inside at La Mouette
dish prepared and served at La Mouette

La Mouette

  • Location 021 433 0856
  • Phone Number 78 Regent Road, Sea Point, Cape Town
  • email reservations@lamouette.co.za
  • Website URL www.lamouette.co.za
  • Opening Hours

    Winter: Tuesday to Saturday 6pm till closing; Sunday 12noon till late; Summer: Monday to Saturday 6pm till closing; Sunday 12noon till late

Cost
A la carte avg main R170; 6-course tasting menu R395, with wine pairing R665; 7-course tasting menu R445, with wine pairing R745
Ambience
Classic elegance
Food
Fine-dining food, French, Modern
Payment
Amex, Diners Club, Mastercard, Visa
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Critic's review

John Maytham

Food
Chef-patron Henry Vigar goes from strength to strength at his increasingly celebrated and popular Sea Point restaurant. The cuisine has elements of fine dining sitting very comfortably alongside a bistro attitude and welcome injections of whimsy. Menus are subject to both inter-and intra-seasonal changes. But, from the starter menu, you might encounter fontina and truffle croquettes – the cheese just the right level of oozy and the truffle just enough to infuse but not so much as to overpower, and the whole completed by a garlic aioli. Mushrooms on earth also impresses – different textures and tastes, all unified by an earthy richness.

On the main menu, the seared tuna is triumphant – perfectly cooked, with some Asian elements (pickled cucumber roll and tempura courgettes) adding piquant interest. Smoked mayonnaise and celeriac puree uplift a deliciously tender and gamy kudu loin.

The mascarpone ice cream with trimmings is sweet and savoury; the carrot cake moist and yummy.

Drinks
This is one of the most thoughtfully assembled small wine lists in town, keeping track with new producers and old(er) ones doing new and interesting things. Every dish has a wine pairing suggested – all of them inventive and appropriate. Be careful, though. Some of the suggested wine is well over R100 a glass. Do some mental arithmetic before ordering so the bill doesn’t come as a shock.

Service
Informed, amiable and attentive from the welcome to the goodbye.

Ambience
It’s always convivial in this lovingly restored Tudor-style house, with courtyard tables much sought after in summer. A table near the crackling log fire in one of the intimate interleading rooms is a must-have in winter.

And...
There is always a version of the signature gin and tonic dessert on the menu – make sure someone at the table orders it.

(September 2016)

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  • Richard Holmes

    Food
    Since 2010, Chef Henry Vigar has steadily built up a loyal following at his stylish Sea Point restaurant, where the food may lean towards fine dining but the prices do not. It’s an elegant space, recently revamped, that is a fine foil for the classical French cuisine given a modern twist. Vigar has plenty of fun with his plating, so expect colourful dishes with the occasional ‘cheffy’ flourish. The menu changes regularly, but may include an adventurous artichoke granola with wood sorrel, or a classic Bouillabaise done here with kabeljou, crispy prawns and mussels. The Namibian lamb plated with sweetbreads, celeriac and goat’s cheese is another highlight. Desserts are playful and innovative, with the ‘Gin and tonic’ of lemon curd, sorbet and juniper meringues a refreshing end to the meal. Vigar’s seasonal tasting menus have also proven a runaway hit with locals, offering extremely good value with a six-course sample of what the kitchen is capable of.

    Drinks
    There’s a good selection of wines, but don’t ignore the wonderful cocktails and craft beers on offer. The six-course tasting menu also comes with a wine-pairing option.

    Service
    Warm, friendly and attentive service throughout.

    Ambience
    A handful of intimate dining rooms are scattered through this elegant Tudor house in Sea Point’s Regent Road. With fireplaces aplenty and a charming courtyard, there’s no shortage of romance on offer here.

    And…
    Vigar may keep a low profile, but his tables are often full. Reservations are highly recommended.

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  • Eat Out

    Food
    Specialising in accessible and affordable fine dining, chef Henry Vigar’s Sea Point restaurant La Mouette has become a firm favourite among Capetonians, and it’s not hard to see why. The six-course tasting menu changes regularly and remains exceptional good value for money. Delivering classically French food with a few global twists, the portions are as generous as the pricing. But don’t forget about the à la carte menu. (That is, after you’ve snacked on their now-famous amuse bouche of cheese and truffle croquettes.) A starter of duck parfait with raisin purée, rainbow carrots, hazelnuts and granola crumble is beautifully prepared, with hints of Middle Eastern flavour. The crispy pork cheek dish with pickled apple, cauliflower purée, crackling and mustard demonstrates the chef’s skill at giving new, modern life to a classic dish. A plate of baby scallops with broad beans and velouté succeeds in being both fresh and rich at the same time. Delicious.

    Wine
    The beverage list shows a good selection of wines and a few unusual choices, along with a couple of craft beers and some fabulous cocktails.

    Service
    Friendly and prompt service by staff who know the menu well and seem very happy to be working here.

    Ambience
    Located in grand Tudor revival-style house in Sea Point’s Regent Street, the interior is flush with fine old fireplaces, lead-paned windows and multiple elegant dining rooms. It’s almost always busy, leading to an infectiously happy vibe.

    (August 2014)

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  • Affordable fine dining is the forte of this Sea Point favourite. Chef Henry Vigar turns out a tasty six-course tasting menu for a fraction of what you’d pay at similar spots, giving diners a chance to taste dishes that take their cue from contemporary French cuisine with an occasional Mediterranean twist. Think ricotta balls served with hummus, pomegranate arils and sweet yoghurt; creamy chicken parfait with a crispy spring roll, sweet pear chutney and pickled mushrooms; or line fish served with cumin-laced potato and a crisp onion bhaji. Salted caramel macarons and dark chocolate pavé with orange purée are satisfyingly wicked. (EO mag 2014)
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  • Food
    Affordable fine dining is the forte of this Sea Point favourite. Chef Henry Vigar turns out a tasty six-course tasting menu for a fraction of what you’d expect to pay at other Cape restaurants. Menus change monthly but are always well-balanced between ingredients, flavours and richness.Dishes take their queue from contemporary French cuisine, with an occasional Mediterranean twist. Think crispy, savoury ricotta balls served with hummus, tart pomegranate arils and sweet yoghurt or a perfectly creamy quenelle of chicken parfait with a crispy spring roll, sweet pear chutney and pickled mushrooms. Line fish is served on a base of cumin-laced potato with a crisp onion bhaji and tomato chutney. On the sweet side, look out for the insanely delicious salted caramel macarons. The dark chocolate pavé with orange purée is satisfyingly wicked.

    Wine
    Wine pairing is offered with the tasting menu. Some of the pairings are spot on and others are less perfect, but considering the price, it’s fantastic value for money.

    Service
    Husband and wife team Henry and Mari Vigar are omnipresent, and it shows. The courses fly out of the kitchen, and servers are professional, but relaxed.

    Ambience
    Set in a grand old building which reputedly once belonged to the mayor of Cape Town, dining here feels like visiting the home of wealthy, but beloved, relative. Several large fireplaces make it a cosy option in winter, while an outside paved garden area, complete with fountain, is lovely in the summer time.

    And...
    The winter special is a real drawcard and is improbably cheap: six courses were on offer for R185, or R320 with wine pairing, for winter 2013. (Katharine Jacobs, June 2013)
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  • Bernadette Le Roux

    Chef Henry Vigar makes a point of using seasonal ingredients. The winter menu is one of the best value for money menus in town. The truffle and cheese croquettes are moreish; and the combination of prawns, chorizo and sweetcorn puree is addictive. The interior is made up of separate, intimate rooms each with an element of grandeur and most have a fireplace. The perfect setting for a romantic date. (July 2013)
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  • Jeanne Calitz

    Can't wait to go again ... I never tire of this place, or of the friendly owner and chef, Mari and Henry. La Mouette somehow manages to serve seriously gourmet cuisine at affordable prices. Go for the amazing and popular winter special (with the menu changing each month), but also go for the lovely setting in an old Victorian building, the friendly staff and high quality of the food. Fireplaces in every room add lots of warmth and atmosphere. Everything on the menu is great, but I recently feasted on a wonderfully fragrant coconut broth with vegetable dim sum, followed by the springbok medallions with butternut puree and candied walnuts. Perfection. (July 2013)
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  • Stefania Johnson

    If there was such a category as fine dining 'light', La Mouette could be its poster child. The tasting menu offers excellent value for money – and is a fun experience for diners who want to stretch their taste buds without being intimidated by the dishes or prices. It’s special but not too posh. Lovely flavours, easy-going service and a relaxed ambience make this Seapoint eatery a good choice for both a date-night or an important family lunch. (July 2013)
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User reviews

  • Lovely looking restaurant and ambience. Service was outstanding. Menu a little disappointing, as well as the food. Mushroom starter was very good, but lamb and sirloin main very average. Still had a good time.
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  • Their Autumn menu was very good, The 'snacks' were particularly amazing! We were not fans of the turnip spagetti, the texture was off-putting, and the carrot cake dessert was underwhelming. But as always, the service was attentive throughout, with smiles all round. A highly enjoyable night with overall great food. Can't wait for the winter menu :)
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  • Absolutely stunning!
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  • You can't argue with the value for money of La Mouette's winter special - 6 courses for R295 is an absolute bargain for the delicious food that is served up. Some courses are a bit of a miss (the sole tasted a bit fishy, and there is a bit too much ash, charring and smoking for my liking), but the winter snacks (cured duck ham with a quince chutney and boerenkaas croquettes), beetroot & goat's cheese, lamb and the dessert were delicious standouts. Service is good, with both manageress and hostess checking in on our table through the evening.
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  • First time visit to La Mouette for a Sunday lunch and what a lovely experience! Delicious Autumn Tasting menu which we thoroughly enjoyed! Special attention also paid to guests with food allergies. Definitely added to my dpecial experiences restaurants in Cape Town.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Child friendly
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Fireplace
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • StreetSmart affliated
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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