Venues

La Colombe

La Colombe
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Cost
R200 avg main meal off à la carte menu; R650 for four-course classic dinner menu or R395 for vegetarian classic menu; R870 for gourmand menu (R1270 with wine pairing - R1680 with fine and rare wine); R650 for vegetarian gourmand menu (R1050 with wine and R1460 with fine and rare wine)
Ambience
Classic elegance
Food
Asian, Fine-dining food, French, Modern, Vegetarian
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
500

Critic's review

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.

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • 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

  • 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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Facilities

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

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