Sister restaurant to La Boheme in Sea Point, this city bowl tapas spot offers hearty flavours in smaller portions. Think rounds of melting camembert encased in golden phyllo pastry, bacon-wrapped pork fillet, or chorizo and chickpeas.
An artichoke and pea risotto is silken and perfectly al dente. The pulled oxtail with gnocchi is a highlight – the meat wonderfully rich and unctuous. The duck with fondant potato, braised red cabbage and miso jus is slightly less successful – good, but not smacking with flavour in the manner of the other dishes.
Dessert is a puzzle. A dish billed as rose-scented cream with meringue comes layered in parfait form, and should be light and sumptuous, but is unfortunately spoiled by dollops of very sweet jam. The hazelnut chocolate truffles are like soft balls of Nutella, solidified and rolled in cocoa and sugar.
The food is not perfect, but it’s tasty and hearty – good kos that will satisfy large groups who come to catch up.
The restaurant is set in the Dorrance wine cellar, so it’s no surprise to see the winery’s bottles on offer. There is, however, a very generous menu of other options, too – including some international options only available at Bouchon.
The cavernous wine cellar is warm and cosy – especially on busy nights when there’s a lovely buzz in the space. (First Thursdays is a good night to come if you’re after a vibe.) Modern steel and brickwork offsets some old antique pieces, and the rustic paraphernalia of winemaking to create a stylish, handsome space.
Staff are attentive and food comes out at a good pace.
The restaurant is something of a hidden gem – just off Bree Street, down the quiet, one-way Hout Street.
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