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Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia

Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia
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Cost
Tapas for 2 R650 (is served in 3 courses and can take up to an hour)
Ambience
Comfy & casual, Contemporary cool
Food
Contemporary fare, Modern, Tapas
Payment
Amex, Diners Club, Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
R80 (only 1 bottle allowed per table)

Critic's review

Linda Scarborough

Food
Liam Tomlin’s award-winning tapas restaurant has extended its reach to the southern suburbs, where chef Ivor Jones heads up the kitchen, drawing crowds with beautifully crafted small plates. The restaurant made its debut in the Top 10 this year.

Homely, simple dishes these are not. Each one is a layered delight, with big flavours and little flourishes. It’s an ever-changing menu, and you and your dining companions will share the dishes presented to you, usually two at a time, in the order that makes the most sense.

The home-smoked trout with burrata, beetroot dressing, saffron and a garlic emulsion is a light and bright start, which pairs nicely with the plate of tender tuna, autumn citrus, ginger-and-citrus dressing and zingy lime-cured cream cheese. The beef tartare is somewhat overpowered by spicy Szechuan dressing, but makes for a punchy bite.

Chefs Warehouse risottos are always a highlight, and the humble-sounding carrot risotto is no exception. It’s served, as per usual, in a perfect little copper saucepan, glossy with beurre noisette and silky carrot purée, and dotted with crispy sage leaves, raisins and roasted walnuts. The horseradish cream lifts it all. It is a triumph, incredibly delicious and flawlessly executed, and I can’t wait to go back to have it again.

Another comforting vegetarian dish is the oven-roasted cauliflower with earthy Jerusalem artichoke cream and crispy kataifi pasty, and then there’s another seafood option (no complaints by any means) – pan-fried hake with coal-roasted sweet potato and spiced buttermilk cream.

The roasted pork belly (or sweet potato, if you don’t do pork) with lime pickle, queso fresco, toasted rice and coconut crumb is a lively and unusual dish, replete with textures, flavours and fun. The last tapas plate of Persian-spiced lamb rump with pommes anna, mint salsa verde and lamb jus is very good and will please those who are less adventurous.

Desserts cost extra (but are always necessary, especially at Chefs Warehouse), and I can’t forgo my usual favourite of lemon posset with raspberries. However, if you’ve had the wild-honey and lavender crème, you will know why I now have a new favourite. It’s floral but not overpoweringly so, tempered by earthy honey and the slight bitterness of the golden honeycomb shards, as well as smoked cassia bark ice cream, which has a gentle spiciness not unlike cinnamon.

All dishes come on perfectly chosen crockery of varying colours, textures and shapes. They are art in and of themselves.

Drinks
There are a couple of local ginger beers, Wilderer grappa, Beau Constantia gin, Four Beau Constantia Wines and Pas De Nom. There are two more pages for wine, including Radford Dale, Iona, Raats, Luddite and Vondeling.

Service
The staff members are young and pretty, and keep things moving with personality.

Ambience
The view is really incredible, with floor-to-ceiling glass showing off the estate’s vineyards and Cape Town’s suburbs rolling towards town on the one side and out to False Bay ahead. The lights twinkle as day moves into night, and you might spot an aeroplane or two taking off or landing in the distance. Soft greys and touches of creamy wood keep everything feeling extremely chic and calm inside. The outside seating areas – amongst some shrubs and the bushes – look gorgeous, with a few private seating areas built out of platforms. There’s an open kitchen, where you can spot the chefs in high-precision mode. The music, though excellent, seems a little out of character: Rolling Stones, The Cure and Led Zeppelin.

And…
You may have to walk up and down quite a steep paved incline on your way from the parking to the restaurant and back, so it might be a good idea to wear comfortable shoes. (And don’t overindulge in the drinks!)

(October 2017)

Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay their own way. Read our full editorial policy here.

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Amy Ebedes

    Food
    There’s a reason Chefs Warehouse on Bree Street is a nominee for the 2016 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards. The food is as fresh as it gets, with a serious punch of flavour and special attention to plating. Dinner is a set menu of tapas for two (R620), with the option of adding oysters (R95) or bread (R45) to your meal. The eight plates are served over three courses. Settle in and prepare to feast: This is a gastronomic experience that you won’t want to end.

    We start with melt-in-the-mouth yellowtail escabeche served with pickled vegetables. Hints of spice are balanced with beautiful lime labneh. It sets a high bar for the remainder of the meal. Tuna sashimi is next, served with black-bean salsa and coconut-and-apple dressing. The flavours are subtle and fresh. The final dish of the first course is coal-seared beef tataki – and it is sublime. A cashew-nut dukkha adds a delicate crunch to the incredibly tender beef, while umami flavours of fresh mushrooms, aubergine and parmesan purée complete this perfect dish.

    The second round begins with the summer-pea risotto with mint oil, lime and parmesan. It’s amazingly fresh and earthy: I feel as if I’m eating peas straight off the plant. We finish our second course with the cauliflower-and-onion soubise. It’s like cauliflower and cheese sauce for adults: The sauce is silky, creamy and rich, with hints of salty sweetness from capers and raisins.

    The Moroccan lamb rib is my least favourite dish of the evening – there has to be one! Individually, the elements are all delicious – particularly the homemade ricotta – but I find myself wanting something to balance the richness of the dish. The next dish, blesbok, is undoubtedly my favourite. The meat is creamy and succulent without being too gamey. The subtle, earthy flavours have the perfect hint of sweetness from the port jus. The major downside is that I have to share it.

    We end the meal with pork fillet and crispy coppa. It’s the perfect ending, with a sweet, smoky flavour that lingers long after the plates have been cleared.

    We’re on a roll, so we order two desserts. The chocolate pot is tasty, albeit a touch dry, and comes served with a zesty orange ice cream. The second dessert, however, is a showstopper: Wild honey and lavender crème served with honeycomb and smoked cassia-bark ice cream. Imagine, if you will, a floral crème brûlée with honeycomb instead of hard caramel. It is inspired; a dessert I won’t soon forget.

    Drinks
    A limited number of Beau Constantia wines are available by the glass (varying from R35 to R79) with a small selection of wines from other farms available by the bottle.

    Service
    The service is attentive and quick, although a little nervous. The waiter is reasonably knowledgeable about the dishes and wines, but not able to answer all our questions fully. It is, however, the first week of opening, and I suspect he’ll find his stride quickly.

    Ambience
    Quite simply: magnificent. It’s minimalist and simple, with clean lines, wooden finishes and large glass windows. Nothing detracts from the highlight of the décor: the view. Ensure you get an early seating for uninterruputed views across False Bay to the Hottentots-Holland mountains. You’ll want to watch those mountains turn purple at sunset.

    And…
    This branch of Chefs Warehouse takes bookings, which will definitely be a requirement.

    (December 2016)

    Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.

User reviews

  • We had the good fortune of eating at Chefs Warehouse the other night and it delivered on all points! We have had lunch there a number of times and have never been disappointed but I must say the dinner was even better! Service was great, food was amazing, creative and beautifully presented, every dish cooked to perfection and wonderfully executed. A real gem of a place and possibly one of the very best restaurants in the country! We will be back very soon!
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  • I have visited this restaurant on 2 occasions. Both times the food has been flawless and the service outstanding. In addition this is excellent value for money (finally locals can once again afford to eat a meal at this level of fine dining without mortgaging our homes to pay for 11 course tasting menus designed for tourists). Chef Ivor Jones is the best chef in South Africa at the moment. I hope this is reflected in the upcoming Eat Out award nominations
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  • After dining at Chefs Warehouse and Canteen in Bree Street, Cape Town, South Africa, I wanted to visit all of Liam Tomlin’s restaurants. The Chefs Warehouse in Beau Constantia was fully booked. However, we were able to get a last minute slot. I was amazed at the beautiful view. Located at the top of Constantia Nek, overlooking False Bay and the vineyards. It was spectacular. They used a lot of natural materials in the restaurant interior and exterior that complemented the environment. Through their large windows, a lot of natural light enter as well as provide you with a picturesque view. The open kitchen creates a great vibe as you can interact with the chef and his incredible team and see how the ingredients are transformed into edible art. The pendant lights, above the kitchen counter, added an interesting feature as well as being functional keeping the food heated while awaiting service. The restaurant only opened in December 2016 but with its sister restaurant in the heart of the city and the ex- Test Kitchen’s chef, Ivor Jones it was bound to be a winning combination. The concept of the restaurant was base on sharing great tapas style food with a plant to table kind of feel as most of their ingredients are fresh from their large garden. The menu is seasonal driven and changes regularly. They serve eight different tapas dishes over three courses. You would be able to add bread or oysters as a starter as well as a dessert of your choice at an additional charge. We decided to start our dining experience with their bread. The local bread, butter and olives arrived. The potato bread from the Woodstock bakery was given a light toasting on their charcoal grill and served with a piped butter with a fennel salt and olives marinated with their garden herbs. The bread was crisp and together with the freshness of the herbs made for a great start to our culinary feast. The first course of three plates arrived. The first dish was a seared tuna with a miso cream cheese, fermented black bean salsa, pickled jalapeno and green pepper topped off with thinly sliced radish and tempura kale. The plating was very detailed and looked beautiful. The paper thin radish amazed me; some serious knife skills were used here. If I did not know as I had kale, I would never have quested it, judging by the taste. It was so crisp and delicious, adding a great crunch element to the dish. I need more of this Kale in my life. The second dish was one of their newer dishes, a Yellowtail sashimi with vermicelli noodles, crispy onions, charcoaled onions, spicy road dressing and a coconut-lime dressing. The coconut-lime dressing was poured over the dish in front of us, creating a bit of theatre at our table. An interesting dish indeed with some great flavour combinations. The third dish, a blacked beef teriyaki with a sour cream dressing, rice puffs, toasted coconut, roasted aubergine, tomato, cucumber, fresh basil, mint, coriander and to top it off a bit of chilli string. This dish had a little bit of a spicy side, and they recommended to finish off with it. The spiciness of the chilli together with the toasted coconut work brilliantly together. The rice puffs was a great little crunch to the dish. I have to admit at first glance they reminded me of little worms, but boy did they taste good. In between each course, the staff was very quick to clear the tables and fill up our glasses. The second course of two dishes arrived. The fourth dish was a pea risotto with Swiss chard, lemon salted butter, a Belnori goats cheese and topped off with fried peas and sugar snaps. This risotto was so silky and smooth and just damn delicious. My husband is not a pea fan and would never order a pea dish, he tried it, loved it and almost did not want to share it. He said if I made peas like this he would eat it every single day. Kudos to the chef for making him eat his peas. The fifth dish, was an Asia tuc mushrooms, sitting on a tahini mayo with a charred spring onion and teriyaki, a variety of different mushrooms cooked in a variety of ways, topped off with a crispy corn crepe and shaved button mushrooms. The presentation of this dish was excellent. I liked the plate as I felt it added so much to the overall presentation. The crepe was super thin and with a subtle corn flavour it disappears in your mouth. The flavour combinations of the different mushrooms worked well together, to add more dimension to the dish. The third course of three dishes arrived. The sixth dish, a pan fried Hake sitting on a charred corn puree with a burnt lime and topped with a corn salsa. The flavour combinations of the corn and the fish were remarkable. The fish was cooked perfectly with the skin crisp and the centre soft. The acidity of the lime broke through the sweetness of the corn. The seventh dish, a barbequed duck breast sitting on a peanut sauté, steamed bok choy and broccoli topped with a Mediterranean black pepper dressing. The presentation of the dish was mouth-watering. The duck was prepared flawlessly with its crispy skin and juicy centre. The eighth and final dish of our tapas menu was a de-boned Moroccan lamb rib, with a port jus around the sides, homemade ricotta, onions and topped with a Moroccan crumb. The flavours were spot on. The meat was so soft; it melted in your mouth. The crispy skin added an element of crunch, leaving you wanting more. This dish was by far my favourite and I might even go as far as to say the best lamb rib I have ever had. As we came to and end of a great tapas menu, we were so impressed with every single dish and felt that we could not leave this restaurant without trying their desserts and coffee. We asked the chef to recommend two of his favourite desserts. If I were to select I would have selected them all, as they all sounded delicious. Our coffee arrived on a slate tray and looked lovely. The coffee tasted great. The milk was frothed perfectly leaving you with a sweetish taste. This barista knew how to brew a good cup that was for sure. Great coffee! As our dessert arrived, I was amazed as it looked beyond expectation. Each served on its own tray, and I could not wait to dig right in. The first dessert was a wild honey and lavender crème served with a honeycomb topped with a lavender infused wild honey and served with a side of cassia bark ice cream. The crème was light with the burst of flavours coming through the crunchiness of the honeycomb, and the subtleness of the lavender was such a delight. Together with the ice cream, my taste buds went into overload. Winning combination. The final dessert was their chocolate pot. At the bottom was a chocolate cake drenched in salted caramel, topped with a chocolate mousse and grated chocolate served with an orange marmalade ice cream on the side. The salted caramel added a unique surprise element to the dish. The mousse was prepared perfectly with just the correct amount of sweetness to it. Looking back at our dining experience, there was not a thing that I could critique regarding the taste and presentation of the food. It was spot one, world class. The floor manager, Jami was great and together with the rest of the staff made our experience so memorable. This restaurant is a dining spot that I would return to again and again and highly recommend. Chefs Warehouse Beau Constantia you get the biggest splash of approval.
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  • What a fantastic experience! Love the set menu, which takes the pressure off having to decide what to order. The menu is served as 'tapas for two' which includes 8 dishes which are served in 3 rounds. While all delicious, standouts where the tuna and the lamb rib. We started with the oysters (an optional extra), which were sublime, and finished with the silky, tart lemon posset. Service was slick with all staff knowledgeable on what was being served. (And always refreshing when your waiter recommends the cheaper wine of the two you are tossing up between!). All in all an excellent experience in an exceptional setting, which will need to be repeated very soon!
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  • As a visiting chef from the UK I am extremely fussy when it comes to food and wine! Firstly the view is to die for!!! Spectacular view over the vineyards and as far as the eye can see! Secondly considering this was their first week they were open the service was great! Our waiter Mathew was very confident and although the restaurant was fully booked he did not forget about us! Ivor Jones was described to me by Liam Tomlin as a creator of beautiful food! He did not dissappoint...,, he does indeed create the wow factor in his dishes! Each dish was a surprise! My favorite dish was the cauliflower and the blesbok but every dish had a punch and offered a new taste sensation! They take bookings unlike the sister restaurant in Bree street!
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Dinner
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • WiFi

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