head. I haven't been since Luke Dale-Roberts left so with the exciting anticipation of the unknown I booked a table for the two of us. From the minute we arrived I was in awe of the famous service and attention to detail every patron receives. Our waitress, Rebecca was on top form all afternoon, the manager, Andrew, whom I had never met spoke to us in such a warm manner I felt as though he had known us for years. The Barman, James was kind enough to offer us a tasting of whiskey and made for us literally the best coffee I have ever had. A true barrister. One of the other waiters, Dale, was incredibly charming and knowledgeable about the history of the farm. Just when I thought it couldnt get better, A birthday plate was brought out with happy birthday Kristal written on it in dark chocolate. La Colombe from the bottom of my heart, thank you for creating not only a special day for both me and my girlfriend but also for reviving in me the belief that some restaurants do still get the right things right.

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  • What an exceptional evening! La Colombe presented a real sensory experience for my husband and I. The winter menu was ideal for the season. It warmed up our bodies as well as our souls. I loved every dish that was presented to us. This restaurant was the highlight of my trip to the Western Cape and has created another wonderfull memory for my husband and me. Thank you, La Colombe.

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  • Amazing food! Service! Everything was just incredible. Loved how the waitress describes each item on the menu on a big board in front of your table! Nice touch!

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  • The third and last restaurant on our weekend of food. Similarly, a near perfect chef's tasting menu, and probably the most interesting wines in the pairing. Service (in spite of a confirmation of 3 persons the previous day, we were met with a table set for 2) ever so slightly less "real" than the other two restaurants, but no less professional, if a bit over-enthusiastic.

    The 8-course tasting menu also brilliant (especially the duck and pork dishes), and probably the most interesting wines and best pairing of the trip.

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  • A culinary feast with superb service in a most pleasant ambience. Many small details that added to the pleasure to dine. Very knowledgeable and friendly staff. Great value for money. 

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  • Having last visited in 2010 when we got engaged, I was worried about our anniversary meal today when I knew it has lost it's top restaurants in the world ranking, the chef had changed and I read the earlier today reviews. All I can say was those reviews were wrong. We had a fantastic meal and the service was excellent and at just the right pace. Sommelier knowledge pushed us towards new interesting wines which were gorgeous. Fantastic experience and well worth the money.

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  • What a fabulous place to have an intimate meal that is well thought-out and made with great skill and passion. The waitrons are knowledgeable and customer-focused. We will definitely return to La Colombe.

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  • Back to its best, new chef has found his feet and new tasting menu was the best experience wife and I have had in South Africa - highly recomended.

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  • Food may be top dollar for Cape Town, but certainly excellent food and wine! Delightful!

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  • La Colombe is the number 10 restaurant on the Eat Out magazine’s top ten list for 2012. Yet this restaurant with its French Asian fusion focus has been on this list more than most restaurants in South Africa. Situated on the Constantia Uitsig wine estate it personifies absolute wine land decadence.
    We have booked for a lazy Sunday lunch slot. The facade of the restaurant seems mediocre until you step through the white French doors into the courtyard. A little splash pond greets you with intimate table settings in secluded corners and passages. This must be a magical setting at night with fairy lights adoring every tree. We are seated in a romantic spot under a white canvas umbrella with gravel underfoot and a crisply dressed white round table awaits the afternoon’s feast.
    Our lovely hostess Jeanette offers us an aperitif, the local bubbly from the Uitsig estate is refreshing on the warm summer day. Like a well-oiled machine we are visited by various co-hosts and a very knowledgeable wine steward. We now have olive and sundried tomato bread, a surprise complementary tapas selection from the chef and the menu on a chalk board and an easel. We are ready for the next act!
    While perusing the mouth-watering menu, eloquently explained by Jeanette, we sample the dainty tapas selection. The slither of Beef Carpaccio rolled around shiitake mushrooms melts in your mouth; the mini Caramelized Onion Tartlet with goat’s cheese looks as if it is made by the fairies and the ingenious Tom Guy Thai soup served with a prawn and chestnut is presented in a hollow egg shell.
    This truly sets the scene for things to come. Attention to detail is the name of the game and flavours and textures are combined to cause taste explosions. The menu is not elaborate and thank fully so, everything begs to be tried out and we chose a selection that speaks to our senses.
    Accompanying our sparkling wine we start off with some oysters all the way from Saldanah Bay they are poached in a champagne veloute and are served in the shell and topped with the optional osietra caviar. To save space we share the Trout Sous Vide sourced locally in the neighbouring Franschhoek this is served with confit nicola potatoes, tomatoes and shallots, lime marmalade and fennel foam. Everything is presented with flair and a personal touch.
    Our neighbours are celebrating a birthday and decide to light up cigarillos during the meal - we are very pleasantly surprised that the floor hostess asks them to refrain as this is not a smoking area even though it is outside as non-smokers we applaud this and thank Dr Zuma silently for wonderful smoking laws in South Africa.
    We take a break with a palate cleanser, the choices being granny smith granita with Pimms jellies or pineapple granita with Malibu jellies. Both very refreshing, though the pineapple is defiantly for the sweeter tooth. Now on to the main courses. The options definitely has something for every palate, there is Springbok medallions , the line fish today is Kabeljou, vegetarians can opt for the Wild Mushroom Spring Roll and the unique Veal ‘La Colombe is a fillet of veal served with a steamed langoustine.
    Being a pescatarian myself I decide to have my monthly dose of iron and is not disappointed with the Grilled Fillet of Chamber Beef served on a bed of fine green beans with crisp potato basket filled with braised oxtail topped with baked potato and horse radish foam, wild mushrooms and a to die for black pepper and truffle café au lait. Hubby chooses the Suckling Pig; this will put any Sunday roast to shame. Confit belly and shoulder, sous vide loin and rump as well as braised cheek with caramelized apple and turnip spring roll. Beetroot dauphinoise, onion and sage puree, creamed leeks and a Calvados jus complete the dish.
    We take a substantial breather before we even consider dessert. It is a lazy Sunday lunch after all and the surrounds are peaceful and tranquil to support this. A stroll around the gardens or stretching under a pine tree is just the thing to create an appetite for the sweets menu, which we have glimpsed at other tables. Again the chalk board and easel appears and the show must go on.
    Dessert arrives with the usual panache. The Rose and Coconut Pannacotte is as pretty as a picture with cashew pebbles, orange and orange flower yoghurt, lime syllabub, rose foam and the tiniest rose meringues as garnish. The Smoke Chocolate Torte is rolled in coffee and hazelnut crumble, with Hennessey marshmallows, hazelnut covered meringues, blue berries, tobacco salted caramel sauce and hazelnut semi-frodo.
    However it doesn’t end here. A selection of petit fours arrive compliments of the chef with the rose Turkish delight and truffle filled with salted caramel a personal favourite. In addition there are cinnamon marshmallows as well as madeleines and delicate coffee meringues. We select the caramel rooibos tea to accompany this mini feast and smiles in acknowledgement to our French neighbour that says he comes here frequently especially for the petit fours.
    Sadly the gastronomic extravaganza must end and we have to say our good byes. A quick stop at the wine shop on the estate ensures that we can take a little bit of the La Colombe experience home. With the Uitsig bubbles in the fridge it will remind us to later unpack and reminisce the amazing memories of an afternoon well spent.

     

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  • Pretentious best describes our meals!

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  • 6 of us ate at La Colombe last night. Although the service at the table was good, we waited a very long time for our food to arrive, in fact getting through 2 bottles of wine before our starters had arrived. We were all a little disappointed with our meals. The men ordered the suckling pig thinking it would be a nice substantial meal, it arrived looking like Alice in Wonder land's tea party and was mostly unrecognisable! Vegetables are virtually non existent. We all left feeling really hungry. A pity, we were all so looking forward to eating here.

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  • The food at La Colombe is nothing short of sublime. What could have been a somewhat tedious work dinner ended up being an altogether stunning evening. Although restricted (due to the size of our group), the menu was interesting and the service was impeccable. I shall definitely return – one of the gems of Cape Town.

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  • About 30 years, I found myself at the Georges Cinq in Dinard at the birth of "nouvelle cuisine". It was wonderful unlike SA'a pale imitations. We paid at La Colombe a fortune for food which was pretentious but no big deal like fish, quite well done, with a sauce which I am fairly certain I could have lashed using Bovril, cornflour, salt and sauce powder. None of our party were hugely impressed and the general verdict was that we would have done better at the Wild Fig.

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  • We had lunch at La Colombe yesterday. I went with some reservation having been disappointed when I last ate there about 3 years ago. The service was superb (well done Amber - your knowledge of the dishes and pleasant manner are to be commended), the food interesting and very tasty with wonderful presentation, ambience was good and the cloakrooms without fault. Having eaten at Overture and Jordan in the past 10 days I have to say you win hands down on all scores in my book. Well done.

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  • After an absence of some time, I lunched at La Colombe. An outstanding tasting menu by talented chef Scot Kirton. The staff are friendly and informed and Luci who served our table had an outstanding knowledge of the wines and the various ingredients that made up the different courses we enjoyed.

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  • Three of us had the most wonderful food, wine, service and ambience ever! They eat out all over the world and agreed this was the best! My favorite is the scallops and pork belly. The peanut butter dessert is orgasmic!

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  • Top in most ways!

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  • Simply the best food in Africa! Such passion and dedication for food. Thank you for the most amazing Sunday lunch!

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  • The only restaurant I know that is superb on every level and every occasion. Brilliant!

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  • My wife and I enjoyed a superb lunch in May - my taste buds were exhausted! Great food and service. Dale who?

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  • I am on holiday in Cape Town staying with family. I have previously visited this restaurant under a different chef but I can say the standard of the food is excellent and the ambience and service made for a very pleasant evening with family and friends. I know this is a firm favourite of the family.
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  • A perfect evening, excellent food, ambience and service - what more could one wish for. Highly recommended
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  • Dinner last night for a birthday celebration. Absolutely brilliant on every level. As someone who eats out a lot, I can confidently say this is the best food and service to be had in the Western Cape.
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  • Absolutely fabulous, as always! La Colombe never disappoints. First class all the way.
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  • Had lunch on the Monday after the Eat Out Awards. Could not believe that this outstanding restaurant was not under the Top 10! Thank you for excellent cuisine and service. The place was packed on Monday at lunch time - need I say more?
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  • La Colombe has always been my favourite restaurant and it remains so. I had a perfect meal and experience there last week. The food was superb, wine list legendary and the service was up to the best in the business. La Colombe has been simply superb on every occasion I have been there over the last 8 years and last week was no exception. Chefs may move on but La Colombe still shines out and much of this I think is to do with the restaurant manager,Jennifer and her attention to detail, as well as the entire team from when they take your booking. They really want you to have a great experience. I absolutely did yet again. Thank you!
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  • No more La Colombe.
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  • Perfection! This restaurant was a delight to go to and exceeded my expectations. The food and service was amazing. The house sparkling wine set the mood and it simply got better thereafter. The beetroot dishes (especially the parfait) was sensational.
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  • We recently had the pleasure of dining at La Colombe. After hearing so many good things, we booked in for dinner on their Winter Special. WOW! From the moment we arrived, the service was brilliant. Our waiter was knowledgeable about the food and wine, and everything arrived like clock work. The tapas were incredible, and Im still thinking about the creamy smooth chicken liver pate - served as a tapas on top of their winter special. The starters were fabulous. Not a fan of goats cheese, I made a point of trying this and was pleasantly surprised. The sous vide beef lived up to my expectation, but it was the flavours of the kingklip that really impressed. What a fantastic meal, incredible service and an overall enjoyable evening. Thank you.
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  • A big thank you to the friendly folks at La Colombe for making my wifes birthday really special yesterday 25/07/2010. We recently moved from Durban to Cape Town so I took this special occasion to sample one of SAs finest. La Colombe stood up to the fantastic reviews that Ive read and heard. My starter of langoustine and quail was perfectly cooked, my wife raved about her beetroot tart. As a matter of fact, the same can be said for the rest of the meal. A special mention regarding the sommelier who came across down-to-earth and sincere, a breath of fresh air to the stereotypical nose in the air kind.
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  • Recently my wife and I came to South Africa to watch the Socceroos. Since we were crossing the pond we decided we wanted to eat at the best SA had on offer. We managed to go to 6 of the Eat Out top 10. What a treat we had fantastic meals at all of them but I really was blown away by La Colombe (no wonder they are in the Pellegrino Top 50 as well) I also wanted to mention 9th Avenue Bistro in Durban, what an exceptional restaurant. So Thank you Eat Out for guiding us in the right direction and thanks to SA for providing some delicious dining.
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  • On a visit to family in the Cape we decided to treat ourselves to a special lunch. Had to try the Winter menu at La Colombe. Wow! the only thing lacking was a view over the mountains. We both thoroughly enjoyed the tapas tasters -especially the kudu tartare- the kingklip was divine and dessert was almost eclipsed by the truffles. Absolutely the best meal I have I ever eaten.
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  • I would like to thank La Colombe for the most wonderful evening on Saturday. Given the restaurants stature in the world restaurant industry, I was half expecting some pompous attitudes. However, every staff member was down to earth, professional and friendly. There was no punting of expensive wines or pushing for overpriced bottled spring water - just friendly,at home service that made us all feel relaxed and at ease. Then came the food...the winter special is great value and is a tasting experience that will have me back at La Colombe time and time agian. Each dish was masterfully created with chef Lukes signature suprise element adding a special twist and taste sensation. My next trip to this restaurant cant come fast enough. Thanks to the whole La Colombe team!
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  • Five of us went for dinner at La Colombe on Friday and wow, I just have to tell everybody that this place is getting better and better. We were treating two French guests to the best of South African restaurants and did La Colombe do us proud! They could not stop raving. As far as the rest of us were concerned we loved the new simplified menu but were happy to still spot the old favourites such as beetroot tart and Springbok loin. The lamb and bits went down a treat and the vegetarian goatsmilk cheese risotto delighted our French guests. Incredible. A restaurant to be proud of. Always.
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  • A great dining experience. We went there for my wifes birthday and were blown away by the great combination in taste offered by the food. We went for the tasting menu which had the most amazing pairings of food and wine. Definitely worth a visit.
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  • I booked well-ahead here for my birthday - and asked for a nice table. Wow, they pulled out all the stops. Got a fabulous canopied arbor with plump pillows and petals on the table linen - very romantic. The service was top notch, the waiters are extremely well trained. The food was sublime - all of it! A real gem worth every cent. One of my most memorable meals. Absolutely deserves to be number 1.
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  • My friend Peter and I have been visiting Cape Town for many years and one of our favourite things to do is to explore the fantastic restaurants the Cape region has to offer. When we saw that La Colombe had been voted Restaurant of the Year we were sure that we were in for a gourmet highlight of our holiday. But what a disappointment the lunch at La Colombe turned out to be! Our admittedly high expectations were mostly met on the culinary level. With the exception of the rather rustic rabbit ballotin starter (possibly a matter of personal taste) the food was very good and nicely presented. But in the end the high price range of the restaurant every detail counts. A wine list being handed with smears of oily fingerprints is not a nice thing to touch and look over and when it comes to ambience the courtyard onto which the restaurant opens has definitely potential for an upgrade. Also very important, the service. The general attitude of our waiter was not so much on the subtle but rather very much on the refreshing side, which may be owed to a more relaxed approach which we surely sometimes lack in Europe. It can also be reflected in a less formal dress code, but the rather unkempt personal appearance of our waiter and worst of all the dirt crusted trainers he wore, were in our eyes unacceptable for a restaurant in this category. With this overall experience La Colombe was definitely not the Top Restaurant” of our holiday.
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  • We had the tasting menu with wine pairing at La Colombe and although pricey, it was worth every penny. The chef amazes with his creations. The food was fantastic and the wine pairing perfect. Such a wonderful experience and definitely worth a visit.
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  • I went to La Colombe last Saturday with my father and his friend who are visiting. All of us have done a fair share of travelling and fine dining, but La Colombe definitely made it into our personal top 5 of the world list. I was quite happy to see such beautiful and delicious things on my plate without the usual Adrian Ferra-esque, adding a foam here and yet another flavour there. All of our dishes were clever yet unfussy designed and cooked to perfection. I had springbok with seared foie gras and after the first bite I literally wanted the chef to marry me. The ambience was beautiful yet relaxed and the service attentive, knowledgeable yet not snobby.The only unpleasant moment we had when the waiter told us they did not have a printed digestif menu which upset my father and his friend tremendously. But apparently the complaint wasnt ignored as the manager appeared at the table a minute later and offered them a complimentary brandy tasting and choice of their favourite. I dreamt about the dinner afterwards and still had the glow two days later - definitely deserving of being called No.1 in South Africa.
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  • Highly overrated. Nothing special and the interior is lost.
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  • My husband, two friends, and I had an absolutely memorable evening at this top 10 restaurant this week. Yes, you pay a premium, but we are still talking about our wonderful meal at La Colombe. The waiter was personable, intelligent, knowledgeable and on hand when needed yet discreet. When he was busy the other waiters backed him up with grace. The food was glorious, showing an attention to detail seldom found nowadays. Magnificent wine list. Thank you to the chef and staff. We will be back.
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  • We ate at La Colombe last night and I have to say it was the perfect evening. Beautiful food with beautiful flavours accompanied by excellent service. We sat down at 19h30 and couldnt believe our eyes when we left at 23h00! Time simply flew with all the wonderful food and great atmosphere to keep us busy. We will be back in December for the tasting menu for sure!
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  • I went here with a friend whilst visiting Cape Town from the United States last week. I have been to my fair share of restaurants and I was completely impressed with La Colombe. The wait staff, the bar staff, the meal, the surroundings were all fantastic. We had the tasting menu ... each course was paired with wine ...it was one of the best meals I can remember having. I would highly recommend La Colombe to any of my friends... when I am back in Cape Town, I will most definitely eat there again.
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  • My gorgeous husband took me here for our 1 yr anniversary and the food was absolutely delicious! We had a wonderful evening. Pure class from start to finish. A perfect evening!
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  • We had lunch at La Colombe and everything was really amazing. Our 22-year-old waiter knew everything about food, which is really good, food was fantastic, presentation the best of everywhere we went. Little touch like roasted garlic, olives, coarse salt for the customers on the tables, makes the experience much stronger. And the knowledge that the head chef is not there and everything comes out of the kitchen perfect makes you realise how good the stuff are. Thank you guys.
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  • Superb restaurant food wise every time, but a receptionist that makes you feel like she is doing you a favour so you can spend your money there leaves me cold.
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  • I have always loved this slice of heaven in Constantia! It is our special occasion haven, we come back every year and celebrate the food, the service, the wine and the venue. This year we were blown away by the exquisite winter menu that they are currently running - it was an amalgamation of flavours that teased the eyes, danced on the palate and delighted every culinary sense I have- and all this paired with Constantia Uitsig wines makes for an adventure you absolutely cannot miss! We love La Colombe!
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  • Congratulation to Luke and his knowledgable and friendly team. The best we experienced ever since we eat out in Cape Town. We wanted to go for the winter special but on the à la carte blackboard there were some irresistible items. It ruined my budget but it was so good and worth every bite and cent. Thats a real gastronomic destination. I hope we manage to order the winter special next time and to overcome the temptation of the blackboard. Thats real gastronomical heaven in a very well-fitting ambience.
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  • Oppulence, perfection and passion nestled amongst the grape vines of the Constantia Uitsig Estate. La Colombe provides the obvious alternative to a relatively unenthusiastic, unimaginative selection of Cape restaurants.With prices that seem to fade into insignificance when compared to the decadent, aromatic and cutting edge food placed before you course after course after course - La Colombe outclasses anything Ive ever seen or been to before.I should correct the previous review by noting that starters come in at an average of about R120 and mains at a very reasonable R160. This, in comparison to most other restaurants, is incredibly well-priced, especially for what you get out of it. A-grade Chalmar Beef for which a spoon is sufficient for cutting purposes, tender like nothing else. Quail and langoustine, perfectly grilled, topped with a miso butter that dances on your tastebuds. Subtle brilliance.Luke Dale-Roberts along with his kitchen entourage should be congratulated for the highest level of culinary skill known to me worldwide. The lovely little French manageress need also be well praised for training her faultless service staff to a level of great prowess.Losing out to Le Quartier Francais is surely a misprint as this is by no doubt the best restaurant in Africa, unrivalled in its every facette.
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  • How the migthy have fallen. La Colombe has always been our splurge / celebration restaurant, but we were sadly disappointed when we celebrated our anniversary there on Saturday. Of the 4 courses we ordered, 3 were sub-standard. My quail and langoustine fricasee starter was raw the first time round (not rare, RAW). Second time round, the miso reduction was too dominating which left the whole dish just tasting of soy sauce. My partners main of rabbit and crayfish was likewise heavily over-salted with no delicacy of flavour. My main was Kingklip wrapped in Black Forest Ham, and it was, again, over-salted. The aubergine puree and the ham were so dominant that none of the other flavours of the dish stood a chance. Good piece of fish ruined. What made the whole experience even more galling is the amount of money we had to pay for this food. The mains on the al la carte menu averaged at just under R200 each and the starters were about R175. If the food had been as sublime as it was last year, we would have been able to justify it, but we came away feeling we had been fleeced! There were a couple of functions happening there on Saturday and the restaurant was busy, but for a place of this reputation that should not be an excuse. At least the service was of the same high standard, but if the food is bad, nothing can make up for it.What a pity, we now have to find another Special occassions venue.
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  • One word, Perfect !One of the few restaurants in South Africa that could deserve a Michelin star. Not only the food is glorious, with dishes you actually remember months after having tasted them (Kudu tartare, quail and langoustine...) but the service is of high standard (relaxed but very professional!)Special mention to the Maîtresse dhôtel, always smiling and caring! Cant wait for the new menu...One last thing, La Colombe is the only one restaurant that understands the word consistency... Its a rare thing!Still my best restaurant in South Africa. The only thing that bothers me a bit is the use of microgreens in almost each and every dish... But I can live with that. Thanks a lot !
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  • We celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary at La Colombe and had the most fantastic evening. The romantic outside table decorated with candels and the great service made our evening. The food is absolutely superb and presentation is second to none. Prices are very reasonable considering the quality, in the UK a meal such as we had would be 3-4 times the £60 we paid. The best in WC region by far - a must visit experience.
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  • We had the most delightful, inspired and utterly delicious meal at La Colombe last night. Friends with family from overseas had us scurrying for a booking and La Colombe accommodated us with charm! Chef Lukes attention to detail is incredible, DIY roast garlic and balsamic dipping sauce for breads; smoked olives, the prettiest petit fours for afters. And the main attractions had us licking our plates (and tasting all our friends food too). The amuse of langoustine, quail and sweetcorn was heaven, the tongue to start was perfect, as were the sweetbreads. Mains were fantastic - the confit lamb was delectable and the veal and beef just as delicious. Everyone was delighted with their food - and I was really surprised at how substantial the portions were too. The peanut butter parfait was the favourite dessert! Its a special evening out but worth every single penny - the value and quality is exceptional. Thanks La Colombe!
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  • I was delighted to read about La Colombes 2008 awards. They are so well deserved. We celebrated our wedding with a dinner there - what a treat. Not only was the food exceptional, a medley of flavours woven into a symphony of taste, but the service was friendly and attentive. The staff really went out of their way to make our evening extra special including unexpected little touches, like flowers in our serviettes and chocolate hearts piped onto our dessert plates.
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  • We decided to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary at La Colombe and we had the best dining experience ever.The setting was very romantic, a private table in the garden, decorated with candles and flowers.Christie, our waitress was truly enjoyable.She makes the evening truly special.She was professional and attentive, always smiling and friendly. Her menu knowlegde was very impressive.The food....I could write about it forever. Excellent! From freshly baked breads, amuse bouche to specially selected dessert, everything was a perfect mix of interesting flavours and textures; fresh, beautifully presented and simply delicious. Thank you to all La Colombe team for making our anniversary a memorable experience. We will come back!
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  • I was not surprised when I saw La Colombe receiving the top restaurant award for 2008. We took some important clients to dine at La Colombe in and it was truely my best dining experience ever, and a good way to impress our clients.
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  • I spent a most enjoyable evening at La Colombe earlier this week. The restaurant offers a most agreeable and relaxed ambience. Service was a perfect blend of friendliness and professionalism and all the waiting staff were extremely well informed about the food being offered. This was also excellent – everything sampled looked appetizing, was full of flavour and precisely cooked. My starter of fricassee of quail, langoustine and baby corn was particularly memorable and the main course of succulent veal loin and sweetbreads equally impressive. The white chocolate and rhubarb marquise was a light and delicate end to the meal - although I could not actually detect much rhubarb flavour. The only negative comment I have is that I thought the additional side serving of ‘generic’ vegetables was unnecessary and quite out of keeping with the overall style of food which certainly in the case of the veal dish was a complete entity (although I did enjoy the extra dauphinois!). The wine list is encyclopedic – although just a glass of the estates own MCC will set you back R100. However, it made a memorable start to a great evening! Excellent.
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  • I would like to thank Luke and his team for a great evening last night. The food and service were top notch, but it was the attention to detail that made it a stellar dining experience. A worthy chef and restaurant of the year winner.
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  • A much belated review of a meal enjoyed by four of us (La Columbe virgins) towards the end of their winter special. All three courses were excellent. Interesting flavours without having to be lectured about whats on the plate as they do at Myoga. We even had an extra dessert (Tonka Bean, Olive Oil cake and Salt Biscuit) for the table. Plus they were very patient for our lost and late guests.
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  • Had dinner at La Colombe last month, best meal Ive had in a long while. Quail and langostine dish to die for as well as vanilla brulee with apple tart tatin, couldnt get enough. Will be back soon.Keep up the good work.
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  • My husband and I are from the Washington, DC area - and we are visiting our son, his wife and grandchildren. Our son and his wife took us to La Columbe this evening. Simply stated, the dining experience was exquisite and the food superb. When we come back to SA, we are going to go again!
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  • Ambience is great. Portions are far too small! One must not come hungry.
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  • My wife and I went to La Colombe to celebrate our wedding anniversary and we were thoroughly spoiled!! We agreed that it was the best meal either of us had ever enjoyed - EVER, in SA and elsewhere. Nothing else has come close. From the amouse to the special desserts, each mouthful was a scintillating blend of flavours and textures. Each bite made us want to close our eyes and sigh (and we did!) Thank you to everyone who made the experience as special as it was. I think we may just have to go back for some more!
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  • Was back today for a business lunch for my favourite winter menu. The kudu tartare is sublime, the beetroot tart heavenly, the calfs liver was cooked meltingly rare. The best dessert is the creme brulee with salted caramel popcorn as the base, accompanied by an apple tarte tatin and crisp apple slice. Superb as always and the service was smashing. Well done!
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  • Was back today for a business lunch for my favourite winter menu. The kudu tartare is sublime, the beetroot tart heavenly, the calfs liver was cooked meltingly rare. The best dessert is the creme brulee with salted caramel popcorn as the base, accompanied by an apple tarte tatin and crisp apple slice. Superb as always and the service was smashing. Well done!
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  • This is a pricy restaurant. But, if you really want exceptionally well made food, then the price is 100% worth it.I would really like to compliment to waiters & receptionists for truly amazing service - you guys set the benchmark to beat for top restaurant service.One thing that I would like to suggest is that the waiters put extra emphasis on explaining the dishes to people in plain english. I had some trouble understanding all the french words. (This is the only reason why you dont get a 6 out of 5 for service ;-> )Thank you very much for recognizing that it was our anniversary and for making it extra special.
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  • superb
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  • i really dont think you can get better in sa it truly was an outstanding meal and great service thank you la colombe
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  • I took a party of ten people to La Colombe on Sunday evening, the food was as delicious as always (the sweetbreads deserve a special mention) but I particularly wanted to comend the service. From making the reservation, throughout the meal, right up to our departure, the service discreet, efficient and exemplary.Well done!
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  • A beautiful setting and an excellent meal. Rather expensive and Im not 100% sure that the dishes were worth the prices we paid for them.
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  • The food is excellent, the atmosphere exciting and the ambience entrancing.Why arent more restaurants in SA this way?Kind RegardsJohan
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  • better than le quartierbest in cape town best in sano more to be said
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  • better than le quartierbest in cape town best in sano more to be said
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  • We dined at la colombe for their Winter special menu a few weeks ago, and all I can say is that it was simply the best luncheon I have had in years. The food was exqisite; the service sublime; and the atmosphere fabulous! It is seldom one finds such a combination for such a good price. I think we left at 6pm, but I would have been happy to stay there for ever! Congratulations to their new chef, Luke, and his excellent staff.
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  • my husband I used to go to often, when Franck was the chef,. We decided to go and see what it was like after he left. I must admit we were a bit skeptical. To our delight we were pleasantly surprised. We ate the 5 course winter special menu and it was fabulous, the steak tartar especially. The only thing I could comment on was that the portions were enormous for a 5 course.We will definately be back.
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  • I have eaten at La Colombe 3 times over the last 6 weeks and each time blew my mind! The new chef, Luke, is a genius in the kitchen. Subtle, stylish and each mouthful is absolutely delicious. I think even better than Franck!!! Service is always superb and elegant and its perfect for a long, lazy meal. This is my current favourite in Cape Town.
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  • We thoroughly enjoyed our lunchtime at the Colombe - maybe a little too much excellent sauce but were surprised after we chose to eat outside that smoking was not permitted - sorry but no second visit which is a pity.
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  • Service was excellent, but that is all that recommends this establishment. Food was extravagantly priced and average. It felt like we were being rushed through our meal as if the staff had somwhere to be. The kitchen was being closed before we had ordered dessert! On top of all that I ended the evening with a free dose of gastro courtesy of an obviously less than perfect focus on cleanliness. Definitely not recommended. You can do better elsewhere.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Dinner
  • Dress code
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Fireplace
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Vegetarian
  • WiFi

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